17 May, 2006

Smoke and Mirrors

This is my first comment on the pseudo-scientific theory of "Intelligent Design"

To say the least, it is far from being anything resembling a scientific theory. In fact, it is nothing more than theology in a lab coat; just another form of Creationism that has been dressed up in scientific language without any actual scientific content to support it as a scientific theory. The primary promoent of ID is The Discovery Institute, a Christian conservative think tank based (embarrasingly) here in the Seattle area and their offshoot, The Center for Science and Culture.

One of the tactics they like to use is what's called, an appeal to authority. They publish a list of 500 scientists who have signed on supporting a statement of dissent from Darwinism.
A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism
"We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged."
Yet, if you read the statement closely, you will see that it is indeed, only a dissent and a fairly weak one at that. It is not, in any sense of the word, a statement that supports Intelligent Disign as a credible theory of the origins of life. In fact, the statement does not mention ID at all. Also, it is important to note that, of the names on the list, roughly only half are actually Ph.Ds and of those that are, precious few of them are actually in fields of study related to Evolution.

Here is another list, the Steve Project that has a list of Ph.Ds, all in related fields of study, and all with the first name of some variation of the name "Steve," who support Darwin's theory of Evolution through Natural Selection and who have signed a statement expressly saying so. Kind of makes the DI's list of dissenters seem rather weak in comparison yet they continue to trumpet this list as if it were truly significant. So, if they want to play the Appeals to Authority game, we can play too and we will win - big time!


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