Monday, June 20, 2005

Opting out of the debate

I become so frustrated with the intelligent design folks that I've tried to stop correcting thier mistakes. When Billy Dembski says something about evolutionary theory, he is usually wrong. Either that, or it's a criticism that indicts all of science, something that I'm fairly sure Dembski doesn't want to do. I'm pretty sure he wants to indict only the bits of science that conflict with his religious beliefs. I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to give up cancer research, microbial remediation projects and earthquake prediction studies.

Anyway, the issue is not a scientific one with the IDers. It's a cultural one. ID is simply old school Paleyian 'watch making' with fancy new mathematics and cellular biology. Instead of the eye, now it's the endoplasmic reticula, flagella and tRNA. This debate is not one to be settled 'scientifically'. All of the IDers 'in principle' arguments have been answered over and over again to the satisfaction of our current understanding of what a satisfactory scientific answer actually is. They don't seem to care. And they shouldn't seem to care. The vast majority of people hear what they're saying and believe it. They have a massive 'marketing campaign' that is WORKING WELL. Most people aren't interested in getting involved in the nitty gritty. And if they were, they'd find people like Billy Dembski consistently getting the nitty gritty wrong and consistently misunderstanding it.

Anyway, the New York Times published a great story about the fruitlessness of the scientific debate with IDers.

Check it out here.

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