Saturday, August 06, 2005

Michael: Poll Finds Wingnuts want their beliefs taught as science

Astonishing results in the American Family Association poll on whether kids should be forced to listen to religion masquerading as science! 95% think they should! Wow. Now that's a revelation.

Bush's quasi-endorsement of Intelligent Design 'theory' under the guise of exposing kids to different ideas (except for the ones they don't like, of course, such safe sex education, tolerance, etc., etc. etc.) is bound to re-energize the assault on America's science ciriculums by the new geocentrists. Teaching our children fairy tales rather than science isn't going to help our global competitiveness any, even if it does make evolution-deniers feel relevant.

The fact is that religion is on the back foot regarding the science of life. Pope John Paul II drew the real and final line in the 'debate' between science and faith about the origins of life. He placed that final redoubt of faith at the creation of the divine soul of man. He admitted that evolution has brought together so many multi-disciplinary threads of validation (geology, archeology, genetics, biology, zoology, etc.) that it was elevated far beyond the status of just a theory. The intellectual hicks promoting Intelligent Design are kicking against traces that cannot be broken with their shabby rhetoric and obsfucation.

Evolution is a fact. There is alot of spirited scientific debate sorting out details of the theory, but there is less debate among serious scientists about whether evolution is a fact, than over whether the solar system is heliocentric. When teachers are encouraged to 'teach the debate,' they are in fact being subborned into injecting the propaganda of a religious sect into the schooling of all our children. If creationists are so set on indoctrinating their kids, they should teach them at home, and leave ours alone to learn valid science.

Bush is an enabler of culture war that is an easy path to power. Fortunately, history has shown such reactionary politics also to be a quick route to the exit in a democracy, once people get fed up with your pre-rational antics. Bush and his Right Wing crowd of kooks may be riding high now, but there are lots people of faith who are getting spooked by this sort of theocratic nonsense. Enough, I hope, to put the extreme right back on the street-corners holding signs for the Apocolypse, instead of in the White House actively plotting its arrival.


At 9:47 PM, Blogger Joel Gaines said...

Let me get you straight. Theory is a fact, even though it is a debateable theory - unless it is religious in nature; then it is a theory and not a fact at all? And *I* am the wingnut?

When you can take your premise out to a logical conclusion without contradicting yourself...

Evolution is a theory
Relativity is a theory
Intelligent Design is a theory

The only reason you would not want an open discourse is the fear that you might be wrong. If intelligent design was of no circumstance, there would be no argument against it. You could scientifically disprove it in an hour. Guess what, it has never been done. I am not a scientist, but I believe science is geared toward either proving something to a level it cannot be disputed, or without that, attempting to disprove something so completely that it cannot possibly be as theorized. Guess what, never been done.

The single most important aspect in science is objectivity. You follow the evidence presented by observation using scientific method to a conclusion. that conclusion either proves or disporves your premise. Why would you exclude intelligent design out of hand? World still flat?

At 3:35 PM, Blogger Michael said...

No, Joel. The point is that ID is NOT a scientific theory, as science uses the term. It has no negative propositions which could invalidate it. It makes no testable hypotheses, suggests no new data, makes no predictions. All it does is attempt to use people's ignorance of science to poke rhetorical holes in the the vast body of evidence supporting evolution. Evolution is a formal scientific theory. A scientific theory is a much different animal from a theory in common vernacular: theory is a term of art in science. Practically, the vast mountain of consistent evidence supporting it makes it as much a fact as gravity or the particle-wave theory of matter. Elevating ID to the same level as evolutionary or relativistic theory by using the same word to describe it is a bad joke, and bad grammar.

ID is religion. It is not science and does not deserve the intellectual respect given to competing scientific theories. ID seeks only to exploit the openness of science by corrupting the very intellectual foundations of science. The best analogy for how the ID movement works is to say that ID is a virus in the operating system of knowledge that is science.

I'm hardly afraid that ID will be proven right, mainly because ID is not amenable to any valid proofs or disproofs. Proof is irrrelevant to ID, which is one reason it is not a scientific theory. If you paid attention, you would know that the allegations of ID have been repeatedly and thoroughly debunked, ad nausium. IDers simply rely on the average person's complete ignorance of science to ensure that their bullshit gets a respectful hearing it doesn't merit.

There is no evidence for ID. ID offers no scientific support for the 'theory'. It makes an assertion of faith based on Biblical text and searches for any evidence which might be interpreted as supporting those assumptions. ID also holds out misinterpretations and misrepresentations of admittedly difficult concepts and evidence underlying evolution to 'question' the validity of evolutionary theory at it's most speculative points (macro-evolution, ulitimate origins of life, sub-cellular biochemical processes). That's not how science works. ID does not offer a valid and testible alternative to evolution. It offers only God's will. That is not science. That is theology. That's not a scientific theory. That's rhetoric.

I don't have a problem with people believing in God or believing in creation of life or man's soul by God's will. But don't try to pass it off as science to our children. It's faith. It's revealed knowledge, not scientifically determined knowledge.


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