Thursday, December 13, 2007

Arguments III - Controversy

Today's word of the day is "Controversy", again let's start with the basic definition from Webster's:

    1. a discussion marked especially by the expression of opposing views : dispute
    2. quarrel, strife
Frequently when you hear someone expressing a viewpoint on Intelligent Design the rallying cry is to "Teach the Controversy". Now like many statements said this one doesn't mean what you think it means. Or maybe I should say the point of view being expressed is a lie!

First of all there is a controversy concerning teaching intelligent Design in science class, but it is a contrived controversy created by and marketed by Intelligent Design supporters. They make it sound so reasonable and so fair, but it's they who have created this controversy. They imply there is a controversy in the science community when they know there is not! But by attempting to make themselves sound fair, they are in fact deceiving us.

I can say this with certainty, the scientific community is like many others. There are agreements and disagreements. There are people of character and there are people of less than sterling character. But by a vast majority there is no controversy over Intelligent Design. The science community calls it bunk, junk-science, pseudo-science . . . and those are the ones being polite. Having a few trained scientists, like Michael Behe and Guillermo Gonzalez, step out of the bounds of science and spout an idea like Intelligent Design isn't a controversy -- it's the normal way science goes about it's business. Even having a hundred or a thousand scientists doesn't make it a controversy. The Discovery Institute likes to show off their list of 700 scientists who they claim support Intelligent Design. Once again look at what those 700 signed up for and Intelligent Design wasn't even on the list! The question remains where is this controversy?

Well the controversy never got serious in the scientific community, so groups like the Discovery Institute took it to the streets. They help publish popular press books and articles, because they know the level of proof in the popular press is magnitudes less than any scientific journal. They go to churches, schools, school boards, and PTA meetings and encourage dissent from teaching Evolution. They put out videos and build laughingly called museums that make the Flintstones look like a reality show. They do all this and then raise their hands in innocence and tells us there is a controversy. They should know, they are fomenting it.

They lose one battle in court and they just repackage everything and try again. One attempt was the ban the teaching of evolution. But in 1968 they lost that one. (Epperson v. Arkansas)
Next up, let's demand equal time for both Creationism and Evolution. Well that one failed as well. (Daniel v. Waters (1975)). In 1981 they tried to make it a law to teach them both and that went down in flames (McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education). Tried it again in 1987 (Edwards v. Aguillard) only instead of mandating Creationism, the name of the subject was Creationist Science. Most recently the latest re-packaging was the take Creationism and yank out all direct reference to God and call it Intelligent Design. In 2005 eleven parents of Dover PA school children took their own school board to court and the ruling was a serious blow to organizations such as the Discovery Institute.

So if they can't fight it is court, let's create an artificial controversy, funnel serious money behind it and attack the hearts and souls of people rather than perform the science that would welcome them into the science class. I question why they cannot put more effort behind the science and the only answer I can come up with is they are faced with a battle they cannot win on the science front, so they are attacking on every other front they can.

So in closing (for now) please when you hear about the 'controversy' remember that it's an effort to win peoples hearts by artificially creating a controversy where there was none. It's mostly a word game because when an Intelligent Design supporter says to teach the controversy, you assume they mean there really is a controversy within the realm of science. The fact is they have created one and brought it to the school board meeting near you! Dover PA wasn't the first and it won't be the last. Florida, Ohio, and Texas seem to be shaping up to be the next states attacked by the dull toothed piranha, I just wonder which school board will fall for the whole controversy and be led down to another multi million dollar lawsuit.

So if there is no controversy in the scientific community

No comments:

Post a Comment