Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dembski wrotes yet another book (yawn!)

For the record I haven't read it yet. I will, as soon as one of my local libraries gets a copy. I refuse to add any of my own money to support his efforts. I will read it and report here. One of the librarians at my nearest library has read most of the Intelligent Design popular press books and has wondered why they are in non-fiction. I just smile when she says that.

What I wanted to address was an interview he gave about his new book. He makes several indefensible points in answer to a simple question. The question was "Does your research conclude that God is the Intelligent Designer?" He starts his answer with "I believe God created the world for a purpose. The Designer of intelligent design is, ultimately, the Christian God."

OK that question at least lets God into the mix, but one of the annoying things is how the Intelligent Design proponents keep using "Designer" in print, but they are willing to associate "God" when speaking. Disingenuous at best. He goes on to say "The focus of my writings is not to try to understand the Christian doctrine of creation; it’s to try to develop intelligent design as a scientific program."

My question back to him is if he really wanted to develop Intelligent Design as a science program he wouldn't be writing these books. He would be working hard to prove it and be able to publish in the scientific press, not just the popular press. The level of proof required in scientific journals is obviously well beyond what he is capable of. He does seem to agree with Michael Behe on the relative youth of the whole Intelligent Design movement when he says "We’re very early in this game in terms of understanding the history of how the design got implemented . . ." This has become one of the pet excuses as to why there is no science in Intelligent Design. But he continues his statement and blames evolution: "I think a lot of this is because evolutionary theory has so misled us that we have to rethink things from the ground up." Oh I love this, why don't you have any science in Intelligent Design, its because how easily we brilliant pseudo-scientists were misled.

I think the blame is much closer to home, I think the reason there is no science is because only just recently Intelligent Design was formed to try and put a religion-neutral face on Creationism and there is no science to find. But that's just my thinking. If he said it, it would cut into book sales.

He does make bold statements about how his research will affect the world of science. Please remember that so far his work hasn't been much impact. I do object to the characterization that anything in this book smacks of research! If he really did research that could prove any of his point he wouldn't be writing in the popular press! My favorite line is "I don’t see how you can read this book, if you’ve not been indoctrinated with Darwin’s theory, and go back to the evolutionary fold. " He's pre-built himself an excuse for when people who read his book dump all over it, like his other books. He also states "The case against this materialistic, undirected evolution is overwhelming." But doesn't make a case and has never made a case. In fact NO ONE has made such a case. Oh they have opinions and they yell a lot. Or they are like Ann Coulter who uses her bombastic style to repeat word for word what Philip E. Johnson, William Dembski, and Michael Behe all told her to say.

He ends the interview by claiming that his book will address the whole debate [Intelligent Design and Evolution] effectively. That is a another unsubstantiated bold claim. I am looking forward to reading it if for no other reason to give me more ammo for my blog.

Mr. Dembski is one of those educators that characterizes a flaw in the educational system. He is a philosopher, historian, and mathematician. But when he speaks of Intelligent Design he uses his academic credentials to give credence to his views. That in my mind should be a crime. Michael Behe does is as well. To me those advanced degrees tell me you have no idea how science works or why it works. Remember he is the one claiming the theory of evolution mislead us, but he isn't a biologist!

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