Friday, January 4, 2008

First Recorded Knee-Jerk reaction of 2008

The National Academy of Science has published a report on Evolution called "Science, Evolution, and Creationism" and the Discovery Institute responded in typical fashion. According to their press release "In the ample space of 89 pages, the NAS manages to celebrate evolution as an unassailable truth, completely misrepresent intelligent design, and rehash the same standard Darwinist arguments which have been refuted by critical scientists time and again." This should come as no surprise to those of us who have grown to enjoy their press releases as such creative little marketing tidbits. Here are a few samples of their complaints:

They brought up "The NAS exaggerates the success of evolution, hyping it as "the foundation for modern biology." and they countered with their usual "700 doctoral scientists". Does 700 scientist, many of whom are not biologists, who signed a generic statement saying Darwin wasn't the end of all knowledge really constitute a challenge to the statement that Evolution is the foundation of modern biology? Darwin is still only a piece of the theory so they haven't even made an argument against Evolution. Plus just being a dissenting voice among hundreds of thousands supporting voices doesn't mean it isn't the foundation. More word shenanigans rather than an actual concrete challenge. Let us not forget the NY Times article explaining that the majority of the 700 not only are not biologists, nor are the majority leading scientists, but most are Evangelical Christians that object on religious not scientific grounds. Why did the Discovery Institute forget to mention that part?

They go on to whine"Instead of treating evolutionary theory as an area open to further scientific inquiry, the NAS report canonizes evolution as perfect and immutable, "so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter it." I have not read the report, but I would be hard pressed to believe the NAS used the words "perfect and immutable", please notice that those words are not in the quotes of their citation, but their own opinion of the meaning of the what the NAS did say. As usually the Discovery Institute are doing their quote mining game. Since all the new evidence discovered in the past 150 years has ended up supporting evolution, I think the NAS actually made a reasonable statement. If the Discovery Institute is hinting at some huge discovery supporting Intelligent Design that will turn evolution on its ear, well the rest of the world is waiting for it, and has been waiting. So far Zilch! I don't believe the NAS sees evolution as perfect and immutable because there are numerous real scientific research and study projects working on expanding our understanding of evolution. They are just upset because the NAS doesn't see their marketing efforts as science.

They do bring in one of their newer tactics in this quote "Under their definition, a theory is not a testable area of science but rather an unquestionable dogma," said CSC program officer Casey Luskin." This tactic is to try and cast the science of evolution as just another form of religious belief. I'm not sure how much they realize how much damage they do to their own position with this tactic, but they are the marketing experts, not me. Under the NAS definition of a theory it is a testable area of science, among other things. Evolution has been tested and will continue to be tested. It is not dogma when the answer keeps coming up "Evolution."

This one I love: "Of course, this should come as no surprise, given the NAS's bias against intelligent design, which challenges Darwinian evolution on scientific grounds. Rather than addressing the science of ID, the report misrepresents the theory as an untestable religious belief." Since the Discovery Institute has released nothing that actually counters this argument, I think any bias by NAS has pretty firm ground. Intelligent Design is not testable, it has not been tested, and nothing anyone has published has even given a hint if it will ever be tested! I do love how they toss in their unsupported statement " . . .which challenges Darwinian evolution on scientific grounds". They make that statement as if it is true!

The closure is another lawyering word trick "At bottom, this report does little more than reveal a tired and weary voice of an establishment unwilling to actually address the scientific claims or the thoughtful skepticism of a growing number of scientists who disagree." Since their are the ones raising the same tired arguments and they are the ones who have done nothing to actual advance the supposed science of Intelligent Design and since the number of scientist who have signed their little dissent from Darwin letter hasn't actually grown, what credibility can you give their closure! By the way the Clergy Project has grown to well over 11,000 signatures supporting Evolution and the teaching of Evolution is schools, and the petition in Ohio to make sure Ohio schools do not teach Intelligent Design is now over 4,700 -- now those show growth!

No comments:

Post a Comment