Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kevin Roeten, avowed Conservative and apparent ID'iot

Wandering the web, as is certainly one of my hobbies, I came across the Nolan Chart. What tweaked my interest was an article entitled "Intelligent Design Not Difficult to Grasp", by Kevin Roeten dated 4 Mar 2009. Glancing at the headline, I almost did what many Creationists do and take it as face value. Then I read a little more and had trouble containing my laughter.

Now just considering the headline, I agreed with its wording. There is nothing difficult or challenging about Intelligent Design, as espoused by those less-than-stalwart-fellows at the Discovery Institute. It's not a hard subject to grasp, for all their meanderings and re-definitions and out-and-out lies. It is pretty simple, made even easier by the complete lack of evidential support. But then I had to do what few Creationists seem capable of doing, I continued reading and his next two statements just floored me:

"All the holes in the theory of evolution can be filled with Intelligent Design"
"Intelligent Design: a plethora on Open-Mindedness"
Without going further into what might have actually been an interesting article, I had to stop for a second and stop laughing. Can you image that all the holes in Evolution can be filled with ID? Every single one? What Kevin here is doing is nothing more than re-stating the "God-of-the-Gaps" argument. First of all, are there holes in what we know about Biology? There certainly are! Of course none of then have invalidated what we do know, since each new thing we seem to learn supports the main details, like Evolution. The 'holes' Kevin is alluding to are in the details of how certain things happened, not that evolution did not happen. But of course if it weren't for the things we don't know, Kevin here would have even less to say.

Just a reminder, the problem with the God-of-the-gaps argument, as illustrated by St. Augustine a very long time ago, is basically how silly one looks when something previously unknown, that gets attributed to God, becomes known. The Catholic Church has apparently learned most of this lesson, but it missed Kevin. So, Kev, before we leave this little topic I want three things from you. I want you to identify three holes, you claim exist, that are better explained by Intelligent Design, and I mean real holes in evolutionary theory. I just want to have that list so as the science of biology moves forward, I get to wave them in front of you as a little reminder. Now once again, stick with evolutionary theory, not geology, physics, chemistry or other discipline, but three actual gaps within the current school of thought on evolutionary biology. Don't worry, there are a few you can choose from. But remember what happened to Michael Behe when he named what he thought were a few gaps-- it wasn't pretty -- but I am pretty confident you won't commit yourself, you'll keep making sweeping and unsupported statements.

Now moving on, the very idea of using 'Intelligent Design' and 'open-mindedness' in the same sentence is particularly far-fetched. Hey, Kev, do me a favor and read the Discovery Institute's own Wedge Strategy document on the whole purpose of Intelligent Design. There is nothing open-minded about it! It's a ploy, a way to try and knock-back evolution to try and slip in the back-door of our school system. I am not the one who first said that, your own Daddy Rabbit Phillip E. Johnson did in his document. Take exception with him, I just happen to be able to read past the headlines.

Now to the rest of your hilarious article. OK, Kev, for the record, I have nothing at all against teaching Intelligent Design in school. In fact most of us who object to ID don't have an issue with it being taught! Surprised you there, didn't I? However, I, and others, have stated this many times, on record, and will do our best to never see is the teaching of Intelligent Design in a science class as science! That is my beef! I feel the same way about Intelligent Design as I do Astrology, Phrenology, and Alchemy. If it is not science, it does not belong in science class as a scientific subject! There it is, my, and many other folks, objection to your whole platform.

Let's be clear: It's not science because some people think it is. It's not science when you lie and claim it has to be included or we are being against "Academic Freedom", Free Speech", or "Freedom of Expression" (Take your choice, your friends over at the DI use them pretty much interchangeably). It is not science because you do a bait-and-switch with the definition of words like 'theory' and 'belief'. It is not science because the Governor of Louisiana gets mislead while pandering to voters. And it certainly is not science when it offers no testability, no predictability, and has not been supported by actual empirical evidence.

As for the rest of your little article, it's nothing more than the pessimist's mis-conception of Evolution. Not only does you offer no support for Intelligent Design -- which seemed a Creationist character trait -- but you makes unsupported claims about evolution. For example you claim:
"scientific journals are full of inconsistencies of evolutionary theory"
Uh, No! Just because a journal is asking questions that have not been answered yet is not an evolutionary inconsistency. What it is doing is setting the stage for work that still needs to be done. You obviously are one of those people who think unless you have all the answers, don't bother asking questions. Hmmm, since when do we need all the answers? We've done pretty good with things without knowing everything! Hell, we can't seem to decide if light is a particle or a wave and yet we use it, and the scientific theories behind it, every single day.

But your case of verbal diarrhea keeps going. You actually get into the 'odds' argument, and have the audacity to call '' a think-tank. OK, Kev, I take back what I said earlier, it will be hard for you to select three evolutionary inconsistencies, because you are using Abiogenesis and the so-called odds to convince yourself Evolution is impossible. Sorry, typical ID'iot error. So there is another strike against you saying anything meaningful in your article, you just keep repeating the same junk. Look, at least get creative and quote Dembski rather than -- his odds argument at least sounds plausible, even if it is just as meaningless. Look back in my posts of you want to see what I think of the odds argument. You won't like it.

OMG, and then you go off quote mining! Are you related to little Bennie Stein by any chance? I've read some of Jastow's work, and you are doing nothing but mis-representing him. His issues with Evolution are pretty much undocumented, after all he is an astrophysicist. But then again, you still seem to have a problem with focusing on Evolution. Try again!

Kev, you do briefly address evolution again, but only to say that Evolution and Intelligent Design have no direct evidence. Well, Kev, you are half right. If you actually opened your eyes during Biology class, you would be amazed at the evidence supporting evolution -- but then this article exposes how little you apparently know about the subject.

So let's recap the highlights. Intelligent Design can fill all of evolution's gaps? Fine, where are they? In your whole article you failed to highlight one single gap of evolutionary theory? How disingenuous of you! Is this what you call ID's open-mindedness? You make big statements and fail to back any of them up! You claim 'inconsistencies' yet fail to produce any and you offer ID as the gap-filler and fail to explain how it goes about caulking all those gaps.

So the bottom line here is nothing but warmed over Creationist arguments with not only little support of claims, but not actual effort at supporting your accusations. You aren't even particularly entertaining or original, but I will forgive that, since your source material is also pretty much devoid of any resemblance of creativity or originality.

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