Saturday, August 28, 2010

Intelligent Design: For Entertainment Purposes Only!

I believe that John G. West, yes, that one, from the Discovery Institute (DI), has this form letter and all he has to do is fill in the name of any biologist/journalist/scientist, add a link to their article, and then have it posted on his website. Here check out "A Biologist Misunderstands Intelligent Design (Again)" if you wish, but if you have read any of the standard "They just don't understand ID" posts, you already know what it says. He even acknowledges it with his "(Again)" in the title. If it is so common, Johnny, why don't you get off your butt and publish some valid science that supports ID. then no one could mis-understand it. But that seems to be out of the question.

So what we see yet another biologist, this time Dr. Kathryn Applegate, affiliated with the Biologos Forum, being critical of intelligent design in her article "Self-Assembly of the Bacterial Flagellum: No Intelligence Required" and instead of actually addressing the shortfalls in intelligent design or the details of her critique, he would rather question the biologist's knowledge of ID. In all honesty how much do she need to know? I'm not being flippant, but if you read her article she goes through and explains how the bacterial flagellum, one of Michael Behe's poster children for irreducible complexity, forms through a natural process. ID proponents claim otherwise, including Behe's who's books she references.

So one side claims God-Did-It -- without naming the designer -- and Kathryn Applegate says not so fast. She supports her position with a nicely done explanation, so what's an ID proponent to do? Attack her understanding of ID -- something she doesn't really need to present the natural process by which bacterial flagellum form. Did he address the process she described? Did he address the experiments that developed her understanding of the process? Did he make a case for how the 'Designer' did it? No, that would be too much like work.

So apparently here are the rules -- post something positive about Intelligent Design or the DI will fill out West's 'form' letter and claim you don't understand Intelligent Design. It doesn't really matter what you say, if you aren't an ID proponent, then you must not understand ID. Makes perfect sense . . . in their delusional world.

I think Dr. Applegate understand all she needs to about ID. She doesn't need to read more material about it because it doesn't really matter. Anything she says that is critical will get the same response. Rather than educate, Johnny and his cronies would rather condemn. The entire world has been waiting for the DI to produce anything other than popular press books and articles -- books and articles that show an ever changing concept of what ID is supposed to be. It's like hitting a moving target and unless you kneel before the DI and proclaim their 'Designer' to be the end all of scientific knowledge, they will complain that you really don't understand it. So in other words over 99% of the biologists and scientists in the world all misunderstand the DI and their pet concept, Creationism's little brother. I think Johnny has been hanging around with his cronies too long and needs to get out more for some perspective. I thought the low was when Casey Luskin took on a Canadian Quilter about her award winning quilt "Myths of our time: Intelligent Design", but West hit a new low with his non-critique

I do love how he sneaks in the term "intelligent design theorist", as if they actual had a theory to study. So now they are creating what . . . job titles for imaginary positions? At best he should call them 'intelligent design conceptualizers' or in a fit of self-examination he could call them 'marketeers', but that level of honesty is too much to expect. I guess that would make Dr. Applegate an 'anti-ID theorist' and I am sure that is a title she would wear proudly!

Hmmm . . . so I guess that makes me . . . what exactly? An Anti-ID Blogger? Not really, but I doubt Johnny would understand. I am not against ID, I am not even anti-creationism -- as theology and philosophy. I am against anyone, or any group, who make scientific claims without having done the work. I am against anyone who uses disreputable tactics, lies, and misrepresentations of science in order to garner support for their personal religious beliefs.

If the DI would simply do the work and actually support their contentions with something resembling facts, I would be lobbying for their inclusion in science class. But they seem to be unwilling, or unable, to do so. As long as they remain unwilling or unable, then I will argue that they belong on the same shelf in the bookstore as Astrology, Phrenology, the Psychic Friends Network, and Tarot Cards. Just like the small print disclaimer on those psychic infomercials of a few years back, Intelligent Design is "For Entertainment Purposes Only!"

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