Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Keep running into Dembski-isms

You know as little respect as most of the ID proponents deserve, I keep running across comments about Dembski's unequivocal surrender.

Over at JREF forums, one commenter, AdMan, put it pretty succinctly:

"Here is one of the key proponents for Intelligent Design, dismissing a point that he earlier had argued was supported by scientific findings simply because he's told that the bible is absolutely trustworthy and he must not question it. And he gives in without an argument. Does ID have any legitimacy left?" [I added the italics for emphasis]
Over on Daylight Atheism it is also said quite plainly:
"But just as fascinating, I think, was Dembski's craven response. When threatened with losing his job, he immediately recanted, despite everything he had said before about how his views were founded on the evidence. He immediately surrendered those views and, in his own words, "bowed to the text" - prostrating himself before the Bible and confessing that he believes it, not because that's what the evidence says, but because that's what's written and he knows he's not permitted to doubt or think independently. Regardless of what the facts say, he knows his beliefs must be subordinated to the cold demands of dogma. Is this not a total abdication of intellectual honesty? " [Again, I added the italics for emphasis]
One of the commenters over on Daylight Atheist had a great comment, one I had to repost:
"With apologies to Monty Python.

Brave Sir Dembski ran away.
Bravely ran away away.
("I did!")
When danger reared its ugly head,
He bravely turned his tail and fled.
Yes, brave Sir Dembski turned about
("I did!")
And gallantly he chickened out.

Bravely taking ("I certainly did!") to his feet,
He beat a very brave retreat.
("all truth!")
Bravest of the braaaave, Sir Dembski!
("I did!")"

How in the world can Dembski face any students in the light of such behavior? I do pity any students he has, they deserve better. On the other hand, this isn't all that surprising. Look at the coalition put together by those less-than-stellar folks at the Discovery Institute. There is no interest in actual science, only dogmatic clinging to shreds of various ideologies. Look at a few of the tactics and attacks against evolutionary theory -- completely toothless because of their refusal to step away from philosophy and marketing and engage in science.
  • Teach the non-existent controversy
  • Academic freedom that has nothing to do with actual academic freedom
  • Darwin caused Hitler -- in spite of Hitler's avowed Christianity in his own writings and speeches
  • The math -- that no one has the ability to calculate -- doesn't support evolution
All of it pretty much . . . well as the saying goes no matter how much mayo you use, you can't turn chicken sh** into chicken salad. They certainly seem to use a great deal of mayo. They dress up their ideas in ill-fitting lab coats, pay for it with other people's money, publish in the popular and christian press, whine about impossible decades-long and multi-national conspiracies of millions of scientists, and then lie and misrepresent their ideas to school boards at the state and local level. So Dembski sweating over a paying job is not much more than a ripple in a pond loaded with reprehensible tactics and strategies.

It's not that terribly surprising because of the original Wedge Strategy Document:
  • "To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural, and political legacies"
  • "To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God"
Intelligent Design is a shill, it's a cover, it's a thin veneer over Creationism and it really doesn't matter in the long run as long as Creationism can find its way back into the secular classroom -- not matter how! Dembski, Meyer, Johnson, Sternberg, and the rest of them will say anything, stoop to any tactic, any device, any potential selling point not because their ideas are correct, but because they believe in them in spite of the evidence that does not support them and the ends they seek justifies the means.

As one of Dembski's students said of his professor's desires
" . . . theology as the "queen of the sciences" . . . "
And that is the real crime.

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