Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Discovery Institute (DI) doesn't like Neil DeGrasse Tyson

OK, we all know the Discovery Institute (DI) doesn't like Neil DeGrasse Tyson. They didn't like him before his very popular re-vamping of Carl Sagan's 'Cosmos' aired, and they thoroughly detested him afterwards, so much so they even wrote a book,  'The Unofficial Guide to Cosmos: Fact and Fiction in Neil deGrasse Tyson's Landmark Science Series', by . . . guess who . . . little davey 'klingy' klinghoffer.

Today klingy himself wrote a new post over on the DI's Evolution 'news' and Views (EnV) site and its sorta scary: "#Rationalia? Neil deGrasse Tyson's Authoritarian Daydream" is his latest post.  If you read it you take one one very simple idea, that the requirement for actual evidence equates to fascism.


I had to read through it twice to make sure I wasn't missing the point.  He couches it a number of different ways, but the bottom line is that any requirement for evidence equates to fascism.  As I thought about it for a few, it did make some level of sense, at least from the DI's point of view.  

Science is evidence based, no one can successfully argue against that fact, although many have tried -- especially the DI.  But no matter how you want to look at it, evidence is the determining factor when performing science.  Yes, you can scare up examples of 'extrapolation' and even 'interpretation' that didn't fit the bill, and while those can sometimes be a stumbling block, as work on any scientific subject continues, those things are eventually pushed to the side for an explanation that matches the evidence better and more reliably!  We've discussed the self-correcting activity of science any number of times.

That's why the DI is using one of their favorite tactics, equating something they do not like with something people generally don't like, the more evil the better.  How many times have they tried to claim Darwin and his theories are the cause of the Nazi's?  How often have they blamed racism and all sorts of societies ills on evolution . . ..  The list of them using this tactic is pretty long!  Now why would they be against evidence-based science to the point of trying to equate is with fascism?

For one reason, they haven't got any, evidence that is.  Seriously, where is the evidence for Intelligent Design?  Have they actually shown any?  Not yet!  Oh they have made the claim often . . . but the only ones who buy into their 'evidence' are people who already agree with their religious philosophy.  Their best is their intuition that biology must be designed because it looks like it must be designed!  So when faced with a requirement to put up or shut up, you have two options:  either you produce the evidence or you attack the requirement.  Since they have so far failed to produce any evidence, they are attacking the requirement.

In a few recent posts, we discussed their tactic of claiming the superiority of 'intuition' over scientific investigation ("New Discovery Institute Key Word: "Intuition" and Should Science Peer Review be replaced with Public Opinion? DI says yes . . . No Surprise There!), so you can see how they are trying to attack anything that smacks of a requirement of evidence.  They would much rather go with what they are calling 'intuition' and if you aren't sure, they'll tell you what to intuit . . . why 'design' of course!

I don't think they are going to get very far with this one.  The problem with explanations that 'feel good' are that they rarely meet the evidence.  Common sense and intuition are notoriously unreliable, pretty much a crap-shoot.  While you might get a nice warm feeling for a while when trusting your gut, all to often the evidence overrules you and one of the measure of success is how you deal with the results.  Yes, everyone can tell you stories about how their 'gut' did them good . . . but really think about it.  Much more rarely sre stories where their gut led them astray.  Is that because there are fewer stories, or because they don't like telling them?  Honestly consider your own gut, how reliable has it been for you?  How many times have you backed down from something because of your gut and it turned out that it would have been a good idea?  And how many times do you tell that story?  Like I said, a crap-shoot!.

Apparently when you are the DI and you get hit smacked in the face with the evidence, you deny,. prevaricate, and spin to keep your donations rolling in.  But those of us who don't rely on the belief system of strangers to keep sending us money, we have to rely on doing actual work . . . on producing results . . . unlike the DI, we get paid for results and the evidence supports that!

As I have said before, imagine how far you can get in your car while relying on intuition and wishful thinking.  If you want to get further than what's currently in your gas tank, you are going to have to stop for gas sooner or later!  Oh you can pray for divine guidance, but a gas station will get you going faster and more reliably.  When the feeling that you have plenty of gas runs smack into the gas gauge, guess who wins?

I believe that the DI will continue to dislike Neil deGrasse Tyson, and I consider it a very positive thing . . . for Professor Tyson!  If I could award a prize for annoying the toothless attack chihuahuas from the DI, He would be the first recipient!

No comments:

Post a Comment