Sunday, January 22, 2017

Do You Blame the Scientific Community From Giving You Ammunition?

Ridiculous post over on the Discovery Institute's (DI) usual haunt, 'Whatever You Do, Don't Say "Irreducible Complexity"'.  Apparently there is an article in a real scientific journal that warned against using the word 'complex' because of it's association with 'biocomplexity' and 'irreducible complexity'.  Can you blame them?

Just yesterday I posted how the DI is willing to grasp any use of intelligence and claiming it as a victory for their pet religious concept of Intelligent Design. (More Misdirection from the Discovery Institute).  In that post I said:

"What we have also learned, yet again, is that whenever anyone uses their brain (intelligence) and discovers anything that can be interpreted, or even mis-interpreted, as 'design' then the DI is going to try and claim yet another victory for their pet concept ID.  They, the DI, still cannot tell the difference between their Intelligent Design 'theory' and use of intelligence in scientific discoveries."
Since the DI is so quick to make such claims, is it any wonder an article's author might want to avoid some specific terms that would supply the DI with more opportunities?  How many other words do we avoid using because of a specific connotation?  I'm sure you can think of a few, I know I certainly came up with a dozen without much effort.

Of course the DI tries to spin that this as some sort of prejudice . . . and they are right, although not in the way they intended.  Should actual science be prejudiced against pseudo-science?  Most certainly!  The DI doesn't see themselves as pseudo-scientists, but admitting it might have a negative funding impact on the DI.  I mean it's hard to push religion if the donations dry-up.

I do wish to point out one other . ..  lie . . . I know, sugar-coating things isn't my style.  Here's a quote from the DI post:
"Oh, and isn't BIO-Complexity the title of a peer-reviewed science journal open to examining ideas supportive of intelligent design?"
Two problems here.  The first is simple, the paper they found so offensive suggested avoiding the term 'biocomplexity'.  According to Wikipedia:
" . . . some researchers have begun to use the term biocomplexity in a narrower sense to denote the complex behavioral, biological, social, chemical, and physical interactions of living organisms with their environment. This relatively new subfield of biocomplexity encompasses other domains such as biodiversity and ecology." 
Which means the original paper might not have been addressing the DI's journal at all.  The second problem is that even if they were addressing Bio-Complexity, is it really a peer-reviewed science journal?  Not in the least.  It's been identified as the latest Intelligent Design journal. Origins & Design from Access Research Network (ARN) and Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design  from Wild Bill Dembski were two previous attempts.  I said this about Bio-Complexity a while back:
"The National. Center for Science Education had a lot to say about Bio-Complexity shortly after it was announced.  Here is my favorite comment:
"Unable to convince the scientific establishment of the merits of their views, creationists have long been engaged in the project of constructing a counterestablishment, which mimics — or perhaps the mot juste is “apes” — not only peer-reviewed journals but also professional societies, textbook publishers, media organizations, natural history museums, and graduate programs at accredited universities."
So you see, even if the original offending paper was addressing the DI's in-house journal, calling it a peer-reviewed science journal is at best humorous, at worse just another lie.   Real science peer review is not the same thing as having a few people who already agree with you read your papers and pat you on the head.

Personally, I think avoiding certain terms are a waste of time, not because they might cause an association with something the DI might say.  It's because since when does the DI need actual words to try and form an association.  Look at my own post link at the start of this post.  The DI took something unrelated and drew an imaginary line to Intelligent Design.  After all, wasn't it the DI who handed to Ohio State School Board a list of 44 peer-reviewed publications that they said showed support for Intelligent Design?  A list that was fraudulently represented by them! (

Yea, the DI 'don't need no stinkin' words!

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