Friday, December 21, 2007

Judgement Day rebuttal Continued

After laughing uproariously at slides 1 through 3, I started my day today with a look at slide 4. Is the Discovery Institute going into stand-up comedy?

They are accusing evolution of a "bait and switch"? Remember the stories about the pot calling the kettle . .oh never mind. Their comment: “Evolution” Bait-and-Switch, using evidence for small-scale changes and then over-extrapolating to claim that such modest evidence proves Darwin’s grander claims. Since evolution has been proven to have occurred, and the processes for evolution have been described in the theory, and speciation is part of the evolutionary theory, what bait and switch has occurred?

Oh the artificial dichotomy over micro and macro evolution? I've already discussed this so here is the nutshell version. Micro-evolution is the study of genetic evolutionary changes. Take micro-evolution and add in 3-4 billion years and you have what is now being called macro-evolution. Intelligent Design proponents hold that micro-evolution has happened, but belief macro-evolution, better known in science as speciation -- the evolutionary process by which new species arise -- can only occur by the hand of God/Designer. Macro-evolution and micro-evolution are exactly the same thing, the same processes! The dividing line came about when Creationists/Evolutionist found they couldn't easily ignore all the evidence for evolution.

By getting back into the gaps idea, they are just rehashing old arguments. The God is in the Gaps. They are ignoring the macro-evolution experiments on generations of fruit flies and bacteria, but then we all know they are good at ignoring that which they disagree with.

My favorite item on this slide is the closing "According to UC Berkeley law professor and Darwin-critic Phillip Johnson, “When our leading scientists have to resort to the sort of distortion that would land a stock promoter in jail, you know they are in trouble."

What possible motive could the Discovery Institute have for not mentioning that Phillip E. Johnson is one of the co-founders of the Discovery Institute and the apparent designer of the Wedge strategy for gaining popular acceptance for Intelligent Design as the first step in "reverse the stifling materialist world view and replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions" and to "affirm the reality of God." Its goal is to "renew" American culture by shaping public policy to reflect conservative Christian, namely evangelical Protestant, values."

Why would they only mention that he is an evolution critic and not mention he's a founding member? Why only mention his UC Berkeley ties? Well to give his words more validity that if the reader knew the deck was stacked once again. Gotta love consistency in their approach, but then it's all documented in their Wedge Document so they do have a game plan to follow.

Slide 5 confused me a bit. But then I remembered that Behe is an ID poster Child. I seem to recall his testimony was less than positive for the Intelligent Design part of the table, but here they expound on their point of view forgetting that Behe admitted his idea did not attack natural selection and that all of the "irreducible complexity" examples he used in his book, like bacterial flagellum, human blood clotting factor, and the immune system have had much more research done to show the evolutionary pathways their formation may have taken. "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial" showed a reenactment of an attorney placing a pile of research on the desk where Behe was sitting about all the science behind the evolution of his examples and he simply decided to ignore it. In the trial transcripts his words were that he didn't find them persuasive. They forgot to mention that!

But even after all of that they still find time to wax poetic on his ideas. Idea which has had no science behind them, that no one is performing experiments to prove -- again, his admission under cross-examination. I guess they might be less happy with Behe now, but he's still a shining example of Intelligent Design marketing at work!

More slides later, I have to get some real work done. Can't spend the day having only fun!

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