Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stephen C. Meyer has a new book coming out

As I have said before that I don't trust much of anything that comes out of the Discovery Institute. Here is a case in point, an announcement of a book that hasn't hit the shelves yet. I plan on pointing out my current objections, then I will read the book and report back then. I know, people may think I am already prejudiced against the DI, and they are sort of right. Prejudiced involved pre-judging. My opinion of the DI is not a pre-judgment, but an opinion based on the tactics and strategies they have exhibited so far. I expect this book to be nothing more than the same and I expect the DI to meet my expectations. If you want to think I am prejudiced, then you explain to me how lying, mis-representing science, and pretending to be the victim of an imaging persecution are positive role models in today's society? If you can do that then maybe you might have a reason to think I am prejudiced.

OK, to the new book. The DI has done their usual trumpeting:

As we are ever quick to point out here at ENV, the case for Darwinian evolution has been crumbling in recent years as scientific research points to design in nature. Now a unique, new argument for intelligent design is about to revolutionize the debate over evolution.

On June 23, Dr. Stephen Meyer's long-awaited Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (HarperOne) will break open the radical and comprehensive new case, revealing the evidence not merely of individual features of biological complexity but rather of a fundamental constituent of the universe: information.

Let's just take a quick peek. Has anyone actually witness the crumbling case of evolution? With the DI's failures in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, Florida, Oklahoma, California, Iowa, Ohio, Kansas, Pennsylvania . . . to name a few, I would think the DI is much closer to crumbling. But I guess if you keep saying the same thing ver and over again, someone might believe it to be true. What did PT Barnum supposedly say, "There's a sucker born every minute" and WC Fields said "It is morally wrong to allow a sucker to keep their money." Well either way they both seem to apply to the Discovery Institute.

Next point, "scientific research points to design in nature". Another question where is this research? Who has seen it, who has published it, who has peer reviewed it? Pretty bold claim for something that no one has seen evidence of all this scientific work? The same scientific work that Michael Behe said wasn't being done by anyone as late as 2005?

I do love the phrase " a unique, new argument" because it would be entertaining, if nothing else, for an actual unique new argument. So far things have been pretty much at a standstill. Oh, I mean a standstill over on the DI side. On the evolution-side nothing as stood still as the research and scientific work rolls on. Just look at PubMed and search for the articles about evolution for an idea.

Usually the term "long-awaited" means there have been people eagerly awaiting for it's publication. Who has been waiting for this? No one know. I know lots of people who have been waiting and been severely disappointed in the publications of Behe, Dembski, Wells, and even Meyer before. But rarely does 'eagerly' apply. It will be interesting to read some of the criticisms of Meyers latest, but I guess we have to wait for it to come out first.

Another question? If this book is going to "break open the radical and comprehensive new case" why is it being published by HarperOne, an imprint of Harper-Collins? I am not saying anything negative about the publisher, I mean they publish what they hope will sell. But Meyer is repeating a significant problem when using a popular press publisher. There is no requirement for proof of his work. Now if he had real scientific evidence he would be publishing in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. But no, he aims at the popular press with a requirement of proof and support of Zero! The smells typically fishy to me!

OK, this is the last comment I wish to make right now. The Amazon.com description of the book is

"The first, major scientific argument for Intelligent Design by a leading spokesperson within the scientific community."
Let's see, so all the other Major Scientific Arguments were what . . .prattle? SO this line says we can dismiss all the books by Johnson, Behe, Dembski, Wells, Klinghoffer, and even Meyer's himself because this is the FIRST! In a word bull! It's just the latest! I also have a problem with Meyer being described as "a leading spokesperson within the scientific community". He is a leading proponent of Intelligent Design. He is by no means a representative of the scientific community, let alone a leading spokesperson of that community.

OK, enough said for now. I do look forward to reading this book and seeing how well it lives up to the hype. Yes, I am skeptical, but that skepticism is based on the history of the DI and Stephen C. Meyer, who has done nothing but disappoint and disillusion so far.

1 comment:

  1. Just a quick follow-up:

    "Meyer, despite his thin scientific coating, is trafficking the half-baked, over-motivated arguments that have always been peddled by creationists for as long since Darwin developed his theory of evolution. Meyer’s focus on the mystery of DNA is just a distraction. Stephen Meyer is not a scientist. He is an ideologue in the truest sense, someone who is willing to abide any distortion or untruth in order to maintain support for his crusade. His book may be new, his evident fascination with the inner workings of DNA maybe be appealing, but is just another in a long line of clever people who can’t stand the science of Darwin."