Monday, October 19, 2015

So There is Nothing Religious About Intelligent Design (Part VIII)

As usual, amidst all the cries from the DI about how their ideas are science there comes one more piece of evidence to the contrary.  One of the things that I know I have mentioned before that the Discovery Institute only find support within communities that already share their religious beliefs.  Recently they posted an article: "Ideas Have Consequences: A Report from the National Conference on Christian Apologetics".  I added the bolding for a little emphasis, just in case you missed it.  Apparently over 1500 apologetics attended this conference.

The DI's talking head, Paul Nelson (of the infamous 'Paul Nelson Day'), not just attended, but gave three presentations.  He hosted a showing of their latest bit of propaganda, "Living Waters" in which they try and sell their Intelligent Design . . . again.  Later he gave two other presentations "Dr. Seuss Biology: How Evolutionary Theory Hinders Biological Discovery." and "The Fall of Darwin's Tree of Life, and What That Means for 21st Century Biology."

First of all about 100 people attended the screening.  Wait, let me get this straight, 1500 attendees at the conference and about 100 attend the screening.  So 6.7%, and yet they crow about it?  You know what they call a baseball played with a .060 batting average?  Unless they are a 100 mph pitcher, you can call them unemployed.  Yet in spite of this, they claim to have:

" . . . received many positive comments and excellent queries . . ."
 So out of 6.7%, exactly how many does it take to be defined as 'many'?  My guess would be not very.  Now one small confusing note is this later line about the screening:
"All who had seen it said how terrific the film is."
So after the screening to a very small percentage of attendees -- of whom some unknown number that quantifies as 'many' in the eyes of the DI suddenly becomes "all who saw it", really?  You know in a college paper, any one of my professors would have been all over that one!

Of course they offer no attendance figures for the other presentations, which seems a little suspicious.  I suspect that if the numbers exceeded the screening, they would have been front and center of this article.  I mean if they made it all the way past 13.4% they would claim to have doubled the screening attendance.  You can picture the headlines:  "Nelson doubles attendance figures", or some such nonsense.

The article goes on to mention other pro-ID presentations, one of which bragged about a three-year old article by Michael Denton published in a journal called BIO-Complexity.  Now before you get too impressed, please remember that BIO-Complexity is the in-house journal of the DI's pet lab, the Biologics Institute.  Reminds me of one of the things Mark Chancey (SMU Chair of the Department of Religious Studies) said a few years back, and still applies today:
"They [ID proponents] have created their own in-house journals that they describe as "peer-reviewed." . . . universities do not consider a self-serving house organ as truly peer-reviewed; such venues are regarded as fake journals"
OK, enough of this.  At the start I said that the DI only seems to find support within certain communities and while they doesn't seem to be all that much support (6.7%), this article is a prime example.  I can only imagine if they tried these tactics at a legitimate scientific conference, their level of support would be even less.  Of course they would never try and give such a presentation . . . they prefer to claim some sort of discrimination than actually attempt such a presentation.

So once more, with feeling, there's nothing religious about ID?  Not in this lifetime!

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