Monday, March 27, 2017

Noticed Something New on EnV

The Discovery Institute has re-designed their 'Evolution news and Views' website.  One of the things they did was categorize their posts.  Here's the first page:

I know it's small, but the part I wanted you to see isn't the small print, but the category headings.  On this page there are three different headings "EVOLUTION", "CULTURE & ETHICS", and "INTELLIGENT DESIGN".  What I found the most interesting is confirmation of a common critique about Intelligent Design (ID) and it's proponents, the Discovery Institute (DI) in particular.  Rather than supporting their own ideas, they spend much more time tearing down existing ideas rather than offering anything viable in its place.  Just look at this page, six posts on Evolution and only one on ID.  If you think that's unusual, here are the next two pages:
Nine more on Evolution and and only one more on ID.  So just the ratio on the first three pages is 15 to 2.  For fun I went through the next several pages and it held true, on every page there were not just more posts attacking Evolution than ID, but it was 3, 4, 5, even 6 times as many.  On some pages there were absolutely no posts concerning ID, just more Evolution bashing than anything else.  Yes, I am talking about Evolution bashing.  The various talking heads, usually folks like little davey 'klingy' klinghoffer or Sara Chafee, quote-mine from some actual scientific paper and place an ID spin on it.  However, does the DI do any actual scientific work to support their opinions?  No, never.  It's just spin plain and simple.

What does this tell you?  Well, it's something that has been said often about ID.  That instead of offering a viable alternative, they spend more of their marketing muscle trying to convince people Evolution isn't the answer than trying to convince people on ID being an answer, let only the answer.  Why is that?

An example I have used over the years is a simple analogy, if you can convince people that 1 + 1 does not equal 2, then you stand a better chance of telling them the answer is 3.  You see, to me, the best action would not be trying to tear down 1+1=2, but coming up with the evidence than 1+1=3.  But for some reason the DI seems unable or unwilling to do this.  So instead of coming up with evidence that 1+1=3, they spend 87+% of their time trying to convince people that 1+1 does not equal 2, but they do so without any evidence at all.  Am I making any sense?  My problem with this approach is that even by some incredible leap of the imagination they manage to convince people that 1+1 does not equal 2, they still have a long road ahead of them to convince then it equals 3.

That's what I have seen for years, and these categories reinforce it.  It's apparent that the DI has little to offer in the way of actual science, so they spend most of their resources in trying to tear down real science.  Since they cannot hope to replace Evolution  with ID on its merits, they are more than happy to try and tear it down assuming that their pseudo-science will be the only potential replacement.  In my opinion their failure at providing an actual replacement will continue to haunt them.  They might win an occasional political battle, but when it comes to actual usable science, they will continue to founder.

The reason O see that is simple.  Look at history.  At one time Creationism formed the basis for most of our education, especially in the sciences.  Why did that point of view get replaced?  Simple, it didn't work.  Seriously, as we learned more and more about the world around us, the invocation of a Deity just didn't add anything to the equation, in fact it did more damage than good.  I bet and ancient Norse complained when his various Gods as explanations for the world for alternatives that actually fit the evidence.  I doubt he complained as loudly as some of the DI's folks.  But if you want to replace an actual scientific theory, you have to come up with something as good or better.  So far Creationism in all it's forms, including it's most recent incarnation Intelligent Design, have failed to do anything at all.

The amount of resources the DI has spent trying to tear down actual science supports the fact that ID never will amount to much of anything.  After all, no one seems to be doing much to support it.  I guess it's easier to tear at something than build up something else, especially if you want to build without a foundation.

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