February 20, 2008

More on Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Good morning, David!

Here's the pivotal quote from Jonathan Rauch in that book of his I got from a Virginia Postrel bibliography, and cannot stop pimping, Kindly Inquisitors:

It is quite useless to pretend that it is "fair," in the sense of evenhanded, to kick someone's beliefs out of the canon if they do not happen to be deemed science by the intellectual establishment. If we on the Darwinian side of the question are going to insist on preferential treatment for our way of looking at the world (and we should), and if in the process we are going to cause pain and outrage to people who do not see the world our way, then we had better have an awfully good reason—a much better reason than "because we're right and you're wrong and that's that." If we do not, then shame on us.

In point of fact, David, I probably come closer to your view of science than I do to Ben Stein's in No Intelligence Allowed. But that isn't quite the point: this isn't about what you think, or what I think. This is about what one may and may not say in the Academy without being called a nut. It is about protecting the system of rational inquiry. It's about reminding ourselves that "the solution for the problem of bad speech is more speech." And the solution for the problem of bad research is more research. Bad papers, more papers.

All I'm asking for is tolerance, rather than the narrow-mindedness that insists that we abstain from mentioning the possibility of God's existence in a university classroom.

More is at stake, by the way, than the definition of science: there is the issue of intellectual diversity in American Universities. This is the problem Evan Coyne Maloney has been calling attention to with his documentary Indoctrinate U. If your problem with "Intelligent Design" has to do with its not being science, are you equally consistent with respect to professors in other academic disciplines sticking to their own areas of expertise?

Because many of your colleages are not, and have no problem with teaching left-wing politcs from the podium. I trust you aren't among them, but it is a real concern for those of us who don't like to see the Ivory Tower getting too narrow at the top.

Posted by Attila Girl at February 20, 2008 08:00 AM | TrackBack

If the acceptability of a theory depends on the agreement it enjoys, the acceptance process is political, not scientific.

Posted by: John at February 20, 2008 02:04 PM

The good professor is out of town, but promises a comment when he returns. I, on the other hand, have no idea whether I'm done.

Posted by: Attila Girl at February 21, 2008 08:09 AM

Science is faith in repeatable results. Theory must be backed by observation and confirmed by proven metrics. A hypothesis is presented and its predictions are tested by experimentation and the observed results either prove or disprove it.

The theory of Evolution has compelling evidence to support it. Paleontology,physics and field observation confirm its basic assumptions and until Intelligent Design reaches the same level of evidence it will not be able to compete with scientific dogma. Fairness is a legal concept not a scientific one.

At one time the Ptolemaic system was dogma. It answered questions about the observed movement of the planets well. Better instrumentation, better observation and better mathematics destroyed it, Intelligent Design has to meet that level of proof to overturn The theory of Evolution.

There have been many now accepted scientific ideas that were once derided, plate tectonics, a sun centered solar system and evolution to name a few. The arguments for Intelligent Design lack depth and evidence, what it has is an argument with the scientific method.

If Intelligent Design is to compete in the scientific arena it must play by scientific rules, statistical anomalies are not enough for it to replace the Theory of Evolution. If research produces a preponderance of evidence in favor of Intelligent Design, the academic consensus will crumble and Darwin will join Jon Baptist Lemark in scientific obscurity.

Posted by: Sejanus at February 21, 2008 02:57 PM

"...The sequence of molecules in DNA (the genetic code) determines the sequence of molecules in proteins. Furthermore, without DNA there cannot be RNA, and without RNA there cannot be DNA. And without either DNA or RNA there cannot be proteins, and without proteins there cannot be DNA or RNA. They're all mutually dependent upon each other for existence!

If the cell had evolved it would have had to be all at once. A partially evolved cell cannot wait millions of years to become complete because it would be highly unstable and quickly disintegrate in the open environment, especially without the protection of a complete and fully functioning cell membrane.

Of course, once there is a complete and living cell then the genetic progam and higly complex biological mechanisms exist to direct the formation of more cells. The cell's genetic code and biological machinery will use and direct the raw materials, entering the cell from the environment, into forming more cells. The question for evolutionists and naturalists is how did the cell or life come about when there was no directing mechanism in Nature. "
The great British scientist Sir Frederick Hoyle has said that the probability of the sequence of molecules in the simplest cell coming into existence by chance is equivalent to a tornado going through a junk yard of airplane parts and assembling a 747 Jumbo Jet! "


Yes, Pravda. Their agreement with Satan stipulates that they must publish something that's true every 10 billion words.

Posted by: Darrell at February 21, 2008 09:16 PM

I am shocked, shocked I say, to see Pravda get something that wrong, isn't it the Russian word for truth? As a regular reader I will fire of a strongly worded note in protest. What about viruses, prions and prokaryotes they seem to be doing fine without nuclei, cell membranes or even DNA. I look forward to a new class of jumbo jets coming out of the next tornado that hits Oklahoma.

Posted by: Sejanus at February 25, 2008 06:18 PM

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