Friday, November 18, 2005

Taking ID Potshots on a Friday Afternoon

I'm just gonna come right out and say it: Intelligent Design is stupid, and I don't mean colloquially or loosely. It is based upon either the inability or the refusal (perhaps a little of both) to understand two things: one elementary principle of logic (begging the question) and one of science (falsifiability). People who want ID taught in science class need to grab the nearest dictionary and reread the entry for "science" until they understand how ridiculous their errand is. Of course, nowhere is it written that you can't be both Christian and intelligent, but the guy who wrote this doesn't represent that cross-section very well:
I have the greatest respect and admiration for Charles Krauthammer, but in his most jab WaPo jab 'Phony Theory, False Conflict' it is clear he is the one who has been sucker-punched - or at least been baited one-upsmanship by George Will's recent 'Grand Old Spenders' rant ... meaning:
The above sentence has not been redacted in any way, and the rest of the post continues in a similar fashion. I don't fault the guy for making silly writing hiccups, but they really don't help your case when you're trying to prove your intellectual mettle. Also, not to pick and choose quotes to rip apart for my own amusement, but--oh, what the hell, I can't resist:
If Darwinian evolution cannot be proven using the scientfic method - then how can we give it deference over other scientific beliefs such as intelligent design?
I assume that by "proof", he means something akin to going back in a time machine to see if mankind and other primates really share a common ancestor. But science offers us no methods to "prove" (in the same way that you can prove that a solid object will fall from your hand if you let go of it) the processes behind how we got here other than drawing conclusions from extant biological artifacts. So what dude is really saying is that the origins of man lie outside science's rightful jurisdiction.

Even if this were true, even if evolution weren't proper science (against the consensus opinion of the world's credentialed biologists), it would be an argument for removing discussions of human origins from science classes altogether, not for adding ID. It's almost impossible not to condescend to these people, because they're only fighting what they perceive to be a threat against their dearest beliefs. But the more ID defenses I read, the more I become convinced that there's something inherently anti-intellectual about these fanatical sects of Christianity, something that wreaks severe damage on its adherents' critical faculties.