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Reciprocating Bill

Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 12 2008,17:52   

Quote (carlsonjok @ July 12 2008,17:35)
Quote (keiths @ July 12 2008,16:20)
Dembski tells a sad story about faith (non)healing.

I may be going against the grain here, but I liked the article he wrote. When I think of Dembski, I tend to think of the bitter petulance and farty flash animations. It is humanizing to see him as a parent desperate to find some help for his sick child. I don't particularly think there is anything to faith healing, but I have seen the hopelessness of chronic disease and I certainly don't begrudge him trying.

What struck me about Dembski's essay is his apparent surprise. He went to faith healer who claimed to have raised 30 people from the dead - one an unembalmed gentleman who had purportedly been sealed in a coffin for 48 hours, then tapped on the lid to be let out. He got there, found that it was all a sham - all exploitation and cheesy showmanship - and was surprised.

There is something seriously impaired about the reality testing of a clearly very bright individual who is surprised to find that such obviously fraudulent and exploitive claims are bunko. The emotional pain of having a child with a significant handicap doesn't excuse one to take leave of one's rationality. I'm speaking as a father who has raised a child with a significant physical handicap, and know whereof I speak. Strike that: we all suffer in one way or another.

Further, Dembski perpetrates his own bunko as he continues to sell intelligent design to eager consumers who suffer similar impairment of reality testing for similar reasons (a history of embeddedness in the fundamentalist community). However sincere he may have been at the outset of his crusade, he knows by now that ID isn't going anywhere as a scientific discipline, that it is in fact utterly barren as science, and that it will never be more than a philosophical and religious assertion. Yet he continues to promote it as science to vulnerable populations, most recently conceptually unarmed high school students. The hopes for scientific confirmation of fundamentalist faith that he fosters within these hapless students are absolutely destined to be disappointed, and he knows that. Nevertheless, this generates book sales, and income, for him.

So I'm not feeling all that sorry for WAD in this instance. What I'd like to see is Dembski disassociating himself from despicable scum such as Scordova the next time he exploits Darwin's "deformed child" for cheap rhetorical purposes.

Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

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