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  Topic: The Skeptical Zone, with Lizzie< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Wesley R. Elsberry

Posts: 4945
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 25 2012,09:46   

Quote (Febble @ Feb. 25 2012,09:06)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Feb. 25 2012,09:02)
Quote (Febble @ Feb. 25 2012,05:39)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Feb. 25 2012,03:16)
Quote (Febble @ Feb. 24 2012,04:45)
That doesn't make it not interesting :)

But he actually has a good point.  Most ID proponents don't understand the science, and, to be fair, most ID skeptics don't understand evolutionary theory all that well either.

Most of us simply do not have the expertise to critique the relevant science, but we are happy to refer to scientific authority because we are not anti-science.

There is a real assymmetry, but I don't think that's where it lies.

And boy is there tribalism.  That, IMO, is how people like Santorum or Bachmann can get away with endorsing ID.  Most people don't have the expertise to see what's wrong with it, nor the expertise to understand the scientific counter-view.

Maybe, but you don't have to understand scientific publications to know which side has the evidence. It is fairly simple (if you actually look) to see that science is based on trying to explain data, ID is just saying that science is hard/not certain etc. Therefore God!

Do you think that ID has anything of substance? I don't.

No, I don't, but that's because I have enough expertise to recognise that.

The bar on relevant expertise is low for recognizing the null content of "intelligent design" creationism. All one has to be able to do is compare what is offered as IDC to what has been offered previously as arguments *for* religious antievolution. First, strip off any "evolution is wrong" argument, which don't provide argument *for* religious antievolution. What remains in IDC is a proper subset of previous forms of religious antievolution argument.

The four big ideas of IDC, "irreducible complexity", "complex specified information", cosmological ID, and "the privileged planet" argument are recognizable as elaborations of arguments made by the Rev. William Paley in his 1802 book, "Natural Theology". The rest are easily traceable to "creation science", "scientific creationism", and plain old "creationism".

You don't have to have scientific training to see this.

Well, I'd say you have to have good science education that consists not merely of learning a body of knowledge but of also learning what scientific knowledge consists of.

My son is doing the IB, and one of the core IB subjects is "Theory of Knowledge".  I wish it was universally taught.

ETA: yeah, those are the Big Four.  Thanks.

I've long been an advocate of good science education.

That's not what we're discussing here.

What's at issue here is being able to make a judgment on the argumentation proffered as "intelligent design". You are claiming that one needs a scientific background to even approach evaluating it. I'm saying that's wrong. Where IDC advocates even approach science is all in the "evolution is wrong" category of argumentation, and that offers *no* support for their alternative conjecture. (As noted in Kitzmiller v. DASD, where testable claims are made, they are testable because they are about evolution, which is testable, and not about ID, which isn't.) What they do have that even approaches making a case for their alternative is all stuff that is decades, or even centuries, out of contention for making anybody even shrug about it.

This isn't an argument about the content or nature of science. The IDC advocates want to pitch it that way, but there's no good reason I know of to accommodate them.

If you want to have a rousing discussion on the merits of some particular "evolution is wrong!" argument, I'd suggest a reminder each and every time that whatever one decides about it, the outcome in no way aids a religious antievolution viewpoint. You'll probably elicit a pretty clear statement of the invalid "two-model" or "oppositional dualism" stance from a religious antievolution advocate on that point. It's good to get them on record supporting logical fallacies.

"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

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