Joined: Aug. 2005
[I meant to say: No defense against ID by AAAS & others]
Yesterday I listened to a debate between Alan Leshner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and baptist bible beater Richard Land.
Here are some irritating points Mr. Leshner made:
1. "...Whether or not there is an intelligent designer is not a scientific question. Science is restricted..."
2. "...Darwin did not decide yes or no about an intelligent designer..."
3. "...I don't know if there were an intelligent designer or not... It doesn't matter, but science classes should be about science regardless of whether there was an intelligent designer or not."
There was also a point made by religionist Land about how evolution is primarily a chance process.
Note that Nick Matzke of the National Center for Science Education was also on the show for a time. The show can be found at:
Here are some problems with how the debate went:
1. It seems to me that AAAS and maybe NCSE are taking the following weak no-testicular-fortitude approach to this whole issue: Pretend that science has nothing to say about the validity or usefulness of religions which oppress people, and religions which infuse a love of non-critical-non-rational-thought into their followers. Pretend that science is "restricted" and can only comment on things which are "testable."
What comment can science make about non-testable myths? That the scientific method of peer review is the best method humans have come up with thus far to separate fact from fiction, and that because of this the comment science >can< make on non-testible myths is this: They have a much higher likelihood of >not< being factual because they are >not< testible and >not< peer reviewed and therefore have >no< basis in scientific theory or fact.
Science is not "restricted." It simply remains science. And the "commenting" it can make on religion can be made not only via the above method, but also via anthropologic and social science methods. Anthropology allows a comparing of cultures. And then there's the issue of memes, and about how religion is a meme (and it's also a virus - as from Dawkins).
2. If Mr. Leshner of the AAAS and maybe the NCSE doesn't know whether there was an intelligent designer or not, I guess they haven't been reading the key works of Dr. Richard Dawkins.
3. Mr. Leshner of the AAAS also apparently hasn't read that (I believe?) Darwin did comment on intelligent design - although I would like to request the reference since I cannot remember.
4. However simply relying on Darwin even if he didn't specifically comment on intelligent design, ignores the fact that there ARE highly prominent scientists who HAVE commented on intelligent design and about how it's bunk and about WHY it's bunk. It's not bunk merely because it's religion. It's bunk because, as Dawkins has shown, our feable brains CAN begin to comprehend scientific methods of very long term evolution which doesn't require the meddling of a more advanced alien.
5. Also a glaring negative point about the debate between AAAS/NCSE and religionist Land is about how both the AAAS and NCSE reps said nothing about how natural selection is the opposite of chance. Random genetic mutation more often than not leads of bad effects. Natural selection chooses among prospective genetic transmitters, and that choosing is not random, nor is it chance. I was shocked that the AAAS and NCSE reps said absolutely nothing about this key point on Ms. Rehm's show.
Anyway I really am verry sorry to see the national orgs who're supposed to be out there defending this whole point taking such a weak buttoxed approach . The reps of these orgs apparently aren't visiting their local libraries and they aren't reading the works of key prominent scientific figures like Richard Dawkins. And the reps apprently feel that the best way to "promote science" is to pretend that science has nothing to say about religion or whether there is an intelligent designer or not.
The whole history of science and religion shows that as science progressed it's real satisfying answers about the nature of the universe and of existence were far more satisfying than the myths iron fistedly promulgated by religion. That is a key comment which should >not< be forgotten by the AAAS and the NCSE.
If you have additional references on these topics please provide them as I am preparing letters for others on this issue, especially about whether Darwin actually said anything about intelligent design or not. But I realize that even if he did not maybe his contemporary helpers did. And regardless the science of evolution didn't stop with Darwin.
p.s. The claim that "Religious beliefs that are outside the limits of science may be true or not; science is silent on the issue" is also a lame & bogus & weak-buttoxed statement. Such statements serve as an enabling force for the demon haunted world. Science is not silent on religious beliefs. It strongly implies and states by it's grand history that it's method of truth finding superceds that of religion. That is a fact, and if science is about facts, then it should not be afraid to state this fact about it's history, and about the related bloody myth filled waste filled history of religion. Also there are prominent scientists who >are< commenting on religion - and that fact should not be ignored. And the fact that most leading scientists are not believers (as per a survey in Nature) is also a fact - a scientific fact even.