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August 11, 2005

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Passion for Fairness

It occurred to me recently that the way leftwing biologists approach Intelligent Design (ID) and the emergence of life on Earth is rather like the Democrats’ approach to Social Security: take Intelligent Design off the table and we can talk. That is to say, conform exclusively to our way of thinking and we can disagree to agree.

The notion that ID is just a clever repackaging of Biblical literalism is silly. An ocean of doubt exists between Darwin’s flawed theory of natural selection and the perfectly functioning intricacies of human biology. So much doubt, in fact, that one wonders why the fossil record is not littered with failed species whose mutations never caught on or left them ill-equipped to compete with the luckier ones. It’s almost as if the progression of life on Earth had some kind of helping hand.


The Red Gourd

Here is the true source of liberal dogma.
What, other than dogma, could posit abortion as a right, and at the same time cause one scream shrilly at those who place less-than-human rights on animals? An unborn child has fewer rights than laboratory mice, in the mind of a liberal... why?
This is a complex set of conflicting dogmatic principles, but I shall try my best.
The Ten Liberal Commandments:
1. Thou Shalt Believe Corporations are Evil
2. Thou Shalt Believe The White Man Did It
3. Thou Shalt Not Hold Any Religion Other Than Liberalism
4. Thou Shalt Abort thy Fetuses as a Form of Contraception
5. Thou Shalt Love the Animal Kingdom More Than Thy Neighbor, Except For Icky Animals Like Crocodiles and Spiders
6. Thou Shalt Not Judge Others, Except White Christian Males
7. Thou Shalt Play Thy "Race Card" Where Applicable, Otherwise Thy "Gender Card"
8. Thou Shalt Feel Deeply Sorry For Thine Cultural Oppression of Other Races and Genders, if Thou Art a White Male
9. Thou Shalt Not Consider The Consequences of Thine Economic Policies Beyond The Feel-Good Remedies Thou Proposeth
10. Thou Shalt Believe Money is Best Spent By Thy Government, That Government Expenditures Occur In a Vacuum, and Abhor The Creation of Wealth


Evolution News

Nightline ran a story on intelligent design last night, and if the inane preview article is any indication, the segment was the sort of lopsided hatchet-job one used to expect from the folks at "60 Minutes"--but not nearly as intelligent. Nightline's main point appears to be that there really isn't any scientific controversy over Darwinism and intelligent design. How do they know this? They checked with several Darwinists, who told them so! That's right. According to Nightline, because Darwinists happen to believe there is no scientific controversy over evolution, there really must be no controversy.

Hmm. Nightline could apply this logic to a lot of other issues besides intelligent design:

To determine whether there is any debate about embryonic stem cell research, they could interview only the scientists who support such research. To determine whether there is any debate over partial-birth abortions, they could interview only proponents of partial-birth abortions. Back in the heyday of eugenics, if journalists had wanted to determine whether there was a debate about the validity of eugenics, they could have interviewed only the scientists advocating eugenics....

Fortunately, viewers don't need to depend on Nightline to determine whether there is a scientific controversy over Darwin. While the Nightline "journalists" simply parrot the Darwinists' party-line, the number of peer-reviewed articles and books by intelligent design scholars continue to grow, as do the number of doctoral scientists who are skeptical of the core claim of Darwin's theory on scientific grounds.

Rather than depend on Nightline, people can read for themselves about the scientific debate in academic books published by Cambridge University Press and Michigan State University Press. Or they can watch one of the "high-gloss video productions" dismissively alluded to by Nightline such as Unlocking the Mystery of Life. There they can see and hear for themselves scientists like University of Idaho microbiologist Scott Minnich and Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe who support intelligent design. These are the scientists Nightline insists don't actually exist. Hint to Nightline's staff: Maybe you should watch one of these videos. You might learn something.

Posted by Danny Carlton at August 11, 2005 09:52 AM

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Comments

"The notion that ID is just a clever repackaging of Biblical literalism is silly."

What's silly, pitiably so, is stating as much on a Web site which proudly proclaims, "as for me and my blog, we will serve the LORD!" and expecting to be taken seriously by anyone other than fellow delusionals. As with incessant yammering about a God whom no one has ever seen, it's easy to blather about alleged holes in evolutionary theory when one knows he won't be forced to actually defend such bullshit. Party on.

Posted by: Vaginiform Grimace at August 11, 2005 10:42 AM

I'm an ID proponent but this

"So much doubt, in fact, that one wonders why the fossil record is not littered with failed species whose mutations never caught on or left them ill-equipped to compete with the luckier ones."

is just wrong.

The fossil record IS littered with failed species. 99% of all higher animal species that ever lived are extinct. In fact there's a good case to be made that every species that uses obligatory sexual reproduction is doomed to become extinct. The average lifespan of these species is about 10 million years. There are a few notable exceptions like the shark which have survived for 100 million years or more.

Posted by: DaveScot at August 11, 2005 11:26 AM

Anybody who doesn't think that ID is just repackaged Biblical literalism should read the Discovery Institute's original "wedge document".

http://www.antievolution.org/features/wedge.html

The "governing goal", "to replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God", is a rather big hint.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 11, 2005 03:30 PM

"The notion that ID is just a clever repackaging of Biblical literalism is silly."

What's silly, pitiably so, is stating as much on a Web site which proudly proclaims, "as for me and my blog, we will serve the LORD!" and expecting to be taken seriously by anyone other than fellow delusionals. As with incessant yammering about a God whom no one has ever seen, it's easy to blather about alleged holes in evolutionary theory when one knows he won't be forced to actually defend such bullshit. Party on.

The pity would be posting such a hate-filled, anti-Christian message, then expecting to be taken seriously.

 

I'm an ID proponent but this

"So much doubt, in fact, that one wonders why the fossil record is not littered with failed species whose mutations never caught on or left them ill-equipped to compete with the luckier ones."

is just wrong.

The fossil record IS littered with failed species. 99% of all higher animal species that ever lived are extinct. In fact there's a good case to be made that every species that uses obligatory sexual reproduction is doomed to become extinct. The average lifespan of these species is about 10 million years. There are a few notable exceptions like the shark which have survived for 100 million years or more.

But that's still an incredibly small number of organisms for so many years of Evolution. His point is very much still valid.

 

Anybody who doesn't think that ID is just repackaged Biblical literalism should read the Discovery Institute's original "wedge document".

http://www.antievolution.org/features/wedge.html

The "governing goal", "to replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God", is a rather big hint.

Insisting that any mention of God deems one a “Biblical literalist” is a pretty good clue that your motivation is generated from antipathy for religion, rather than any desire for scientific purity.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at August 11, 2005 05:46 PM

"that's still an incredibly small number of organisms for so many years of Evolution. His point is very much still valid."

Do you know, Mr. Carlton, how few organisms actually leave fossil remains, or what sort of environmental and soil conditions are required for this to happen? Do you realize how lucky we are to have any fossils at all? Most importantly, do you understand that a relative dearth of fossils has no bearing on the certainty of natural selection and other evolutionary tenets, and why this is the case? I suspect your answers are "no," "no," and "Jesus Christ NO!"

You can position yourself as an advocate of God (or whatever supernatural entity strikes your fancy; there are dozens, nay hundreds -- to choose from) or you can join to fun and view the findings of modern biology, geoscience and paleontology with an objective, interested eye. But you can't reasonably do both, and if you're going to equate Biblical mythology with history, you really should shelve all talk about "scientific purity," since you have no idea what this even means.

I have no inherent distaste for Christianity even though it's obviously a crock, but when the wingnut faction keeps up an implacable march toward places they don't belong, such as science classes, it tends to put non-benighted folks like me on edge. Party on.

Posted by: Vaginiform Grimace at August 11, 2005 08:33 PM

"perfectly functioning intricacies of human biology"?

C'mon. To give just one example, we have the nutty system of testis forming inside the body and only later descending into the scrotum. This leaves a hole where a hernia can form. At risk of TMI, I'm having surgery for this problem in a few days.

Such instances of bad design may not be an absolute disproof of ID, but please do not talk about the human body being "perfectly functioning."

Posted by: Chris Hallquist at August 11, 2005 08:54 PM

But that's still an incredibly small number of organisms for so many years of Evolution. His point is very much still valid.

How many species have there been? If it's a "small number" what is this number?

Let's do some math. 30 million species on earth currently. That's 1%. So there have been 300 million species. Yes. A very small number indeed.

I'm glad we cleared that up. Next?

Posted by: Jeffery Keown at August 11, 2005 09:22 PM

Yeah, as a juvenile diabetic who has had coworkers die of breast cancer and relatives die of alzheimer's, I'll have to ask you to pull the other one when it comes to 'perfectly functioning intricacies of human biology'.

Intelligent Design is literally nothing more than theological creationism watered down in an attempt to dodge supreme court precedent ruling against teaching theology in science class.

For someone posting a 'top ten liberal commandments', illustrating the irrationality of liberals, you sure are ignoring the beam in your own eye.

Posted by: Jonathan Abbey at August 13, 2005 12:29 AM

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