Monday, August 08, 2005

Debating "Intelligent Design"

Talk about your lame exercises in stupidity. Excuse me, are any of us scientists? Have any of us here spent 8 years studying biology at the university level, spent years in a post-doctoral role, and then obtained tenure in a Biology faculty based upon our research and publications?

No? (Well, except for you, PZ Meyers, but we already knew that :-)

Then it's our job to shut up and let the *scientists* tell us what science is. Because frankly, boys and girls, we don't have the foggiest idea. We don't have the education, knowledge, or skills to practice science, no more than we have the education, knowledge, and skills to practice brain surgery, and have about as much business commenting about it as we'd have doing brain surgery.

99.99999% of scientists say that evolution is science and "Intelligent Design" is not. That's good 'nuff for me. I'm not about to tell a brain surgeon how to do brain surgery on my head, and I'm not about to tell a scientist what is science and what is not. When 51% of scientists say differently, come and get me. Until then, I gotta say, man, what kinda bull are ya tryin' to feed me anyhow?

I find it irritating that people with no conception of biology are so adamant about exposing their ignorance to the world. I'll be the first to admit that I barely know an oocyst from a blastocyst. On the other hand, I get the feeling that these "legends in their own mind" who seem to think that getting a sea of morons to vote for them means that they know what is science better than the actual scientists don't even know that much.

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin


  1. I posted this on another blog, but I stand behind it.

    Intelligent Design is what happens when you smoke pot all night and then “get smarter”.

    Have you ever looked at your hands man? They are just soooo complex and intricate. There has to be some higher plan. Pass the Oreos.

    It just seems silly to make belief and science play ball. As they said in Pulp Fiction “ain't the same fin' ballpark, it ain't the same league, it ain't even the same fin' sport.”

    But the worst part is that Intelligent Design isn’t about faith or science. It is a political maneuver to wedge belief into the science class of kids more interested in Grand Theft Auto and scoring during and after the football game.

  2. Penguin, you are on fire today (well, at least as much as it's possible for an aquatic waterfowl to be on fire, that is.)

  3. Intelligent Design is what happens when you smoke pot all night and then “get smarter”.

    I've done that... years ago. I didn't realize I was getting smarter, though. WOW! :)

  4. The lack of science in "intelligent design" is fairly simple to demonstrate: scientific hypotheses and theories must be falsifiable, that is, it has to be possible to show that they're wrong. In the case of ID, that would mean demonstrating that there never was a "designer." Showing that something didn't exist 3 or 4 billion years ago is several levels of magnitude more difficult than showing that it did -- for all intents and purposes, it is impossible. Since the prime postulate of this theory is untestable, this is mythology and metaphysics, not science. Consequently, it doesn't belong in a science class.

    Requiring its inclusion in a high school biology class is no different from requiring Sunday schools to devote equal class time to lessons in materialist epistemology.

  5. Well, Soumynona, as a non-scientist I got an even easier argument: I know virtually diddly about science. All I know about science, I learned from Google. So just like I'm not going to tell my heart surgeon how to operate on my heart, I'm not going to tell a scientist what is science or not. If 99.999% of scientists say that evolution is science and ID is not, that's good nuff for me. I don't send my kid to school to learn what some nutcase somewhere thinks is science. I send my kid to school to learn what the vast majority of people who actually DO the stuff think is science.

    - Badtux the "I know my limits, dammit!" Penguin

  6. I think that Richard Nixon created the universe. But then again, I'm crazy.

    Of course, my admittedly crazy belief has as much scientific validity as someone who claims that their Invisible Sky Buddy crapped out the world exactly 6,005 years ago, Man popped out one rib short on the left, we're all sinners because Eve did it with a snake, and Jesus had a virgin for a mother, a pigeon for a father, and cured the blind by throwing dirt in their eyes.

    If something crazy is believed by enough people, it becomes The Norm, and officially Not Crazy. Therefore, people are allowed to run around loose, saying that their Invisible Sky Buddy belief has as much validity as provable, testable scientific hypotheses, and the rest of us take them seriously, instead of chasing them around with butterfly nets, as would happen in any properly organized society.


Ground rules: Comments that consist solely of insults, fact-free talking points, are off-topic, or simply spam the same argument over and over will be deleted. The penguin is the only one allowed to be an ass here. All viewpoints, however, are welcomed, even if I disagree vehemently with you.

WARNING: You are entitled to create your own arguments, but you are NOT entitled to create your own facts. If you spew scientific denialism, or insist that the sky is purple, or otherwise insist that your made-up universe of pink unicorns and cotton candy trees is "real", well -- expect the banhammer.

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