Lets say the sun is pulled around the earth by horse-drawn chariots

In a very brief post on Uncommon Descent (Let’s say Darwin was necessary for the holocaust) Dave Scott revealed the fundamental problem that intelligent design (ID) has in its approach to science.

“Let’s say that Darwin’s theory of evolution was a necessary factor for the holocaust.

Now class, what science journal should we try to publish this in? Anyone? Anyone?”

Well, class, can you see the fallacy here?

Scott starts with an assertion (“let’s say”) and then thinks that this is worthy of acceptance and publication in a science journal – without any evidence! He will the go on to call “foul” when his submission is rejected and claim that it is due to “intolerance,” “dogmatism” and “Darwinism” in the “science establishment.” He will then demand that the whole approach of science is changed so that such submissions become acceptable.

This is completely in line with arguments by the Wedge people that science based on inference alone (e.g. irreducible complexity) without the need for evidence and testing is acceptable.

Similar articles:
Intelligent design and scientific method
Intelligent design/creationism I: What is scientific knowledge?
Intelligent design/creationism II: Is it scientific?

6 responses to “Lets say the sun is pulled around the earth by horse-drawn chariots

  1. Wow, are you thick!

    The point of my article is that the theoretical connection between Darwin and holocaust is not science, no legit science journal would ever publish it, and every rejection would be valid.

    I was trying to get the audience at UD to realize that if they want to promote ID as science then they need to understand what is science and what isn’t science. I wanted them to figure out for themselves that the Darwin/holocaust rubbish (and it IS rubbish) has nothing to do with the science of design detection.

    Evidently I made the common error of overestimating my audience and that includes you, Ken.

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  2. Well, count me as thick too. And most of the people who replied to the original post.

    Poe’s Law perhaps? Or possibly the fact that it was posted on Uncommon Descent, the blog of William Dembski (and friends) who told the Southern Baptist Texan that those who need to see Expelled (A film that tries to implicate Darwin’s discoveries as key to the Holocaust) are the “parents of children in high school or college, as well as those children themselves, who may think that the biological sciences are a dispassionate search for truth about life but many of whose practitioners see biology, especially evolutionary biology, as an ideological weapon to destroy faith in God”.

    What was I thinking??

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  3. BTW, good post Ken. I would say though that if research was to show that humans began to act crazy when it dawned on them that they were deluded about a big eye-in-the-sky that it should be published – and I would hope that it would. It would contain a very valuable insight into human nature. The key problem is that most of us lack the ability to distinguish ideas from the people or philosophies that they’ve sprung. Something that definitely hasn’t escaped the ID crowd and which they’ve capitalised on enormously.

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  4. DaveScott – I am glad to see you admit that the Expelled message (and Ben Steins claim that “science leads to murder”) is rubbish. Unfortunately your blog, and many, many other ID blogs and web sites, are continuing to promote this rubbish.

    However, the point I was making is relevant to ID’s claim for legitimacy as a science. For example, I have this response in a discussion: “In the case of ID advocates, a theory may be the simple claim that a specific system was designed.

    That is a key misunderstanding of science which ID proponents continue to advocate (e.g attempts to change definitions of science in educational standards). No simple claim or inference is a theory. Neither the claim for design. the claim for evolution, the claim for a geocentric solar system or the claim for a heliocentric solar system. No claim like this warrants publications. That only comes with development of the the claim to a hypothesis, the collection of data and other evidence, and testing against reality. Then we have the material for publication.

    Only when the ID people go on from their claim to do this work will it be seriously considered by the scientific community.

    The fact that the ID people don’t do this yet insist on acceptance and even the right to teach their claims in schools indicates that they aren’t interested in science – just politics and ideology.

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  5. Checking up on comments to your post, Dave, I find this one by you very telling:
    “What Expelled seems to have done more than anything else is to get all the God botherers fired up and out of the closet, dropping any pretense that it was ever about science at all. It is just creationism in a cheap tuxedo. An attempt to establish a theocracy. What a revolting development.”

    But lets face it. Uncommon Descent does sort of promote that attitude. For the vast majority of IDers it’s not about science, is it?

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  6. Pingback: Rachel’s Musings » Blaming Darwin for the Holocaust

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