Home » Intelligent Design » Memo to Sal Cordova: Massimo Pigliucci may be in transit

Memo to Sal Cordova: Massimo Pigliucci may be in transit

Yesterday, Cordova noted biologist Massimo Pigliucci, still in good standing (we think), saying stuff like

Theodozius Dobzhansky, one of the fathers of modern evolutionary theory, who famously said that nothing makes sense in biology except in the light of evolution (the phrase is, in fact, approvingly quoted by Pross). Problem is, Dobzhansky was writing for an audience of science high school teachers, and his statement is patently wrong, as an even cursory examination of the history of biology makes clear. For instance, developmental biologists had done a lot of highly fruitful research throughout the 19th and 20th centuries even as they ignored Darwin. And molecular biologists made spectacular progress from the 1950’s though the onset of the 21st century, again pretty much completing ignoring evolution.

Running a search through the files here, we find that Pigliucci was also the guy who checked out of “consciousness is an illusion,” to this extent:

For some time I have been noticing the emergence of a strange trinity of beliefs among my fellow skeptics and freethinkers: an increasing number of them, it seems, don’t believe that they can make decisions (the free will debate), don’t believe that they have moral responsibility (because they don’t have free will, or because morality is relative — take your pick), and they don’t even believe that they exist as conscious beings because, you know, consciousness is an illusion.

So Pigliucci is clearly not that guy who explained to firefighters that the bed was already on fire when he lay down on it … Keep file open.

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5 Responses to Memo to Sal Cordova: Massimo Pigliucci may be in transit

  1. Masimo had been quite actively debating against ID proponents in the past. Yet, I now find myself thinking, “me really likes Masimo! He’s a hero!”

  2. Hello,
    Out of curiosity does anyone have an approx. count of how many ID supporters exist in the world? I so often here the DI’s list criticized for only having 800 scientists, but has anyone ever taken a poll regarding overall ID support?

    Thanks.

  3. Paleysghost,

    If you will count belief in God guiding the events which made humans as a sufficient (but not necessary) indication of acceptance of ID, then the general population has a quasi ID acceptance of 83%. If a distinction is made between theistic evolution, special creation, and ID, the numbers differ.

    See:
    http://ncse.com/rncse/24/5/lat.....-evolution

    Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process,

    Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process,

    God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10 000 years or so?
    Thirty-eight percent of respondents chose (1), 13% chose (2), 45% chose (3), and 4% offered a different or no opinion

  4. Oh yes, Scordova – I agree.
    I often point out in threads that 95% of the world believes in a ‘higher power’ of somekind over the 4-5% of the world which claims to be atheist.

    However, I would be very interested in helping to produce some accurate numbers regarding Intelligent Design Theory support (outside of the DI and /or Behe et al).

    Thanks.

  5. Pahleysghost,

    I don’t think there are many good polls. Here one that is 10 years old prior to the Dover trial.

    http://ncse.com/creationism/ge.....esign-poll

    design”. In the most recent Ohio Poll, conducted between September 4 and September 15, 2002, respondents were first asked: “ Do you happen to know anything about the concept of ‘intelligent design’?” The vast majority (84%) said “no”; 14% said “yes”; and the rest (2%) were “not sure”. Not surprisingly, college graduates were significantly more likely to say they knew something about it (28% of them) than were high school graduates (7%) or those with less than a high school education (6%).

    ….

    Not unexpectedly, those who have the academic training and expertise (PhDs) to teach the basic natural and physical sciences in Ohio’s public and private universities regarded the concept of “intelligent design” as an unscientific notion. More than 9 out of 10 (91%) thought it was primarily a religious view. The vast majority (93%) of science professors said they were not aware of “any scientifically valid evidence or an alternate scientific theory that challenges the fundamental principles of the theory of evolution.” Only a tiny percentage of them (7%) thought that “intelligent design” was either “strongly” or “partly” supported by scientific evidence. Most (90%) believed there was no scientific evidence at all for the idea of “intelligent design”. And 3% were “not sure”. Furthermore, when asked if they ever used the ID concept in their research, virtually all of them (97%) said “no.”

    I know it doesn’t directly answer your question, but that’s the closest thing I could find.

    regards,
    Sal

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