Prediction, retrodiction, and malediction
|January 21, 2008||Posted by O'Leary under Intelligent Design|
It’s not even six a.m. here in EST, and already 230 people have visited the Post-Darwinist (one of my two solo blogs), either to read my nine predictions if ID is true or hear whether it’s true that most Discovery Institute fellows are, like, fundies. Or else to read about the Pope vs. howler monkey stand-ins at an Italian U …
I notice where several Darwinists want me to understand that I am not much good at making predictions. Well, I have news for them. Back in 2001, I predicted that intelligent design would be BIG news by mid-decade, while some Darwinist or other was reshaping neo-Darwinism to fit the facts (retrodiction) or prophesying ID’s death every six months (malediction?). I, meanwhile, sold a book on the basis of my prediction (By Design or by Chance? Augsburg 2004) and got named as co-author on another one (The Spiritual Brain, Harper One, 2007). And who was right on the facts?
I am still getting royalties on the first book and still living off the advance on the second. Oh and yes, the same Darwinists* are still predicting the death of ID every, like, six months or so – about as often as royalty statements arrive, with a cheque thoughtfully attached.
No, I am NOT rich (!), but I know how to make predictions that are likely to come true. It’s half the secret of selling books. There is a name for it. It is called trendspotting.
(No, narc boy, NOT trainspotting, TRENDspotting. Go read a book, will you? Change your life.)
*But you know, Darwinists are not always as smart as they could be. The last time I had this much sudden traffic from that quarter, I seem to recall that some Darwinist was making a big deal of the fact that I have two blogs. Like why? WHY? I guess that individual doesn’t go in for reading blog hedders because the answer was right up there in the hedders. The Post-Darwinist supports By Design or by Chance? and Mindful Hack supports The Spiritual Brain. Usually a new story will fit better into one lineup than another. But I guess you’d have to be the sort of person who reads blog hedder copy to think of something like that.
Update: Meanwhile, I get an amazing number of comments, most of which I reject, from a type of person I can only describe as a young fogie. Self-important young fellows who want me to believe, quite often, that they are scientists. If so, they do not reflect well on their disciplines. They are pendantic, unimaginative, censorious and utterly lacking in curiosity. Quick to resort to threats, name calling, and bully pulpiteering. I can’t imagine what they will be like when they are old, but why would I want to know? They’re the main reason I think that Darwinism is doomed. It’s not attracting the sort of people who create new ideas. It is attracting the sort of people who fear that the world is passing them by, and they’re probably right.