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Podcasts in the intelligent design controversy

1. Scientocracy Rules

Welcome to the Scientocracy, where unless you fully accede to the consensus view, then your opinion not only doesn’t matter, it might even be dangerous. On this episode of ID the Future Casey Luskin shows how a recent move to redefine scientific literacy from an understanding of science into wholesale capitulation to the “consensus” damages true scientific literacy – including the right to debate and dissent.

Go here to listen.

Luskin’s article appeared in Salvo Magazine’s Winter 2009 issue. For more information on Salvo, go here.

Well, all I can say is, first, I write the Deprogram column for that mag (not usually on line), and second, that the mag is one of the few that is not dedicated to simply fronting an establishment consensus about Darwinism.

2. Okay, also,

Why Consensus Doesn’t Count

Darwinists often point out that Darwin’s theory is supported by a majority of scientists and so only the evidence that supports the theory should be presented to students. On this episode of ID The Future, CSC’s John West explains that when it comes to setting public policy, dissenting views on science can be critically important and should be encouraged.

Go here to listen.

Basically, consensus is for herding sheep. When you want to hear evidence for the value of consensus, always ask a sheep.

3. Plus

200 Years After Darwin — What Didn’t Darwin Know?

This special video episode of ID the Future celebrates Darwin Day with a look back at the man and his theory by three scientists and scholars who join in the scientific dissent from evolution.

Biologist Jonathan Wells, author and M.D. Geoffrey Simmons, and molecular biologist Douglas Axe shed light on the problems with Darwin’s theory as they share what led each of them to their skepticism.

Jonathan Wells first became skeptical of Darwin’s mechanism of natural selection, but it was in his studies in embryology that he became skeptical of common ancestry. Dr. Wells takes a historical look at the impact of Darwin’s theory and discusses how unnecessary it is for modern science.

Geoffrey Simmons, M.D., explains how he became a Darwin skeptic after looking at the evidence and finding the evidence for evolution lacking.

And molecular biologist Douglas Axe from Biologic Institute explains the problems genetic mutations pose for Darwin’s theory.

Listen in to their stories and appreciate again the scientific evidence against Darwin’s theory.

Well, of course. Go here to listen.

It’s not – in my view – that evolution doesn’t happen – but that the evidence usually accepted is so poor.

It’s far easier to think of evidence against the Darwin nonsense than to explain its hold on the public. Oh, wait … Darwinism is both tax-supported and a get-out–of-jail-free card. (Like, it’s not you who did the crime, it is your selfish genes and/or your ancestral ape heritage.)

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13 Responses to Podcasts in the intelligent design controversy

  1. “Science is not a democracy” from a science blog. At this point, it seems more like an oligarchy.

  2. Good point, Barb.

    When someone says “x is not a democracy,” it puts me on my guard because what that person usually means is “x is not an open society.”

    In other words, any tax-funded folly fronted by Top People is acceptable – and accepted. Legitimate criticism of tax-funded folly is not.

    Many stupidities advanced in Darwin’s name are at this point beyond ridicule – except that there is always some section editor, somewhere, who gives legs to the story.

    But notice, professional Darwinists NEVER unite to rescue their supposed profession from disgrace by distancing themselves from the rubbish.

    Lord knows, it would be easy enough to do. So why don’t they?

    The evolutionary biologist cannot bring himself to denounce “evolutionary” psychology, because in that very act he would commit himself to an evaluation of the evidence base and the overall usefulness of his profession.

    And the results would not be pretty.

    Look, I don’t know what Old Stone Age Man thought either*, but I am not getting a salary for pretending to – nor for defending any and all idiocies advanced on the subject.

    * My thesis: Old Stone Age Man thought that a row of hares and fish slow roasting on a spit over an open fire is an exceedingly pleasant sight. And maybe that weird guy who thinks there is a God … after dinner, let’s get him to talk about it again. Nice intro to the fireside story ….

  3. The evolutionary biologist cannot bring himself to denounce “evolutionary” psychology, because in that very act he would commit himself to an evaluation of the evidence base and the overall usefulness of his profession.

    In other words he too would have to stop imagining things about the past to focus on facts, logic and evidence.

    Stated another way:

    …the anthropological fable is a work of imagination, a historical scenario, yet offered as an explanation of one or another social phenomenon of either that time or our own. It is a kind of reverse science fiction, situated in the past rather than in the future. …

    What claim can this kind of historical fiction make to be scientific? It simply cannot, even in the loosest sense of science. It is just that the anthropological fable appeals to ideas of competition, struggle, selection, etc., ideas of Darwinian biology–or rather, socio-economic ideas that Darwinism borrowed and naturalized, thus giving them scientific backing. Returned to the sociology from whence they came, they are endowed with a kind of scientific aura, and their use in anthropological fables confers on the latter a dignity to which they have no right.
    The problem is that Darwinism, properly speaking, resorts to just this kind of historical scenario in its explanation of the origin of species. The simplest of these scenarios, in its modern form, sees a certain characteristic as appearing by chance mutation and, once shown to be favourable to its individual bearer, being preserved by natural selection. This basic model can be given added sophistication, mathematical for example, but the fact remains that the Darwinian explanation still consists in imagining a historical scenario… To criticize the explanatory principle that the anthropological model provides in social Darwinism [i.e. Nazism] is equally to criticize the Darwinian principle that explains the evolution of species by reconstructing historical scenarios. It thus amounts to an attack on science (since Darwinism is deemed scientific, at least among biologists)….
    (The Pure Society: from Darwin to Hitler by Andre Pichot :47-49) (Emphasis added)

    Biologists cannot attack others who cite their own imaginations as the equivalent of overwhelming “evidence” of some sort when their own standard of evidence is generally unfalsifiable hypothetical goo.

  4. This seems like an appropriate link at this point.

  5. Communal reinforcement is a social phenomenon in which a concept or idea is repeatedly asserted in a community, regardless of whether sufficient empirical evidence has been presented to support it.

    Since ideas and concepts are causally impotent, I don’t see why it matters.

    Communal reinforcement works both for true and false concepts or ideas, making the communal reinforcement of an idea independent of its truth value.

    And again, trying to explain this on evolutionary principles becomes quickly self-defeating and incoherent.

  6. When I went to look at Retroman at 4′s source (what we all really need to know, or so we are told), it turned out to be a plea from Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales about not believing things just because everyone cites them.

    Well, that is why so few believe Darwinism.

    I think it a disgrace that teachers permit students to rely on Wikipedia. It is a compendium of popular folklore, period!

  7. In the original post you write:

    It’s far easier to think of evidence against the Darwin nonsense than to explain its hold on the public.

    But then at 6 you write:

    Well, that is why so few believe Darwinism.

    It seems to me that either the “Darwin nonsense” has a hold on the public or “so few people” believe in it but it can’t be both. So which is it?

  8. OT: Ancient Earth Carvings Found in Amazon Jungle

    Environmentalists bemoan the clearcutting of the Amazon rainforests. But an unexpected bonus has turned up: Beneath cleared jungle archaeologists are uncovering mysterious geometric designs carved into the earth.

  9. Seversky:

    It seems to me that either the “Darwin nonsense” has a hold on the public or “so few people” believe in it but it can’t be both.

    Why can’t it be both?

    I would say it has a hold on the public because it is the only paradigm presented in PUBLIC schools.

    Yet the polls show the majority of the people don’t buy it.

    So what do you have?

  10. Happy new year to all UD contributors, commenters and lurkers.
    I am afraid you got something wrong here, Denyse:

    When I went to look at Retroman at 4’s source (what we all really need to know, or so we are told), it turned out to be a plea from Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales about not believing things just because everyone cites them.

    You will actually find the same plea on the top of every single wikipedia page. Just search ID, evolution or whatever over there.

  11. I am afraid mynym’s comment @3 is too convoluted for me to extract any clear meaning except some sort of dissent.

    I’ve read this sentence several times but I am unable to find the meaning. Sorry, it may be because I am not English-speaking, or just not intelligent enough:

    “Biologists cannot attack others who cite their own imaginations as the equivalent of overwhelming “evidence” of some sort when their own standard of evidence is generally unfalsifiable hypothetical goo.”

    In an attempt to get a better hold of his argument I googled Andre Pichot and found this interesting:

    http://www.socialistreview.org.....mber=10866

  12. Seversky at 7 – there is a big difference between claims people are forced to endure and statements they actually believe to be true.

    Darwin nonsense can have a hold on the public because people need their jobs, especially in hard times. But that does not mean they believe it.

    osteonectin at 10, I am glad to hear that Jimmy Wales has the grace to say that on every one of his Wikipedia pages. I think the warning very well advised, and would commend it to all.

  13. Most opinion polls show that the great majority of Americans admit to having religious beliefs of one sort or another, so it would be fair to say that religion has a hold on the public.

    This is so widespread that it is almost axiomatic that anyone who is openly atheist or agnostic has little or no chance of being elected to public office here.

    Even if it were true that “Darwin nonsense” was being ‘enforced’ in academia or the public education system that would still be only a small minority of the population so it would be difficult to justify a claim that it “has a hold” on the public.

    You can enforce public declarations of a belief, whether sincerely held or nor, but you cannot enforce private belief.

    As I said, most opinion polls reveal that the great majority of respondents claim to be religious and a large number do not believe in evolution.

    That does not support the claim that “Darwin nonsense” has a hold on the public.

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