Long time readers will be aware of what I think of the appalling quality of the writing about science in Tech Central Station. (Examples: Statistics, Fumento, epidemiology
physics, economics, more statistics, and more epidemiology. )
Well, they’ve destroyed any remaining credibility they might have had with an article arguing for Intelligent Design Creationism. And it’s a twofer because it was written by global warming skeptic Roy Spencer of Spencer and Christy fame.
Spencer starts with
Twenty years ago, as a PhD scientist, I intensely studied the evolution versus intelligent design controversy for about two years. And finally, despite my previous acceptance of evolutionary theory as “fact,” I came to the realization that intelligent design, as a theory of origins, is no more religious, and no less scientific, than evolutionism.
It goes downhill from there, with him redefining the word “evolution”
While natural selection can indeed preserve the stronger and more resilient members of a gene pool, intelligent design maintains that it cannot explain entirely new kinds of life — and that is what evolution is.
And showing profound ignorance about the fossil record:
Yet the fossil record, our only source of the history of life on Earth, is almost (if not totally) devoid of transitional forms of life that would connect the supposed evolution of amphibians to reptiles, reptiles to birds, etc.
And finally claiming that evolutionism is a religion:
Does not classical evolutionism, based almost entirely upon faith, violate the same clause? More importantly, what about the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which states that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion?
If the public school system insists on teaching evolution as a theory of origins, in the view of many a religious activity, why is it discriminating against the only other theory of origins, intelligent design? (There is, by the way, no third theory of origins that anyone has ever been able to determine.) At the very least, school textbooks should acknowledge that evolution is a theory of origins, it has not been proved, and that many scientists do not accept it.
Via Julian Sanchez, who may have damaged his chances of being published in TCS again by writing:
The gross lapse in editorial judgement evinced by the decision to run this piece will leave the intellectually serious casual reader fully justified in dismissing anything that appears there in the future—which would be a shame.