Mike the Mad Biologist


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There’s not much to add in terms of rebutting intelligent design creationist Jonathan Wells’ latest misappropriation of science that Larry Moran, Orac, and Ian Musgrave didn’t already write. But Wells’ latest screed demonstrates just how pathetically low intelligent design creationism has sunk. An argument that stupid is a tacit admission of defeat.


Essentially, Wells’ argument can be summarized as “if evolutionary biology isn’t cited in every single biology paper EVAH!, then evolutionary biology isn’t relevant to biology.” Never mind that every step in genomic biology involves evolutionary biology, that’s really the crux of his argument.

Wells’ strategy can be described in more detail:

  1. Find a biological structure or phenomenon that’s kinda complex.
  2. Declare said structure or phenomenon to be possible evidence of irreducible complexity.
  3. Find papers about this irreducibly complex phenomenon that don’t explicitly mention evolution.
  4. Proclaim that TEH DARWINISMZ!! is irrelevant to biology.

Wells has now moved the goalposts to a ludicrous point (besides up his own backside): the fact that many researchers use evolutionary concepts (e.g., homology) and evolutionary methods (phylogenetics) isn’t good enough. Now every paper has to discuss the evolutionary implications of the work, or ‘Darwinism’ is dead.

ID creationists are not serious people. Once again, their words have no intrinsic meaning: they are only tools to manipulate, as opposed to engage, other people.

Comments

  1. #1 J-Dog
    March 7, 2008

    That would be John Corrigan Wells, usually referred to by his self- affected name “Jonathon” Wells.

    He SHOULD be referred to by everyone as John “Moonie” Wells – not as an ad hominum attack, but simply as a more honest and correct label for the scum-sucking butt-licking, idiotic clap-trap spewing knucklehead that he is.

  2. #2 Art
    March 7, 2008

    In its own perverse way this claim is somewhat consistent with IDist’s behavior. Or at least their real thought process applied to their own belief system.

    They claim that the elimination of organized prayer from schools, actually just the quieting of overt prayer, “excluded God”.

    Contemplate their POV. They see things entirely in black and white. If every school day and every evolution within that school day does not explicitly reference the existence of God then it is said to be “Godless”. That is their perspective. You, or any event, are either explicitly and actively “Godly” or you are “Godless”. There is no middle ground and there can be no tacit understanding, outside of active manifestations of faith, of accepted facts.

    What we see here is a projection of their belief system into science. They feel the need and demand to wear their beliefs on their sleeve lest they be mistaken for being insufficiently Godly.

    They assume that belief in Darwinian evolution is also a faith system only kept aloft by loud proclamation and hand waving. Somewhat like in the old Roadrunner cartoons where Coyote runs off the edge of a cliff but remains aloft by furious running motions and gesticulations, an act of will and triumph over cartoon gravity.

    Of course science shows that, for the most part, if you run off the cliff it doesn’t much matter if you keep running and redouble your efforts to stay aloft by force of will. Science isn’t dependent on constant energetic hortatory exaltations of what is known for these fact to remain true. For science something is either supported or not supported by the evidence. Belief doesn’t change the evidence or conclusion. Random and extraneous declarations of praise for Darwin on published research would only serve to waste more trees, or bandwidth.

    Creationists don’t, possibly can’t, understand this. For them their faith and beliefs have to be aired out and waved in everyones face so that nobody will forget their desired identity. Long after the strong, quiet, durable faith that lies deep inside has died you can claim a strong faith by wearing a cross and using the word Jesus in every sentence and peppering your language with Biblical quotes.

    They can’t understand that evidence based science doesn’t need to resort to such crass and useless measures. So they see a lack of explicit belief in the facts of science as a lack of belief.

    It is a stupid point of view but it is consistent with their thought process.

  3. #3 T. Bruce McNeely
    March 7, 2008

    Wells’ middle name is Corrigan, hmmm?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrong_Way_Corrigan

    I’m going to refer to him as Wrong Way Wells from now on…

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