Pharyngula

He seemed like such a smart fellow

I met Thomas Martin the other day in NY — he’s the fellow who wrote the winning essay in the Seed science writing contest. I had no idea he was a flaming creationist! At least, you’d get the impression that his essay was ID-friendly from the assessment of Uncommon Descent.

Of course, what the essay actually says is that science works because “it compels smart people to incessantly try to disprove the ideas generated by other smart people,” and that one goal of science is to “find those ideas that can withstand the long and hard barrage of evidence-based argument.” I don’t think Martin was being at all kind to ID, because I’m afraid ID withers before the evidence.

It is interesting, though, that the first response of the creationists to an essay on science literacy is to quote-mine it.

Comments

  1. #1 Brownian
    September 27, 2007

    Has anybody ever considered the reason that creationists have nothing to offer but quote-mines is that they’re functionally illiterate?

    Consider the evidence:

    -Their quote-mines usually revolve around a few choice words, such as ‘random’ or ‘theory’.
    -Their quote-mines usually involve quotations taken out of context, or a misinterpretation of the meaning of the quote.

    All of these characteristics are common to functionally illiterate individuals attempting to hide their illiteracy.

    Perhaps we should reconsider focussing on scientific literacy, and instead concentrate our efforts at increasing basic literacy.

    Remedial reading classes in Sunday school, anyone?
    -Their own writing is rarely intelligible.

  2. #2 Joe Mc Faul
    September 27, 2007

    I did pick up one thing at UD. I didn’t know Dembski ahd ever explicitly rejected common descnet, instead optignfor the coy approach. But here it is on hos own blog;

    “For the record: I personally don’t believe in common descent though I think there are lines of evidence that suggest considerable evolutionary change. At the same time, there are lines of evidence that suggest considerable discontinuity among organisms. Check out chapter 5 of my forthcoming book with Jonathan Wells titled THE DESIGN OF LIFE (publication date keeps being delayed, but I think it’ll be out in November).”

    —WAD

  3. #3 Brownian
    September 27, 2007

    If you were to read the entire bible you would see all of the internal inconsistencies.

    Well, what else to they have to do with their time? Again, I suspect they don’t read the bible because they can’t.

    I’m collecting donations for my new campaign to increase literacy among the religious, “The Bible: All Them Funny Letters Means Words“.

    People out there are hurting. Won’t you please help?

  4. #4 Brownian
    September 27, 2007

    Oh, so that’s the Kansas Troll, huh? His appearance here must mean that Mommy locked out the porn sites on her computer.

    Poor kid. He just wants to wank. Is that so wrong?

  5. #5 Sastra
    September 27, 2007

    This reminds me of alternative medicine advocates gleefully misinterpreting the work of John Ioannidis. Orac blogged about it recently. He wrote that “Ioannidis looks at how we as a profession do biomedical research and clinical trials and finds the faults even in studies thought to be the gold standard, all with a mind to improve how we do research, suggesting more replication, more care, and to be cautious about initial findings.”

    Cranks have taken this and insisted that it implies that science doesn’t work, science can’t be trusted, scientists get it wrong, etc. This is supposed to increase the credibility of studies which are done with even less care, less replication, less initial plausibility, and more hype on cherry-picked findings. As many have pointed out, if they had actually bothered to read Iannidis’ work, they would realize that a call for increased rigor, method, and caution is the death knell for alt med, not additional support.

  6. #6 Ichthyic
    September 27, 2007

    Malice or stupidity, it’s just so hard to tell sometimes…

    now, now… don’t be stingy!

    why does it have to be either instead of both?

  7. #7 Owlmirror
    September 27, 2007

    Ah, don’t you atheists get it? It’s so simple: Martin is secretly a creationist!

    In fact, Richard Dawkins is secretly a creationist. PZ Myers is secretly a creationist. You’re secretly a creationist. Hell, everyone (who isn’t overtly a creationist) is secretly a creationist! And that whole “known liberal bias” that reality has? Guess what? Reality is secretly creationist!

    You just have to find the evidence that reveals the secret.

    PS: The Emperor cannot possibly be naked, because any fool can see that the Emperor is wearing a wig. And a merkin. (Thank God for that!)

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