I thought that silly Intelligent Design blog, Uncommon Descent, was going to have a new and enlightened comment policy, in which people would be allowed to criticize ID without risk of deletion. That’s what they said, at least. You knew it couldn’t be true: they’re already sharpening the knives to get rid of a persistent critic.
Someone by the name of skeech is cluttering up UD with impervious sophistry and wasting a lot of our time.
His/her latest thesis is that “according to biologists…” there is a “credible possibility that small incremental changes could have developed massive increases in biological information in a short time — followed by stasis.”
So, skeech assures us that “biologists” are universally agreed upon this proposition?
How about this and this?
Yes, biologists are universally agreed upon that. Skeech was being very conservative in his description — it’s more than a ‘credible possibility’, both relatively rapid changes and patterns of stasis have been demonstrated. The “this and this” mentioned were links I won’t repeat to the absurd Phil Skell and some ID guy at an evangelical Christian college. I guess those are the “biologists” he’s talking about (Skell, by the way, is a chemist). I’ll have to remember to waggle my fingers in the universal air-quotes gesture whenever I’m talking about the “biologists” on the side of creationism.
Then the real foolishness begins.
Darwinian evolutionary theory is a boiling, ever-changing, amorphous cloud that is impenetrable and completely immune to critical analytical scrutiny. It was designed that way, for obvious reasons.
That’s an amazing glimpse into the creationist mindset — apparently, they see design everywhere. Evolutionary theory was not designed. It evolved. There are a great many contributors to it, all pushing the boundaries in different directions, which is why grasping the depth of the idea is beyond these guys — it takes a lot of work to keep up with the literature, and the details can be bewildering (just try keeping up with all the comparative molecular biology work on developmental genes, for instance; it’s a deluge of papers right now). However, the core principles are straightforward and can be grasped by most people with a little effort.
Now watch: the angry kook emerges. How often has poor Albert Einstein’s corpse been dragged out and made to dance in defense of every new loony idea?
It should be noted that the “scientific” consensus in the early 20th century was the steady-state universe theory (that is, the universe is eternal, and has no beginning and no end). Those subscribing to the consensus were wrong (including Albert Einstein), and they put up a big fight until the end, when the evidence became overwhelming.
Continental drift theory was also ridiculed.
Wegener was the first to use the phrase “continental drift” (1912, 1915)… During Wegener’s lifetime, his theory of continental drift was severely attacked by leading geologists, who viewed him as an outsider meddling in their field.
Where’s Galileo? He forgot Galileo! We need to be able to use the “They laughed at Galileo, but they also laughed at Bozo the Clown” line! I need closure.
Oh, well. The operative phrase up there is “the evidence became overwhelming”. The evidence for Intelligent Design creationism is less than overwhelming; it’s definitely not at the level of “impressive”. It hasn’t even reached “thought-provoking” or even “hmmm…maybe”. It seems to be stuck at “non-existent”. They can invoke Einstein and Wegener as patron saints when they actually have something persuasive other than their religious certainty that there must be a designer.
The criticism we always hear from Darwinists is: Outsiders are not permitted to question the dogma, because they don’t understand the subtleties and the “science.”
You’re allowed to question it, of course. It’s just that when your criticisms reveal a dazzling degree of ignorance of basic biology, we’re going to laugh and dismiss your arguments out of hand. And of course, evolution is science — it’s not the ersatz “science” beloved of creationists.
The essence of Darwinian philosophy, presented as “science,” takes about 15 minutes to learn and understand: Random variation and natural selection explain everything — never mind the details, we’ll make up stories later to explain away the anomalies, contradictions, and improbabilities.
In the meantime, just have faith, and don’t ask any annoying questions.
This is not science, it’s religious indoctrination.
Wait, what happened to the “amorphous cloud”? Suddenly evolution is something you can grasp in 15 minutes. Yes, it’s true, though: random variation and selection are the basic principles that explain everything. But no, the details are important — we’ve got a century and a half worth of details, evidence, that we can go over. It’ll take a lot more than 15 minutes. We don’t need to make up stories (even though some do, admittedly), we can leave that to the defenders of myth.
I am amused that that little UD rant was prompted by a guy asking annoying questions, getting the administrators of UD to complain falsely that real science doesn’t let you ask annoying questions, while they do their best to suppress critics who ask annoying questions. The growing hypocrisy is just one more reason their blog is increasingly irrelevant…that and their vacuity.
Isn’t it nice of me to give them a link that will vastly increase their traffic? I should probably stop doing that.