"God is to engineering what Michael Brown is to hurricane relief"

That's my new favorite anti-ID quote, spoken by Mark Blumberg, at the University of Iowa Freethinkers' panel discussion on intelligent design last evening. Dr. Blumberg was discussing what a piss-poor design the human vertebral column is, and concluded his talk with the comment above. The other speakers, Scott Robinson and Evan Fales, also did a great job of conveying the issues. On the ID side was physicist Fred Skiff,one of the "dissenters from Darwinism." I'm sure Skiff is a nice guy and apparently a good physicist, but...wow. A biologist, he ain't. He conflated abiogenesis with evolution, wrote off anything that's "macroevolution" as being "overly reductionist," said scientists claim that science is a worldview (and that's in textbooks?), made a complete strawman of those opposed to teaching ID (suggesting that scientists want to "make it illegal to challenge a scientific theory"), and then pissed off both the scientists and philosophers by saying that Epicurial materialism equals hedonism.

The best question blunder of the evening came from a pro-ID student who was trying to respond to Blumberg's comments that physicists (and others) shouldn't tell biologists what to teach. Both Blumberg and Robinson are officially listed in the department of Psychology, so this student tried to tell them that they were just as unqualified to speak on evolution as Dr. Skiff. Guess he slept through the part where they both talked about their graduate training in basic biology (Robinson even discussed his background in paleontology and zoology at length). Boo-yah.

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