One reason I abandoned The American Spectator was the way they took up the cudgel for “Intelligent Design”. For years now I’ve been reading and enjoying NRO, especially The Corner.
Now NRO has allowed John G. West to spew his dishonest propaganda on its site. Not everybody there is fooled. At least John Derbyshire calls it like it is.
West’s screed is a fine example of squid’s ink: Ad hominem references to a non-existent “science thought police”, and a torturous abuse of the term “critical thinking”.
His attempts to link evolution in particular and science in general to eugenics are insulting, dishonest, and downright heinous. It’s an ad hominem attack West favors, but it’s a bald-faced lie.
He claims that science is being close-minded in its defense of evolution, and that critics of evolution are “silenced”. What a lie. If he, or any of the other moral midgets at the “Discovery” Institute have any science to offer, let them offer it. Science will listen to anybody with a falsifiable, repeatable experiment. To date the “Discovery” Institute has done exactly zero science. Zip. Nada.
If he’s correct that students should hear “Intelligent” Design taught as an alternative to evolution, then he must also insist that students hear the “Stork Theory” as an alternative to sexual reproduction, and the “Geocentric Model” as an alternative to planetary mechanics.
Evolution is the only scientific theory that exists for speciation. There are no other theories. If West or any of his cronies can come up with one, they’ll end up as heroes of science. Until they can, though, the trojan horse of “Intelligent” Design must be treated as the fraud that it is. The fact remains that all of modern biology depends on evolution.
I’m already on record as seeing Jindal as a nutcase for signing this stupid bill. I’m deeply disappointed that my favorite magazine gave this vile propagandist space to spew his bile. I hope they tighten up their standards.
The real meat of his piece is his scurrilous charge that accepting a scientific “facts” (his scare quotes) is a threat to religion. Well, if your religion can’t withstand facts then maybe it’s time to get a new religion. But this is not supposed to be a religious argument; it’s a scientific one. It’s West and his ilk who are attempting to inject a narrow religious view into public education masquerading as science. And the kids of Louisiana are the victims.
Derb quotes P.Z. Meyers:
I don’t think the religious are necessarily stupid, and I most definitely do not believe they are born stupid. I do believe they are saddled with a set of foolish misconceptions that can throttle their intellectual development and send them careering off into genuinely weird sets of beliefs, but this doesn’t make them stupid. I also think that IQ tests are written by people who promote an implicitly scientific perspective (which is a good thing!), and it’s therefore not surprising that a group in which a significant fraction of its membership actively reject science will do poorly on such tests.
This is a point worth making. Many atheists and, no doubt, many agnostics (where I stand on the difference is here) make the grave error of treating the religious as stupid. I know of some very religious people who, I’m confident, are more intelligent than I. Meyers has it just right. So let me clarify: I’m not claiming that West, Behe, and the rest of the ID mongers at the DI are stupid (though they may well be). I’m claiming that they are demonstrably dishonest – which has its own ironic implications given the tenets of their professed religion.