Sunday Evening Commentarium for 2013/06/09

The ligne is still used by French and Swiss wa...

The ligne is still used by French and Swiss watchmakers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

G’day. I’m engaged in a little project right now on the various forms of creationism, including intelligent design creationism, and while reading up on the latter, I couldn’t help but notice how intellectually bereft it is, even though it’s got a nice shiny coat of sciencey-sounding language to dress it up.

For example, there’s meaningless jargon like ‘irreducible complexity’ and ‘specified complexity’ terms used by ID proponents to disquise arguments from ignorance, more candidly expressed as, “I don’t understand how the complexity of life could have come about by natural processes, therefore no one can, therefore ID.”

The idea of ID is that whatever we don’t currently understand about the origin and diversity of life, it’s impossible to understand at all, so that we may as well not even ask the question, much less look for answers.

It implies that ID proponents are somehow wiser than those closed-minded Darwinian theorists and know the future state of knowledge better than anyone else.

It implies impossibly certain knowledge of what we can ultimately understand for all time — and this strikes me as an incredibly arrogant and presumptuous line of thinking, especially by non-scientists and would be so even if they were somehow scientists.

ID teaches those who accept it to fatalistically give up any form of meaningful inquiry, not just in biology, but in every field of science, for the basic premise of ID, that the mysteries of the universe are forever unsolvable, would cripple scientific work.

To paraphrase the character of a friend of mine in a Call of Cthulhu many years ago, it seems  “cowardice in the face of Reason.”

I consider it a surrender to ignorance, a failure of intellectual nerve. I find it to essentially say, “Science isn’t as easy as just invoking a god to fill that gap in our current knowledge, so let’s just give up on it.”

My view is that it is the latest misguided attempt by perfectly intelligent, educated people to justify their religious views in a modern world, and though the marketing campaign for ID has claimed the fight with Evolution is about fairness and ‘teaching the controversy,’ it’s really not…

…but a politicized conflict between science and antiscience.

Nothing more, no matter how slick the packaging and presentation to the public is.

Sunday Evening Commentarium is a regular installment posted at 6:00 PM Eastern Time each Sunday, on a question or matter bringing itself to my attention during the previous week.

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