The Republican War on Science Continues

Ed Brayton describes the support of intelligent design creationism by the Republican candidate for governor of Michigan. Says the hopeful candidate:

I would like to see the ideas of intelligent design — that many scientists are now suggesting is a very viable alternative theory — that that theory and others that would be considered credible would expose our students to more ideas, not less.

If by “credible”, he means utterly unsubstantiated and without a single testable hypothesis, then, yes, intelligent design creationism is “credible.”

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4 Responses to The Republican War on Science Continues

  1. Sam Zaydel says:

    As scientists, we have to be open-minded, and allow for other revolutionary ideas to challenge our thinking. We on the other hand have to establish absolutely full proof solutions, and offer evidance which is absolutely unchallengable. By nature, if evidence is absolute, and cannot be challenged, it is an absolute truth.

  2. Edward says:

    I try to explain why ID is not science to the people I know. However, I’m am surprised at the number of people who buy into the ID arguments and also other superstitions such as faith healing. I was amazed when I was the lone vote against a pseudo-scientific study of faith healing at a scientific review at my institution.
    Sam’s comments above don’t make it clear to me which side of the debate he’s on, but it sounds like they represent the sort of thinking that leads people to creationism and biblical literalism – namely wanting to know the “absolute truth.” There will ALWAYS be some uncertainty in science and that makes some people uncomfortable. Science gives us the best information we can get about our world, but it has measurement error and other uncertainties. If we could educate people to be more comfortable with the small uncertainties in science, we’d be a lot closer to quashing creationism and the like.

  3. Sam Zaydel says:

    Edward, I certainly do not believe that ID has any sort of significance, and it is by no means science. Science, in its nature is uncertain, in most cases. While I certainly do not think that ID has a strand of legitimacy to it, I think that some people need that comfort, which ID offers. Some people simply cannot bare the idea of the universe and its complexity as being a natural event, and in no way driven by external intelligence. Unless we can prove to people, without any shadow of a doubt, that the world was created through a natural process, there will always be people on the other side of the fence. Not everyone can accept uncertainty. People are more eager to accept an uncertain answer, if it feels more comfortable. ID is just that. Most of us luckily, after taking even the most basic science classes understand how rediculous the concept of intelligent design is. ID does not fit a definition of science. It is simply a concept which appeals to those who cannot stand the idea that there is nothing after death, and that everything in this world is simply a result of evolutionary development.

  4. Edward says:

    Sam, the point is that you simply can’t prove that “whithout any shadow of a doubt.” What we scientists need to do is explain why ID does not fit the scientific evidence. There is a problem with the views put forth by Fundamentallist Christians, but there is also a school of thought I call Fundamentalist Atheism that is just as unscientific. It sounds to me that you may be falling into that latter school of thought. You can not disprove the existence of God via scientific means. Much of the ID debate has been framed as “Science vs. Religion,” but science and religion can be compatible and complement each other. The real conflict is between Science and Fundamentalist Ideologies. I suggest you look at the National Center for Science Education web site – there are many good articles there.

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