29.5.08

Casey Luskin is confused

Over at Discovery Institute's EvolutionNews-blog Casey Luskin is having another fit. This time those damn darwinists have said that pro-ID scientists and teachers should STFU. But perhaps Luskin has misunderstood the message? He has a habit of presenting not-so-accurate quotes. Luskin quotes an article written by Alan Boyle, who has quoted Sean B. Carroll:

Even at the time of 2005's Kitzmiller v. Dover court decision, it was clear that an argument based on academic freedom would be the next frontier for the intelligent-design debate. But the freedom to teach isn't absolute. It's subject to the usual checks and balances of academic institutions, plus the constitutional ban on state establishment of religion - and the idea that the content of a science class should be, well, based on science. That doesn't mean science teachers can't have wacky ideas. Some of the wackiest ideas have been held by the world's greatest scientists - including Isaac Newton, a religious heretic who calculated that the world would end in the year 2060. To Newton's credit, he kept relatively quiet about the wackier claims and pushed ahead with better ideas like calculus, optics and universal gravitation.

Carroll had similar advice for today's biologists: "The biology community will tell you that understanding genetics and evolution is fundamental to being a literate biologist. ... Do you want your kids to be taught by people who are living in the 18th century? I don't think so. They have a right to think these things or believe these things, but they have an obligation to be technically competent."


The last part has the tell-tale signs quote mining: ...

Could it be that Luskin has copy-pasted two sentences, changed their order, and presented Carroll's message in a twisted light? Say it isn't so!

It is so. In Boyle's article "The biology community will tell you that understanding genetics and evolution is fundamental to being a literate biologist" appears after Do you want your kids to be taught by people who are living in the 18th century? I don't think so. They have a right to think these things or believe these things, but they have an obligation to be technically competent".

But does the changing of the order really matter? Maybe not that much, but when we see how Luskin has interpretated Carroll's words I think not everything is as it should be:

The implication is clear: Boyle and Carroll think that there should be no academic freedom for scientists or educators to speak in favor of intelligent design. In Boyle and Carroll’s world, if you have real doubts about evolution, then like Newton, you should just keep "quiet."


But Carroll and Boyle made it clear that science class should teach science. Teachers can believe anything "whacky", but they can teach what the standars dictate. Scientists can believe anything whacky too, and they could even get ideas from valid scientific experiments from those beliefs. The important difference is this; high school teachers and scientists do different things. One teaches, the other does science. Luskin has wrapped these into one package, and claims that Boyle and Carroll want both to be "quiet". Read Boyle's column in from start to finish and then tell me that I have misinterpreted Luskin.

So far ID has not changed to become science. Sure, IDeists say its all about science. Just ignore the attempts to advocate God and Christianity, lack of published papers in their own peer-reviewed journal, legal hassles over what to teach in high schools, Expelled-saga, etc. To his credit, Michael Behe has stated it would be possible to scientifically test his idea of irreducible complexity. He outlined the experiment[*], but the admitted that actually doing the test wasn't "fruitful." The closest thing to science in ID-camp is criticizing the theory of evolution. But that's something that's been happening way before ID came to the scene.

If Intelligent design is science, where's the beef?

[*] "In fact, intelligent design is open to direct experimental rebuttal. To falsify such a claim a scientist could go into the laboratory, place a bacterial species lacking a flagellum under some selective pressure, for motility say, grow it for ten thousand generations and see if a flagellum or any equally complex system was produced. If that happened my claims would be neatly disproven."

8 comments:

Rich Hughes said...

Ah... the telltale elipses!

I LEIK THIS BETTER THAN MOONLANGUAGE.

SPARC said...

As a non English native speaker I wouldn't have realized that you aren't either.

Paholaisen Asianajaja said...

Sparc, I'll take that as a compliment. Writing in english is one of the few things I excell at, compared to the other nonsense I do. Still, nothing beats moonlanguage.

Sakari said...

Mitä on moonlanguage???

Paholaisen Asianajaja said...

Sivistymättömät moukat kutsuvat rakasta äidinkieltämme kuukieleksi.

sakari said...

Awww :(. Toisaalta, olisi kiva ekstrapoloitua suomenkieltä osaamattoman subjektiiviseen kokemusmaailmaan ja kuunnella sitten suomenkieltä puhumattomia.

Ihanko oikeasti suomenkieli = moonlanguage? Onko se nyt sitten oikein virallinen epävirallinen arvonimi rakkaalle äidinkielellemme?

sakari said...

Awww :(. Toisaalta, olisi kiva ekstrapoloitua suomenkieltä osaamattoman subjektiiviseen kokemusmaailmaan ja kuunnella sitten suomenkieltä puhuttuna.

Ihanko oikeasti suomenkieli = moonlanguage? Onko se nyt sitten oikein virallinen epävirallinen arvonimi rakkaalle äidinkielellemme?

PS. Korjattu viesti, sattui kirjoitusvirhe ekassa...

Paholaisen Asianajaja said...

Kuukielellä jenkki tarkoittaa kaikkia niitä kieliä joihin tarvitaan "uusia" kirjaimia ja/tai jota lukija ei tunnista.