Monday, February 05, 2007

Sixpence None The Richer - Trust

Well, mostly I'm doing this to see if I can. But this is an amazing song by Sixpence that you are unlikely to have heard.

1 comment:

Lifewish said...

Hey all. I'm posting this here because the post to which it relates (More US Protectionism) is not accepting comments.

We can't show evidence for ID or creationism in school because it makes reference to a designer, which might be God, and this violates the first amendment.

ID is interpreted by Joe Average as evidence against atheism (or agnosticism for that matter). Thus it fails the "effect" prong of the Lemon test.

It is at this point widely known that ID is interpreted by Joe Average as evidence against atheism. Thus it fails the "intent" prong of the Lemon test.

ID does not present any valid scientific evidence for its case. It makes no predictions, very little of its output passes peer review, and the remainder turns out not to adequately support its claims. Thus, it fails the "valid secular purpose" prong of the Lemon test.

It's subtly inaccurate to say that the court ruled ID to be unscientific. What it did was leverage the pre-existing consensus amongst scientists that ID is unscientific. If that consensus ever changes, the ruling will be invalidated.

Frankly, if ID is as correct as it claims to be, it shouldn't be that hard to change the consensus. Even if we accepted that biologists are part of a global conspiracy to suppress ID, it would still be possible to convince Dembski's fellow mathematicians.

We won't teach creationism or ID in science at university because it contradicts philosophical naturalism - the principle that science is only about natural causes.

We are happy for ID to be taught at university level. Judge Jones actually explicitly noted that his ruling should not be taken as a ban on ID in universities - it's only verboten in contexts where kids will unquestioningly accept it as truth.

I'd mention that I still feel philosophical naturalism as you state it is a bit of a straw man - it's not an assumption per se but rather a consequence of evidence-based reasoning and parsimony.

Which means that the rising generation of scientists will have not investigated the arguments for themselves, and will simply accept the assertion of the older generation that ID and creationism aren't scientific.

Just like all those young scientists 150 years ago ignored evolutionary biology because it wasn't taught in schools at the time...

For goodness sake, people are still investigating cold fusion. The daftness of an idea does not correlate with its longevity, only with its predictivity.

But at least part of the reason for this is because the debate has been closed down politically, and not in terms of science. No substantive scientific case is being made against ID and creationism.

To the extent that a substantive definition of creationism exists, a substantive scientific case against it has been made. For example, flood geology is inconsistent with the fact that radioisotope frequencies shift in a consistent fashion as one moves down the geological column.

The same is true of ID, although the scientific case is inevitably less substantive as ID is a more nebulous position to argue against. The predictivity of common descent has been demonstrated ad nauseam. The ability of evolutionary processes to generate novel complex functionality has been demonstrated ad nauseam. What else exists in ID to argue against?

Instead, their opponents are more concerned to prevent discussion occurring - and will make reference to the constitution, federal judges and philosophy to prevent discussion of the evidence happening.

We're just keen to make sure that the scientific case is conclusive before ID is touted as scientific. Anything else is on a par with trademark dilution.