Sunday, May 06, 2007

Intelligent Design Proponent Anika Smith Maintains Separation From The Real World

My wife and I attended a picnic yesterday and ran into a devout Catholic couple we know. After talking with their eldest daughter about which college she would be attending this fall, the expected answer materialized: a Catholic college in southern California. I commented later that this young woman would have get slapped in the face with reality sooner or later, to which my wife, in her frequently sage manner, replied, "Some people are pretty successful at remaining sheltered from the rest of the world".

I could not help but be reminded of that comment upon reading Anika Smith's current post on Evolution News and Views this morning. Some people just never move beyond their own contrived fantasy world of cherry-picked data, misinformation and post-hoc accommodating argument. I suppose it is sufficient to demonstrate Smith's lack of intellectual command over the relevant issues of the public evolution "debate" to point out that John Wise, biology professor at SMU easily corrected Smith and co-author Sarah Levy's recent assertion that "intelligent design" is something new; something scientific; something not related to creationism. In addition to showing how Smith and Levy are incorrect, Wise also eloquently explained something neither understands: why it matters.

Few people would dispute that our present scientific understanding of the physical world has led to a tremendously long list of advances in medicine, technology, engineering, the structure of the universe and the atom, and on and on. The list is nearly endless, but it does not include everything. Science can tell us only what is governed by natural forces....

The usefulness of science stems from the predictable action of the laws of nature and the strict rules regarding testable hypotheses. If you modify the definition of science to include unpredictable supernatural forces, magic and miracles, the utility of science will be lost because we won't be able to form reasonable predictions from what we observe in the natural world. No reverent believer would presume to know what goes on in the mind of God, so how can the actions of God be predicted? For science to progress and maintain its usefulness, it needs to be limited to the laws of nature... [emphasis mine].

Wise further shows that proposed creationist texts were republished with "creationism" switched for "intelligent design" immediately after creationism was ruled as a religious view in the Edwards v. Aguillard decision.

If that were not enough, Smith pulls the blinders on tighter in the Evolution News and Views article by uncritically accepting David Limbaugh's discussion of Richard Sternberg's so-called academic "persecution" at the Smithsonian. The real story behind Sternberg's "persecution" can be found easily: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, for starters...

But the real window into Smith's utter separation from anything remotely resembling a tangible argument is how eagerly she cites someone (Limbaugh) who relies on Tom Bethell as a good source of alternative information! Talk about someone who has completely aborted the Catholic tradition of scholarly achievement! Asking Bethell for a coherent discussion of evolution is like asking Britney Spears for advice on maintaining a stable relationship.

Smith wants us all to believe in intelligent design and the best she can come up with is a very poor understanding of science, the incoherent rantings from the brother of a drug addict, a highly propogandized persecution of a lab tech, and writings from the intellectual equivalent of Britney Spears....wow, I'm convinced!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am curious in this debate about Intelligent Design, as to how we are going to describe a scientist, such as Craig Ventner - Genesis II, who will in near future artificially create life? Do we call them Creators of life? Presumably we will describe supporters of this work creationists?Perhaps scientific creationists.It would be helpful in advance if someone has an ideas as to what word to use?

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