13 October, 2005

A friendly note

The Discovery Institute (peddlers of Intelligent Design theory) has just filed an amicus curiae for the evolution trial going on in the 3rd Circuit court in Pennsylvania. Therein they include 85 amici, all acredited scientists, who either support intelligent design theory or feel that "protecting the freedom to pursue scientific evidence for intelligent design stimulates the advance of scientific knowledge."

This is really annoying, because it's a lot harder to make ad hominem attacks against people with PhDs, since they can respond with their own logical fallacy, appeal to authority. Meanwhile, while we're having pissing contests, some guys over at Shovel Bums ran a Four-Day petition which generated 7,732 signatures from scientists stating that intelligent design is not science and shouldn't be taught in schools.

It's fun crawling through the short list of twenty-four selected "amici" that the DI decided to highlight. Some of them are well-known, like Jonathan Wells, William Dembski and Dean Kenyon. Others are people who famously stuck their foots in their mouths or up their asses (maybe simultaneously), like Russell Carlson, who testified in front of the Kansas Board of Education and admitted that he didn't believe in the descent of man. This is simply not a scientifically defensible position, and people who make claims like that (and then admit they have no reasonable alternative hypothesis, or at least not one they're willing to mouth) can't be called respectable scientists in this context.

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