Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Watch Your Ankles

Casey Luskin, the Discovery Institute's attack chihuahua, is threatening to produce one of his trademark interminable multipart self-immolations. This time, of all people, Casey is taking on Elliott Sober, one of the premier philosophers of science of our times. Casey is exercised about Professor Sober's article demolishing ID that I've previously discussed.

Casey tries to build an argument that, because Fred Hoyle, the late astrophysicist and ... um ... differently saned partisan of some tilts that would have given Don Quixote pause, actually used the words "intelligent" and "design" in that order, that's enough to demonstrate that ID wasn't just a ploy to avoid the consequences of Edwards v. Aguillard. Sir Fred was giving an Omni Lecture at the Royal Institution about "Evolution from Space," his notion of panspermia, when the words passed his lips.

The silly aspect of this argument is that the usage by Hoyle was only discovered by the ID crowd earlier this year by some contributor to the blog Telic Thoughts, so the attempt to claim intellectual descent from Hoyle is transparently false.

And, by the way, the Ministry of Misinformation should really get its act together. Jonathan Witt, discussing the discovery of the Hoyle quote, called Sir Fred an "agnostic" but when the story gets to the overexcited Casey, Hoyle has become "an atheist."

But amusement number one is that, even if we grant Casey's claims for the sake of argument, that means ID aspires to be a "legitimate scientific alternative to Darwinism" in the same mold as pansperrmia ... which may be the only remotely scientific-sounding idea in the last 30 years to have produced even fewer actual results than ID.

Such high ambitions!
This is too rich not to move to up top. Eamon Knight asked in the comments:
[D]oes this mean that ID is (to use Dumbski's logic) a "ground-clearing operation" for Raelianism?

Note to DI: when determined to use Argument From Authority, at least try to pick someone whose authority is recognized -- not someone whose ideas are considered fringe at best.

But: does this mean that ID is (to use Dumbski's logic) a "ground-clearing operation" for Raelianism?
Cheap tuxedo for creationism ... $100.

Deflating pompous asses ... priceless!
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