Tuesday, September 29, 2009
We're Gonna Be Here a While
There's nothing like a challenge to get me moving. Nick Smyth showed up here and laid some snide on me:
I can't help but suspect that you can't think of ways to respond to my specific critiques aimed at your points. I made three (three!) in the new response and there is nothing about them here.
That's all I have time for this morning but I'll come back to this, I hope, later today with a few more thoughts, as well as corrections of Smyth's misconstruals of my criticisms.
Let me finish what I started before about the US Constitutional scheme and respond to some comments Nick made to my post earlier today. Nick says in his post at his blog:
I concluded with an obvious truism, one that even most IDers would support: scientific practices, as diverse and indefinable as they may be, seem to deliver truths about the world. This is what is important about them. The alleged "pseudosciences" (astrology, ID-creationism) do not deliver such truths.
Every young-Earth creationist organization that I've ever investigated has some version of AiG's denial and, to the extent you believe polls, anywhere from a third to almost a half of the American public is willing to treat YEC as "truth." ID adherents, though they will pay lip service to the truth-value of science, also decry "materialistic science" by which they mean, if you study what they say to friendly audiences, the very science that Nick claims they will respect.
Worse, in terms of Nick's scheme, as a religious belief, American governments and their employees are not permitted, under our Constitution, to call creationism "bollocks," as was shown in the recent case of James Corbett. Note that there is a structural asymmetry here under our Constitution. It is perfectly all right, as the court in the Corbett case found, to say:
"Therefore, no creation, unless you invoke magic. Science doesn't invoke magic. If we can't explain something, we do not uphold that position. It's not, ooh, then magic. That's not the way we work."
"Contrast that with creationists. They never try to disprove creationism. They're all running around trying to prove it. That's deduction. It's not science. Scientifically, it's nonsense."
Nick also says in the comments that I:
... claim that the courts need to keep hammering away at the "science" question [to keep creationism out of public schools in the US]. When you prove that something is nonscientific, you do not prove that it is religion.
Lastly, for the moment, Nick says at his blog post:
We should only teach children truths. Therefore, we should teach them about the sciences, and pass over astrology and creationism in silence. We do not need the demarcation project, we should abandon the search for a definitive "scientific method", and we should recover the older idea that the value of the sciences lies is the value of truth.
That might be a tad difficult if we started out by claiming that all the supporters are full of bullocks.
Labels: Smyth's Bollocks
...just one canadian scientist who is uncomfortable with science laying claim to truth (all of my scientific training tells me that the foundations are laid in skepticism - forget the truth, show me the evidence).
See! All those years in talk.origins are paying off. Can you tell us which "science" this is?