Saturday, November 21, 2009


Pants On Fire!

Here is yet another example of why we call it the Dishonesty Institute: Stephen Meyer is at Focus on the Family's CitizenLink website peddling the usual bafflegab but he can't help but tell this lie:

I think the scientific community is increasingly becoming more open to the evidence and the case for intelligent design. I was pleasantly surprised when my book received endorsements from a number of prominent scientists that had not yet publicly weighed in on intelligent design, such as Dr. Phillip Skell, a member of the National Academies of Science, and Dr. Norman Nevin, a prominent British geneticist.
What crap!

Here is a "recommendation" for Guillermo Gonzalez' and Jay Richards' The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery, which was published back in 2004:

"In this fascinating and highly original book, Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards advance a persuasive argument, and marshal a wealth of diverse scientific evidence to justify that argument. In the process, they effectively challenge several popular assumptions, not only about the nature and history of science, but also about the nature and origin of the cosmos. The Privileged Planet will be impossible to ignore. It is likely to change the way we view both the scientific enterprise and the world around us. I recommend it highly."

- Philip Skell, Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus of Physics, Pennsylvania State University, Member, National Academy of Sciences.
As far as Norman Nevin, there was this report in January of 2007:

[T]welve senior academics have written to the Prime Minister and Education Secretary in support of Truth in Science.

The group was led by Norman Nevin OBE, Professor Emeritus of Medical Genetics, Queen's University of Belfast and included Antony Flew, former Professor of Philosophy at Reading University and a distinguished supporter of humanism.

"We write to applaud the Truth in Science initiative," the letter said. Empirical science has to recognise "severe limitations concerning origins" and Darwinism is not necessarily "the best scientific model to fit the data that we observe".
So who is "Truth in Science"? Well, for one thing, they are a favorite of Meyer's Discovery Institute (and vice versa). And no wonder, here is a statement from its home page that could come right out of the DI's playbook:

We consider that it is time for students to be permitted to adopt a more critical approach to Darwinism in science lessons. They should be exposed to the fact that there is a modern controversy over Darwin's theory of evolution and the neo-Darwinian synthesis, and that this has considerable social, spiritual, moral and ethical implications. Truth in Science promotes the critical examination of Darwinism in schools, as an important component of science education.
And, by the by, it is a young-Earth creationist organization ... you know, the thing that ID is definitely not. Truth In Science bears the same relationship to "truth" as the DI has to "discovery" ... and neither would recognize it if it spit in their face.

To pretend that these are "scientists that had not yet publicly weighed in on intelligent design" is an unmitigated, bald-faced, lie. There is no other word for it.

That Meyer lies to his own co-religionists tells us all we need to know about his wish to lecture everyone else on "morality."

I've noticed that there seems to be a higher proportion of 'emeritus' professors involved with the more doubtful regions of science.

I'm not sure if they are just going senile, feel that they have no need to protect a reputation for sound science, want to make a mark in their final years, are overcome by fear of death, or are just trailing 50 years behind current science.

I suppose it could even be that some have accumulated vast knowledge and wisdom - although it is strange that they attract no researchers willing to explore their insights.

On balance I view the 'emeritus endorsement' as another flag for questionable science, just like conspiracy theories, frequent use of the phrase 'so-called', and appeals to ancient authority.
Hee. I haven't kept count but think you may be right about thbe connection 'emeritus' professors and woo.
Perhaps there should be the new title of 'demeritus professor' for those who are lured over to the Dark Side as it is "quicker, easier, more seductive".
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

. . . . .


How to Support Science Education