Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Best Attack Against Intelligent Design that I've Ever Read!

This is from the July 22 2005 issue of Science, and after reading it, I simply HAD to report it and record it here. And not to mention, I FULLY agree with the whole idea on how to confront this issue. This is consistent with my earlier entry on here about the fact that you have to be superficial, glib, and perky when talking about science to politicians and the general public. It's the ONLY way to make them pay attention and to sway them. Facts and figures do NOTHING! It's all in the style!

Anyway, in this issue of Science, Donald Wise from Department of Geosciences of University of Massachusetts addressed the issue related to Donald Kennedy's article on Evolution vs. Intelligent Design. He pointed out how ineffective the scientific community has been in persuading the public of why evolution is science, while ID is not. The flaw comes in because the scientists were arguing details of scientific facts before an audience who have no way to comprehend such facts. What he proposed is that the scientists should "....attack a weakness of the opposition and repeat (again and again), with a modicum of humor...." He then explicitly proposed a paragraph that he said has worked before:

"You have a philosophic choice between evolution or belief in ID, so called intelligent design. But even a first-year engineering student would be embarrassed to have designed your lower back with the extreme bend that allows you to stand erect even though your pelvis slants forward for knuckle-dragging like all our near relatives. You probably have had braces or wisdom teeth extracted because there are too many teeth for the size of your mouth. Then there are your sinuses, with a flawed drainage system that would provoke laughter from a plumber. Yet evolution provides a ready and rational explanation for all these design failures: by progressive changes into an erect posture, by shortening of a mammalian muzzle into a face, and by expansion of our large brains to crowd the facial bones. So take your choice: Do you prefer evolution or an ID whose letters may as well stand for Incompetent Design?"

When I read it, I was howling with laughter. It's funny, but it's DEAD ON! After this was said, Wise then reported,

"After a bit of flustering, the ID adherent usually mumbles something about our inability to know the mind of God. The reply: "Indeed, ID is not science but religion and should be taught as such.""

This is such a classic!

In trying to impress upon the public of science, do not rely on facts and numbers. We have already seen many instances where this strategy did not work (see Brookhaven Lab). Style trumps over substance more often than not. This is how most people, sadly, make up their minds.


1 comment:

WaltBJ said...

Discussing ID with some grad students i commented that having a bony ring around teh birth canal was bad design. A young woman growled "You got that right."
Second, we are rare among animals in that we can not make our own Vitamin C. Scurvy is a horrible way to die.