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May 08 2012

Perverted Science

Writing for the Finance section of Townhall.com (wait, the Finance section?), Mark Baisley has great hopes for the future of science.

Galileo was a true scientist.

I like Wikipedia’s description, “He displayed a peculiar ability to ignore established authorities, most notably Aristotelianism. In broader terms, his work marked another step towards the eventual separation of science from both philosophy and religion; a major development in human thought. He was often willing to change his views in accordance with observation.”

Based on recent trends in education and politics, I predict that human thought in the 21st Century will progress even further with a new separation of science, this time from politics. Three recent, unrelated publications; a video study, a book, and a movie; give me encouragement that the contemporary version of geocentricism is about to get its comeuppance.

He bases this hope on three things: a video from Focus on the Family, a book by William Dembski, and the move Expelled.

Sadly, I don’t have time to give this article all the time it deserves (or maybe I do and it just doesn’t deserve any), but it’s a rich load of irony for the connoisseur of conservative double-think. For example, consider how Focus on the Family is supposed to contribute to this so-called separation of science from politics.

In 2004, Focus on the Family began distributing its video study, The Truth Project..  Author and presenter Dr. Del Tackett asks the most basic of questions; “Who is God?”, “Who is man?”, and “What is truth?”  Thousands of groups have gathered in home settings to explore these matters and are concluding that their inherent inquisitiveness indicates that they themselves are something more than the product of a catalyzed primordial ooze.

See, by using religion—which is never political—Focus on the F. is persuading ordinary folks that there’s no point in studying nature to find out where we come from, because God did it.

Don’t worry, though. According to Dembski’s book The Design Revolution, this isn’t creationism.

The book reads, “Intelligent Design attempts to understand the evidence for intelligence in the natural world.  The nature and, in particular, the moral characteristics of that intelligence constitute a separate inquiry.  Intelligent Design has theological implications, but it is not a theological enterprise.  Theology does not own Intelligent Design.  Intelligent Design is not an Evangelical Christian thing or a generically Christian thing or even a generically theistic thing.”

The fact that it dovetails so neatly with The Truth Project‘s pro-God propaganda is purely coincidental.

And how do we reach scientific conclusions in this brave, new politics-free science? By polling laymen, of course.

For nearly 30 years, Gallup has polled Americans annually to gauge their beliefs on how human life came to be.  While the percentage has doubled over that period of polling, only 16% of Americans believe that humans evolved to their present form without the involvement of God.  With relative consistency, 38% of those polled believe that Humans evolved with God guiding the process.  Consistently the highest percentage, most recently at 40%, are those who believe that God created humans in our present form.

That settles that then. The new way to do science is the Discovery Institute way. Instead of wasting funds on old-school approaches like labs and equipment, future scientists will just budget for slick, flashy, manipulative movies like Expelled, and then survey their audiences afterwards to see if they reached the correct conclusions, as determined by the producers—er, researchers. None of that boring old peer-review drudgery. Once we have a majority of laymen, science wins. Yay.

Anyway, read it yourself if you’d like a chuckle. This guy’s a trip.

11 comments

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  1. 1
    JoeBuddha

    Sure! And with the money we save, we can cut billionaires’ taxes again! After all, what else would you do with it?

  2. 2
    Roi des Faux

    Just like Galileo, who rejected beliefs that had been unquestioned for thousands of years to replace them with new ideas, these brave souls are rejecting new ideas to replace them with beliefs that were unquestioned for thousands of years.

  3. 3
    d cwilson

    Intelligent Design is not an Evangelical Christian thing or a generically Christian thing or even a generically theistic thing.”

    I call bullshit.

  4. 4
    had3

    I don’t think that word “science” means what he thinks it means.

  5. 5
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    So, he chooses Galileo as an example of the exact opposite sort of thing? Amazing.

  6. 6
    mikespeir

    People like this don’t bother me much. The world’s not going in their direction and at some level they know it. They’re just trying to talk themselves into believing what they’d like to have true.

  7. 7
    coffeehound

    had3,

    I don’t think that word “science” means what he thinks it means.

    or “scientist”. “or evolution”. or “intellegent design” or “evidence”. The list goes on….don’t get me started on the commentors, my head hurts already.

  8. 8
    redpanda

    As expected, the comments on the article are chock full of all the usual crazy.

  9. 9
    smrnda

    So they did a public opinion poll and a majority of people did not believe that evolution happened and that people were created in their current form. Does this in any way actually have anything to do with what is the actual scientific truth?

    If someone asked people questions about science, does the majority of people’s opinion give you anything except a way to gauge the level of scientific illiteracy in society? If a majority of people had a completely faulty understanding of how diseases work, does this mean that germ theory should be shit-canned? Does a person’s belief that petroleum was just always in the earth in its present form mean geologists have it wrong, or just that your average person knows nothing about science?

    The problem with these people is that they don’t like how science undermines their beliefs, so they have to argue that it’s a politically motivated conspiracy.

  10. 10
    exrelayman

    A great relief to know that the contemporary model of geocentrism (sic) is about to get its comeuppance!

    What isn’t so great is that these kind of people vote. And they outnumber us.

  11. 11
    Hypatia's Daughter

    “a new separation of science, this time from politics”
    Ya gotta be kidding! It was the CreoID jerks who started the politicization of science because it is the only way they could force themselves into real science venues.
    I know that I am expecting too much of this idiot, but doesn’t he realize that citing the opinions of the majority to legitimize or delegitimize a scientific theory is appealing to political power.

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