I’m laughing, but it’s not great medicine

Aww, that’s kind of sweet. The creationists are trying to cheer me up while I’m on my sick bed. How else to interpret these wacky assertions from Austin Casey, a 19 year old student?

Science is fundamentally a search for the truth about the universe, and Perry’s acknowledgement of the holes in evolution theory manifests a much better understanding of science than Huntsman’s faith in scientists.

Cute. No, sorry, Perry doesn’t know anything about evolution, and acknowledging “holes” that don’t exist and denying the existence of processes well supported by the evidence is the antithesis of good science.

Scientific observations are classified into three categories: hypotheses, theories or laws. Hypotheses are the weakest interpretations of evidence, while theories garner more support. Laws are said to be the strongest explanations, but even they aren’t facts.

No, Casey is inventing a hierarchy that doesn’t exist. Which is more significant, Ohm’s Law or cell theory? Hawking’s theory of black holes, or the Hardy-Weinberg law? And hypotheses are a preliminary prediction about something; they aren’t in the same ballpark as theories and laws. A theory is “The grandest synthesis of a large and important body of information about some related group of natural phenomena”, according to Moore (from our intro textbook this year!) A law just refers to a body of observations that can be quanitatively summarized by a short mathematical (or in some cases, verbal) statement. I certainly do think that a law and a theory can be a statement of fact!

Moreover, the theory of evolution comes from one interpretation of available evidence. Contrary to Huntsman’s claim, the Republican Party is proving more scientific because of its legitimate recognition of the gaps in evolution.

To point out one weakness, evolution relies on the assumption that beneficial genetic information has been repeatedly added to genomes throughout the history of the universe. But not even Richard Dawkins, a leading evolutionary biologist from Oxford University, could name a single mutation that has added beneficial information.

Oh, piffle. Of course he can: read his books. Every evolutionary biologist can think of examples, and it’s trivial to find lists on the web. Biologists routinely identify traits with selective advantages.

It is not scientific when the Republican party denies reality.

I’m afraid it didn’t really cheer me up. I still feel icky and it’s no reassurance to know that clowns like Casey are lying in the newspapers.

(Also on FtB)