Thursday, November 22, 2007

The New Fundamentalism

While the public is already quite aware of religious fundamentalism and its dangers, many have suggested that there is a new fundamentalism around – Darwinist/materialist fundamentalism. This new fundamentalism, it is claimed, inhabits the scientific community at the highest levels. Scientists and science organizations have all denied these claims. Well it now looks like we have some more proof. Check out the following..

On the 16 of November 2007 the Baylor U’s student newspaper (the Lariat) posted an internet voting poll asking the question "How Should Baylor (University) Approach Intelligent Design Research?". Denyse O’leary from Uncommon Descent picked up the story and posted the early results from the 16th showing only 35 fundamentalists votes (below)..

However, after some early results had come in (most probably due to Denyse O'leary's posting) PZ Myers at Pharyngula caught wind of the poll and posted (Nov 17 9:54 PM) with a suggestion that Pharyngula readers "skew it the Pharyngula way!"

"Pharyngula" won the 2005 Koufax Award for Best Expert Blog. The science journal "Nature" ranked Pharyngula as the number one blog (in the world) written by a scientist (July, 5, 2006). “Nature” ranks second in the world out of 48 journals in multidisciplinary science, and first in total number of citations. By targeting senior scientists "Nature" is considered by many the most influential science magazine in the world. Nature apparently has no problem with PZ Myers various troubling (fundamentalist) comments such as (April 4 2005) where for instance PZ Myers recomends the use of “brass knuckles and steel toed boots” with which “scientists” (thugs?) are supposed to “hammer on the lunatics and idiots.” (I.E., anyone who {like me} questions the creative power of Darwin’s theory of random mutation and natural selection).

As of Sunday (Nov. 18th) afternoon "Pharygulain skewing" had produced 1249 more fundamentalist votes with 1284 now voting to "prohibit" ID research.

Prohibit it 1284
Encourage it 1077
Discourage it 1005
Support it 87

And by November 19 7:42 PM "Pharyngulian skewing" had produced 528 more fundamentalist votes for a grand total of 1812.

There you have it folks. Should you wish to empirically test and mathematically quantify the relative functional specificity of the e-coli bacterial flagella -- using gene knock-out experiments (and good old math) -- you're out of luck. This work "should be prohibited." Maybe that's why Scott Minnich's (gene knock-out) experiments went missing from the recent NOVA docu-drama on ID(?). ID research is simply prohibited/forbidden and is subsequently removed -- for the good of "civilization" of course. (Note: My argument here does not hinge on whether ID is valid science or not. If alchemy had been successfully prohibited we would not have modern chemistry!{nor modern civilization!}). The prohibiting of science is anti-science and anti-civilization.

Note to Kenneth Miller/NOVA: The base of your "tie clip" is dead weight. As such it would be removed or minimized by natural selection in a natural setting -- just as with the excess metal wire not needed for tie clipping functionality. None of these optimizing steps are steps along the way to a functioning mouse trap.

1 comment:

dobson said...

William, the analogy of Alchemy is interesting to me precisely because in a modern university we would also find research into alchemy prohibited (along with research into other theories long-since proven to be obsolete).

The primary form this prohibition takes is that the bodies which fund research would refuse to hand-out money to a group engaged in research that is unlikely (in the funder's opinion) of yielding useful results.

Public-funded organizations need to spend their money on areas that have previously delivered good results. On the other hand, privately funded research organizations are free to spend their money as they see fit.

The only sphere in which ID has been prohibited is in schools - I'm sure you know that some ID activists have sought to have their theory taught in school despite the fact that the overwhelming scientific consensus rejects the validity of ID as a testable scientific theory.