Friday, October 21, 2005

Case Closed

Jeez. You wander away from the Internets for a couple of days, and there's no telling what excitement you'll miss. Having just visited Pharyngula, I'm duly astonished by this quote from Dr. Michael Behe, one of the "heavyweights" of intelligent design, who's been making an abject fool of himself in a Dover courtroom.

Mr. Rothschild asked, "What is the mechanism that intelligent design is proposing?"

Mr. Behe said: "It does not propose a mechanism in the sense of a step-by-step description of how these structures arose."
Like many people, I've made this precise complaint about ID before, under the impression that it dealt a devastating blow to the notion that ID is a scientific theory of even the most tentative sort. It's the sort of claim I'd expect an ID advocate to dispute. But Behe has embraced it openly and lovingly.

This is pretty goddamn droll, given that the precise sin of evolutionary biology, according to Behe, is that it fails to demonstrate "a mechanism in the sense of a step-by-step description" for certain types of biological complexity. But meanwhile, the IDeologues supposedly "triumph" by refusing even to propose such a mechanism. I guess this constitutes a moral victory, by their standards.

At this point, ID isn't merely done; the Fork of Inquiry is probing a small heap of oily ashes. And the only thing Behe is proving is that mouthpieces for creationism have devolved considerably since the passing of William Jennings Bryan.


Anonymous said...

Gawd -- you closed-minded scientists kill me. You've just gotta believe!

Phila said...

It's funny, Matt...I'm really the last person in the world to go in for scientism, or for positivism generally. I'm not at all down on non-fundamentalist religion, I believe completely in freedom of conscience, and I think all morality is essentially metaphysical.

But these ID knuckleheads always bring out my inner bigot. They're trashing science, and aiding and abetting fundamentalists who are enemies of the things that are valuable in religion. I can't stand 'em.