What’s So Bad About That?

In Florida, the debate is going to rage on it seems, and those dirty, lying creationists and IDers are trying to destroy education.  Right?  Right?

State Sen. Mike Fair, a Republican, successfully lobbied for revisions to include the term “critically analyze” as a link to a movement to elevate instruction about creationism and intelligent design to the status of evolution.

Oh how heinous.  How terribly wrong.  How could anyone want to critically analyze a supposedly scientific theory?  The article author’s bias aside, why would anyone not want to have something critically analyzed?

That modification of the state’s widely acclaimed biology standards prompted criticism from national experts.

Well, the Darwinists obviously don’t want their theory to be scrutinized, so one must wonder why.  If their theory is really as robust as advertized, then it should be able to stand up to some scrutiny.  The problem, for them, is that it is not as robust as they would like for you to think.  Another problem is that it is built upon a materialistic worldview – which is coming apart at the seems against real science – and not empirical fact.  That’s what causes these irrational outbursts against any and all scrutiny.

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22 responses to “What’s So Bad About That?

  1. I think you have this backwards. The reason why ID is a problem is because it’s uncritical. Critical analysis is great, and is what produced and validated evolution itself, and is what while correct it and hone it and rework it as necessary to perform against the evidence, make successful and novel predictions, etc.

    ID perverts the “critical” part and becomes an exercise in suborning science to non-empirical, non-critical ideology.

    No science can hope to compete with dogma, if they are put on equal footing. Science carries around a huge number of obligations (performance, prediction, objective validation, liability to falsification) that dogma is totally encumbered by.

    Calling ID “critical analysis” is a very cynical kind of double-speak. When you at what underwrites the “critique”, it quickly becomes apparent that ID is religious conviction trying on a lab coat and a pair of horn-rimmed glasses.

    -Touchstone

  2. Which is why I object to the Darwinist tactic of labeling any critical analysis of evolution as synonymous with ID. It is not. Critical analysis of evolution is simply that, that there is evidence for and against evolution and both should be taught.

    So, I think what is backwards is your case of projection. You don’t want critical analysis of evolution, which is why you automatically throw up the “critical analysis equals ID” war chant.

  3. OK, here’s a simple way to “critically analyze” what you are saying:

    What is an example of evidence “against evolution” that is not being taught, that should be taught?

    -Touchstone

  4. The Icons of Evolution are one place to start. We could also talk about how NDE teaches that everything is unguided, which is certainly not proven, etc.

  5. Wells’ Icons of Evolution. I see….

    OK, well that tells me something right there. What do think the critical analysis of that book has revealed? Or does that book get a pass?

    What’s the one “icon” in the book you think is the best evidence “against evolution” (your words) that needs to be taught?

    Thanks,

    -Touchstone

  6. There are critical analyses of that book and ID does not shy away from those. The problem is, however, that those analyses are generally off the mark and distort the facts in order to make points that really amount to strawmen or distortions. Haeckel’s embryos are a good case in point. Wells did a survey of biology text books and found that Haeckel’s falsified drawings were still being represented as fact. We know, however, that the drawings are complete fabrications.

  7. There are plenty of outdated textbooks out there that need to be updated, to be sure. But I was asking about your demand for presentation of evidence “against evolution”. Are you contending that Haeckel’s exaggerations somehow represent evidence against evolution? Does this somehow negate the evolutionary explanations for embryology?

    Wells’ point here represents precisely the uncritical kind of argumentation that needs to be kept out of the classroom; Futuyma’s later editions of Evolutionary Biology for example cover this topic in a critical way — discussing Haeckel’s exaggerations and misrepresentations of many details, but also affirming the outside verification of Haeckel’s basic understanding about phylotypic congruencies: verterbrates do develop structurally on the same basic plan.

    I don’t have Icons in front of me at the moment, but I don’t recall any of the balancing information being presented by Wells — all the evidence for evolution gleaned from embryology. If you are aware of Wells’ fairness and critical review here of the witness of the evidence, maybe you could point it out for me.

    [ed’s note: snipped for defamation of character in violation of moderation policy]

    -Touchstone

  8. Haeckel’s exaggerations? Lies you mean. Please, if you are going to play semantic games, I’m not interested. And, how dare you paint Wells with the same brush. Only in Darwin-land is someone a liar for correctly pointing out how the Darwinists lie.

  9. [ed’s note: snipped for defamation of character in violation of moderation policy]

    -Touchstone

  10. BTW, I just noticed that you link to a blog called “Banninated.” Please observe the moderation policy.

    As for how dare you, it’s not about dogma, it’s about intellectual honesty. If you are going to besmirch Wells, then I would like some evidence please. Make that your next comment, or I will be forced to go back and black out your last comment due to the fact that I don’t allow unsupported assertions of that nature to remain on my blog.

  11. professorsmith,

    [ed’s note: snipped for lack of evidence asked for before defaming one’s character in violation of moderation policy]

    -Touchstone

  12. So, he’s a liar because he doesn’t write what you want him to write? I’m redacting your comments. You had your chance Touchstone, but you blew it and I will not let you besmirch anyone like that without proof or at least a good argument.

  13. professorsmith,

    What would you point to there in Chapter 4 that provides a critical review of the evidence for evolutionary theory in the area of embryology. There’s really quite a lot to survey and sort through — as I said, a college-level textbook on the subject will furnish a whole lot that Wells conspicuously ignores, or so it seems.

    Did I miss it? If so, maybe you could point it out to me? Else, would you say that that evidence should simply be ignored? How else to account for its absence?

    -Touchstone

  14. No one is saying to ignore evidence, and I find your insistence that others write what you want them to write, else they are liars to be rather disconcerting. I’m going to give you a friendly warning. You’ve already had to be redacted and if you can’t behave yourself, you’ll soon find yourself on the moderated list.

    Perhaps that is what you want? You do run a site that seems to glorify your ability to get yourself banned from site after site. Are you simply looking for another notch in your belt? If so, I will oblige if need be. As an aside though, at what point do you start to wonder whether all those sites are run by horrible people for censoring you or maybe it’s just you?

  15. I was thinking you, being a professor (ostensibly), would be willing to discuss and trade questions and answers, even if pointed. I have made efforts here to answer your questions with substance, and I see here that you would rather not answer my questions.

    I didn’t say Wells had to write what I want them to write, nor did I imply it. Rather, I said that Wells provided commentary that was conspicuously lacking in critical analysis – an evaluation and weighing of the available evidences and factors in view. It was specifically because I think that is not anything particular to me, and in fact something proponents will grant fairly when asked, that I asked why the evidence supporting modern evolutionary theory was left out. It has nothing to do with my personal but the enterprise of providing a critical analysis of the subject.

    If we can break it down, which I was attempting to do in asking the questions I did, I think this will be evident.

    But, I’m here noticing a reluctance to address the questions I have here, and a trend toward lecturing and scolding me for asking them. It’s your blog, and you can do what you want. Where people are willing to participate in good faith exchange, I do well, and have productive (if disagreeing) discussions. In places where answering questions following up on claims offered is a problem, it does become a problem. Uncommon Descent, for example, just doesn’t brook pointed dissent. TelicThoughts, by comparison, somehow manages to handle, and even encourage spirited, civil exhange, and I’ve done well there, and remain in good standing.

    -Touchstone

  16. Why aren’t critical analysis of germ theory, physics, etc taught to kids in school?

  17. Touchstone,
    “I was thinking you, being a professor (ostensibly), would be willing to discuss and trade questions and answers, even if pointed. I have made efforts here to answer your questions with substance, and I see here that you would rather not answer my questions.”

    I am willing to discuss things, but that’s not what you came to do. You came to assert that ID is not science, uncritical, etc. and that turned into you making accusations of dishonesty that you couldn’t back up against an ID theorist. Now, you act as if I’m unwilling to speak to you? I’ve given you every chance in the world to make points. You’ve abused those chances. And, you refuse to admit that I am answering the questions that you pose…at least the ones that are relevant and on topic.

    “…why the evidence supporting modern evolutionary theory was left out. ”

    Because there’s no need to add to the love fest and that’s not Wells’s job. He’s pointing out the one-sidedness of the issue and presenting the other side. Of course both should be presented, but Darwinists all too easily forget the side that Wells and others present. Where is your outrage over that?

    Rich,
    If there is evidence for and against a scientific theory, both sides should be taught, regardless of what that theory is.

  18. professorsmith,

    The fact that you would characterize the supporting evidence for evolutionary theory in embryology as a “love fest” just serves to support my suggestion that Wells’ book, and your view of it is uncritical. The evidence is just that — evidence, and it’s neither love nor hate to admit the evidence as evidence.

    It’s also meaningful that you use the word “job” in relation to Wells. What is his “job”? Is his obligation to producing a critical analysis of the evidence? A fair and reasoned exposition of the facts, given his ostensibly underrated insight (Haeckel was wrong and dishonest!)? If that is his “job”, than I think it very hard to justify the omission of important evidence on the topic.

    If his “job” on the other hand is NOT to arrive at and promote conclusions based on the evidence available, but instead to advocate for an ideological agenda, then the omission is clearly explained — it’s problematic to Wells’ ideology in that case. That’s fine, but if so, there’s no point in calling this “critical analysis”, unless one supposes “critical” means something like “to bash”, rather that what it signifiies in scientific circles.

    That said, could you tell me what you meant by Wells’ “job”, there?

    As for forgetting the side that Wells’ presents, that’s undercut by Wells’ own presentation. He cites Futuyma and others’ textbooks, criticizing their inclusion of Haeckael’s drawings. But the reason it’s even in Futuyma’s book is to “not forget” — it’s presented as an important and cautionary part of the history of evolutionary science. Many of the examples Wells points to, then, contradict the “too easily forget” idea. If Futuyma was looking to forget the whole thing, you wouldn’t see Haeckel or his drawings in Evolutionary Biology.

    -Touchstone

  19. No Touchstone, it’s the treatment of the evidence that is a love fest. When only supporting evidence is given and all other evidence is ignored, what would you call it? That’s how evolution is presented in schools. All anyone is calling for is for the subject to be honestly and fairly treated.

    And, I used the word “job” for no particular reason. There isn’t a deep philosophical meaning behind everything that everyone says, regardless of what Freud said. His “intent” is as I said, to bring balance to the discussion. You want to criticize him for not talking about supporting evidence instead of pointing out the evidence that contradicts evolution? This is surreal.

  20. Touhcstone has been rude for a while. Thank you for putting him in his place Professor Smith. Its annoying. You come to someones blog and be rude you should just go some where else. Typical darwinist. Rude rude rude. Do you talk to your Mom this way? Darwin worshippors have no morals so its expected I guess.

  21. My attention was brought to this blog when it was mentioned at another website. I see that Prof. Smith is fond of Jon Wells, citing Icons of Evolution.

    I would like to invite Prof. Smith to begin a discussion here of Icons, say each chapter at a time.

    I would particularly enjoy addressing Wells (and Smith) on the origin of life.

    Professor Hurd (ret)

  22. Mr. Hurd,
    I’m not sure if this is the place for a chapter by chapter review of Wells’s book. If you have a specific question about the OP or other comments, you may ask.

    Also, I usually don’t touch on the origin of life because no one has a clue. There are no good explanations at current time, and some work has been done to show that the probability of life arising by random chance is so vanishingly small that one can lean towards the camp of some sort of intelligent intervention.

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