Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Lack of Correlation Between Anti-Global Warming Advocates and ID

As of late, supporters of ID have argued that they have been persecuted for their positions and that the support of such is no different than the persecution that has befallen anti-global warming advocates. They (Casey Luskin in particular)have argued that both the supporters of evolution and those of global warming have things to hide and that they are both resorting to silencing their critics. Johnathan Pearce of Samizdata has a refreshingly clear-headed article on why this simply is not so. He writes, correctly:
AGW skeptics fall into various camps: those who simply want to trash any suggestion that AGW is a problem; those who say that AGW is a problem but who are unsure about its effects, and those who realise that AGW is probably happening but who debate whether it can be mitigated, reversed or adapted to, and who want to know about the pros and cons (think of the likes of Nigel Lawson, or Bjorn Lomborg, etc). A lot of AGW skeptics pore over immense amounts of data to highlight their doubts; and some of them, such as Lawson, employ powerful economic and related arguments that draw on known facts.

But ID advocates do not have the same kind of facts, as far as I can see, to conclusively press their case. What they have instead is a sort of "We cannot explain X so in the absence of a better idea, we'll assume a Creator got involved". Not terribly convincing, is my reaction. I accept that some scientists might be sympathetic to ID without losing any integrity, but what Booker's article signally fails to address is whether any ID advocate has given a plausible explanation, with proof and evidence, of how a particularly complex phemomenon of nature came to be "created". All they do, it seems from Booker's article, is to state that because there are "gaps" in fossil records, etc, that therefore the gap must imply that some outside agent (like a God), caused X or Y. But his article does not go beyond that to explain what sort of processes these ID folk imagine happened. And the reason for that is simple: they don't know.
This has long been a sticking point in the path that ID has chosen. There simply are no "smoking gun" tests that can be done to show that God created x in exactly that way. Consequently, ID supporters have resorted to attacking the science of evolution with programs to "teach the controversy," "cover all range of scientific views," and other seemingly tolerant academic ideas. The persecution link to anti-global warming advocates has only been the most recent attempt to gain legitimacy for their positions. Such legitimacy will not come in this fashion.

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