Friday, December 14, 2012

Jeffrey Shallit: The Sterility of Intelligent Design

Jeffrey Shallit notes, in Recursivity,  the lack of grounded research in the intelligent design community.  He writes:
Here is a perfect example of this sterility: Bio-Complexity, the flagship journal of the intelligent design movement. As 2012 draws to a close, the 2012 volume contains exactly two research articles, one "critical review" and one "critical focus", for a grand total of four items. The editorial board has 30 members; they must be kept very busy handling all those papers.  (Another intelligent design journal, Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design, hasn't had a new issue since 2005.)
By contrast, the journal Evolution has ten times more research articles in a single issue (one of 12 so far in 2012). And this is just a single journal where evolutionary biology research is published; there are many others.
But that's not the most hopeless part. Of the four contributions to Bio-Complexity in 2012, three have authors that are either the Editor in Chief (sic), the Managing Editor, or members of the editorial board of the journal. Only one article, the one by Fernando Castro-Chavez, has no author in the subset of the people running the journal. And that one is utter bilge, written by someone who believes that "the 64 codons [of DNA are] represented since at least 4,000 years ago and preserved by China in the I Ching or Book of Changes or Mutations".
I noted something like this a bit back. He is correct. It cannot generate new information or new testable ideas because its ultimate goal is to find the conclusion “God did it” which, while being satisfying on a rudimentary theological level is not on a scientific level. Further, it is deductive in the sense that it has a stated goal in mind.  This is antithetical to scientific research and, as such, it is not different from young earth creation “science.”  I have the Talking Heads' “Road to Nowhere” going through my head...

1 comment:

  1. And it's "don't ask, don't tell" as far as the identity of the designer(s) when the designer is God.