Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The DI and Bad Grammar

Josh Rosenau takes the Discovery Institute to task for bad grammar. The original article is here. His commentary is here. Here are my thoughts.

As silly as it may sound, there are scientists who are still researching gravity. This isn't as absurd as you might think. While no one doubts that mass attracts mass and apples fall down, not up, scientists are still debating the nature of the underlying physical laws and fundamental particles that cause gravitational attraction.

Yup. That's why they call it gravitational theory.

Except when it comes to neo-Darwinism. Then scientists are supposed to shut up, not ask questions, not challenge anything. That isn't science. It isn't even what Darwin himself envisioned for science.

Given that a perusal of any biological journal contains many articles that are tests of evolutionary theory, how is this true? In 1972, Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould revolutionized the the field of evolutionary biology by introducing Punctuated Equilibrium (punk-eek). This was done by careful hypothesis testing of the evidence. This practically caused a paradigm shift. How is this not science?? Onward.

It looks as is Darwin would have been sorely disappointed in what is considered a fair consideration of the evidence these days. In Florida there was recently a vigorous debate over how evolution should be taught. Dogmatic Darwinists are insisting that Darwinian evolution be presented without any sort of critical analysis, as if it were 100% above reproach, as if it were a natural law that left no doubts.

This simply is not so. After reading the arguments of those who were opposed to the teaching of evolution in the schools, it was clear to me that most of them knew nothing of the theory! Would you want someone like me, a trained biologist, making policy on physics or English education? And what is a fair consideration of the evidence? As John Derbyshire pointed out in a National Review article:

George’s [Gilder's] own Discovery Institute was established in 1990; the offshoot Center for Science and Culture (at first called the Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture) in 1992. That is an aggregate 30 years. Where is the science? In all those years, not a single paper of scientific standing has come out of (nor even, to the best of my knowledge, been submitted by) the DI or the CSC.

The DI seems to continually think that arguing from negative evidence is good scientific method. It is not. The author of this piece, Robert Crowther, also mentions the "Scores of Scientists" who reject evolution. As far as that goes, see this post. Even Michael Behe, the author of Darwin's Black Box supports evolution.

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