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  Topic: A new alliance against science< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Jason Spaceman

Posts: 163
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 22 2006,21:41   

The 'anything goes' academic left is coming to the support of the 'God did it' religious right

Peter McKnight
Vancouver Sun

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The religious right has a new ally, and it's none other than its erstwhile arch-enemy -- the academic left.

The latest evidence of this unholy alliance comes from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, which recently rejected a research proposal aimed at studying the impact of popularizing intelligent design, the theory that the complexity and supposed design in nature reveal that there must have been a designer.

The proposal, by McGill University's Brian Alters, was titled Detrimental Effects of Popularizing Anti-Evolution's "Intelligent Design Theory" on Canadian Students, Teachers, Parents, Administrators and Policymakers, and that title alone was enough give the SSHRC's review panel the willies.

In its terse rejection letter, the SSHRC said "the proposal did not adequately substantiate the premise that the popularizing of Intelligent Design Theory had detrimental effects" and there was inadequate "justification for the assumption in the proposal that the theory of Evolution, and not Intelligent Design Theory, was correct."

Now those reasons would be laughable if they weren't so pathetic. First, Alters's reference to the detrimental effects of popularizing intelligent design isn't a premise, but a hypothesis. This is what the study was designed to test, so it's a bit much to expect Alters to have the evidence in hand prior to conducting the study. Indeed, were he already in possession of the evidence, there'd be no need to conduct the research.

But as it turns out, the panel's second reason for rejecting funding provided exactly the evidence Alters was looking for. That a committee of "experts" could suggest that ID and evolution are equally plausible theories reveals just how great the detrimental effects of popularizing ID have been.

Read it here.

Printer friendly version here.


Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 23 2006,10:11   

Since Kuhn, there's been a lot of post-modernist mumbo-jumbo that purports to make science just another part of the "discourse," a subjective worldview in support of power and money. Sour grapes, I say, from a bunch of academics who must know, somewhere deep inside, that their rhetoric is just so much obscurantist garbage.

(Highly recommended: Fashionable Nonsense, by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont.)

Not to blame Kuhn, necessarily, but has any book been more misread and abused than The Structure of Scientific Revolutions?

The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  1 replies since April 22 2006,21:41 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  


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