Friday, January 11, 2008

An Intentional Rhetorical Strategy Intended to Confuse Issues

Tom Gilson has observed another example of Darwinian fundamentalism, in the form of gross obscurantism. Some excerpts (emphasis mine):
[Calvert] mentioned “materialism” several times. [Rehm] asked him once, about halfway through, what he meant by it. She cut him off in the middle of his answer. It became apparent later on that she really knew nothing about philosophical materialism, and that she thought he was talking about buying expensive things. Near the end he almost had another chance to explain it, and she cut him short again. In spite of this she was ready at the end to pronounce him wrong and his disputants right.

. . .

True to the typical course of these things, however, ID was in fact badly misrepresented throughout. Real ID proponents bear no resemblance to the show’s straw-man stereotypes.

Toby Horn was the one who said “creationists” are confusing children about what science is. I’d like to talk with her about what confusing means. She and the other Academy representatives misused terminology throughout the whole discussion. For them, Intelligent Design = Creationism. I’ve observed this misuse often enough to be convinced that for many, it’s an intentional rhetorical strategy intended to confuse issues. Creationism is a word with a distinct meaning. Intelligent Design is a term with a distinct meaning. Their meanings are not identical. Intelligent Design is not Creationism. Now, is that hard?

The hearty support of such gross obscurantism by many in the scientific community is truly tragic. It hurts the cause of science in America.


At January 12, 2008 4:19 AM, Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

A brief off-topic item:

This is a must-hear radio talk show host's comdemnation of Wikipedia censorship. It runs from about 6:50 to 13:00 on an audio on this post on Uncommon Descent. Just click on the words "The Bill Greene Show." The rest of the audio is pretty good too, but the Wickedpedia part is really special. I think this is worthy of a separate post on your blog.

At February 04, 2008 1:53 PM, Blogger dobson said...

Larry, That was pretty lightweight stuff:

Bill Greene is complaining that he has to follow the same rules that everybody else follows on Wikipedia. He wants to include his own take on ID in an article about evolution, one of the most heavily scrutinized article on the entire site.

By the sound of things Bill probably violated the WP:UNDUE, WP:NOR and WP:NPOV policies, which you might call the foundation of Wikipedia policy. Naturally his edits were rejected and now Bill is upset.

I'd suggest that he would be better off writing for Conservapedia which is specifically intended to represent a right of center points of view and has absolutely no problems with people contributing their personal opinions, especially if they are pro ID.


Post a Comment

<< Home