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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The only debate on Intelligent Design that is worthy of its subject

From The Abstract Factory :

Moderator: We're here today to debate the hot new topic, evolution versus Intelligent Des---

(Scientist pulls out baseball bat.)

Moderator: Hey, what are you doing?

(Scientist breaks Intelligent Design advocate's kneecap.)

Intelligent Design advocate: YEAAARRRRGGGHHHH! YOU BROKE MY KNEECAP!

Scientist: Perhaps it only appears that I broke your kneecap. Certainly, all the evidence points to the hypothesis I broke your kneecap. For example, your kneecap is broken; it appears to be a fresh wound; and I am holding a baseball bat, which is spattered with your blood. However, a mere preponderance of evidence doesn't mean anything. Perhaps your kneecap was designed that way. Certainly, there are some features of the current situation that are inexplicable according to the "naturalistic" explanation you have just advanced, such as the exact contours of the excruciating pain that you are experiencing right now.

Intelligent Design advocate: AAAAH! THE PAIN!

Scientist: Frankly, I personally find it completely implausible that the random actions of a scientist such as myself could cause pain of this particular kind. I have no precise explanation for why I find this hypothesis implausible --- it just is. Your knee must have been designed that way!

Intelligent Design advocate: YOU BASTARD! YOU KNOW YOU DID IT!

Scientist: I surely do not. How can we know anything for certain? Frankly, I think we should expose people to all points of view. Furthermore, you should really re-examine whether your hypothesis is scientific at all: the breaking of your kneecap happened in the past, so we can't rewind and run it over again, like a laboratory experiment. Even if we could, it wouldn't prove that I broke your kneecap the previous time. Plus, let's not even get into the fact that the entire universe might have just popped into existence right before I said this sentence, with all the evidence of my alleged kneecap-breaking already pre-formed.

Intelligent Design advocate: That's a load of bullshit sophistry! Get me a doctor and a lawyer, not necessarily in that order, and we'll see how that plays in court!

Scientist (turning to audience): And so we see, ladies and gentlemen, when push comes to shove, advocates of Intelligent Design do not actually believe any of the arguments that they profess to believe. When it comes to matters that hit home, they prefer evidence, the scientific method, testable hypotheses, and naturalistic explanations. In fact, they strongly privilege naturalistic explanations over supernatural hocus-pocus or metaphysical wankery. It is only within the reality-distortion field of their ideological crusade that they give credence to the flimsy, ridiculous arguments which we so commonly see on display. I must confess, it kind of felt good, for once, to be the one spouting free-form bullshit; it's so terribly easy and relaxing, compared to marshaling rigorous arguments backed up by empirical evidence. But I fear that if I were to continue, then it would be habit-forming, and bad for my soul. Therefore, I bid you adieu.

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4 Comments:

At 10/19/2005 6:42 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

It always puzzles me why Evolutionary Theory is always the one regarded with such disdain. Does any Creationist harbor similar criticisms of Gravitational Theory? Wouldn't it be an argument of the same caliber to suggest that objects are attracted to each other, not because of how their mass distorts space-time, but because an infinite number of tiny invisible angels are hurtling objects together in accordance with some bizarre divine plan?

Why not say that Newton was nothing more than the victim of a particularly mischevious angelic functionary? It makes as much sense as Creationism.

 
At 10/19/2005 8:56 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Franc: "And so we see, ladies and gentlemen, when push comes to shove, advocates of Intelligent Design do not actually believe any of the arguments that they profess to believe. When it comes to matters that hit home, they prefer evidence, the scientific method, testable hypotheses, and naturalistic explanations."

In other words, when it comes to things that they really value, religionists seek the benefits of reason, even though this is the very faculty that their professed worldview (which is a faith-based worldview) rejects. They can't use reason to validate their worldview (since it's an irrational worldview), but in their actual choices and actions in the world, they performatively admit to the world that their religious faith is insufficient to guide them, even irrelevant. And when confronted with this truth, they simply become stubborn fools. Again, as you pointed out recently, the Christian apologist is guilty of the very charges that he levels against non-believers. In this case, we see the believers own "hardheartedness" at work. We have lots of examples of this to point to.

 
At 10/19/2005 9:15 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

You've got it Dawson.

 
At 10/23/2005 6:42 AM, Blogger DUB declaimed...

I love it.

 

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