September 02, 2006

That's what we've been trying to tell you!

Via PZ Myers, quotations from the Dover, PA decision on ID in the high schools:

Consider, to illustrate, that Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God....

As no evidence in the record indicates that any other scientific proposition's validity rests on belief in God, nor is the Court aware of any such scientific propositions, Professor Behe's assertion constitutes substantial evidence that in his view, as is commensurate with other prominent ID leaders, ID is a religious and not a scientific proposition.

If you want to believe that your demiurge of choice guided evolutionary development from the first pseudoprotein soup through humanity, whales, and cephalopods -- God determined which random variations would crop up when -- that's fine. That's supersensible causation, and it's not something science can test for, ie, it's 100% compatible with the methodological naturalism of the evolutionary developmental biologist. But this is not what ID is about.

Instead, ID argues that it is mathematically impossible for the sort of stochastic processes described by evolutionary theory to yield `irreducibly complex' systems. (They're wrong about this, by the way; there are lots and lots of empirical examples and hypotheses for the development of `irreducibly complex' systems that did not require divine intervention.) Hence, ID is an attack on the notion that the sensible world is at least describable on the whole and for the most part using stable, regular mathematical models -- the fundamental notion of science since the Rennaisance. ID is not a scientific theory; it's an attempt to discredit science as a whole and replace it with a particular theology of socially conservative, evangelical Christianity.

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