Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Defending the Wedge? I don't think so.

I had a bit of free time recently, and someone sent me a link trying to wave away the infamous "Wedge Document". So, being that I'm forever the sucker, and hoped that the DI actually had something intelligent to say, I read it.

There was not a single piece of merit.

So below is my review of their garbage:

I'm amazed at how many time the DI feels it necessary to remind readers it's a "scientific theory". Yet on page 2, they slip in that their scientists are "working to develop". Note the present tense. They're working on it, but have not yet achieved anything.

Later on that page, they admit that their goal is to "challange scientific materialsim" and show "favorable implications for theism". This goal is to attract "potential supporters". So when seeing that the DI flaunts the religious implications, why do they then cry when people assosciate it with religion?

On page 3, they quickly reverse their story claiming their "theory" is backed up by scientific evidence. Wait... What evidence?

It's also amusing that later on page 3, the DI claims that "without solid scholarship, research and argument, the project would be just another attempt to indoctrinate instead of persuade." Ironically, the DI has failed at all three of these criteria.

In the next section, still on page three, they then admit, as Behe did, to wanting to ignore the tenents of science in that they wish to disregard "methodological restrictions on the interperative freedoms of science". Translation: "We want to make the results mean whatever we want and don't like that the rules prevent this." Again, the DI shows its excellent scientific methodology.

To drive the irony meter even higher, in the very next sentence, they claim that they are not trying to dismantle the scientific method.

They then go on to claim that their intentions weren't secret in any way. This is contrary to the fact that the DI denied that the Wedge Document was even something that they had written for several years.

They claim that having a Jewish president somehow exempts them from promoting a religious agenda. Sorry buddy. Judiasm is a religion too.

Next they claim that they promote the discussion of controversial issues in science classrooms. If they actually did this, I would find this statement to hold merit. However, there are several real controversial issues that are hotly debated by scientists, yet the DI has never bothered to promote them. Instead they only promote the "teach the controversy" mantra for their one selective hypothesis. Yet, as has been shown several times, there is no scientific controversy.

On page 6, they ask the question on what is the scandal in their fellows supporting the notion that God created man and this concept is historically shown through several actions. If this were truly all the document said, I wouldn't have a problem with that. However, the DI is working to promote this theistic concept.

Their next quote promotes the general DI position that evolution is somehow anti-God and thus must be dismantled. Wrong again. Darwin and the like say nothing about God.

Next, they say: "Materialism is a dehumanizing philosophy that has been used to justify genocide, infantcide and eugenics, among other evils". Replace "Materialism" with "Religion" and you get a completely true statement. However, their original statement is questionable.

On the next page, 7, they claim they are attacking Darwinism. Early on they claimed that this was a philosophy. Yet now they claim it's a scientific theory, yet they're not attacking science. Wait guys. Which is it? Pick a story.

They claim they are attacking said theories with "appropriate scientific methods, canons of reasoning and evaluation and, most importantly, scientific evidence". Yet they already admitted to disregarding the scientific method. Their doublespeak is impressive.

They also say challenging a particular scientific theory does not constitute an attack on science. However, keep in mind that they are trying to rewrite the definition of science to include the supernatural and untestable. They've already won over Kansas in this pursuit. Thus, I'd say it is a clear attack on science.

Additionally, they claim that thinking this is an attack on science "is to misrepresent science profoundly." Their definition of science being one that allows for astrology. Who's doing the misrepresenting here?

Still on page 7, they make the claim that "many of our scholars and scientists have been pressured to affirm neo-Darwinism", yet decline to say in what manner. I greatly suspect that they misuse their terminology here and instead mean to say that they "have been pressured to tolerate". There's a world of difference that few militant theists seem to comprehend.

In their next paragraph they begin: "the 'Wedge Document' makes clear that we are advancing an intellectual challange to a philosophical perspective". Wait... didn't you just say Darwinism was a scientific theory? And you're promoting an "intellectual challange"? What happened to the science?

Pages 8 and 9 are nothing but a hypocritical rant in which they claim that Darwinists don't distinguish between a theory's basis, and its implications. Yet this is precisely what they are doing: attacking the scientific base because they don't like the imagined implications. However, ID does not have a scientific base. Instead it just wants to promote God friendly philosophy. Dispite the DI's claims, scientists do recognize this distinction which is precisely the reason they have no tolerance for ID masquerading as science.

By page 10, they're into the tired arguments of "irreducible complexity", "fine tuning", and "specified complexit" which I won't bother going over again. Instead it gets a simple rolling of the eyes. They call bad science a scientific discovery which will earn another roll of the eyes.

In the next paragraph they say "Motives don't matter in science. Evidence does." This is normally true. However, when your evidence is clearly comprimised by your motives, such as making God friendly science, the motives do become important.

They then use their favourite Dawkins quote again. Time to roll our eyes again. The key here is that Dawkins based his beliefs on the evidence. The quote shows that evolution (coming before) made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist (coming after the evidence). ID does this the other way around, seeking evidence to confirm their biases.

By page 11, they're calling Darwinism a theory again. Can't seem to make up their minds can they? They then use their evolution strawman to finish off the section.

So while the article said alot, it was filled with misworded statements, doublespeak, and constant flip-flopping.

Nice try, but unconvincing in any regard.

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