Posted: Feb 16, 2013 6:02 pm
by Calilasseia
This part of his blog post should be saved for posterity. Certainly, it should be saved here, and waved in the face of every duplicitous practitioner of apologetics who attempts to erect the usual tiresome canards about peer review, or purported "ideological" biases of scientists, whilst hoping no one will notice the far more egregious creationist biases:

So, for the record: I’m open to the idea of an Intelligent Designer, but such an extraordinary claim would require some extraordinary, incontrovertible evidence. Here are a few ideas:

  • “Hey there; it’s me, the Invisible Space Teapot. I made this.” written in nucelotide base pairs of ever nucleic acid ever examined.
  • Embossed letters reading (in Aramaic, Esperanto, and Elvish) “Intelligently Designed by Yours Truly” embossed on the side of mitochondria, or for that matter, elephants.
  • The heavens opening, and Goorialla appearing, and saying “Hey – stop arguing about this. In spite of nature having every appearance of having evolved, I mischievously made it look that way when I intelligently designed it, so you all didn’t know whether to trust your minds or your faith. Heh! Good one, eh?”
  • Fossil rabbit blueprints (showing the design process, natch) in the Precambrian.

It would have to be something bold, unambiguous, and not capable of being faked by True Believers with an ideological axe to grind. Simply looking at the world through ID-colored glasses and interpreting everything you see to be the Designer’s handiwork is insufficient. Those who are sympathetic to the impetus for Intelligent Design research should ask themselves: Why is this so difficult to show unambiguously? Why can’t we convince people who are the toughest to convince? Where’s the really compelling evidence we seek?

The Discovery Institute has faith in their cherished conclusion: that the physical world reveals in its obscure details the signature of the Creator. That conclusion is steadfast and absolute. As long as the Discovery Institute exists, they will advocate for greater acceptance of that idea. In contrast, I trust science as a process for sorting through potential explanations of the natural world, and rejecting those lacking evidence or logical coherence. Put in language Mr. McDiarmid might appreciate, science is a way of checking if we have scales on our eyes. True institutions of science do not advocate for any particular conclusion, but only tentatively for the most coherent explanations that science has been able to reveal thus far. Scientists are ever conscious of the fact that today’s conclusions can morph rapidly into yesterday’s moldy antecedents. And what does it take to make that transformation? Just add data! The right facts can overturn a paradigm, and any real scientist welcomes that new insight. But it’s a sad spectacle to watch the Discovery Institute thrashing against our best current understanding with the wet noodles of yesteryear’s fairy tales.

Pseudoscience like Intelligent Design puts the conclusion first, and that’s the easiest way you can tell Intelligent Design creationists apart from scientists.

Needless to say, I'll be preserving the entire blog post for my files, so that it can be wheeled out whenever the usual suspects peddle the usual apologetics.