Thanks for all the compliments everyone. I was worried that it was too technical for most. Eric, its funny that you should mention this, because I have the feeling that the student population at HSU is going to be too apathetic to really care. We'll see. There is an "Ask the Pastor" paid advertisement column from a local church, but I doubt he (the pastor in question) will care either.
It would be nice to have people actually talk about this issue rather than a bunch of politically-appointed scientist sellouts and barely educated school board members.
I have read ID information posted by a number of PhD researchers, to which I have to reply "HUH?". How'd these guys get their degrees without a basic knowledge of science? *sigh* I realize that if I ever become a professor I will be the kind of Prof. of which I am afraid.
"It would be nice to have people actually talk about this issue rather than a bunch of politically-appointed scientist sellouts and barely educated school board members."
When I ran a bookstore I was accused by a local woman of "having too much education!" Unfortunately there are a whole lot of people like her.
"I have read ID information posted by a number of PhD researchers, to which I have to reply "HUH?". How'd these guys get their degrees without a basic knowledge of science?"
What's really scary is when they actually do have those degrees and went to reputable universities to get them. It's unfathomable how they can turn off their brains in one area, and still be capable of using them in others.
*sigh* I realize that if I ever become a professor I will be the kind of Prof. of which I am afraid. "
JOhn, you will be exactly the kind of professor I really enjoyed!
Throw me on your bandwagon, if there's room. It seems science can be distilled into a fairly simple framework: constant inquiry. This runs counter to the ID premise of "legitimizing truth." Indeed, how can a theory exsit in a framework of answers?
For what it's worth, it's a belated response, but I agree with everyone else, this is an excellent article. I don't think you were too technical at all. Rather, you managed to explain some of the most fundamental problems with ID, and its conflict with the nature of science, in intelligent yet accessible language.
I especially like your breakdown of the problem of defining "complexity," and your use of Zimmer's article on the recent genetic discoveries in cnidarians. That's a great article, and it works well to highlight the problems with complexity and with considering any modern organism to be "primitive."
I'm not sure I can really come up with anything to nitpick, at least not in my lethargic post-lunchtime state . I would personally have added some more detail as to why ID isn't scientific. "The religiously humanistic relative interpretation" is accurate, to be sure, but that might leave readers thinking that's the core of your objection, when in fact there's plenty of examples of false scientific claims IDists make that could be debunked as an example. Neither would I say the answer to "why ID" is just about politics. Sure, politicians are exploiting it. But I would also look to the individuals making up the political base and why they believe it. I would try to dissect some of their thinking. Personally, I suspect part of the problem is they want to add some authority to their faith, and to relieve themselves of any nagging internal conflicts between their faith and science. I suspect most IDists generally respect and like science, or at least think they do.
BUT I'm not saying those items belong in your article anyway. Your article is sticking to the more...um..."theoretical" aspects of this debate, more about the motives and the tools both sides are using rather than the down-n-dirty details. I think that's a good approach if done right, as you have.
Oh, and, uh, Greg: I like my sig, especially in discussions like this one, but yours sorely tempts me to switch... One of my favorites:
"The past tempts us, the present confuses us, and the future frightens us. And our lives slip away, moment by moment, lost in that vast, terrible inbetween."