Paul's Internet Landfill/ lj/ My new career

My new career

I think I want to become an Intelligent Design advocate who doesn't believe in creationism, just so that I can refute all the haters who equate the two.

How does one sign up to be a conscientious objector in the the culture war?

So sure. ID may well be a proxy for people to further their Christian beliefs. Fine. It still does not explain the vitriol that folks like publius_ovidius and melted_snowball exhibit in their defences of evolution.

Personally, I think that ID is doing some really positive things: it is skeptically pointing out (perceived?) weaknesses in the theory of evolution, which focuses attention on those weaknesses and makes the theory stronger. That's good science. How can criticism not strengthen the science? It's like opposing capitalism; if your opposition is successful capitalism just claims the victory as its own.

Next, I am learning quite a bit about how evolution works by reading the defences of evolution that people publish. Such explanations are important in helping the unwashed masses understand what is going on so that evolution remains a science and doesn't get added to the religion of Secular Humanism(TM).

Thirdly, I think that ID is raising some interesting research questions independent of evolution. One that has been intriguing me was posed by Perry Marshall, whose argument goes like this: patterns occur in nature, but only language and DNA communicate information via a third mechanism. In language we use written symbols and sounds to communicate information. In DNA we use nucleotides. Thus there must be an intelligent designer.

This argument intrigues me because it is falsifiable: find other communication systems that occur in nature (by non-humans or communicating animals) and you refute the claim that language and DNA are unique. Plus finding such systems would be pretty interesting in themselves. I have not thought of any yet, but I like the approach.

I guess the thing I get most annoyed about is the belittlement of those who claim to be IDers. There's no cause for the personality attacks, and there's no cause for the aggravating oversimplification of what religion is and what it is good for. ("Look! The Church did bad things! Therefore all religion is bad!")

I guess the reason this makes me mad is because I have met many people whom I t hink have opinions and beliefs that are totally bogus, but I can still accept these folks as fundamentally decent people. Once we alienate and demonize those who oppose us, we destroy our chances of learning from each other and strengthening Truth.

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