Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cornelius Hunter, DI Propogandist, the Dogma is Yours

In yet another atomic bomb of irony, Cornelius Hunter of the [no]Discovery [not an] Institute has claimed that it is the science of evolution, not creationism, that is guilty of dogma. His reasoning, if I may elevate it by calling it that, is based entirely on the equivocation f a clearly sarcastic remark made by Eugenie Scott. Some background is in order.

The creationists have claimed for years to have what they call "evidence against evolution". However, when they say "evidence", they don't mean, as scientists do, "experimental data confirming a preconceived hypothesis within a falsifiable context". When creationists say "evidence" they mean "anything that seems consistent with what I believe", which in the case of evolution denial amounts to "I don't see how evolution could do that". Their arguments are moldy oldies, well covered and rebutted in the scientific literature time and again. The trivial details change over time, but the essence of the arguments is the same "I don't see how the bombardier beetle/human eye/bacterial flagellum/etc. could have arisen through purely evolutionary means". Scientific evidence, it is not.

Second, since the creationists long lost the scientific battle in the peer-reviewed literature and at scientific conferences, they've turned to politics and tried to create a form of creationism that would pass muster with the courts whenever they were challenged. First, they just called it "creation science", as if the label made the object. The courts were unimpressed, and "creation science" was rightfully rejected in Edwards v. Aguillar as just religion by another name. This led to the infamous Wedge Document, where "creationism" became "intelligent design", leaving behind unmistakable evidence via sloppy search and replacements in the form of the now well-known "cdesign proponentsists". After Dover, ID became "teach the controversy", then "academic freedom", and "evidence against evolution". Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Now that you have the proper context in hand, here is the comment made by Eugenie Scott that got Cornelius Hunter into such a equivocating tizzy:

The enemy has become more diverse. When I started, it was just creation science. Now we have creation science, intelligent design [ID], and straight-up antievolution in the form of "evidence against evolution."

Scott is merely briefly summarizing in two sentences what I spent the two paragraphs above explaining in detail. Hunter dishonestly feigns ignorance of all this in the hopes that his audience is truly ignorant, and let's loose with this twaddle:

Evidence against evolution? Is there something wrong with that? Yes, there is for evolutionists. Science, in the hands of evolutionists, is something to be manipulated. Scientists who want to examine the evidence are ridiculed and marginalized. If you doubt evolution you are considered to be the enemy. Motives are assigned to you, and you are stereotyped. This is pure dogma. Religion drives science, and it matters.

Can you just hear the shrillness, the desperation to force reality to be something it isn't? Sorry Cornelius, it is because you claim to have evidence where you do not, and change the labels of what you are doing in an effort to deceive, that gets you ridiculed and marginalized. There is very much wrong with that, and exactly that sort of deception and manipulation that earns one consideration as the enemy on scientific matters. Yes, motives are assigned to you as evidence of them surfaces and you will indeed be stereotyped Mr. Cdesign Proponentsist. To claim that you are treated this way because religion drives science is itself dogma, and dogma in contradiction of all known evidence.

Ah evidence, it always comes back to that doesn't it? Get some, and watch how quickly the scientific establishment changes their tune. But it has to be real, not the same old phony baloney dressed in a cheap tuxedo.


Doppelganger said...

Now, this is the same Cornelius Hunter who, when giving a talk showing how similar wolves and thylacines are (and thus, impossible for evolution?) used a reversed and contrast-altered picture of a wolf and called it a thylacine, as if no pictures of thylacines were available, yes?

The same Hunter who, when confronted about this, claimed that it was a "mistake"?

Purposefully altering a picture and using it in a presentation to amke a point is a 'mistake'?

Mr.Credibility, he ain't.

ScienceAvenger said...

Hey, only the highest of standards for DI Fellows.

Xplat said...

Sadly, thanks to the recent trend of people using quotation marks for emphasis instead of for any of their recognized uses, a lot of folks are probably unable to tell that the original quote was sarcastic...