The Cowardice and Calumny of Creationism

From HuffPost:

On Monday, November 30, 2009, Occidental College paleontologist and evolutionary biologist Donald Prothero and I teamed up against Intelligent Design (ID) proponents Stephen Meyer and Richard Sternberg. The topic was suppose to be on the origins of life and whether evolutionary theory or intelligent design best explained it. Then it evolved to just: “Has Evolutionary Theory Adequately Explained the Origins of Life?”, and finally, five minutes before the start, it changed again to “Has Neo-Darwinism Adequately Explained the Origins of Life?”

Why the word games? Because ID creationists have no science, no theory, and no research program. The only thing they can do is attack evolutionary theory and hope people don’t notice that they are employing the fallacy of false alternatives: If A is wrong then B must be right. If evolutionary theory is wrong then intelligent design must be right. Wrong. In order to displace a prevailing theory or paradigm in science it is not enough to merely point out what it cannot explain; you have to offer a new theory that explains more data, and do so in a testable way. In their public debates IDers never define intelligence or design, and if they can help it they never tell anyone who they think the designer is, even though everyone in the room already knows that they think it is Yahweh, the God of Abraham.

[Read more at HuffPost]

3 Comments on "The Cowardice and Calumny of Creationism"

  1. Word Eater | Dec 5, 2009 at 2:25 am |

    I have noticed the debate coming from Intelligent Design is more about what Evolution has wrong than offering alternatives.

    They talk about what Darwin couldn't see when he looked in his relatively primitive microscope (Darwin's Black Box).

    They talk about the Cambrian Explosion and how there were no transitional fossils found (because everything existed at the same time).

    They talk about micro-evolution (true) versus macro-evolution (false) while not really understanding how long 1 million or 1 billion years really is. For a uni-cellular organism, the number of generations that could be iterated in that time is nearly unfathomable.

    They talk about Darwin's theories demanding a selfishness, requiring instinctual placement of each individual above all others while missing the point that maybe, just maybe, evolution could lead to social animals since joining each other and cooperating is a pretty good strategy for survival.

    Disclosure: I am a Christian, but I ask a lot of questions. I am a Christian because I want to be. It was my choice and it was made after careful consideration.

  2. GoodDoktorBad | Dec 5, 2009 at 11:39 am |

    Why does everyone seem to speak as if there are only 2 possibilities or theories? Is it not possible
    that evolution in some form is part of God's creative plan? Its also quite possible the Darwinists and the creationists are both off the mark completly. Theory is just that -theory. A theory is just an idea that facts and experience seem to support.

    Creationists will never win any rational argument, unless of course they can actually bring “God” to the debate. Creationists generally only have old books and scrolls to try an support their arguments. The words of ancient people who were more or less as ignorant and in awe of the mystery, peril and adventure of existence as we are today. Another point: Religions often use science when its convenient to back up there faith or specific belief, but reject it vehemently when it conflicts.

    Aside from all that, I really don't see the problem. why can't both be taught as the theories they are?
    Theories, not facts. To be discussed rationally and clinically as theories ONLY.
    Encourage people to excercise their minds, instead of following the crowd-think.

    I think the Theory of Evolution is, and always will be -evolving. There are so many holes and empty spaces in our knowledge that some of what we call creationism will probably merge with what we presently call Darwinism. The Theory of Evolution also and importantly suggests that we have an origin or begining.
    Science doesn't try to prove that that begining is not God, originally.

    • “Religions often use science when its convenient to back up there faith or specific belief, but reject it vehemently when it conflicts”. So true. Of course the theory of evolution is always evolving, because of the continous research that is done, so new facts arise.

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