Thursday, October 20, 2005

I.D. Is A Scientific Theory....

If you first remember to change the definition of theory.

New Scientist is covering Scopes Two Moron Boogaloo and has a great recap of neo-creationist Michael Behe's testimony. The National Academy of Science defines a theory as "“Theory: In science, a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.”

Well, not only is the scientific method not good enough for Behe; apparently neither is the dictionary. After admitting that neo-creationism, or I.D. as it's proponents refer to it, doesn't meet the criteria to be a theory because, in his words, "I can’t point to an external community that would agree that this was well substantiated," Behe went on to challenge not only accepted science, but accepted vocabulary. Behe chooses to use a "broader" definition of theory, one that is applied, "A lot more loosely than the NAS defined it.”

Behe's definition describes a theory as, "A proposed explanation which points to physical data and logical inferences,” which sounds a lot like the N.A.S. definition of hypothesis. According to the lawyer cross-examining Behe, astrology fits that definition.

So, as far as I can tell, in order to swallow neo-creationism, you must first disregard tested and accepted tenets of science. This, however, won’t be enough! You must further disregard the accepted usage of the English language, which, frankly, I'm all about. If they'd just said that at the beginning I'd have been all over this one.

First off, I will change the definition of mortgage payment to mean, "Something Oceanlad pays when he damn well feels like it so you can suck it, bank!" Next I will change the definition of success to mean, "one who eats macaroni and cheese 5 nights a week." Hmm, this is fun! Finally I will change the word moron to mean Michael Behe. My favorite quote from the article is this one from a Robert Slade who has been attending the trial regularly, "You've got to admire the guy. It’s Daniel in the lion’s den, but I can’t believe he teaches a college biology class."

If you're going to call your "Theory" Intelligent Design, shouldn't you use some intelligence in the design phase? Well, unless you've changed the definition of intelligent to mean idiot, still fits the same initials.


Update (from jay): Looks like Behe also has a somewhat nuanced definition of the phrase "rigorous peer review".

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