Monday, November 28, 2005

Smarmy annoying person eases towards sensibility, refuses to drop the smarmy annoyingness.

Yeah, so I did it. I didn't want to, but you know it is kind of like watching a trainwreck. So hard not to take just one more look at the horror of it all. I went back to scott adams' blog to see if he had dabbled in carrying intelligent design's water.

of course he has:

The Dilbert Blog

Again he starts up with his, 'Gee a bunch of crazy people got all worked up because I am so clever and they can't see that I am baiting them' crap. Yeah, we know you are trying to just be cute like some asshole vegan teenager trying to bait the adults into an argument at thanksgiving, but with a large audience who loves you based on your ability to make corporate life seem enlightening in its nilism, you get extra attention, even if it is a stunt and chances are you will never read a word I write. Anyway, the science folks seem to be wearing him down, even if he is still acting like an ass in his capitulation:

"I understand the argument for excluding Intelligent Design from science classes. Most scientists believe it doesn't meet the definition of science. You can't argue with the people who MAKE the definitions. If the vast majority say it doesn't have enough substance to qualify as science, that's okay with me. But I have to wonder if that's the real reason most scientists oppose including it in schools. I would expect scientists to welcome such a clear model of something that is NOT science, as an example of exactly that.
"Kids, astronomy is science and astrology isn't. Here are some more examples of things that aren't science..."
Sure, it might confuse the dumb kids, but they aren't the ones building the spaceships of tomorrow anyway. I learned about not using 'ain't' in English class and that didn't hurt me too much. So it just seems fishy to me that scientists are so worked up about Intelligent Design. Could their true fear be the slippery slope argument? If you let ID in the door, before long we'll all be wearing scraggly beards and beating ourselves with prayer paddles."

"You can't argue with the people who MAKE the definitions." Uh, can we say bitchy and juvenile? Whatever dude, that is the i.d./creationist crowd's modus operandi. The whole point they are trying to make to attack the Enlightenment. They see all teaching that is not squarely rooted in a literal interpretation of the Bible to be the enemy. No, not all proponents view the battle as such; there are plenty (some of my relatives surely, shamefully, included in this number) who jump in on the wrong side of this battle simply because they understand it as evolution being true meaning God doesn't exist and haven't thought through the implications of what they are positing. "Does God exist?" is in no danger of disappearing as a philosophical/theological question, but whether or not it has a place as part of a science curriculum has long been settled. Evolution wasn't accepted as the unifying theory in biology because of some nefarious plot by some evil cabal of athiest "darwinist" trying to do satan's work to lead good christian souls off to hell. And that is the gist of the creationism folks.

The side of the mouth disparragement of the folks who MAKE the definitions really boils down to the same thing: an attack on modern inquiry. Scientist don't MAKE definitions out of thin air. The suggestion is that they can't be trusted because they are lording over these arbitratary definitions, keeping out disparate ideas like intelligent design. This isn't just some stupid turf war ('We want to make the rules!' 'No, we get too!'), this is about the fundamental ways that modern knowledge has and continues to progress. If you throw out evolution over religious qualms and try to insert untested/untestable religious dogma into the cannon based on political pressure, you are throwing out the scientific method. You are taking the first step back towards a preindustrial world. You can argue all you want about the troubles that have come along with the modern world, but you throw out all the advances of the last couple of centuries when you start pulling the rug out from under science.

And the 'Golly, why wouldn't scientists want to use it in classes to contrast between real science and fake science?' crap can be dropped right now. If that was the point you were trying to make, you had three other posts to make it but surely in all the research you have done you aren't dumb enought to think that you are representing either side with that suggestion. Teachers already do that plenty. More than a few of my college course made it a point to emphasize being critical and demanding of sources of information and either pointed out or asked us to find examples of pseudo-science and compare and contrast what made it un-scientific. No one on the science side of this argument is arguing against that and that isn't for a second what the i.d. folks are fighting for. They are trying to shove the stuff in to be held up next to the theory of natural selection and have teachers say, 'Or it could have happened this way.'

If in an argument with someone, and it is quickly becoming apparent that you are on the losing side of things, don't do mr. adams half-capitulation well-yeah-of-course-that's-right-I-meant-something-different-see-I'm-still-right-you-are-wrong dance. It ain't cute. Dude, shut up about the debate until you put the holier-than-though attitude down and take a couple of classes and read a few books. You side with the idiots and you are going to get reprimanded just like them.

No comments: