Tuesday, November 28, 2006

cast your votes!

from the bbc:

Chemistry teacher at Liverpool's Blue Coat School, Nick Cowan, says the packs promoting intelligent design are useful in debating Darwinist evolution.

It argues that evolution cannot explain some things so the universe must have had an intelligent creator.

just because a theory can be demonstrated to be incomplete does not mean that it is wrong, and more importantly, that the only possible alternative must be an untestable, unchallengeable argument (the intelligent design proponents want the very definition of science itself changed). why only this possible alternative, why not others? ‘must have had an intelligent creator?’

useful? intelligent design has been attacked so successfully because it isn’t scientific.

Mr Cowan says they are "very scholarly" and could be extremely useful in helping children understand the importance of scientific debate

‘very scholoarly’? i didn’t know such a term exists in academia. i’d have thought that such a definition would be reserved for peer-reviewed papers. pity that there isn’t a single one supporting intelligent design.

He told the BBC: "Darwin has for many people become a sacred cow.

perhaps because apart from quantum mechanics, it’s the single most successful scientific theory?

"There's a sense that if you criticise Darwin you must be some kind of religious nut case.

no, just that the ones promoting intelligent design are. after all, if a scientists could scientifically overturn the theory of evolution, don’t you think they would?

"We might has well have said Einstein shouldn't have said what he did because it criticised Newton."

i suggest you read some basic physics, mr. cowan. einstein didn’t ‘prove’ newton wrong, he built upon an existing solid foundation. newton’s ‘law’ of gravity continues to work perfectly well in our human world, and it is his theories of gravity we used when we sent man to the moon (and brought him back), put satellites in orbit around the earth, and it is his theory of gravity, not einstein’s that nasa uses when launching the space shuttle.

He argues that science only moves forward by reviewing and reworking previous theories and that these materials foster an understanding of this.

yes to the first statement, and an emphatic ‘no’ to the second. yes. science does only move forward by challenging existing theories, but by using the scientific method, an incredibly fundamental and essential part of which involve repeatable observations and an open mind. the only thing the intelligent design materials do is to question the second most successful theory humans have and offer nothing scientific in its place.

sorry, mr. cowan, but my money is on lucy, not because i particularly like the thought of being descended from apes, but what you offer as 'the only other' alternative has nothing at all to do with science.

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