Wednesday, March 29, 2006

WorldNetDaily: Why intelligent design will change everything

WorldNetDaily: Why intelligent design will change everything

Over at Dispatches from the Culture War, there was an invitation to fisk a really, really bad article from the WorldNutDaily. I'm not a scientist, and I'm not going to go through it thoroughly but I did have some fun with what little knowledge I have and some really, choice bits.
In the opening paragraph, Lynn Barton states:
Like a fierce game of whack-a-mole, wherever I.D.'s politically incorrect head pops up, its opponents rush to smack it back down.
I have to agree with this, but I'm not looking at it in the same light as her. I just want to know why everytime a commentator or movement wears the 'politically incorrect' label proudly, it usually means they're politically motivated and politically uninformed.
Barton goes on to talk about how
intelligent design theory is going to become a major force for good in the battle to rescue our collapsing culture – because the way we think about origins affects the way we think about nearly everything.
So that's how we're supposed to accept that ID flows from the evidence! Now, how can we tie this to gay marriage? Oh I'm sure there's a way.

For example, conservatives and Christians are having a difficult time making the case against homosexual marriage. Thousands of years of exclusively heterosexual marriage mean nothing to those with a Darwinist worldview. Why, they are far more evolved than those benighted cultures in the misty past. To them, tradition is oppressive; destroying it is progress. Why shouldn't people be able to "love" whomever they want? How will it hurt your marriage?
The truth is that homosexual marriage is wrong because it violates God's design and purpose for us, with inevitably negative consequences.

Yes, there it is. I knew I left my agenda here somewhere.
If only that would flow from a bad analogy somehow:
In Darwin's time this was easier to imagine, because it was thought that cells were mere blobs of protoplasm. It fit in nicely with his idea that life could have first appeared as a simple cell. There's just one problem. We now know that there is no such thing as a "simple" cell. Recent advances in microbiology have demonstrated that the cell is literally a miniature factory town, with its own chemical library containing blueprints that are copied and transported to molecular assembly lines that manufacture everything the cell needs. Nancy Pearcey compares it to "… a large and complex model train layout, with tracks crisscrossing everywhere, its switches and signals perfectly timed so that no trains collide and the cargo reaches its destination precisely when needed."

How about quoting someone whose work is pretty easy to discredit? Let's say by Good Math:
Microbiologist Michael Behe has coined the term "irreducible complexity" to describe this. That is, the cell consists of coordinated, interlocking parts that must all be in place simultaneously, or it won't function at all. You can't improve the cell through one random mutation at a time because if you change any one aspect, the whole thing will crash. For evolutionary change to occur, every single piece of its Rube Goldberg-like factory would have to mutate at exactly the same time, and each single mutation would have to be beneficial, or the cell would just die.
Excellent. Last minute save on that one.
And for a final bit can we see if there's a way to work in Hitler, while conveniently missing out his religious motivations?
Eugenics helped Hitler convince an entire country to follow him in his attempt to wipe out the "inferior" Jews, not to mention the toll in blood it took to stop him.
Well, that's the usual stuff taken care of. We have arguement from incredulity, authority and ignorance. We've got a little discredited or thoroughly debunked stuff in the middle, a Hitler reference and some gay-bashing. Throw in a bit of fear mongering, an accusation of "Darwinists" never engaging the substance of your argument, avoid theirs like the plague and I'd say the makings of a pretty vapid article are set.
Pop Quiz. Ask yourself if this is the sort of person who would homeschool their kids then scroll down to the bio line.

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