Friday, April 07, 2006

The hard copy says...

Page A8. That's where Brian Alters and the Evo-ID debate moves to after being front page news yesterday. Making up for it is the fact that new transition fossil hit front page. Yeah. ID gets another Reebok in the grapes.
Under the headline 'Intelligent Design' debate crosses the border, the Ottawa Citizen actually sided with reason while exploring the background of the situation. ID is gaining some ground in Canada, that's undeniable.
The Social Sciences and Humanitites Research Council rejected Alters' proposal for a study on the topic as his proposal hinged on the 'assumption that evolution is unassailable.'
"If I was talking about gravity in an application," says Mr Alters, "I wouldn't have to justify the law of gravity. Evolution is not an assumption - it is a scientific fact."
Which is pretty much what we're on about.
The article gives some background on the development of the debate, including the 9 uni professors who recently signed a petition doubting Darwin, which has a whiff of Discovery Institute crap on it.
I did find interesting that Janet Halliwell, v-p of the SSHRC,
has described the wording of the letter as 'misleading,' and said that the research council did not intend to cast doubt on the survival-of-the-fittest theories
which makes me laugh beacuse the next thing she told CanWest News Service was that
there is a growing belief among scientists that some phenomena in the natural world "may not be easily explained by current theories of evolution."

Larry Felt, a sociology prof at Memorial, rehashed the same points for the article. Frankly I didn't find it better than anything else out there. His only valuable quote was to say the council didn't want to
just yield predictable results that "dump on the religious right."
He described Mr. Alter's planned study as being framed in "good guy versus bad guy" language that rejected intelligent design out of hand.
Now, I don't particularly have a problem with that. I approach religion the same way I approach golf. I really don't get the point, see that some people do enjoy it and really wish they'd keep it to themselves. Don't buy me Bibles or golf clubs; don't pray for me or tell me how many under par you shot.
I'll give Alters the parting shot:
Mr Alters insists that "popularizing pseudo-science is detrimental" by definition. "I shouldn't have to make the case."
Hoo and indeed ray.

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