"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Fetter All Logic

In a triumph of dispassionate, clear-eyed jurisprudence, a Federal judge in Pennsylvania decided today that a country whose Declaration of Independence cites inalienable rights bestowed by Nature's Creator has a Constitution that precludes the suggestion in a science class that Nature appears, in the view of some, to be sufficiently complex as to evidence creation by some higher intelligence. And right he is: there can be no higher intelligence than a Federal judge.

In response, The American Spectator is hosting some reflections by your humble servant. They will be available to the wider readership at midnight; our Club members get to peek.

A glimmer:

I approach the issue of random evolution vs. designed development as more than a judgment call one way or the other. It is not enough to say that design is a more likely scenario to explain a world full of well-designed things. It strikes me as urgent to insist that you not allow your mind to surrender the absolute clarity that all complex and magnificent things were made that way. Once you allow the intellect to consider that an elaborate organism with trillions of microscopic interactive components can be an accident, you are in a menagerie of bizarrerie; you have essentially "lost your mind" as a tool that operates and defines within recognizable parameters...

9 comments:

Tlaloc said...

Man, the hits keep on coming in Dover, huh?

First the people eject the eight school board members who injected ID into the science curriculum and then Pat Robertson says god is gonna get them for voting Him out of their town. Kind of put the old nail in the coffin of the "it isn't just creationism, it really isn't" argument.

And now this. Considering the judge in his finding used the term "Breathtakingly inane" to describe the pro-ID side as well as (again in his official finding) refered to them lying repeatedly, this was pretty heavy judicial smack down.

you can read his finding here:
http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/news/051220_kitzmiller_342.pdf

connie deady said...

Interesting decision. (Admittedly I only scanned it since it's late). He applied the endorsement test for "establishment" and determined that intelligent design is an endorsement of a particular religion.

connie deady said...

I must add that the Middle District of PA is my District Court, but I'm not familiar with Judge Jones, since he's in a different area of the Middle District from where most of the cases I work in are involved.

James Elliott said...

Wow, Jay, way to lay the subjectivity on thick.

Nevermind that this

"MEDICINE IS AN ACCIDENT. There is no reason why an illness in a human body should respond to some chemical from a plant or a mineral. No reason why a chemical should make you feel high or low; no reason why a chemical should make your blood run fast or slow. The shampoo that makes your hair silky is an accident. That a powder relieves your athlete's foot is an accident."

is completely erroneous reasoning.

This

"Even the bad warning smells, like rotten food or decomposing corpses, have no evolutionary explanation; they help man avoid the object but they don't help the object, so their benefit is entirely extrinsic."

is downright dumb. The benefit is that we recognize them as "bad" smells because our body recognizes something decomposing as unhealthy. Your looking at something that's DEAD, inanimate, kaputski, no longer living, shuffled off the mortal coil i.e. no longer evolving, to disprove evolution. That's just bad reasoning. I mean really bad. Almost as bad as...

...this:

"Music is an accident... [SNIPSNIPSNIP]
...Just us fooling around with what is and making the best of it."

Is an entirely subjective argument. You are basically stating "I perceive elegance and agency, therefore there must be design."

Way to go. You've just adopted the thought process of all those lazy liberal multiculturalists and feminists you dislike so intensely.

JC said...

"Music is an accident... [SNIPSNIPSNIP]
...Just us fooling around with what is and making the best of it."


Isn't ID the exact opposite of this? We perceive complexity and order in a piece of music and infer a composer. If we don't perceive these things in a set of sounds, we don't necessarily infer a composer. Or more specifically, suppose two people are playing instruments: it should be pretty easy to tell whether they are intelligently and deliberately coordinating their efforts, or the sounds are the arbitrary combination of two practicing musicians ignoring each other.

Of course, biology is more complicated than that. Just a thought.

Oh, and Tlaloc, don't get too excited about the election results---they were extremely close, and could easily change next time (Kansas has swung several times). We all know Pat Robertson is nuts.

James Elliott said...

We perceive complexity and order in a piece of music and infer a composer.

Precisely. It's an inference. There are no scientific arguments for ID that cannot be handily backhanded away, therefore all that is left are subjective, "common (non)sense" ones.

Tlaloc said...

"Oh, and Tlaloc, don't get too excited about the election results---they were extremely close, and could easily change next time (Kansas has swung several times). We all know Pat Robertson is nuts."

well wneh the public throws out 100% of the ID people I find it kind of compelling. If in 2006 every seat flipped to democrat wouldn't that be pretty significant even if they were all close races?

If you think Robertson is so nuts you might think about not being on his team next time. Just a suggestion.

connie deady said...

Way to go. You've just adopted the thought process of all those lazy liberal multiculturalists and feminists you dislike so intensely.

Jay hates feminists? I'm crushed. Feminists can be elegaic and good moms, too.

Jay D. Homnick said...

Yeah, where did that come from?