Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Dover a half decade later: And what difference did it really make?

A friend offers observations about the Dover (Kitzmiller) decision (2005).

 I didn’t cover it, because everyone else did, and I was writing a book, under contract, about something else, basically. Just as well. Everyone else who cared seemed to be on the scene already, and I was otherwise occupied.

Essentially, modern American culture is biased toward atheism, and nothing suits atheism better than Darwinism, its creation story. That Darwin himself thought so can be determined from his own writings, so one does get tired of the various bible school profs, museum curators, and textbook writers who pretend otherwise.

If you believe it, fine. If you don’t, why suck up to it? Read More ›

‘Sceptics’ — but not about science?

I did an interview recently with the Sceptics’ Society of Birmingham (UK) on the relationship between science and religion, which may be of interest to people here. The interview was conducted over Skype, which explains some of the alien sounds, especially from my end, even though my interlocutor and I were separated by a mere 20 miles. What struck me most about this quite genial interview is the lack of scepticism that today’s self-avowed ‘sceptics’ have towards the scientific establishment. Indeed, they have a rhetorical strategy for deflecting this point. So, if you listen to the whole interview, you’ll hear that my interlocutor periodically draws a strange distinction between ‘intelligent’ and ‘rational’ — as in ‘I grant that anti-evolutionists are Read More ›

More coffee!! Your doctor needs to know what would have worked for someone’s hypothetical reconstruction of Stone Age man before she can treat you effectively …

Apparently, evolutionary biologists/psychologists (if there is any difference, I would be glad to know*) are trying to get jobs adding to the cost burden of medical schools, fronting their speculations to doctors in training, a friend advises. See this story by Daniel Cressey (“Groups say med school training must evolve,” Nature Medicine 15, 1338 (2009) doi:10.1038/nm1209-1338a, paywall, of course):

Medical training must adapt to include coursework covering evolutionary biology, according to a group of leading researchers.Momentum for such change seems to be building.

I bet. In an age of skepticism about all the nonsense evolutionary biologists front, they need to attach themselves to a system that people are still willing to fund.

“The case for ensuring that physicians and medical researchers are able to use evolutionary biology just as fully as other basic sciences is compelling,” says Randolph Nesse, of the University of Michigan, lead author of the paper. “The constraints that inhibit change are severe, however. Most medical schools do not have a single evolutionary biologist on the faculty.”

Nesse’s paper cites examples of where evolutionary knowledge can benefit those working in medicine. An awareness of why humans have evolved the fever response, for example, could help doctors understand when it is safe to use drugs to block fever.

Rubbish. Pharmaceutical studies on living patients in real time do that. No one proposes to give the drugs to Old Stone Age Man, but rather to a toddler, an overworked near-retirement executive, or a frail older senior. The latter two would not even have been alive in the Old Stone Age.

As I have written to friends, Read More ›