Evolution Intelligent Design

Evidence of Polarization

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Amazon reviews of ID books tend to be either very positive or very negative. I was just looking to see how Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing was doing, and saw that every single review was either 5 stars (the highest rating) or 1 star (the lowest rating). The 1-star reviews are illuminating for their depth and insight. I include them here for your edification:

Dumbellski my hero…, August 19, 2005
Reviewer: bob jones (bob jones university) – See all my reviews
I lik dis booook. Good. Evolooshion bad, make brain hurt, science is liar…Dumbellski my hero. Whoo need science who need logic, who need eduschtion? they make things reelly hard. dumbellski make simple, easy on my brainn and on brain of my friends here who like him tooo. no think no hurt. he call these peopple in boook who don’t unnnerstand sciensse intIlect-you-alls. sience scare them too jus like it scare mee.

I will wriite 4 next eevolushions hating boook since i obvioosly intiilectyouall like dumbelski and my friinds here who lik book too..

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3 of 15 people found the following review helpful:

Unintentional humor, August 6, 2005
Reviewer: statisticalblip – See all my reviews
As a biologist I’d recommend this really isn’t worth any intelligent person’s time to review except as a source of unintentional scientific humor. It’s chock full of rather faulty assumptions and tortured scientific logic on the nature of evolution and biology. The state of science in this country is that we import almost as many researchers from overseas as we create because of a shortage of home-grown scientists. That by itself is a sad comment on the state of education in the U.S. Add to that that so many scientific illiterates and poorly educated citizens outside of your local trailer park accept something like this as an alternative to real science does not bode well for the future of this country.

Maybe when “S. R. Zemke Mugwump3” lies in his bed recovering from his near death-match with the English language and what must have been an equally exhausting run-in with rational thought, he’ll have the time to discover the fields of logic and biology, both of which appear to be strangers to him.

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8 of 46 people found the following review helpful:

An Expensive Wad of Wastepaper, July 7, 2005
Reviewer: Unmai “porutpal” – See all my reviews
The “intellectuals” of the pseudoscience quackery called ID whine about being ignored or slimed or ridiculed by the “Darwinian Establishment”. Actually this bunch of cranks is treated kindly instead of being guffawed out of polite discourse. Every crackpot who has contributed to this carnival of lunacy certainly in some corner of his mind knows that he is making an ass of himself. But the editor of this pile of bilge Dembski is an exception. The man is so deluded that he has collected a bunch of sycophants to trumpet his praises and crow over his “scientifc vision”. And what hurts Dembski deep down is not the utter refutation of his fakery and pseudointellectualism. It is the refusal of scientists – decent people that they are – to dismiss him as a crank. The man is so full of hallucinations of his importance and intellect that he is peeved that the adulation he receives from his flatterers does not find a counterpoint in the criticism by scientists. This the world of science does unto him what every crackpot fears – dismisses him into irrelevance. While Dembski receives empty paens of praise from his camp followers (many of who have contributed to this package of rubbish) they actually don’t count in his estimation at all. What would he give to be acknowledged as the pseudoscientist extra-ordinary or some such thing by the world of science? To be ignored is a fate worse than ridicule. And that is why we see bilge such as this being passed off as “scholarly readings”.

This book like all that the ID “movement” has produced is utter trash. No it is such junk that you wouldhave to pay someone to take it off your hands! Amazon doesn’t let you award a zero so 1-star it will have to be.

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13 of 66 people found the following review helpful:

Religious dogma pretending to scientific debate. Puerile., May 12, 2005
Reviewer: Serenity now – See all my reviews
William Dembski rehashes the same tired old quotes out of context, misrepresentations and pseudo science.

Mr Dembski continues to use quotes out of context years after being corrected.

Mr Dembski claims that evolution theory is collapsing under the weight of contradictions and controversy. Nothing could be further from the truth. 99.85% of scientists engaged in life sciences support evolution – and 40% of them are christians.

Are there debates and differences of opinion in the detail of evolution? You bet, that’s how science works. Claiming that the death of evolutionary theory is imminent is a dishonest rendering of the facts.

Dembski is a religious person who begins, as do all creationist and intellectual design folks, with the belief that god-did-it. They also tend to have a belief in the literal interpretation of the bible in general and in Genesis in particular. They claim ID is a science, that creationism is a science, but they have no scientific credibility. They do not publish in peer-reviewed scientific journals – at least on ID and creationism.

Creationism is not science. ID is not science. They are religion dressed up to look like science. They begin with the conclusion – god did it – and look for some kind of evidence that might lead to that conclusion.

If you are looking for science, don’t buy this book. It ain’t science, it’s christian apologetics that wants desperately to prove that “god did it”.

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42 of 225 people found the following review helpful:

Creationist Intellectuals – A New Oxymoron, December 22, 2004
Reviewer: Tim Beazley (San Diego, CA United States) – See all my reviews
As with most creationist books, there are simply too many incredible blunders to list them all. Here’s a select few.

Dembski is known for his paranoid persecution-complex. (At a recent convention, he accused one skeptics organization, CSICOP, of ruthlessly suppressing his opinions; but it was CSICOP that had invited him to speak!!!) Demonstrating that same paranoia here, Dembski claims that atheistic Darwinists hold a monopoly on biology education. (xxiii) Portraying himself bravely fighting an atheistic monopoly may feed Dembski’s ego, and his paranoid, martyrdom pose plays well with evangelicals, but his claim is either delusional or dishonest. Thousands of parochial, Bible, charter, and home schools explicitly reject Darwinism; many public school teachers deliberately omit evolution in their classes; and there is even a national accreditation organization for colleges that teach creationism. What a dunce.

More melodrama: “[E]volutionists portray critics as morally and intellectually deficient. . . . ad hominem arguments aimed at destroying the critic’s credibility.” (xxxiii) So? Many of Dembski’s essays use exactly the same sort of arguments. What a hypocrite.

Dembski, now a seminary professor (couldn’t hack it at Baylor, I guess), denies that ID is a religious crusade. (xxii) So why is it, that 12 of the 16 contributing “intellectuals” rely explicitly (sometimes almost exclusively!) on religious-type arguments???

Koons, Sisson, Behe, and Berlinski raise the burden of proof issue, collectively arguing that human intuition of design should be PRESUMED true, until evolutionists provide INDISPUTABLE evidence on every detail, because history shows that human intuition regarding design in nature is highly reliable. Huh???

History shows exactly the opposite! For millennia, early ID-advocates (ID-iots) said sunrise, sunset, volcanoes, earthquakes, plagues, floods, eclipses, etc., were ALL caused by direct, intelligent intervention. So, historically, human intuition has been UN-reliable about detecting design in nature.

Second, the proposed standard of INDISPUTABLE proof would also reject gravity, relativity, atomic theory, germ theory, thermodynamics, etc., so the standard is obviously ID-iotic.

Johnson claims: “If science does not investigate the purpose of the universe, then in scientific terms the universe effectively has no purpose.” (37) Huh??? That’s completely ID-iotic, like claiming: “If baseball fans don’t watch football, then football doesn’t exist.”

Schuetzenberger uses mathematics to support ID. So? 19th-century Christians used mathematics to support the flat-earth theory.

Schuetzenberger claims that Darwinists ignore the possibility that causes may interact with one another. (46) Wrong! Co-evolution is a key evolutionary concept, involving causes interacting with one another. Typical, creationist ignorance.

More ignorance: “[Creating] functional complexity requires a space within which preliminary analysis has assessed all possible trajectories.” (47) Wrong! Engineers routinely use computerized algorithms incorporating Darwinian mutation-selection processes to produce functional complexity, without conducting Schuetzenberger’s ID-iotic “preliminary analysis.”

Pearcey and others claim that Darwinism led to the eugenics movement, laissez-faire capitalism, and Hitler. But they all conceal the fact that Christians, undoubtedly ID-advocates, were the enthusiastic majority in all three movements! Typical, creationist dishonesty.

Pearcey, especially, is blatantly dishonest, implying that Thornhill’s evolutionary study of rape somehow “justified” rape. That’s a blatant falsehood. Thornhill explicitly condemned rape and proposed sensible strategies to reduce it! Dembski whines and snivels about unfair evolutionist attacks on ID-iots, but then he publishes Pearcey’s blatant falsehoods about evolutionists. What a hypocrite.

Sisson claims that evolutionists unfairly arranged the Scopes trial to prevent evolution itself from being cross-examined. So? Perhaps not in Scopes, but evolution WAS cross-examined in the 1981 McLean case; and that judge ruled the creationist’s anti-evolution arguments patently religious, not scientific, despite testimony and affidavits from ID “experts” Kenyon, Wickramasinghe, and Geisler.

Tipler argues that ID-iots should not have to pass standard peer review, because it suppresses radical, new ideas. As proof, Tipler names a few scientists whose radical, new ideas were not only published, but eventually won them Nobel prizes. Huh??? Doesn’t that prove that radical, new ideas DO get published???

Tipler recommends having “giants” perform peer review. Fine! Boltzman, Einstein, and Hawking, all endorsed evolution. Is that enough? Wait, there’s more!

In the 1987 Edwards case, 72 Nobelists endorsed evolution and rejected creationism. 72! Is that enough? Wait, there’s still more!

In 2004, four Nobelists from Texas wrote to the Texas textbook committee, endorsing evolution and explicitly rejecting ID. Tipler is either clueless about the fact that the “giants” have already spoken, or dishonest in failing to acknowledge it. Typical creationist.

Behe always tells people about the flagellum, “because when they hear of it, they quickly realize it’s a machine and that gives a strong indication about where it came from.” (141) But Denton blasts Behe’s ID-iotic argument as being fundamentally flawed. (It’s a faulty analogy.) (160)

Behe argues that modern biologists and Haeckel both believed that embryology helps prove evolution, but Haeckel used faked data, so modern biologists must be wrong too. Huh??? That’s completely stup-ID, like arguing: “The inscription on the `James ossuary’ allegedly indicates Jesus was real, but the inscription was forged, therefore Jesus was not real.” What a dunce.

Hirsch rejects Darwinian evolutionary theory, because it did not anticipate significant, new developments, like horizontal gene transfer. Gee, I guess we`ll also have to reject gravity, thermodynamics, relativity, germ theory, etc., since they also failed to anticipate significant, new developments. What a dunce.

Berlinski relies heavily on the Argument from Personal Incredulity, the same argument that “proved” that volcanoes, earthquakes, eclipses, etc., required direct, supernatural intervention. That’s “intellectual”???

Berlinski took Monod’s statements about ultimate causes and Dawkins’ statements about proximate causes, two completely different topics, saw that the two sets of statements were not identical, and concluded that evolution was impossible. That’s like taking descriptions of two different parts of an elephant and concluding that, since the descriptions aren’t identical, elephants don’t exist. What a dunce.

I did agree with this: Johnson regards young-earthers as kooks and recommends keeping them OUT of science classrooms. (39)

ID-iots don’t like being called “creationists,” but their similar arguments, their endless, arrogant moralizing, their dishonesty, and their lack of relevant credentials, make it entirely appropriate to so label them.

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6 Replies to “Evidence of Polarization

  1. 1
    Qualiatative says:

    From the last review:

    “Schuetzenberger uses mathematics to support ID. So? 19th-century Christians used mathematics to support the flat-earth theory.”

    So math is now deprecated in scientific circles?

    I must not have gotten the memo…

  2. 2
    niwrad says:

    Darwinists say they are many and IDers are few. That proves nothing.
    In 1931 Godel proved that arithmetic is not reducible in axioms. ALL mathematicians instead thought arithmetic were reducible in axioms. So Darwinists could be 99.9999999999% all over the world (not 100% because I am not) and the same their hypothesis are wrong.

  3. 3

    […] Bill Dembski has posted the anti-ID reviews of the Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing on his blog. […]

  4. 4
    neurode says:

    What may have happened here: the book attracted too many well-deserved five star ratings. Noticing this, the kingpins of IDC, Inc. (ID Criticism, Incorporated) activated their creeping network of intellectually challenged toadies, encouraging them to post caustic one-star reviews at Amazon despite not having read or understood the book. (The only reviewer who appears to have read the book is the fifth, and he clearly has problems with comprehension. Most of the others don’t even seem to realize that Dembski is not the book’s sole author, but merely its editor.)

    Why did IDC, Inc. launch this attack? It looks like a fire drill for the Smithsonian Blitz, the devastating blizzard of disinformative “pro-science” complaints which dissuaded a craven Smithsonian Institution from fulfilling its agreement to co-sponsor “The Privileged Planet”.

    Expect to see more of this tactic, which has already been honed to the sharpness of a rusty nailpoint protruding from a bloody baseball bat.

  5. 5
    Charlie says:

    “””
    The state of science in this country is that we import almost as many researchers from overseas as we create because of a shortage of home-grown scientists. That by itself is a sad comment on the state of education in the U.S.
    “”””
    How could this possibly be true? ID hasn’t been admitted into schools, which would surely have been the harbinger of such destruction of science education.

    “””
    They claim ID is a science, that creationism is a science, but they have no scientific credibility. They do not publish in peer-reviewed scientific journals – at least on ID and creationism.
    “”””
    But they have scientific credibility enough when publishing hundreds (thousands?) of articles that don’t explicitly combine the words “intelligent” and “design”. And yet all merit is lost when they do combine the words.

  6. 6
    dave says:

    The tone of the debate may be a clue as to who is gaining the momentum. The more shrill the Darwinian establishment becomes, the less the public and the press will trust them.

    For that, ID should be thankful for supercillious brits like Dawkins, axe-grinders like Shanks, the red herrings of Ruse, and the entire Panda’s Thumb cast.

    So keep up the thrashing and bitter tones, Darwinites. The laughter is on our side.

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