Over on the website of Centre for Intelligent Design (C4ID) UK, director Alastair Noble has posted some remarks concerning the Edinburgh Science Festival held this week just ending. An associated evening event, organised by the Humanist Society of Scotland, addressed “The Threat of Creeping Creationism In Schools In Scotland”. Alastair Noble responds,
I recently attended an evening event (21 April 2011) at the prestigious Edinburgh Science Festival. Organised by the Humanist Society of Scotland, it addressed “The Threat of Creeping Creationism in Scottish Schools”. As a proponent of the debate around Intelligent Design (ID), I thought our Centre might feature. I wasn’t wrong.
It wasn’t the creeping creationism that worried me. In fact one of the speakers from Aberdeen University assured us there was no such problem in schools, and some of the survey data presented to the contrary was lacking in statistical significance. How horrifying is it that one, yes one, school in Scotland has invited a “creationist speaker” to talk to pupils?
What really worried me were the factual inaccuracies and the tone of intolerance – not a good start for an event purporting to advance the cause of open scientific enquiry. One speaker – a member of the Glasgow “Brights” compared “creationists” and “intelligent design proponents” to “Holocaust deniers” – a claim as silly as it is scandalous.
The general approach was to dismiss as “tendentious” the evidence presented by those who disagree with the consensus, reinforce with demeaning slogans (“ID is BS” is one the humanists are currently proud of, implying more than “bad science” of course), and assume that a person’s background or beliefs allows you to disregard any argument they may advance in science.
My scientific training taught me that the starting point for any credible conclusion is to establish the facts and consider all possible interpretations of the data. In this respect the event was a travesty of accuracy. Continue Reading>>>