Re: Public perceptions of science: was Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

From: Michael Roberts <>
Date: Fri Sep 09 2005 - 13:18:07 EDT

An excellent comment Chris, there are too many who think that geology and
biology are less scientific than physics and chemistry. This is fuelled by
the origins science and operational science.

I n geology it is totally precise to say one rock is older than another
especially when you can give no further details (yes I have been in that
situation mapping in Precambrian). In fact a devotion with maths and giving
things to n decimal places can be inaccurate, if we cannot measure with
precision. I noted this as mathematical ideas were applied to structural
geology in the 60s. The maths was detailed but they overlooked the
geological features which were actually visible. I remember one such guy who
argued that the strike of some Precambrian strata was 350degrees. He did not
like it when I told him that it was 15 degrees and that this curved to 340
deg as was clear when you flew overhead, looked at aerial photos or just
measured dip and strike like a geologist in the 1820s.

I have found that both YEC and ID suffer from this prejudice against geology
and biology.

Another major issue and this is why my friend described ID as devilish is
that they fuel culture wars on and worse thrive on misrepresenting
"evolution" as do Johnson and Wells, and create mayhem with their efforts on
education trying to "teach the controversy" etc. Another factor is the lack
of concern for the environment and an unwillingness to see the issues, which
is not surprising if one cant accept the vast age of the earth. If ID was
purely an attempt to understand science I wouldn't be bothered, especially
those who are trying to find a plausible mechanism for an OE view without
evolution. It is their politicking which makes me see something more
sinister and dear Wells with Icons made be turn against ID

----- Original Message -----
From: "Chris Barden" <>
To: "George Murphy" <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2005 3:52 PM
Subject: Re: Public perceptions of science: was Why Most Published Research
Findings Are False

>I think it's also worth noting is that the "scientific wing" of ID is
> largely made up of physical scientists. There is a general prejudice
> in the physics and chemistry community, at least among younger
> scientists, that if biologists really wanted to "do science" they
> would have been one of us. I know that when I toyed with ID, I
> fancied most biologists to be willing to accept much less than
> "scientific proof" when they came up with their notions. I believe my
> comment at the time was something to the effect of "we can show our
> answers are right to five decimal places, how come they can't be that
> precise?" Couple this to the cursory background in evolution given to
> most chemists and physicists (myself included), and you have a cadre
> of ID proponents who are especially stubborn, because they believe
> their workaday way of doing science is superior and couldn't possibly
> be infused with anti-scientific philosophy.
> Chris
> On 9/9/05, George Murphy <> wrote:
>> I agree with what's been said here so far &, in particular, think it's
>> important to realize that the ID movement is part of a larger culture
>> wars
>> agenda. But there are other factors involved in the assault on good
>> science. Some of this started in the 60s as part of the romanticism
>> associated with the counter-culture, & the notion of some post-modernists
>> that the scientific approach to understanding the physical world isn't
>> any
>> more valid that any other way also plays into it.
>> Shalom
>> George
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Robert Schneider" <>
>> To: "Don Nield" <>; "Michael Roberts"
>> <>
>> Cc: <>
>> Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2005 10:51 PM
>> Subject: Re: Public perceptions of science: was Why Most Published
>> Research
>> Findings Are False
>> >I agree, Don, that evangelistic atheists like Dawkins & Co. shoulder
>> >some
>> >responsibility for contributing to the distrust of science. They speak
>> >to
>> >a largely educated audience, and Dawkins often does so in the kind of
>> >inflated rhetoric that makes for good copy to a press that thrives on
>> >conflict. But at the same time they add more ammunition to the stores
>> >of
>> >the professional advocates of YEC and ID who use their words to make a
>> >case
>> >against mainstream science by not making the distinction between science
>> >and scientism that you and I understand.
Received on Fri Sep 9 13:22:03 2005

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