Re: [asa] ID is scientifically vacuous

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Thu Jun 21 2007 - 12:10:57 EDT


We are in agreement about the objectionable comments coming over from UD.
(Plus all the shrill rhetoric you get from Creationist web sites).

But my point remains - the topic of the thread is whether ID is
scientifically vacuous, or whether it might scientifically have any merit.
I have said that I think it may be the case that Dembski's Fisherian
approach could have merit as a statistical technique. That is fundamentally
disconnected from whether or not his behaviour is objectionable. For another
example, the composer Frederic Delius slept with just about every whore in
Paris, and eventally went blind and died of syphilis. But that doesn't make
his music valueless.

Perhaps your observations about the nature of stuff posted on UD belong on a
different thread?


On 6/21/07, Michael Roberts <> wrote:
> Ian
> It was hardly a rant mode but disgust at their objectionable comments.
> Note that in Dembski we have the leader of ID, and PZMyers, bless his
> cotton socks, is simply some frustrated biologists who blogs like mad and is
> outnumbered by less vitriolic types. Even so I would grant that any wavering
> Christian who is undecided over evolution would be made a YEC by Myers.
> If all evolutionists were like PZM then you might be right but we are
> dealing with the centre of ID. We find equally poor stuff on the DI and ARN
> sites (including ranting anti-global warming).
> Though I hold to what Gingerich would call lowercase intelligent design I
> have yet to find one scientific argument for ID and plenty against. I cant
> see it as innocuous due to the squalid comments on Uncommon descent and
> dangerous views on the environment
> Michael
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* Iain Strachan <>
> *To:* Michael Roberts <>
> *Cc:* PvM <> ; Gregory Arago <> ;
> Carol or John Burgeson <> ;
> *Sent:* Thursday, June 21, 2007 10:00 AM
> *Subject:* Re: [asa] ID is scientifically vacuous
> Michael,
> Your instinctive impulse to enter rant mode leads to a simple category
> mistake.
> However poisonous a person is doesn't reflect on whether their science is
> valid or not. PZ Myers can be remarkably poisonous on his blog site, at one
> point recommending going into a church and call people "demented F***wits".
> But that doesn't mean PZ Myers isn't a good scientist.
> Equally T.S. Eliot was anti-Semitic, but that doesn't make his poetry
> worthless.
> I agree that some of the stuff Dembski et al are coming out with is
> inexcusable, but that has no bearing on whether ID is scientifically
> vacuous.
> The ultimate demonstration of vacuity is the endless repetition of the
> phrase "scientifically vacuous" like some sort of mantra. It adds nothing
> to the argument.
> Iain
> On 6/21/07, Michael Roberts <> wrote:
> >
> > Has anyone read the latest offerings on Uncommon Descent notably O'Leary
> > on
> > Conway Morris and Collins as well as Demski on "playboy-ID". If that
> > doesn't
> > convince anybody that ID in the hands of them, i.e Dembski. O/Leary
> > Scordova
> > etc is not only total and utter nonsense but remarkably poisonous as
> > well.
> >
> > In fact Scientifically vacuous is far too generous a term to describe
> > Uncommon descent and I cannot see how any reasonable person could
> > consider
> > otherwise..
> >
> > By their fruits you shall know them
> >
> > Michael
> >
> >
> > To unsubscribe, send a message to with
> > "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
> >
> --
> -----------
> After the game, the King and the pawn go back in the same box.
> - Italian Proverb
> -----------

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Received on Thu Jun 21 12:11:43 2007

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