On Attacking the Integrity of Scientists

We are discussing the evolution/creation controversy in my course. One of the issues that comes up frequently is the role of scientific evidence. The importance of science in the 21st century cannot be exaggerated. Everyone wants science to be on their side because if your views conflict directly with scientific evidence then your case is very weak.

So, how do creationists handle this issue? They usually try to present counter-evidence or they cherry-pick the scientific literature looking for papers that lend support to their cause. But that only takes you so far. Creationists are forced to admit that the vast majority of scientists support evolution and that's a real problem for their flock.

The solution is obvious. If you can't attack the science then attack the scientists. By casting doubt on the motives of scientists you can partially neutralize the impact of science.

Here's an excellent example from today's post on Evolution News & Views (sic) [How to Talk About "Evolution"].
Better to think of opinion as sharply divided. The professors, their students and many university-educated people believe one thing (evolution is a fact) and most everyone else is suspicious. They won't believe in evolution if you tell them what the professors believe -- that life in all its complexity assembled itself as a result of a series of lucky hits; that we live in a world of random changes that sometimes "coincide" with the environment (natural selection); and that's how we got here.

To believe that, we first have to be blinded by antagonism to the normal, automatic recognition of purpose and design in nature. And for most people, this blindness has to be inculcated; by teachers, by the academy, by the culture.

As to the possibility of our reaching the professor group, the trouble with my correspondent's design versus "accidental mutation/natural selection" formula is not that it is too wordy but that the professoriate have learned to accept that accidental mutation and natural selection can explain everything under the sun.

I have often wondered: What would it take for a biology professor to see some living organism, study it and then clap his hand to his forehead and say: "Wow, natural selection couldn't possibly have done THAT!"

Answer: Nothing. They are locked into a materialist worldview, and they think that anything outside it is unscientific. They have already accepted Lewontin's Law about the necessity of a "prior commitment to materialism." They will look at any strange organism you may show them and say: "Well, it exists doesn't it? How else did it get here, if not by gradual stages, bit by bit, starting with molecules in motion, finally building up to what we see in front of us? What other choice is there?"

In such a dogmatic environment dissenters wisely keep their mouths shut and upholders of the orthodoxy firmly close their minds.
Of course they don't like it when we refer to them as IDiots or creationists but they have an answer to that one as well.
Going beyond that, some of our better-known adversaries indulge in name-calling so mechanically that they may well have ceased to understand the issues. It's as though they become unable to think about what they don't want to think about. Those who resort to slogans like "ID creationism" often show no sign of understanding what the claims of ID are, sufficiently even to be able to restate them.
Unfortunatly for the IDiots, I actually understand the issues better than they do! Here's the main tenets of Intelligent Design Creationism.
  1. Darwin is evil and gave rise to Hilter. Evolutionists are wedded to atheism and materialism. Most scientists are too stupid to interpret evidence correctly. Evolution cannot account for life as we know it.
  2. Life can only be explained by invoking an Intelligent Designer but we're not going to tell you how or when he/she/it did it.
  3. The Intelligent Designer is not necessarily a god. We never said that so you can't accuse us of being creationists.
  4. The general public is being prevented from learning the truth about creationism anti-evolutionary theory by a vast conspiracy of dogmatic scientists who control higher education (and almost everything else in some secular "foreign" countries like France or Japan).
Do you think I got it right?

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