Monday, 26 September 2011

Williams versus Noble: Science and Education versus Fundamentalism and Queue Jumping

An excellent post from James Williams on his blog here gives us a wide ranging summary of the issues around the C4ID, intelligent design and the UK education system.

A few choice extracts:
In debates you know that things are going wrong for one side when it descends to name-calling – which is what Dr Noble did, certainly in the final interview this morning.
. . .
As the interviews carried on from regional station to regional station you could hear in his voice the frustration and it ended with name calling. It seems that I am an ‘intellectual fascist’ who does not understand the ‘science’ and who fails to explain the ‘information’ contained in DNA and who does not know the history of the intelligent design movement.
All these charges are false. Dr Noble consistently and aggressively misrepresented the call for the ban signed by myself and the other 29 leading scientists and educators – he’s claiming that we wish to ban all mention of creationism or ID – he ridiculed the position saying that we would have to get the police in to stop mentions of these ideas in classes. Despite patiently explaining to him that the call is that neither creationism nor Intelligent design should be presented AS SCIENCE he continued with his ridiculous claims of intellectual fascism etc.
. . .
Dr Noble stated that he knows Philip Johnson and that my claims that this started as a religious movement and that the strategy is clear – get ID accepted then move on to the acceptance of the Christian God and the designer – is untrue.
Readers can judge for themselves who has the strongest argument here. Dr Noble and his denial or Philip Johnson and his recorded and reported admissions.
. . .
In one of the interviews – he stated quite openly that he didn’t want intelligent design taught in science – so I don’t quite understand what his position really is. Nobody is stopping the discovery institute from doing what they do. If they can convince the academic community of scientists that their ideas are borne from science then fine, debate it and once it attains the status of science it can be brought into science teaching. But ID does NOT have a mandate to jump the queue, get injected into mainstream science teaching with no body of evidence and peer review behind it and certainly not while the community of scientists disagree with it.
. . .
Many times Dr Noble kept banging on about randomness and blind chance – I pointed out that evolution is not about randomness and blind chance and that environmental conditions are the ‘directive force’ in evolution. He of course ignored this and kept on about randomness and blind chance – no doubt he will accuse me of ignoring his claims that ID did not come from religion and to all intents and purposes still is a religious position.
 Please go and read the whole report here.

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