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The National Association of Scholars publishes a newsletter called “Science Insights.” In the September, 2003 edition they gave a brief, well-written introduction to the Intelligent Design argument and the scientific case against it (PDF file). The article contains plenty of links to supporting material. Among the first are Robert Park’s “seven warning signs of bogus science” and John Baez’s Crackpot Index. The article goes on to say:
The new creationism, as any competent reader of its voluminous literature discovers, displays every one of these symptoms. Creationist anti-science, directed primarily but not exclusively at evolution and its current expositors, suffered regular and damaging defeats in the courts during the 20th century. The litigation was in response to ceaseless creationist efforts either to eliminate evolution from school science, or to give equal time to some scriptural account of Earth history, or to require strong disclaimers as to the rightness of evolutionary biology. Every legal defeat of anti-evolutionism turned upon the issue of church-state separation. Creationist attacks on science education were easily shown to be religiously motivated, and their proposed alternatives to be religion, not science. The constitution forbids an establishment of religion: that includes public education. Thus the impediment to creationist sabotage of modern biology has been the unmistakably religious motivation of every disruptive strategy—until now.The new creationism, like its predecessors, is at base religious, not scientific. William A. Dembski, theologian and mathematician, is currently the leading intellectual of the intelligent design movement. He usually insists, when addressing general audiences, that intelligent design theory is science, not religion, and that it has no connection with religion. But attend now to Dembski in Touchstone Magazine, July/August 1999, p. 84:
“Despite its [intelligent design theory’s] implications for science, I regard the ultimate significance of the work on design to lie in metaphysics…”“The world is a mirror representing the divine life. The mechanical philosophy was ever blind to this fact. Intelligent design …readily embraces the sacramental nature of physical reality. Indeed, intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.”
So, to start with, Dembski is a liar.
Alternative history: “The Meaning of Thanksgiving” by Gahan Wilson.
Glide on over to Cephalopodcast and look at their ceph links.
I’ll celebrate by re-posting a hand-painted cephalopod from a community centre in Toronto. The mural was painted by Amos Danniel in 2003. Here’s the octopus:
Dear goodness, when are they going to learn?
WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 — When the Justice Department publicly declared torture “abhorrent” in a legal opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations.
But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.