Intelligent design STILL bunk - film at 11

Steve Fuller, unpersuasive testifier for the defense in the Kitzmiller Intelligent Design trial (you know, the one that led a conservative Christian judge to conclude that Intelligent Design was obviously just creationism with a fake moustache), has written a book explaining his views.

That book has been reviewed by Norman Levitt, who has himself written a book which addresses similar subject matter from a somewhat different point of view.

Levitt's review is not complimentary.

It is, I think, on par with Roger Ebert's review of Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo.

It seems to me that Levitt tired of the serious-thinker-versus-stoned-dimwit-with-a-high-opinion-of-himself beat-down fairly early, so he started throwing in hundred-dollar words to keep himself interested.

7 Responses to “Intelligent design STILL bunk - film at 11”

  1. Rask Says:

    One must keep in mind that you and I are not the target audience. His real audience are the thumpers that need something else to thump.

  2. Daniel Rutter Says:

    Regrettably, people who're already completely sure that The Bible Says It, I Believe It, and That Settles It are not the only people who read books about "Intelligent Design".

    Books like Steve Fuller's are shelved right next to Gould and Dawkins and Sagan, and it's not immediately obvious which is which. The title of Fuller's book ("Science Vs Religion?: Intelligent Design and the Problem of Evolution") could just as easily be the title of a work by someone who actually understood science, checked his references and therefore reached the inevitable opposite conclusion from Fuller's.

    If you, like most people, do not have a firm grasp of basic scientific principles, then even if you're a decent critical thinker (which, again, most people aren't), you're likely to believe Fuller when he makes his completely incorrect statements about mathematics, biology, history and the process of science. You don't have to start out as a creationist to pick this book up and find it plausible; you just have to have the (usually perfectly reasonable) assumption that the work you're reading is by someone who's at least somewhat intellectually honest.

  3. Daniel Rutter Says:

    (I also note that the Google ads for this post are, at the moment, pure gold.)

  4. sockatume Says:

    I'm getting "Intelligent Design Facts". As in "Behe doesn't do experiments, he just stares down the literature until he gets the answers he wants"?

  5. Stark Says:

    That was an excellently written rebuke (it wasn't really a review as much as it was as a verbal beating). I realize that this piece was written "for the choir" so to speak but I often wonder in these types of things if more headway couldn't be made by use of plainer speech. A good deconstruction of Fuller's work without the need for most folks to go scurrying for a dictionary every 10th word would be a most useful thing. I know several folks who are vehemently anti-science because they think of it as an elitist club - largely due to the specialized vernaculars involved in the various disciplines. While specialized vocabularies are indeed needed in the actual work of the sciences they are not needed to explain those sciences - nor should an above average vocabulary be needed to understand the deconstruction of patently anti-science writings.

    For a good example of complex science made graspable by the vocabulary challenged one need look no further than Feynman or Mr. Wizard depending on age group. :) This is something the IDiots have grasped quite well - speak simply (even if it's lies) and you are much more likely to be believed and embraced by the great undereducated masses. Of course it would be nice if we could just address the issue at its source - lack of adequate education - but that seems less and less likely to occur as the years go by. Pity. (The preceding comment was written by an American regarding the American education system and more specifically, since I have direct experience with it, the California public education system. No offense meant to those countries which actually provide for decent and well-rounded educations for their citizenry.)

  6. Alan Says:

    I must be dumb- I can't see how ID leads to christianity rather than (for example) buddhism, hinduism, or the the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Please explain, Zeus !

  7. Daniel Rutter Says:

    There's absolutely no reason why a genuine scientific investigation of ID (assuming there was something there to investigate, which there isn't really) wouldn't lead to any number of gods or god-like beings other than those of the Abrahamic religions.

    Pretty much the entire ID enterprise in the Western world, however, is the work of Christian creationists. So, amazingly enough, they have a tendency to find roads that lead to Jehovah.

    Creationism in other countries tends to support the dominant religions there. In Turkey, for instance, there's a strong Islamic creationist movement. There's a certain amount of cross-pollination between creationists of different faiths, but since they tend to be a bunch of fundamentalists, they don't get on that well with each other.

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