Monday, February 15, 2010

Intelligent Design or Scientific Incompetence?

If it were only that simple:
The ID claim is that certain biological phenomena lie outside the ordinary course of nature. Aside from the fact that such a claim is, in practice, impossible to substantiate, it has the effect of pitting natural theology against science by asserting an incompetence of science.
To be sure, there are questions that natural science is not competent to address, and too many scientists have lost all sense of the limitations of their disciplines, not to mention their own limitations. But the ID arguments effectively declare natural science incompetent even in what most would regard as its own proper sphere. Nothing could be better calculated to provoke the antagonism of the scientific community. This throwing down of the gauntlet to science explains not a little of the fervor of the scientific backlash against ID.
Read the whole thing.

Does that mean that, for instance, global warming is not a science?

With all due respect, there are issues where science has taken a firm stand--only to discover that mistakes were made.

Early on, people would defend computer errors by saying: computers don't make mistakes.
The problem, of course, is that people--including the people who design and program computers--do.

These days, we are confronted no only with the issue of human error, but also of peer pressure, funding and personal agendas.

And you don't need to bring in Intelligent Design to make that point.
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