Monday, November 22, 2004

Is Intelligent Design a Pseudoscience?


The good people at have set up a new sub site called It is a sad statement that a fraud like Intelligent Design has become so pervasisive that an entire web site staffed by volunteer scientists needs to be established to confront it. And yet, this is the nature of culture war as launched, funded and fought by the religious right.

Here is Talkdesign's take on the psuedoscientific nature of intelligent design:

We argue that Intelligent Design is a pseudoscience, like Young Earth Creationism, astrology, Atlantis, and the many other belief systems parading as science which fill the mass media. By pseudoscience, we mean a belief system which is claimed to be based on science, but which is actually based on arguments that are not only flawed, but are so egregiously bad that they do not stand up to any serious open-minded examination. Advocates of pseudoscience are motivated by a dogmatic commitment to their position which renders their minds closed to contrary arguments. Common (though not universal) additional symptoms of pseudoscience include the following: arguments are directed towards an audience of non-scientists; grandiose claims are made, often in fields where the claimant has little expertise (viz Dembski's claims to new laws of information and thermodynamics); the overwhelming mass of scientists are claimed to be too biased to judge the arguments fairly; arguments are couched in superfluous technical jargon; arguments use poorly defined new technical terms (or old terms given new meanings); technical arguments are outnumbered by rhetoric; excessive use is made of quotations, often from popular books and often out of context.


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