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Critique of Intelligent Design

Evolution vs. Creationism

The Art of ID Stuntmen

Faith vs Reason

Anthropic Principle

Autopsy of the Bible code

Science and Religion

Historical Notes


Serious Notions with a Smile


Letter Serial Correlation

Mark Perakh's Web Site


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Title Author Date
Mark Perakh's "A Presentation Without Arguments" (Part 2 of 2) Pehnec, Steve Oct 25, 2002
(Continued from Part 1)

In scholarship, as in courts of law, the burden of proof lies with the advocate of an idea. ID proponents have never offered up a single shard of supportable evidence in favor of their claims. In fact, they don't even try to establish the burden-of-proof because they believe they don't need to.

Instead, their approach is that of criminal defense attorneys, to establish "reasonable doubt" in the minds of a jury (or a school board, or the U.S. Senate). As such, their primary strategy has been one of attempting to refute the well-established Theory of Evolution, before juries of non-experts, as if ID was the defendant in a criminal case.

(One has to wonder what subconscious urges may have given rise to this strategy?)

Such attempts often hinge on the presentation of "facts" in the form of shoddy scholarship, misleading half-truths and premeditated deceptions. While such tactics may work in a court of law to gain the uninformed sympathies of jurors and judges, the rules of evidence in the courts of scholarship are much more rigorous and unforgiving of unsubstantiated claims; in this arena, where the jury is expert, such puerile attempts fail miserably.

In an academic setting, if an advocate's thesis has been refuted by counter-example, that thesis must be revised or abandoned. If a cherished argument has been shown to be unsound, a better argument needs to be formulated. If the favorable evidence is too weak (or non-existent), the advocate should acknowledge this and either reconsider or move on. **

These rules add up to an expression of the intellectual integrity that is expected of all those involved in academic pursuits. ID proponents ignore or, rather, choose to thumb their noses at this requirement.

And yet, the Santorum amendment went through the Senate like grapes through a goose. Is this how the Congress intends to reform public education in America?


** Thanks to Philosopher of Science, Philip L. Quinn, for his insights into intellectual integrity. See Quinn, Philip L., "Creationism, Methodology, and Politics", in BUT IS IT SCIENCE? Michael Ruse, Ed., Prometheus Books (Amherst, New York), 1996, pg. 397.

Steve Pehnec is an operations consultant and instructor of applied physics working in the international oil & gas industry. He resides with his wife in Lander, Wyoming. His main interest outside of his profession is looking out for the quality of his grandchildren's education.
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