Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Resistance to Science

 
In my previous posting [Do You Trust Scientists] I referred to an article by Paul Bloom and Deena Skolnick Weisberg who discussed the reasons why some adults resist science and opt instead for pseudoscience or religion. Bloom and Weisberg said,
The developmental data suggest that resistance to science will arise in children when scientific claims clash with early emerging, intuitive expectations. This resistance will persist through adulthood if the scientific claims are contested within a society, and will be especially strong if there is a non-scientific alternative that is rooted in common sense and championed by people who are taken as reliable and trustworthy.
Along comes GilDodgen who is exactlythe sort of person we are talking about. He posts a message on the Intelligent Design Creationism blog Uncommon Descent [More Silly Psychobabble About “Resistance to Science”]. Believe it or not, this is what he said.
I’m not quite sure what the “developmental data” are, but I do know something about science, and I am certainly not resistant to it, which is precisely why I am an intelligent-design proponent.

I use the hard sciences all day long in my work as (primarily) a software engineer in the aerospace research and development field. These sciences include: physics, mathematics, electrical and mechanical engineering, computational algorithms, detailed computer program design and debugging, and information processing. The end products of all this highly integrated science must work in the real world, and this is the only measure of success in my professional field. Vague, unsupported philosophical ruminations, like those of psychologists, don’t cut the mustard when it comes to real science and scientific endeavor.

It is precisely because of my knowledge of science, in a number of scientific disciplines, that I reject blind-watchmaker Darwinism and materialist explanations for all that we observe. Psychologists, especially the evolutionary kind, should become more familiar with real, hard science, before they make sweeping, unsupported claims about others’ motivations for rejecting their definition of “science.”
And you wonder why we call them IDiots?

8 comments :

  1. Wow. What a putz.

    And sigh. That's embarrassing.

    I'm not going to get again into my larger theory of why it is certain engineering types make the errors they do in this area... Just gonna say again, speaking as someone who works in hardware design, and who does write and has written an awful lot of software, let me just say: there are people in my field who aren't such idiots as that.

    The not so ironic kicker: as you note, yep, he's just that guy, isn't he? And the paper may well be quite on the mark with him. Explicitly: his issues with said blind watchmaker do very much sound like one of Bloom and Skolnick-Weisberg's entrenched childhood intuitions.

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  2. Vague, unsupported philosophical ruminations...don’t cut the mustard when it comes to real science....

    ...I reject blind-watchmaker Darwinism and materialist explanations for all that we observe.


    Gives me whiplash just reading it.

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  3. The Onion right now has a nice parody that works for various kinds of anti-evolution stupidity, this kind as well as the theistic evolution kind.
    link

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  4. Gildodgen is gliding from using the results of science over to understanding science to, presumably, doing science. It is somewhat analogous to someone gliding from using clothes to understanding style to making dress designs.

    To touch the topic of the immediate previous post, at a guess some science journalists may have similar problems of conflating these issues.

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  5. I’m not quite sure what the “developmental data” are, but I do know something about science, and I am certainly not resistant to it, which is precisely why I am an intelligent-design proponent.

    That start to his very unintelligent argument boggled my mind. What?

    This guy shows he doesn't understand the scientific method and yet he wants to accuse others of not using "real, hard science." What a gem!

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  6. Thanks Larry.

    This is precisely the kind of post that makes me glad that you refrain from unbridled smut-mongering, wolf-whistling, foot-stomping, name-calling and finger-pointing(and possibly many other hyphenations) to lure in greater traffic.


    GilDodgen starts out saying, "I’m not quite sure what the 'developmental data' are, but I do know something about science, and I am certainly not resistant to it, which is precisely why I am an intelligent-design proponent." Continuing on, several science and engineering disciplines are mentioned which the writer, no doubt, thinks will convince readers of his qualifications to make pronouncements about the biological sciences. The physics he points to is certainly mechanics, not physical chemistry or thermodynamics. Beyond that he lists nothing that would offer insight into the realm of the molecular world where ID proponents contend their designer works its magic and, they further contend, reveals itself for inspection and adulation.

    He finishes his post with, "It is precisely because of my knowledge of science, in a number of scientific disciplines, that I reject blind-watchmaker Darwinism and materialist explanations for all that we observe." IDiot is quite an appropriate characterization since he is one of those who thinks that what he knows, irrelevant as it is, prepares him to address issues in completely unrelated fields. There is a pathetic irony in a person needing ever-deepening ignorance to support ever-increasing certainty. Sadly, he does not understand that not one from that "number of scientific disciplines" is relevant to comprehending biochemistry, genetics, molecular genetics, emergence, or protein folding and active site formation in enzymes, to name but a few, but all of which bear heavily on the materialist blind-watchmaker nature of the observed biological world.

    For a veritable symphony of mutually reinforcing ignorance-mongering, read the comments to the UD post. I truly wonder what is the real cost to us all of millions of people being so ignorant of well-supported science.

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  7. rus syas,

    For a veritable symphony of mutually reinforcing ignorance-mongering, read the comments to the UD post. I truly wonder what is the real cost to us all of millions of people being so ignorant of well-supported science.

    I read the comments. It makes me sick.

    The cost is tremendous. It means we have citizens who can't distinguish myth from reality. In a country that has huge stockpiles of WMD that becomes very scary.

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  8. Wow, you couldn't write a spoof that was any worse.

    "Psychologists, especially the evolutionary kind, should become more familiar with real, hard science, before they make sweeping, unsupported claims about others’ motivations for rejecting their definition of “science.” "

    How about IDiots should become more familiar with real science?

    How about remove the log in thine own eye before worrying about the speck in thy brothers'.

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