Thursday, May 29, 2008

Science Fiction and Intelligent Design

Peter Kazmaier (photo, left) is a research scientist for some private company. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON (Canada). Kazmaier is the author of a science fiction novel called The Halcyon Dislocation.

Peter Kazmaier has a blog. He recently posted some comments that were picked up by Denyse O'Leary. Here's what Kazmaier says on Who is ‘Galileo’ in 2008? Limitations of Science II.
Recently a film has been released Expelled! No Intelligence Allowed. In it Ben Stein and the producers argue that this very process of suppression is operating in the area of investigation into Intelligent Design. An excellent interview of Ben Stein and others can be found on the website for ListenUp tv.

I have listed the way in which 2008 science is even more susceptible to suppression than science in Galileo’s time. Are there any advantages on the side of those who believe they are being blocked? Yes there are. Through the democratization of knowledge, it is much easier to disseminate ideas today than in Galileo’s time. One can circumvent the journal refereeing process and publish the information directly through books, movies, or the internet.

So what are the personal messages for me to take away from this? First of all I need to understand and follow up the claims made by Expelled. Secondly, as I referee articles, I need to be aware of my own prejudices and biases and not allow them to influence my comments. Finally, at every turn I need to oppose suppression of free discussion of scientific ideas, whatever their source.
I really hope he will follow up on the claims made by Ben Stein in the movie Expelled. I look forward to seeing another post in the next few days where Kazmaier admits that he has been duped by the IDiots. That's what I expect from a Professor at Queen's.

It's true that we need to avoid suppression of good scientific ideas. That's always a given in science. On the other hand, the importance of free expression and skepticism is only manifest if we are able to freely speak out against bad science and bad ideas. There's no rule that says we have to praise every idea just because it claims to be science.

The mark of a good scientist is to be able to separate the potentially good ideas from those that are just plain silly. Offering tacit support to Ben Stein is not a good beginning.

In addition to being a scientist and a writer of science fiction, Peter Kazmaier is also a member of The Word Guild. Here's their mission statement.
Our goal is to impact the Canadian culture through the words of Canadian writers and editors with a Christian worldview. We will do this by connecting, developing and promoting Canadian writers and editors who are Christian.
Hmm ... I see why Kazmaier is so worried about bais when he says, "I need to be aware of my own prejudices and biases and not allow them to influence my comments."

Denyse O'Leary is on the Board of Directors of The Word Guild. Now I see why she promotes Kazmaier on her blog(s). I bet it has something to do with prejudices and biases.

1 comment:

  1. As a Queen's alumnus, I see the standards for adjuncts have not improved. While I appreciate he's not a biologist, his seeming acceptance of shopworn arguments easily rebutted is a poor sign for even an adjunct. Love the fact he uses a movie to support his arguments and then complains when some commenters direct him to the PZ affair links because they do not focus on peer reviewed evidence. Thus, he concludes, there may be signs of persecution because a lying movie is ridiculed for... lying. Nice catch there Larry.