Thursday, October 02, 2008

Any Questions?

David Scott Springer (DaveScot) is one of the IDiots who post on the Intelligent Design Creationism websites. One of his latest is an example of Google Trends, a nifty way of tracking Google search terms over a period of five years.

DaveScot posted a graph on Uncommon Descent showing the trend for "Intelligent Design" (blue), "Darwinian Evolution" (red), "Scientific Creationism" (orange), and "Theological Evolution" (green) [Fun With Google Trends - ID vs. Darwinism vs. Creationism]. Here it is ...

He ended the posting with the enigmatic "Any questions?"

Yes, as a matter of fact, I have many questions. For starters, why is there only a temporary blip in "Intelligent Design" in the Fall of 2005? That's when the Dover trial was in full swing so you might expect there to be an upswing in interest as the trial went on. After all, the daily reports were highlighting the destruction of Intelligent Design as a credible phenomenon and everyone likes a train wreck.

But why was there no significant interest before 2005 or after?

And why did he use "Darwinian evolution" as his query when he knows full well that this is mostly a creationist term.(Update) The only people searching for articles on "Darwinian evolution" would be creationists. Wouldn't it be more informative to find out who was interested in just plain "evolution?" Wouldn't it be fun to see if that search term outranked "Intelligent Design?" You bet.

So here's the result: the top graph is for the USA and the bottom one is for the United Kingdom.

Any questions? I didn't think so.

Those of us who are involved in the creation/evolution debate tend to forget how little the general public knows about Intelligent Design Creationism. I'm teaching a class on scientific controversies and one section is about the evolution/creation debate. The 50 students in my class probably are there, in part, because they have an interest in this debate. When I asked them to explain "Intelligent Design" only a handful (~5) had any idea what it was and most of the students claimed they had never heard of it.

It looks like the wedge strategy isn't working very well.

Update: DaveScot was asked on Uncommon Descent why he used the term "Darwinian evolution" instead of just "evolution." His reply? .... "ID doesn’t dispute all “evolution”. It disputes Darwinian evolution." Is anyone still wondering why we call them IDiots?


  1. I tried "explanatory filter","irreducible complexity","natural selection","common descent"

    "Irreducible complexity" barely registered, and I got this message as part of the result:

    "explanatory filter does not have enough search volume for ranking"

  2. "ID doesn’t dispute all “evolution”. It disputes Darwinian evolution."

    So what evolution do they accept then? Stellar evolution? Lamarckian evolution?


  3. "When I asked them to explain "Intelligent Design" only a handful (~5) had any idea what it was"

    Well, since even the IDiots don't really know what it is, that's not surprising.

    The spike in searches for evolution about end of the third quarter each year is interesting. I wonder if that is when most secondary schools teach it. (or most colleges?)

  4. Admittedly this is a
    silly game but for the
    hollow amusement, try
    matching "Richard Dawkins"
    versus "William Dembski".
    Try any reasonable
    variations on the names,
    it all works the same.

  5. "Update: Due to whiny protesters who say Darwinian evolution isn’t fair, I shortened it to evolution. And just to be fair I shortened intelligent design to design. "

    Very funny.

  6. The term "intelligent design" rarely shows up in the letters to the editors of the two York (PA) newspapers any more. For that matter, I think letters trying to argue against or condemn evolution are scarce, more so than before the Dover Affair, I think.

  7. DaveScot: "Update: Due to whiny protesters who say Darwinian evolution isn’t fair, I shortened it to evolution. And just to be fair I shortened intelligent design to design."

    This is more than just funny. Just 'design' ha :)))

  8. While I beleive in theistic evolution I am open to intelligent design as a possibily. However the behavior of you "hardcore" evolutionists who are so certain they are correct is nothing short of childish. The way so many of you personally attack and insult those who believe in intelligent design is nothing short of disturbing. Would you ban theories other than evolution if you could? Also the way some idiotic biologists try to use evolution as an argument against God does little to your credit, and such a lie will ensure that evolution is never accepted by the majority of humanity.

  9. It is disturbing that you are using the label "IDiots". Name calling is never an acceptable practice.