Thursday, October 02, 2008
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?