No. 118 (essentialsaltes) wrote,
No. 118

Flock of Dodos

Flock of Dodos: Behind Modern Creationism, Intelligent Design & the Easter Bunny

by Barrett Brown (of National Lampoon, Cracked, etc.)
and Jon P. Alston, Ph.D. (of Texas A&M)

A humorist and a sociologist tackle intelligent design. Not much of a serious scientific look at the issue, but quite enjoyable nonetheless. Even if the level of discourse often falls to the puerile, the authors have done us all the service of actually reading Dembski's and Behe's books so we don't have to. The book is best when it shows the ID celebrities hoisting themselves on their own petards. And then farting on them.
The book also quotes the entirety of the Wedge Document, the Discovery Institute's [the DI supports ID] secret white paper on transforming society and swaying public opinion in favor . It was secret until it was leaked, anyway. And now the DI pretends like it's no big deal. Anyway, now 10 years after the unfortunate leakage, it seems like a good time to look at the document again, especially since it offered a 5-year plan with 5-year goals.
I think the perfect summary is this:

"Phase I: Research, Writing and Publication ...
Phase I is the essential component of everything that comes afterward. Without solid scholarship, research and argument, the project would be just another attempt to indoctrinate instead of persuade.
" (emphasis mine, all mine)

So when we check the 5 year goals:
"3. One hundred scientific, academic and technical articles by our fellows"

That's a big FAIL. Even if we add together all their 'scientific' and 'philosophical' articles, we don't get to 100, and if we eliminated the reviews, letters-to-the-editor, and self-published material, there's not much there there. It's almost as though the DI did not have solid scholarship and research, and as though their efforts were just another attempt to indoctrinate instead of persuade.

PS The book has no relation to the movie Flock of Dodos, apart from both being hilarious and about Intelligent Design.
Tags: book, science

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