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My blog about my experiences defending science

  1. May 28, 2006 #1
    (Hello physics forums. I absolutely love the level of discussion here, and I look forward to contributing as soon as I figure out what you're all talking about.)

    I attend creationism/ID meetings to defend against misrepresentations of science. Since there is no debate, I don't attend to do so, I just go expecting a valid scientific argument, explain why what was delivered wasn't one, and point out any misrepresentations of science presented at these meetings. I am blogging my experiences doing so here:


    I plan on branching out to defending misrepresentations of science in other places, but those presented by the creationism/ID movement are the most pressing and hit closest to home so that's my current focus.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2006 #2


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    You live in Kansas ? This is going to be a full-time job for you !! :eek:
  4. May 28, 2006 #3
    At first I was intrigued and thought I would want to read more. But in your first entry you write:
    What an odd generalization to make. Especially since you repeat it at the end of the post. I'm sorry but it brings your motivations into question. For a person who claims to be so objective, you make wierd subjective assumptions about who your audience is. And why make it political to begin with?

    Since your opening premise implies that Intelligent Design and Creationism are the same thing... I then have to question your credibility as well, since I have doubts you've bothered to actually investigate ID or you would not make that corallary.

    Your mantra "there is no debate" is also rather dismissive. It trumps any attempt to point out that part of your premise is flawed (Creationism is purely religious and ID is more philosophical employing scientific methods). I'm sure you also use it to deflect any attempt to point out that there is no logical connection between radioactive dating and the ultimate conclusions that Darwin comes to about how complex life evolves.

    But since there is no debate, I won't enter into one either.
  5. May 28, 2006 #4
    It looks that way Gokul.

    StarkRavingMad, I used that to try to get as many creationsim/ID supporters to the CORR meetings as possible. You can't deny that conservative christians generally support both GW Bush and creationism/ID. Also, there is no real difference between creationism/ID as the ID movement/supporters claim to be more open minded simply as a legal maneuver (an attempt to circumvent serperation of church and state). Attending these meetings held by YEC's, they let it be known that they support ID and at the same time a literal interpretation of the Bible. One of the constant attendees of these meetings actually wrote a book for ID and his bio can be found at the Institute of Creation Research.

    And there simply is no debate. You can only debate policy. You can't debate whether or not evolution is scientifically valid because it is. You can't debate whether or not creationism/ID is valid science because it simply isn't. You can debate whether or not to ignore the truth, but who would do that?

    I'm not sure what you're getting at with radioactive dating (but I should mention (just in case) that you can't use C-14 in the atmosphere to determine the age of the Earth)), but evolution did not begin or end with Darwin and neither did our understanding of it.

    My main point is larger than there not being a debate. The main point is, and I'm assuming this due to your zero post count, people like you believe what they believe because they've been lied to about what textbook science says. I believe that many creationism/ID supporters are good people simply trying to do the right thing, and I believe this because these are the people I grew up with and was raised by, but they have simply been lied to. A simple investigation by anyone with any scientific knowledge of any creationism/ID literature and presentations makes that incredibly clear.
  6. May 28, 2006 #5
    I suggest you rethink your priorities. First off, what are you trying to accomplish? If you're trying to convert people out of a fundamentalist religion, that's both deeply offensive, and essentially impossible. It seems you're confusing distinct things here; creationism is a theological statement about the origins of the life, whereas ID pretends to justify creationism from empirical, scientific means. Since creationism does not attempt to use science towards it means, it readily coexists with evolutionary biology, cosmology, etc. - just look at the Catholic church. ID crosses this line. The purpose of ID is to bring creationist ideas into the public schools, under a cloak of "science"; this is why they have fake researchers trying to create an illusion of a scientific debate (e.g., the Discovery Institute). The focus should obviously be on keeping real science in schools and reigning in the ID juggernaut, without going around converting people - a very sensitive and emotional task! This is the briliance of ID - it uses religious impulses to achieve political goals in the arena of public education.

    To be frank, I don't think you know what's going on well enough to do any productive outreach quite yet.
    Last edited: May 28, 2006
  7. May 28, 2006 #6


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    I wouldn't trust anyone whos so close minded. You've already made generalizations, claimed that some thing can't be debated (scientists never believe or dare claim any theory is 100% perfect and non-debatable), then insulted someone based on their post count which is only 2 off of yours. Be more scientific before deciding who's unscientific and who isn't.
  8. May 28, 2006 #7


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    Yah and like Rach is saying, it's very discouraging to see someone wanting to defend science against unscientific ideas when the person doesn't even know what they're trying to defend science from. I mean how many people have we seen on this board alone try to defend Evolution or attack creationism with little to no knowledge of either.
  9. May 28, 2006 #8
    One more piece of advice - don't attent ID'ers meetings! You're outnumbered a hundred to one, no one will listen to you and you'll only be stressing yourself out. Our arena is not convincing the die-hard charlatans, but convincing the general public, and the polticians in power (:ugh:), that ID is not scientific and does not deserve to displace real science in the schools. That's where the battle is.
  10. May 28, 2006 #9
    This kind of language is not convincing - you have to actually defend your assertions, not just assert them strongly.
  11. May 28, 2006 #10
    Oh yeah, there's no point in going to ID public lectures either - they're on the podium, and they're geniuses at abusing that power and manipulating their audience. They can very easily silence you. You can't beat them on their own ground.

    Trust me, I've been there.
  12. May 28, 2006 #11


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    Actually things like that are very annoying Rach. He basically went up and got slaughtered because he didn't know anything. Like i said previously, I hate when people try to defend things they don't understand because he probably convinced more people ID was right then wrong with his little showcase. I found it sad so many forumers cheered his display when i saw it as a pathetic display that hurt the scientific community in its own little way. People have pretty big egos when they try to silence someone else's ego.

    And to make it even worse, he basically shot himself in the foot philisophically. We're trying to convince people to believe science and not listen to people who spout their belief and refuse to listen to another approach and laugh off other ideas.... yet for example here, he basically proclaimed everything this guy said as BS, refused to listen, and laughed. This isn't how you win over minds.
    Last edited: May 28, 2006
  13. May 28, 2006 #12
    I'm sorry, I haven't gotten the hang of the quote system here yet.

    I go to defend nonscientists from being lied to about textbook science. It's been my experience that the vast majority of science presented in both the literature and at these meetings is misrepresented and then the misrepresentation is then criticized. I simply go there to tell people that what they're being told is a lie. What they worship or who they worship is of no concern to me, as long as they don't use it to victimize anyone and understand that science does not consider the presence of the supreme being in its study. I've had success in this venture.

    First of all, mechanisms of evolution are what is being debated about in the scientific community. Evolution as the basic concept that leads to the great diversity of living organisms is however as real as we are, and as a scientific concept absolutely indisputable. I wasn't aiming to insult StarkRavingMad with my mention of the zero post count, I mentioned that to show that I thought that he/she was an creationsim/ID supporter because his/her first post was dedicated to my post about my blog. There was no insult there.

    I'm defending it against being misrepresented, and I'm defending nonscientists from being lied to about science. Basically I'm defending my parents and friends from making decisions based on false information and children from growing up ignorant because they believe science is evil. Please consult my blog here:

    I have attended IDer meetings, and I have been outnumbered a hundred to one, but I have been listened to and have had success. These are my people. My approach works. And who do you think voted for those politicians?

    First you read my blog before making judgements about it or what I'm doing.
  14. May 28, 2006 #13
    Actually, I do quite well. The first Lucas lecture was odd because of the format, and the next will be more odd because our interaction will take place via CCTV. I know that at his first lecture my presence did make a difference, just not as much as I would have liked because I did make mistakes there.
    Last edited: May 28, 2006
  15. May 28, 2006 #14


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    Ah your use of "defend" is so rare in the conversations i've been in lately that you'll have to excuse me if i took some of what you said the wrong way. I hear "defend" almost exclusively in a provoking manner such as "I will defend my right to eat cookies" or whatever that i almost forgot theres a (haha) defensive way of "defending" someone/something.
  16. May 28, 2006 #15
    Double post
  17. May 28, 2006 #16
    See what I mean? I wasn't going to reply, but you had to make it personal.

    You make broad stroke assumptions about both christians and people who voted for Bush (as if neither could agree with the theory of evolution and need to be enightened), you then go on to assume the motivations of proponents of Intelligent Design -- more or less calling them liars--, and somehow come to sweeping conclusions about anyone who may agree with any of the above. But you don't stop there, you then make a personal conclusion about me.

    That's not logic. That's belligerence. I'm sorry.

    Thank you for acknowledging that I might be a good person at least. I like how the only way to have an opposing interpretation is because it is based on a lie. See... what you perceive as "incredibly clear", another equally intelligent person will look at and see as hopelessly flawed.

    If the premise is baseless (as in Darwinism), or if the conclusion based on the evidence does not follow (again... as in Darwinism), it does not matter what happens in between. One does not have to accept the whole argument to agree with the science of it.

    You look at those who adamantly support ID and see christian conservatives who just want to justify their blind faith. I look at those who adamantly refuse to accept ID as politically motivated secularists who just want to justify their aethists beliefs.

    Note how I did not offer an opinion of those who accept the theory of evolution in there. Because Intelligent Design, despite your unquestionable knowledge of it, does not refute the science of the evolution of the Earth or the age of species. It only takes issue with the philosophical doctrine behind Darwinism.

    And that IS up for debate.

    I have no problem believing that most creationists now support ID. But it does not follow that all students of ID inherently believe in a literal translation of creation and dismiss all aspects of evolution... not to the extent that you can refer to them as a singular name with a / in it.

    Anyone who claims that ID is some kind of scientific "proof" for the notion that we were created 10,000 years ago in a one week timespan is not being intellectually honest. And I dare say a good number of legitimate ID theorists would not support them either. No moreso than Darwinist scientists accept money from left-leaning special interest groups at least.

    An article I found on creationdigest.com sums it up better...
    Even though you are so convinced that ID is some scientificy bait and switch to somehow justify creationist beliefs, it is, AAMOF, the opposite. ID is a way to enlighten Creationists to get them more on board with science.

    I won't deny that some fundamentalist christians misuse ID any more than atheist activists have misused Darwin's theories for their own agendas. But it does not make them equal.

    So I'm sorry for questioning your reality in which all christians voted for Bush and believe that Genesis 1 was a scientific journal, and where there are no other possible perspectives on scientific theories... But Darwin's theory has serious, gaping, nonsensical holes that are no more grounded in science than Moses' written account of the Creation Hymn.
  18. May 28, 2006 #17


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    Oh and before i completely disgrace the forum, I might want to remind you guys of the Terms you agreed to (or at least were suppose to have agreed to) that specifically bans most of this discussion.
  19. May 28, 2006 #18
    Rach... and here I was about to agree with you.
    No... it's not. Perhaps some people try to misuse it as such, just as secular humanists have glommed onto Darwin as their vehicle to take religion OUT of our society. But that is not how I understand ID's intent at all.

    Believe it or not, not all (again, dare I say most) reasonable Christians do not accept Creationism. We're not all fundamentalists, okay? Isn't it possible for anyone to accept something that coincides with religious beliefs as, oh I don't know... genuine?

    Obviously -_-

    Wow... and you said that trying to convert people from fundamentlists belief was insulting.

    Well at least we can agree on something.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2006
  20. May 28, 2006 #19
    Yeah sorry. I'm done. I tried hard to stay neutral, but it's still skirting the line.
  21. May 28, 2006 #20
    I did?

    I'm sorry, what does that mean?

    By inserting consideration of a supernatural being and no longer requiring empirical data as has been done here in Kansas?

    You're apparently giving Darwin, who I do admit I love, way too much credit. But you seem like an ID advocate. Let's check things out. You tell me what the defining work of ID is, and if I've read it/watched it we'll talk about it. If I haven't, I will and then we will.
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