Unintelligent Design

I always suggest that whenever you are faced with crazy claims, the best response is not to rant and rave, but instead deploy wit, satire and humour. Take evolution for example, there are folks who not only sincerely tout the thought that it is not true and that “god did it” is a better answer, but they also push to have such religious thinking taught as a science that is on par with evolution. The banner headline often deployed is, “Teach the controversy“. Really!! … what controversy? <about here is the bast place for you to facepalm> As you might have guessed, there is no scientific controversy.

OK, before we go any further, let us be 100% clear about this …

  • Number of scientific papers that have been published in credible peer-reviewed journals that support evolution? – An almost countless number
  • Number of scientific papers that have been published in credible peer-reviewed journals that refute evolution? – I’d be tempted to say zero, but I suspect that one of two kooks just might have managed to bamboozle some journal with some meaningless techno-babble, but if looking for stuff that is actually credible, then it is indeed exactly zero
  • Number of life-science scientists that accept evolution? – 99.85%
  • It is perhaps one of the most well-established facts in modern science

In that context, anybody claiming doubt on the basis of some dubious information that has not been published in a real science journal is simply self-identifying as a complete kook.

The Centre for Unintelligent Design

One attempt to dress up and disguise the religious claim, has been the attempt to not mention god at all, but instead label it science and call it “Intelligent Design”, and one very nice parody response to this  has been “The Centre For Unintelligent Design“. There Keith Gilmour, a UK-based secondary school teacher, set up a response to the “Centre for Intelligent Design”, and lists over ‘100’ examples of unintelligent design. As you might imagine, the Intelligent Design community noticed, and wrote about his site here and also here. Read what they say and you might begin to have doubts, but before you do that, pause and return to the statistics I quoted. They might claim they have science and evidence, but they don’t, not one single credible paper has been published in a reputable peer-review journal … and until that does happen, everything they are claiming is hot air. It’s a clever con of course, clever enough to not only fool the public, but to also completely fool themselves.

Creationist urges police to charge him despite ‘complete lack of evidence’

Yep, it is another parody and was published a couple of days ago. The NewsBiscuit have a story that illustrates the creationist approach. It reads …

A creationist has confused the whole of the judicial system by insisting the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) push forward and charge him with ‘threatening behaviour’ despite a complete lack of evidence. Stefan Days, 44 from Dunstable, has accused himself of sending threatening letters to well-known atheist Richard Dawkins and is demanding prosecution, whilst denying all allegations made against him, by himself.

‘I have set out very clearly how the sequence of events of me threatening Mr Dawkins unfolded and demand they be taken seriously,’ he said, ‘but I know that I didn’t do it and I believe all the evidence the police have shows I couldn’t have done it, because I haven’t provided them with any. But that shouldn’t shake the police’s faith that I’m guilty as hell and they should, for the sake of the public, lock me up and throw away the key,’ he added, defiantly.

So while it might indeed be frustrating when faced with daft claims dressed up as science, the is also considerable scope to not only have a bit of fun by mocking these kooks, but to also illustrate just how silly such claims truly are to the general public.

To the folks reading this who seriously do doubt evolution, well here are a few hints …

  1. Go gather some evidence
  2. Form a hypotheses and then test it
  3. Write it all up and … (now this appears to be the really hard part for these folks) … publish it in a credible and appropriate peer-review journal
  4. Then, and only then … come and tell us all about it.

Sadly, they skip steps 1-3 and appear to be stuck on step4.

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