Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I think they have a word for that...

They call it "Equivocation".

Yes, I'm also talking about Denyse O'Leary, even though Evil Bender already tore a her a new one over her list of "predictions" that ID "theory" supposedly leads to.

PZ summed up my initial reaction:
"I don't think she understands the meaning of the word 'prediction' in a scientific context."

Here are the "positive predictions" of creationism ID in list form:
  1. "An end to unfalsifiable ideas about zillions of flopped universes and a focus on how we can best explore our own universe, as per The Privileged Planet."
  2. "We will learn more about the real nature of our universe and our place in it, and how best we can explore it when we accept the fact that it didn't 'just happen.'"
  3. "Discovering the true mechanisms of bursts of natural creativity may be of immense value to us, especially if we need to undo some significant harm to our environment."
  4. "We will focus on what consciousness can do, especially in treatment of mental disorders. Yes, a drugged up zombie is better than a suicide, but only because the zombie isn't technically dead. Why stop there?"
  5. "We will discover the functions of many brain areas whose functions we did not know before."
  6. "We can have a better grasp of what consciousness does and how it relates us to our environment."
  7. "Better health care for people with complex illnesses."
  8. "For example, if one culture decrees that 'God says you SHOULD beat your wife' and another culture says that 'God says you SHOULDN'T beat your wife', the observed instance of wife-beating will be lower in the second culture than in the first. Human nature may be the same everywhere, but human behaviour is predicted by culture. So culture matters."
All of these are set aside and labeled as predictions. I really didn't take them out of context. No really, go check if you don't believe me.

Most of these boil down to 'When creationists ID theorists take over, we will learn lots more and be very, very happy.' In fact, predictions 1, 2, 3, part of 4, 5, 6, and 7 all have this form. That leaves us with the insinuation that psycho-pharmaceuticals turn people into zombies and that 'culture matters'.

This last one may actually qualify as an actual prediction, but the logic of it completely escapes me. Apparently one of the implications of creationism ID is that different cultures are... different?

Regardless, they're not predictions in any kind of meaningful sense of the word, and anyone with more than a couple braincells to rub together will probably regret wasting the effort trying to understand it.

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