Friday, August 05, 2005

Scientific Support, By Design

Paul Krugman has an excellent op-ed in today's New York Times ("Design for Confusion") discussing the continued use of pseudo-scientific "theories" to support an ideological agenda.
The important thing to remember is that like supply-side economics or global-warming skepticism, intelligent design doesn't have to attract significant support from actual researchers to be effective. All it has to do is create confusion, to make it seem as if there really is a controversy about the validity of evolutionary theory. That, together with the political muscle of the religious right, may be enough to start a process that ends with banishing Darwin from the classroom.
The question, of course, is what can be done about this situation. Clearly it is unproductive (and even counter-productive) to debate the merits of evolutionary theory, and proponents of ID have yet to put forth a falsifiable hypothesis that can be attacked directly.

1 comment:

Sven Sinclair said...

I think it is very clear what needs to be done. All reputable scientists and other intellectuals must start using words like "idiot" and "lier" consistently, every time they comment on such theories and people who advance them. And such comments should be much more frequent and prominent. There should be full-page ads in newspapers using unambiguously disrespectful language and signed by Nobel laureates and the like. If we keep treating scum respectfully, we deserve to be buried in it.