Wednesday, February 08, 2006

These are the guys who are going to improve science education?

One of the reasons that it is so important to uphold and protect science is that its central ethos is honesty. You can't claim to be doing science unless truth is the paramount value. Every scientist knows that the time may come when they have to go public with the news that something they've been working on for years is just wrong. If you're doing science you have to be open and transparent about your data, your assumptions, your processes, and you're either right or you're wrong.

The one thing we know for sure about "intelligent design" is that, no matter what they claim, it isn't science. The adherents of intelligent design will never admit they are wrong, will never follow the science where it leads. It's creationism, i.e. religion, in disguise.

You undoubtedly remember that last summer Bush was saying that the schools should "teach both sides": evolution and ID, science and superstition. Then, just this past month we've seen that NASA, one of the agencies that are supposed to be all about science and truth, is muzzling its scientists. One of the stars of this effort, or culprits, is George Deutsch, a 24-year old former intern in the Bush-Cheney campaign who demanded that the Ph.D. level scientists at his agency insert "theory" behind every mention of the Big Bang.

The Big Bang is "not proven fact; it is opinion," Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, "It is not NASA's place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator."

It continued: "This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA. That would mean we had failed to properly educate the very people who rely on us for factual information the most."

Now I'll grant you that schadenfreude is not the most attractive of emotions, but it's hard to resist when we find that young Mr. Deutsch has lost his job for lying about his academic record. It turns out that he said on his resume that he has a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Texas, but that is not, strictly speaking true, although he has gone to UT.

It's too soon to tell, since this just came out today, but since there were no blow jobs involved I'm guessing that this won't get a tremendous amount of play.


Blogger Opinionator said...

You have stated:
"The adherents of intelligent design will never admit they are wrong, will never follow the science where it leads. It's creationism, i.e. religion, in disguise."

There is no doubt that some creationists are using ID as a smokescreen to foist creationist doctrine upon the public. But there is, in fact, a big difference between the two.

It is possible to accept the truth of evolution without accepting the doctrine that Darwin's mechanism for evolution is correct. To claim that random mutation and natural selection constitute the way that organisms evolve is a distinct claim from the claim that organisms have evolved over time; the latter has sufficient evidence to be considered proved, but not the former.

I've commented about this on my own blog,

February 13, 2006 9:19 AM  
Blogger odum said...

DailyKos has a regular "know your creationists" feature that one of the front page bloggers has been running. You should look for that if you haven't already. Very interesting to look at some of these folks and their histories/motivations. They are definitely not all cut from the same cloth (well....some of them aren't...)

February 15, 2006 9:09 PM  

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