(Page 2 of 2)
And what is the case against teaching consensus science? That it might turn out to be wrong? So it might; but if we are to teach any science at all, let it be the science that is most widely accepted among actual scientists, who presumably know something about their disciplines. At the AEI conference you mentioned, someone from the audience asked me whether, had I been around in the 12th century, I would have wanted Ptolemaic astronomy taught. I replied that of course I would, since it was the best theory available; and added, as gently as I could, that it would have been somewhat impractical to teach Newtonian astronomy since Newton had not yet been born.
I actually think Intelligent Design has been a disaster for creationism. You have tied yourselves in knots with the effort to promote creationism while never mentioning those lawsuit-losing essentials of creationism. I can’t pretend to wish you well, but if I did, I think I would say: “For goodness’ sake dump all this gibberish about ‘complexity’ — specified, irreducible, or whatever — and get back to basic Bible creationism. It has far more appeal, and you will speak more plainly, with more authority.”
(Though what I think will actually happen — I see signs of it already — is that the creationists will soon dump paleontology altogether and head over to Consciousness Studies, where the pickings are richer.)
As to Bethell’s assurances that “Darwinism” will be overthrown any day now, and that working biologists, botanists, zoologists, geneticists, paleontologists, paleoanthropologists, neuroscientists, and medical researchers all around the world will all simultaneously smack themselves on their foreheads and shout out in unison: “Of course! How blind we have been! Those folk at the Discovery Institute have been right all along!” — well, I have been hearing that for close to twenty years. Is there the faintest sign that any such thing is about to happen? Really, Mr. Bethell? Of the thousands of research departments in the above-mentioned disciplines around the world, has even one swung into the creationist camp, or shown any sign whatever of doing so? Names, please.
I mingle with working scientists a fair amount, and the main difference I have noticed in their attitudes to creationism this past few years has been that their amused indifference is now tinged with disgust at the underhand tactics of the creationists, illustrated for example in the story of the 1999 Kunming conference (told in Creationism’s Trojan Horse, p. 61 ff.)
Creationists need to drop the pseudoscientific flapdoodle and get back to the Bible. They won’t win any court cases that way; but then, they aren’t winning any anyway, and their souls will be much cleaner, and their brows less furrowed, if they just go back to Genesis and preach the Word. Which is what, in any case, most of their follows have supposed them to be doing all along.p>Yours faithfully, br> — John Derbyshire br> Huntington, New York /p>