Creationist Wisdom #164: The Sociologist

Today we present a letter-to-the-editor titled Do not censor the classroom, which appears in the News Star of Monroe, Louisiana. We’ll give you some excerpts from today’s letter, and we’ll also add some bold for emphasis, plus our usual Curmudgeonly commentary between paragraphs. Here we go:

The News-Star has now published three columns that object to the introduction of intelligent design in science classrooms, along with the theory of evolution, and denounced it as religious ignorance.

They failed to understand the intelligent design theory is a secular theory, drawing from inferences from scientific data and does not depend on any religious beliefs or books for its basis.

Right. Intelligent design “is a secular theory,” No religion involved! Who knew? Perhaps the letter-writer should check out the Discovery Institute’s wedge strategy. Hey, here’s the letter-writer’s own website: Jack Wright. Let’s read on:

As a former college professor [sociology], it is interesting to me that the theory of evolution is the only subject which demands no competing theories be introduced in either its textbooks or classroom discussions.

Come on, Jack. If there really were any competing scientific theories, they’d be taught. See Kitzmiller v. Dover: Is ID Science? We continue:

Scientific physics has determined recently that the vast size and great age of our universe are not coincidental. These facts are indispensable conditions for the existence of life on Earth and it is called the “The Anthropic Principle.”

Lordy, lordy. We’ve discussed that one here: Common Creationist Claims Confuted. On with the letter:

There are numerous other examples of intelligent design in the origin and development of our universe. But the scientific evidence points out that our universe was designed for life.

Yes, even the sun is crawling with life. it’s wonderful!

There are several other creationist clichés in today’s letter. Click over to the News Star to enjoy them all.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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19 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #164: The Sociologist

  1. They failed to understand the intelligent design theory is a secular theory, drawing from inferences from scientific data and does not depend on any religious beliefs or books for its basis.

    Because, you know, the IDiots say that it’s a secular theory. No doubt that’s why Dembski kept bringing up “design” in life as a reason to believe in God in his debate with Hitchens (to be fair, if the marks of rational design were found in life, one would do well to infer an unknown intelligence, although not obviously “God.” The trouble is that the marks of rational design are not found in life).

    As a former college professor [sociology], it is interesting to me that the theory of evolution is the only subject which demands no competing theories be introduced in either its textbooks or classroom discussions.

    It’s actually interesting to me that the theory of evolution is the only subject which demands that pseudoscientific ideas be presented along with the legitimate science (clearly with the idea of cutting into the time and material covering the legitimate science). Gee, do you suppose that sociological issues could possibly be behind this fact, such as the fact that the dominant religion has a great deal riding on a creation myth with which science conflicts?

    As a sociology professor, he does extremely badly in understanding the sociology of ID pseudoscience.

  2. Should have written instead:

    It’s actually interesting to me that the theory of evolution is the only subject for which a person like Jack Wright demands that pseudoscientific ideas be presented along with the legitimate science

  3. The idea that our universe was designed for life, not that it just happens to be habitable, is one of the most irrational of all arguments for design or a creator. Oddly it is also one of the common arguments. If the universe was designed for us, then space would not be flooded with dangerous radiation, our sun would peacefully fuse along and not release the occasional deadly coronal mass discharge, our solar system would not be swarming with potential earth impacting asteroids or comets – – to say nothing of the universe at large which is an incredibly energetic place with black holes, supernovae, gamma ray bursters, and more. The cosmos appears to me to be downright hostile to life, while we huddle on a little speck of livable rock. Anthropic indeed.

  4. Ed, some weird software glitch held your comment in moderation. Nothing personal.

  5. I recall an article, though my google-fu is muddled by decongestants** right now… where some physicists calculated that several of the ‘fine-tuned’ constants could vary by as much as 300% and there would still be the prerequisites for life (stellar formation, stable nuclei, etc).

    ** The quality of my posts in inversely related to the time of my last medication.

  6. Victor Stenger’s Monkey God program.

  7. Thanks, Richard. Now I can generate my very own universe!

  8. Benjamin Franklin

    Jack Wright wrote

    “…the intelligent design theory is a secular theory, drawing from inferences from scientific data and does not depend on any religious beliefs or books for its basis.”

    Twelve quatloos say that Wright wrote a similar passage in his book,
    “A Conservative Christian Looks at America”.

    I am similarly convinced that Wright wrote his book from scientific data and did not depend on any religious beliefs or books for its basis.

    Obviously a case of two Wrights making a wrong.

  9. What’s good to see is that at this newspaper and many others now there are a lot of people capable of refuting ID.

    The message appears to have got out.

  10. Benjamin Franklin

    I am now off to renew my just and good quest to eliminate silent “w”‘s from our language.

    Come Sancho, we’re off!

  11. He can’t even get his information correct! It’s not “Frank Barra and Frank Tiplett’s” article; it’s John Barrow and Frank Tipler.
    Can I have an “Arrrgh!” from the audience?

  12. retiredsciguy

    Ed wrote, ” If the universe was designed for us… our solar system would not be swarming with potential earth impacting asteroids or comets …”

    Actually, it’s probably the very cause of our development. If it weren’t for the rapid evolution brought about by the drastic changes in environment caused by cosmic collisions, “we” could still be amoebas or some such.

    (Which is just an elaborate set-up for a joke: One amoeba says to another, “Hey, Babe, nice lobes you got there!” Which is, of course, the first instance of asexual harrassment.)

  13. How is it that this “sociologist” never read Bruno Latour, who states (in his chapter on “Laboratories” in his book “Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society”):

    “The equal world of citizens having opinions about things becomes an unequal world in which dissent or consent is not possible without a huge accumulation of resources which permits the collection of relevant inscriptions. What makes the differences between author and reader is not only the ability to utilize all the rhetorical resources studied earlier, but also to gather the many devices, people, and animals necessary to produce a visual display usable in a text.”

    Where is the Discovery Institute’s devices, people, and animals necessary to produce a visual display usable in a text???

    Oh yeah! That don’t have any!

    This professor of sociology SHOULD know that. Duh.

  14. Gary – here’s your “Arrgh!” Chris P – I think that you have struck why the DI seems to be exhibiting death rattles; they really seem desperate.

  15. WELL, I’LL BE DIPPED IN SH*T AND ROLLED IN OATMEAL!

    Turns out that the letter writer was NOT a professor of sociology, but rather is a LAWYER. I am SHOCKED! SHOCKED and SCANDALIZED!

    And one more liar for Jeebus comes to the fore…

  16. LRA says:

    Turns out that the letter writer was NOT a professor of sociology, but rather is a LAWYER.

    It’s somewhat ambiguous, but I think he became a lawyer after he was a sociology professor.

  17. From this guy’s CV:

    Private Practice of Law 1981 to Present

    Loyola University Associate Professor, Criminal Justice 1974-1981

    Delgado College Chairman, Dept. Of Law Enforcement 1973-1974

    Mississippi State University Associate Professor of Sociology 1971-1973

    So this guy was an associate professor in the field of sociology 40 years ago??? Has he read ANY relevant sociological material (especially in Science and Technology Studies) in the last, say…. 40 years? Does he even know who Bruno Latour is???

    Yeah. Real credible source there. A former “professor” of sociology. Hahaha!

  18. It never ceases to astonish me how many non-scientists want to tell scientists that they are doing it wrong. I do include sociologists in that, formerly or currently practicing.

  19. LRA says:

    Where is the Discovery Institute’s devices, people, and animals necessary to produce a visual display usable in a text???

    Uh, they’re all going to be in Kentucky at the “Noah’s Ark” park, or some such? They’ll have an ark, and some dinosaurs, and some people with shephards’ crooks and fake white beards and… it’ll be a biiiiig shindig!