There’s a new post at the creationist blog of the Discovery Institute which demonstrates an astonishing lack of self-awareness: Should We Have Faith in Science?. It’s written by Kirk Durston, whom the Discoveroids introduced in this earlier post by telling us:
Dr. Durston is a scientist, philosopher, and clergyman with a PhD in Biophysics, an MA in Philosophy, a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, and a BSc in Physics.
Oooooooooooh — in addition to all those impressive degrees, Kirk is also a preacher! We shall respectfully refer to him as rev Durston. Here are some excerpts from his new Discoveroid article, with bold font added by us:
Many people today regard 21st-century science as a shining, monolithic spire of truth rising above the landscape of human ignorance and superstition. As a result, I often talk with people who fully apply all their critical thinking skills, and their full Internet-scouring abilities, to see if they can discover a weak link in evidence for the truth of Christian beliefs, but who have a complete, unquestioning faith in science.
Yes, people are always pointing out fallacies in the creationist claims of Discoveroids and others, but they never question the claims of science. It’s so unfair! Then rev Durston says:
Should you have blind faith in what science has become today? This article will be the first of several dealing with the corruption of contemporary science.
Oh joy! We can look forward to a whole series of these things. Let’s read on:
As a scientist, I am increasingly appalled and even shocked at what passes for science. It has become a mix of good science, bad science, creative story-telling, science fiction, scientism (atheism dressed up as science), citation-bias, huge media announcements followed by quiet retractions, massaging the data, exaggeration for funding purposes, and outright fraud all rolled up together. In some disciplines, the problem has become so rampant that the “good science” part is drowning in a mess of everything else.
No doubt rev Durston is referring to evolution, but he never specifically says that. He continues:
The heart of good science is the scientific method. … First, on the basis of a question, observation, or known laws of physics, draft a possible answer, explanation or “hypothesis.” Next, advance a falsifiable prediction on the basis of the hypothesis. Then, experimentally test the prediction. If the prediction is falsified, modify or abandon the hypothesis. If it is verified, the hypothesis is strengthened and lives to see another day.
Has anyone ever seen the Discoveroids applying the scientific method to their claims about a mystical designer — blessed be he! — who fine-tuned the universe and put the “information” into our DNA? We haven’t. Here’s more from rev Durston:
Avoid a double standard in how you apply your critical thinking skills; scientific claims are not above question. When you see a scientific claim, see if there is actually experimental verification of a falsifiable prediction. You might be surprised at how often a falsifiable prediction is not tested or even mentioned.
Excellent advice. A good place to start would be the “theory” of intelligent design, but rev Durston never mentions that. Moving along:
Look for the use of creative stories, or words like “suggests” or “may have” to make up for a lack of substance. Investigate whether evidence that does not support the hypothesis or prediction is being ignored.
One can find a number of such creative stories at the Discoveroids’ blog. Our last excerpt is from the end:
Coming up, I will look at specific types, with examples, of corruption in 21st-century science that are in contrast to good science and the scientific method.
Can anyone guess something that rev Durston won’t include among his examples? Hint: poorly defined terms like “complexity” and “improbability” as evidence of supernatural design.
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