Before you begin reading this, dear reader, we warn you to unplug your irony meter. If you don’t, the thing will undoubtedly explode. Go ahead, we’ll wait.
Ah, you’re back. Now it’s safe to start. What we’re talking about is at the creationist blog of the Discovery Institute. It’s titled Listen: Kirk Durston on Fantasy Science and Scientism, and it has no author’s by-line. The idea of the Discoveroids — promoters of the “theory” of intelligent design — denigrating something as “fantasy science” is beyond amusing.
We know, you’re wondering who Kirk Durston is. We don’t write about him often. The last time was a year ago — see Intelligent Design Is the Logical Answer. There we quoted what the Discoveroids had said about him in an earlier post: “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.” They say he’s a clergyman, so we refer to him as rev Durston.
Okay, let’s get into it. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
On a new episode of ID the Future [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!], Kirk Durston, a biophysicist focused on identifying high-information-density parts of proteins, completes a three-part series on three categories of science: experimental, inferential, and fantasy science. Download the podcast or listen to it here [link omitted].
The rev says three categories of science are experimental, inferential, and fantasy science. Which one is your specialty, dear reader? If you’re one of those hell-bound fools who thinks evolution is good science, the rev would say that’s fantasy science. Anyway, returning to the Discoveroid post, they say:
Fantasy science makes inferential leaps so huge that virtually none of it is testable, either by the standards of experimental science or by those of the historical sciences, which reason to the best explanation by process of elimination. One example of fantasy science, according to Durston, is the multiverse.
Your Curmudgeon has never liked the idea of the multiverse, but the Discoveroids think we’re all devotees of that stuff. They tell us:
As he [Rev Durston] argues, that is an imaginative story largely untethered from evidence and testing, but told using math instead of literary devices.
The Discoveroids’ “theory” of intelligent design is also “an imaginative story largely untethered from evidence and testing,” and it doesn’t even use math. Anyway, the Discoveroid post continues:
Scientism, “atheism dressed up in a lab coat,” can lead to fantasy science of this kind because it commits itself to materialistic conclusions for philosophical reasons, not scientific ones.
Durston used that “lab coat” remark in his earlier post, and at that time we wrote:
We’ve often said that the Discoveroids have repackaged their creationist dogma into an ostensibly secular concept which they claim is a scientific theory. Despite ID’s complete lack of any scientific attributes, they promote it as a scientific alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution. But it’s a flimsy disguise — a reversible coat with meaningless science jargon on the outside and miracles on the inside — a garment made for flashers. And now, the Discoveroids are attempting to flip things around to claim that science is atheism in a lab coat.
It’s obvious to us that there’s nothing new in rev Durston’s podcast that he hasn’t said before. The final paragraph of the Discoveroids’ post is a couple of links to two earlier podcasts by the rev. We don’t link to that stuff, but here are the titles:
• “Listen: Biophysicist and Philosopher Kirk Durston on Experimental Science”
• “Biophysicist and Philosopher Kirk Durston on Experimental, Inferential, and Fantasy Science”
You wanna see ’em? Go ahead. If you learn anything, tell us about it.
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