This one isn’t very long, but it’s amusing. We found it at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog, and it’s titled How to Discuss Intelligent Design with Skeptics. It could easily have been titled “How does a drooling creationist pretend to have something to say?” Anyway, it has no author’s by-line. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
On a new ID the Future episode [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!], Tom Gilson — author, senior editor with The Stream, and occasional contributor to Evolution News — tackles the question of how best to discuss intelligent design with friends and associates skeptical of ID. Download the podcast or listen to it here. [Link omitted!]
The Stream sounds like something that occurs in the bathroom, but it’s a website that sometimes publishes Discoveroid articles. Gilson writes articles that appear in both places. We’ve encountered him before — see The Ultimate Discoveroid Blog Post, and we referred to his post as “a multisyllabic blast of pseudo-scientific flatulence.”
Fortunately, the Discoveroid post isn’t very long, so it’ll be tolerable to get through it. The Discoveroids say:
There is so much misinformation about the theory of intelligent design that many well-intended people reject not the actual theory but a silly caricature, a straw man.
We’re being accused of presenting you with “a silly caricature, a straw man” instead of the actual theory of intelligent design. Maybe that’s true. The Discoveroids tell us:
They don’t realize that ID is not an argument from ignorance but an inference to the best explanation based on positive evidence for design and negative evidence against competing materialistic explanations.
Ooooooooooooh! The Discoveroids’ “theory” is based on evidence for design and against evolution. Have we been avoiding those “truths”? Let’s find out. The Discoveroid post continues:
It involves what is known as abductive reasoning, a standard mode of reasoning in the historical sciences.
Ooooooooooooh! That sounds impressive. Wikipedia has an article on Abductive reasoning, which says:
It starts with an observation or set of observations and then seeks to find the simplest and most likely conclusion from the observations. This process, unlike deductive reasoning, yields a plausible conclusion but does not positively verify it. Abductive conclusions are thus qualified as having a remnant of uncertainty or doubt, which is expressed in retreat terms such as “best available” or “most likely”.
Very impressive! Indeed, the creationists’ favorite argument — God of the gaps — can be seen as an example of abductive reasoning. Let’s return to the Discoveroids’ post. This is all they have left to say:
When in conversation with someone who understands none of this [A Darwinist fool!], Gilson suggests using the Socratic method and, in particular, three questions designed to turn down the heat, promote dialogue, and draw the other person into a discovery of the actual theory of intelligent design.
Ah yes, the Socratic method, described by Wikipedia as:
… a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presuppositions.
The Discoveroids’ recommended technique may be fine for arguing certain exotic political theories, but perhaps you noted that after all their blather, there was no recommendation of the Scientific method, which involves observation, skepticism, and rigorous testing of hypotheses. Why, dear reader, do you think that was avoided?
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