Fred Reed is among the growing number of evolution skeptics and he answers responses to his recent column on the subject:
Recently I wrote a column about the theory of Intelligent Design, which holds that that life, both in its origins and its changes over time, are the result of design instead of chance. Several hundred comments and emails arrived, more than I could read. This was not surprising as there seems to be considerable public interest in the question, while a virulent political correctness prevents discussion in most forums. In particular the major media prevent mention of Intelligent Design except in derogatory terms.
Interesting to me at any rate was that the tone of response was much more civil and thoughtful than it was say, a decade ago.
A fair few respondents quoted the Bible. I wondered why the Bible and not the Koran or Bhagavad Gita. The Bible seems to me the chaotic literature of a barbaric tribe and characterized by morally unpleasant stories. Why it is thought to have any relevance to abiogenesis is not clear to me.
Some readers, quoting Carl Sagan, said approximately, “Fred, an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence to support it.” I don’t disagree. The claim that ocean water will in time produce Manhattan seems to me sufficiently extraordinary to require extraordinary evidence. So far, there is none. Evolutionists have not shown that sea water can produce any life at all, much less the New York Philharmonic.
Other readers insist that Intelligent Design is not scientific. If not, so what? The question should be not whether it is scientific but whether it is true. What an ideological group calling themselves scientists believe is not a valid test of truth. When I was in the eighth grade, I watched Crusader Rabbit on television. This is not science, yet it is true.
If science deals with the reproducible, then paleontology is not science, as neither is the chance creation of life, which has not proved reproducible. If science must make predictions, then physiology is not science, being entirely descriptive. If science is the study of the quantifiable, then evolution isn’t. What is the unit of selective pressure?
Fred has landed on precisely the aspect of evolutionary theory that made me into a strong TE(p)NSBMGDaGF skeptic. What many people who have not thought seriously about the issue don’t realize is that biologists are literally so stupid, and so innumerate, and so illogical, that they don’t understand the problems that quantification creates for their many unfounded assumptions.
You may recall that I confused a number of evolution advocates by asking them a very simple question: what is the average rate of evolutionary mutation. The problem was not that they could not provide a precise answer, although the fact that they couldn’t even work out a possible range as well as I could was troubling. The problem was that they did not understand that the question was a) entirely legitimate, b) the answer to it can theoretically be worked out, and worst of all, c) there ABSOLUTELY MUST be a precise answer to it.
What their confusion indicated to me, and what I later confirmed by analyzing undergraduate, graduate, and PhD programs, is that biologists are still essentially butterfly collectors. They are the least intelligent of the STEM field graduates and most of them have no ability whatsoever to even begin to grasp the relevant issues involved, let alone successfully address them.
For example, it is particularly amusing to note that I have encountered people who sneer at the idea of intelligent design while simultaneously admitting to being philosophically open to the idea that the world is some sort of digital simulation. I can’t even bring myself to point out to them that if the world is a digital simulation, this strongly implies that the intelligent design crowd was correct all along.