Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Evidence Against Intelligent Design Part One: The Laryngeal Nerve


isbelle said...

I should not have watched that. Seeing my favorite animal sliced in bits was not pleasant :/

Robert said...


Agree to disagree. (this is a continuation of the other topic) The question I would have is how do you know that guys like Dawkins and Russell and other popular intellectuals aren't trying to dupe you with their propaganda to push some sort of hidden agenda of their own? You're answer, I expect, will point to the hierarchy of the academic review/accountability system. Then, my next question would involve lemmings and nodding heads and whether or not you can trust the establishment of academia itself?

Clint Wells said...

Robert  - What are we agreeing to disagree about? The Laryngeal nerve being evidence of unintelligent design? I’m confused.
To answer your first question: It is unclear to me what agenda someone like Dawkins and Russell would have themselves, let alone one they would share. The general message of both free-thought (more Russell’s bag) and evolutionary biology (more Dawkins) is that one should consider claims skeptically and lend provisional assent only in the case of physical evidence and/or reasoned logic.
Russell was a philosopher and I become bored with philosophy very quickly, even his books. Dawkins, however, is quite a different situation. Take the laryngeal nerve for example. To verify his claims about the laryngeal nerve all I would have to do is open up any variety of anatomy textbooks and see that all mammals have this nerve. Perhaps the entire discipline of anatomy has an agenda concerning this issue? In that case I could single-handedly perform a necropsy on a thousand mammals and see the evidence for myself.  
Now what? Philosophical masturbation about how I cannot even account for objective, observable reality? SNORE.
It is a disingenuous use of the term “trust” when you say that I “trust” the establishment of academia. I don’t trust it the way you presumably would trust your god if he told you to murder your children (a “heroic” story of faith in your tradition). In other words, it is not a blind following. The peer review system isn’t perfect. Scientists are just as prone to confirmation bias as anyone. But the system itself is self refining and insulated from human ego. For Dawkins to make a claim and expect to maintain his credibility as a scientist he must make sure that the evidence is sufficient to warrant provisional assent.
Do you know how many biologists have been trying to debunk the theory of evolution? Well, not as many as 100 years ago because the evidence is simply astounding…but in Darwin’s day it was treated with much skepticism. Today, if someone radically improved upon the theory or developed an entirely new theory that better explained the data we have…they would win a Nobel prize.
There is no academic conspiracy.
You know what I find a lot more conspicuous? Groups of people who systematically murder each other over differences in theology and dogma. People who truly suspend all critical thought to the mighty powers of Tradition and Authority. People who value faith over evidence and condemn the world to everlasting hell based on a book written thousands of years ago. As a Christian if you want to really investigate whether or not modern science has an agenda you would do well to remove the proverbial plank from your own eye.

Robert said...

No academic conspiracy?

That's quite a statement considering that Academia is almost entirely bureaucratic. Politics run the show (internal and sometimes external). The most influential/powerful rise to the top and control the perceived value of the rest.

...and this doesn't inspire even a little skepticism?

Clint Wells said...

I'm eager to hear what the academic conspiracy is all about. Care to explain?