Saturday, February 11, 2012

More Evidence that ID Isn't Science

Are you a young religious fundamentalist who feels threatened by the theory of evolution? Then this summer program run by the Dishonesty Institute may be right for you!

Of course, you'll need to prove that you are devoted to the Truth. That's why you'll need a "recommendation from a professor who knows your work and is friendly toward ID, or a phone interview with the seminar director."

Copy here, for when it disappears down the DI memory hole:

Yes, that's exactly how real science works. I remember well when I wanted to study theoretical computer science at Berkeley: one of the requirements was that I get a recommendation from someone who knew my work and was friendly toward computational complexity.


I mean, could it be any plainer that ID is a religious and political movement? It's just like when politicians set up "free speech zones" to keep out protesters, or when creationist organizations demand statements of faith.

No real scientific organization demands a "statement of faith" or that applicants to educational programs be "friendly" to the prevailing view. That kind of stuff is reserved for areas where questioning the evidence is not tolerated -- like intelligent design.


Grumpy Bob said...

I seem to remember similar requirements for last summer's ID conference organised by the UK Centre for Intelligent Design.

Human Ape said...

Of course they don't want any sane people in there. They're running a business. They know they're full of it and so they do what they have to do to make a profit, and that means accepting only students who are idiots.

Luke Barnes said...

Suppose I was running a summer school on cosmology. I receive a tipoff that a local young Earth creationist organisation is going to send some of its people along, with the intention of disrupting the lectures by asking questions, demanding to present their own theories, and interrupting with quotations from Genesis. There are limited places. What should I do? (Not a rhetorical question!)

Perhaps I should ask each applicant for a letter from their supervisor, stating that this person has a genuine interest in modern cosmology and is attending the summer school in order to learn. I might want to make sure that the supervisor is friendly to modern cosmology. We might justify this policy by saying that, while questioning scientific theories is fine, one must learn them first, and the purpose of the school is to teach not to debate. We don't want a room full of trolls. Its the same idea as a blog stating that "All comments are moderated to remove spam and duplication."

Still, it does make the whole thing sound like a conference run by David Koresh.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Luke, I don't think your scenario is even remotely related to the DI's summer program requirement.

Admission to scientific summer schools is based on things like transcripts and publications, not whether they are "friendly" to the particular point of view.

Luke Barnes said...

Fair enough. I was trying to think of the most favourable example. In my example, proven competence in cosmology would sort the wheat from the chaff. It sounds like a happy predisposition towards ID is a requirement.