Monday, June 23, 2008

Sophisticate Sniffs at Pherlosophy

John Moore's devastating attack on Intelligent Design:
[Intelligent Design] may be a sublime idea worthy of religious and philosophical contemplation, but it fails to meet the definition of science. It can't be proven and it can't be tested.
The "definition of science," eh? Easy on the abstruse terminology there, egghead! ... But for those of you whose dictionaries don't give a "definition of science" that does much to clarify Professor Moore's intended meaning, I think what he means to say is that: Intelligent Design, because it can neither be proven nor tested, fails to meet the necessary criteria for a scientific theory. Which is quite true. Indeed, in the interests of comprehensiveness, I would add to ID's fatal failings that it is not observable either.

'Thing is, this is precisely the most obvious problem with evolutionary theory.

The title of John's piece is "Science is not philosophy", but if he knew absolutely anything about either of these disciplines he should never have dared to say anything so stupid. Leave alone the fact that philosophy most assuredly is a branch of science; how the hell can one assert the reasonable supremacy of one theory of knowledge over another without recognizing that such a judgement is wholly dependent on that standard of reason? Or did John think that the scientific method came to us as easy-to-read instructions engraved on the backs of those dinosaur bones?

Alas, such is the way with people who believe that philosophy is what you do on weekends at the cottage: staring solitarily at a Muskokan sunset from a wicker lawn-chair, wondering "Why am I here?"

But I wonder if it ever occurred to John that the staunchly backward National Post chose him to write this piece for the reason that he would do such a bad job of it? A priceless irony, this underestimation of Neanderthals.