Misinformation Tactics in the Evolution/ID Debate
One thing to note in the debate over evolution and ID is that misinformation is rife. Today, I have seen three of the common methods used to spread misinformation.
Firstly, David Heddle at He Lives posts on ID articles not being published in peer reviewed journals.
Örstan’s editorial policy, as I have blogged before, is representative of the circular reasoning:
1. Do not publish ID in peer-reviewed journals, because it is not science.
2. ID is not science, because it does not publish in peer-reviewed journals.
3. If it is published in peer-reviewed journals, excoriate the editor.
Of course, when the complaint that it doesn't publish is made, they never mentioned points 1 and 3, creating the faulty perception and covering over the evolutionists circular reasoning.
Secondly, the ABC's Catalyst program recently ran a program on the Intelligent Design debate. Answers in Genesis has provided a response to the program, noting a couple of interesting points.
In all, Willis spent little more than a minute in total with these two, ensuring that their theistic bias was clearly highlighted, and dealing with only minor surface details of the theory in question....While Willis ensured the ideological biases of the ID proponents were clear, he kept those of his anti-ID subjects well under wraps.So here we have 2 misinformation tactics. Don't give equal time to the ID proponents and pretend that they are the only ones with an ideological bias.
Of course, the ideological bias still slips through if you can notice it. For instance, Paul Davies comments
We may never have all the details but I'm sure that there is a physical pathway leading from a mixture of mindless molecules to something as wonderful as a simple living cell. I don't know what that pathway is.Yep. It seems that Davies is certain there is a physical pathway there...Why is he certain? Well because he HAS to find a materialistic explanation.
The final example of misinformation is even more disturbing. Creation Safari's reports on one university lecturers 'new' strategy for dealing with ID.
An educational intervention that included reading books sympathetic to and opposed to "intelligent design" (ID) prompted students in a college introductory biology course to report that they had become more accepting of evolution as an explanation for lifeIt sounds balanced, but then when you look into the details, it is anything but balanced. Not only does the researcher treat belief in ID or creation as something to be 'treated', they also limit the discussion to provide a pro-evolution conclusion. How did they do it?
First, they got students to read Johnathan Wells "Icons of Evolution" and Richard Dawkins' "The Blind Watchmaker".
Then they got the students to read a book rebutting Wells' Icons. What is conspicuous is the lack of something rebutting Dawkins' Blind Watchmaker or perhaps a defense of the criticisms of Wells' book. You should also note the types of books they provided. Wells' book is a book directed at some of the supposed problems of evolution. It is not a book that contains the arguments for ID such as irreducible complexity (IC) and complex specified information(CSI). Dawkins' book is about how evolution can supposedly account for complex features. So really, by not providing a balanced amount of argument they are not giving ID a fair hearing and simply giving the impression that ID relies only on problems in evolution.
Also, if you bother to look at book that supposedly rebuts Wells' book, you will also notice that he refers to Wells and his book as a travesty of honest scholarship," "insidious," "unfair," "[makes] distortions," "dishonest," "misrepresentati[ve]," "[portrays] argumentative sleight-of-hand" and "pseudoscientific". Ad hominem attacks are a fallacy as old as time.
If these evolutionary defenders of science cannot be objective in dealing with ID or Creation science, why should we trust them to be objective in any of their science?