When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

03 November 2005

God bless you, Mister Derbyshire

In a post over at The Corner today, John Derbyshire writes:
...[Intelligent Design] is an entirely American phenomenon -- really, an outgrowth of American folk religiosity. You can find a scattered few I.D. followers in other countries, but I.D. is not a public or pedagogic issue anywhere but in the U.S.A. People in other countries are just baffled by it; scientists in other countries just shake their heads sadly. This is not the case with any scientific theory that I am aware of. Real science is international. The presence of a strongly national coloring is, in fact, a pretty good marker of pseudoscience. Compare, for example, the "Soviet science" (Lysenkoism, Marrism, etc.) of Stalin.

There is nothing wrong with folk religiosity, of course. I personally regard it as a strengthening and cohesive force in the national life, and in the conservative movement. I am happy about American folk religiosity, and regard it with cheerful approval. But-- It. Is. Not. Science.
While I, personally, am not as sanguine about all of the effects of American folk religiosity as Mr. Derbyshire is, I think his entire post is well worth reading, as are many of the other things he writes.

Related item: ordained Dominican priest (and dual Ph.D. biologist and theologian) Francisco Ayala has some thoughts on I.D., elucidated in this entry at Mark A.R. Kleiman's blog.

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