Okay. I have a confession to make. There is a secret I have been harboring for years now, and, on the advice of my therapist, I am now making it public: I think words are important. And it doesn't stop there. There is something else: I also think logic is important.
Of course my therapist is not a psychologist, but a metaphysician, and, rather than wasting his time with Freud, he has pondered the finer points of Duns Scotus. But I am the better for it.
And besides, I feel so much better now, having revealed this deep, dark secret, a secret I felt compelled to admit after an anonymous commenter on my previous post about Ben Stein's new documentary on Intelligent Design accused me of "parsing words" when I asked him whether he was saying ID was bad science or not science at all.
Now accusing a Latin teacher of "parsing words" is a little like accusing a plumber of fitting pipes, but the question he seems to be hinting at is: "Does it matter whether ID is bad science or non-science? Isn't ID cooked either way?"
Well, yes. If ID is science, and it is bad science, then that is a problem. And if it is non-science and makes scientific claims, then, true or false, it is meaningless. But it can't be both science and non-science: it has to be one or the other.
The problem is that people like this anonymous commenter want to make two mutually exclusive claims that cancel each other out. As soon as they make the argument, their argument is refuted.
They want to say on the one hand that ID is not science at all because it does not make falsifiable claims. That is why why say it shouldn't be taught in science classrooms. But then they say that it's claims are false. But how can it make false claims unless its claims are falsifiable?
You have to commit yourself to one of these positions and argue it consistently, otherwise your position refutes itself. You either have to say that it is non-science, in which case your arguments have to be directed at the nature of ID's claims as non-scientific claims, or you have to say it's bad science, in which case you can catalogue its false claims to your heart's content--but that cuts you off from saying that it isn't science.
Critics of ID want the rest of us to look the other way when they violate the simple rules of logic and get upset with us when we point it out. This indicates a deep-seated fear of ontological realities. That's how my therapist puts it, anyway.
If you are going to argue against Intelligent Design, you're going to have to commit yourself. And if you want a recommendation on a good facility, I'm sure my personal metaphysician will be happy to recommend one.