Thursday, June 19, 2008

Not all "bad science" is treated equally

P. Z. Myers is on the rampage again (is he ever not on the rampage?), this time about the fact that Ken Ham (of Creation Museum fame) recently was invited to speak to a Pentagon prayer breakfast. Myers was particularly upset about Ham's comment that there is no extraterrestrial life according to the Bible.

Ham's position is untenable, of course, but it got me thinking...

I would submit that Ham is no less inconsistent in his position than many of Myers' allies are in theirs. Ham drastically overstate his case: the Bible just simply doesn't say anything about extra-terrestrial life. But many people who share Myers' scientistic mindset (I'm thinking of Carl Sagan here), and who spend so much time preaching to the rest of us about the importance of sticking to the evidence, seem to be little short of convinced that there is extra-terrestrial life--despite the fact that there is no evidence for it.

None.

Now if the Bible doesn't say anything about extra-terrestrial life, the actual scientific evidence doesn't say much more than that. In fact, I wonder, is the Drake Equation any more scientific, under the criteria for such things as set forth by people like Myers, than Intelligent Design?

And if so, why wasn't Sagan considered as unwelcome in academia as the ID advocates are?

6 comments:

Art said...

The name is Myers.

Tickletext said...

As Walker Percy asked, "Why is Carl Sagan so lonely?"

Martin Cothran said...

And it's my fault they spelled his name wrong on his birth certificate? I'll fix it. Thanks.

Wayne from Jeremiah Films said...

You bring up a lot of great points ... I've linked to your ID from Louisiana Coalition for Science - Against Educating ID

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed how often atheists have to believe in something? Environmentalism, communism, space aliens, the power of crystals..... I prefer the atheists who take their non-belief straight.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"Has anyone noticed how often atheists have to believe in something? Environmentalism, communism, space aliens, the power of crystals..... I prefer the atheists who take their non-belief straight."

You must know some unusual atheists! Are your assertions based on talking to any? You are correct that many are into environmentalism and a number may think aliens COULD exist.

I doubt many here in the US are communists (and I bet they would be rather elderly), although atheist communists are probably common in China, the former USSR, and parts of Europe. The few American atheists I know are most certainly good capitalists. Several are Republicans!

I doubt even a small percentage of atheists are into New Age crystal power. Solid state physicists and mineralogists/crystalographers may be experts in the real as opposed to New Age powers of crystals. Possibly a percentage of these scientists are atheists also.