I’m making an executive decision on Darwin’s Doubt. I’m going to start doing chapters out of order. There are several reasons for this.
First, is that I’m somewhat tired of defending evolution and science to people who don’t understand it, make a concerted effort to not understand it, and if they do understand it, then they lie about it. People like Meyer. So far, I’ve referenced a dozen or so articles that directly contradict what Meyer has claimed. I’ve explained, in a very detailed fashion, why the real world is not like Meyer says it is. I’ve also pointed out several places where Meyer’s statements about some research directly contradicts the authors.
Second, I have a number of reference books on my list to purchase and study, plus about 120 peer-reviewed research papers that are directly relevant to read, dissect, and cross-reference. I’ve done this once before and it’s time consuming. Indeed, what I’m doing right now, if I paid for it, would be the equivalent of earning Master’s degree in both biology and paleontology. While I enjoy doing it, again, it takes a lot of time and cramming 2-3 years worth of graduate level coursework into a few weeks isn’t going to cut it… not here. Not that is prevent Meyer from doing so, but I’m somewhat more serious about it than he appears to be.
Third, I know what the science says. What I really want to get to is what ID says about the diversity of life on this planet. Does Meyer actually calculate some reasonable odds or does he pull a Dembski and not ever actually use the principles of Intelligent Design? I’m very interested in finding out.
If anyone has specific questions about specific points that Meyer brings up, then let me know and I will try to work it in. Maybe, Nick or Janice, or Bob will come in and provide some help to everyone.
Finally, let me explain something. I’m doing this because I wanted to. I’m not doing this to defend evolution. Much better scientists than I have already looked at various pieces of Meyer’s work and pointed out major flaws. Let’s be very clear, this book is utter rubbish. The research is sloppy, the science is worse, and the writing is awful.
My goal is to provide a resource to those who are not experts in science. A tool to use when people who think that ticks prefer watermelons to oranges*. There are dozens of slick talking creationists out there (and anti-vaxers, anti-GMO proponents, and anti-science people of thousands of varieties), And they talk a good line. But that’s all they do… talk. They don’t do science, they don’t get science, they can’t accept that their beliefs may be wrong. Some of them are even quite smart, which makes them exceedingly dangerous, because no one with a high school level of knowledge can refute them.
When you have people like this on state school boards, they MUST be refuted or they will destroy the education of millions of kids.
I know, for the most part, I’m preaching to the choir. We have to share the message that creation myths are simply wrong. Science should be the only thing taught in science classrooms and it should be good science. Not crap science.** Students, even in elementary school, should be taught the scientific method and critical thinking. Because these are the only methods for learning anything that exist… well, anything real.
Sorry for the digression there.
More Darwin’s Doubt reviews will come… of course, that’s what they said at the end of Buckaroo Banzai too.
* Ticks are obligate hemovores. They only consume blood. And there is a creationist out there, who claims to be a scientist, who has stated this. Of course, the same guy has argued that ice is not water and that ID is not anti-evolution, but “All you have to do to disprove ID is to prove evolution.”
** This is one reason that I’m a strong supporter of the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards. I believe that about 60% of current science teachers will be unable to teach at the level required of NGSS. We have to get people who are good science teachers back into the classroom.