The post is irksome not because I disagree with the Prof’s argument, but because as usual, it’s extremely well-reasoned, and damnit, I can’t find away around it. And I really, really want to.
He argues that despite the strong urge to shoot down proposals to teach intelligent design in schools (the heart of the matter at hand), the arguments against doing so are tenuous:
Nor can one argue that intelligent design is unproven, but evolution is proven. Evolution has not been proven in any common sense of the term — true, it’s (to my limited knowledge) more or less consistent with the evidence, but intelligent design is consistent with the evidence, too. Intelligent design, in turn, is neither proven nor disproven; it may not even be disprovable, absent some quite remarkable and uncontrovertible divine revelation.
Professor V is making a rather irritating habit of coming up with intelligent, articulate arguments which logically lead places I don’t want to go. I wonder if I asked him nicely if he would stop…
Update: I may not have the intellectual horsepower (well, at least after a long day of posting) to challenge the great Professor V, but Max Power rises to the occasion and lands a few body blows (in an extremely civilized, intelligent, non-Bennett-like kind of way). Not quite sure I’m convinced, but it’s a fun fight to watch.
Question to the audience: Are we seeing here simply a difference in frame-of-reference? If I didn’t know better, I’d say that the differences between Prof V and Max Power stem, in large part, from Prof V taking a viewpoint on the issue from the perspective of a strong legal framework, whereas Max is looking at it from the perspective of the common standards of scientific research. Both are intellectually honest and rigorous, but they can, I think, lead to different conclusions given the same set of facts.
Hmmm. I seem to be doing color commentary on a bloggerly debate. Now that’s kind of odd…