Partisan hack Paul Krugman attacks the president and the neo-cons on Intelligent Design today:
I’d like to nominate Irving Kristol, the neoconservative former editor of The Public Interest, as the father of “intelligent design.”
Duh, it’s not going to convince anyone, even with Panda’s Thumb drooling all over it.
Krugman is probably the least credible columnist writing in America today. The Lying in Ponds website has consistently ranked him number 1 or 2 on their objective partisanship scale. Any column he writes that mentions Bush or the Republicans in connection with any subject at all is properly understood simply as unprincipled political bashing, because that’s the dude’s raison d’etre.
So Krugman beating up on Bush over ID isn’t helpful to those of us who oppose ID. Similarly, Dawkins is getting carried away with his political partisanship, attacking Bush constantly even though he’s not an American. He went so far as to say that all Bush voters are “stupid”. And his work in the ID wars has lately become more and more soft.
The people best situated to attack Bush on ID are those who generally support him on the war, the economy, school choice, and that whole set of issues. And there’s been no shortage of attacks from this sector of the political spectrum (center and right) on the suggestion that ID be taught in biology classes. See Krauthammer for a good example:
Evolution is one of the most powerful and elegant theories in all of human science and the bedrock of all modern biology. Schönborn’s proclamation that it cannot exist unguided–that it is driven by an intelligent designer pushing and pulling and planning and shaping the process along the way–is a perfectly legitimate statement of faith. If he and the Evangelicals just stopped there and asked that intelligent design be included in a religion curriculum, I would support them. The scandal is to teach this as science–to pretend, as does Schönborn, that his statement of faith is a defense of science. “The Catholic Church,” he says, “will again defend human reason” against “scientific theories that try to explain away the appearance of design as the result of ‘chance and necessity,'” which “are not scientific at all.” Well, if you believe that science is reason and that reason begins with recognizing the existence of an immanent providence, then this is science. But, of course, it is not. This is faith disguised as science. Science begins not with first principles but with observation and experimentation.
The fact is that politics by its very nature is the enemy of science, and neither side of the political spectrum has been immune to the abuse of science in the pursuit of its agenda. The junk social science that’s been churned out of left-leaning universities is a scandal of major proportions, much bigger than funny games with climatology or the work of the tiny little Disco Institute club.
Let me suggest that people who want to take on the cause of fighting ID would do well to check their other partisan beliefs at the door, lest they be confused for Unprincipled Krugmans. Similarly, religious people who want to spread their gospel would do well to stay out of science classrooms, because (as Krauthammer explains:)
To teach faith as science is to undermine the very idea of science, which is the acquisition of new knowledge through hypothesis, experimentation and evidence. To teach it as science is to encourage the supercilious caricature of America as a nation in the thrall of religious authority. To teach it as science is to discredit the welcome recent advances in permitting the public expression of religion. Faith can and should be proclaimed from every mountaintop and city square. But it has no place in science class. To impose it on the teaching of evolution is not just to invite ridicule but to earn it.
Criticisms of Christianity from snake-handling Buddhists carry no weight, and criticisms of evolution from those who reject science wholesale are similarly ephemeral.