Genie gets your facts straight on Intelligence Design and Creationism

I was hunting for Bigfoot on youtube, when Google suggested a video by Eugenie Scott from the National Center for Science Education (USA being the nation in question) called Genie takes on Bigfoot–and wins!. It’s a good presentation if you’re already into the cryptozoology scene. Otherwise, read about BFRO and the Patty/Gimlin film, for starters.

Anyway, it turns out that the NCSE is a main force in the battle of young American minds, fighting against the teaching of quote unquote "alternative theories" (i.e. creationism) in schools, and I ended up watching 3-4 hours of her presentations. Eugenie "Genie" C.Scott, Ph.D., is an inspiring scientist and her presentations are clear and balanced. Below are three videos (around 55 minutes each) that I really enjoyed:

Creationism: Still crazy after all these years

This talk from the Atheist Alliance International Convention in 2009 gives a great rundown of the history of "Creation Science" up until today.

Getting evolution right: Tips for writers

This video that is aimed at journalists targets the traps you should avoid and common misconceptions about evolutionary biology and, notably, why we should talk about evolutionary biology as opposed to ‘Darwinism’.

In the Beginning: Explanations from Science and Religion

The last video featuring Eugenie C. Scott, Francisco Ayala, and Denis Lamoureux (the two latter being devout Christians); talks about why evolutionary biology and Christian faith is compatible and can even be an inspiration for worship. It is really good, and underlines the fact that you can be a Christian and a proponent of evolution at the same time. This video is particularly nice, because even though I am an atheist, I cannot stand the recent poisonous debates by Richard Dawkins and the like, who strategically confuses opinions with facts. I am an atheist, but it is unscientific to state that my opinion (which I do believe is scientifically founded) is a scientific fact. You cannot prove that God does not exist scientifically, end of story. Trust me, I’m a philosopher.

Dawkins’ ad hominem attacks on Creationists as being stupid is a very bad strategy, and plays right into the hand of the creationist politics of displaying both evolutionary biology or ‘Darwinism’ and Creation pseudo-science as two opposing theories in a field — the "alternative theory" approach — when the former is a core idea spanning several fields of science with volumes of intersubjectively accessible evidence and demonstrable proofs, and the latter is a political strategy to allow teaching that God created everything _as-is_ in exactly 6 Earth days. Stop referring people to Dawkins and point them to instead, unless you want this ridiculous debate to go on.

4 thoughts on “Genie gets your facts straight on Intelligence Design and Creationism

  1. Well, the interesting thing here is that whereas the scientists talk from within the current scientific paradigm most of us share, the same can not be said of the creationist pseudo-scientists.

    They are following the paradigm of authority, where scripture has the last say. This way, empirical evidence is not the final evidence for anything, but must be interpreted in light of what the Bible (doesn’t) say on the matter. From their perspective, it is not only wrong to not check the Bible before talking about empirical evidence, it is unscientific.

    That’s what I find most interesting. Unfortunately, there is little consistency between methodologies used within creationism (except from the Bible Authority Rule), so you only need 2 different creationists to answer “all” concerns a “real” scientist might have, giving the impression to careless viewers that “these guys knows what they’re talking about”.

    Also, since the Bible can already explain everything, their entire aim is different than an empiricist’s. They’re just looking for the right encompassing model that fits with the Bible internally, without regard for intersubjective objectivity.

    Philosophically, it’s a great show. But common-sensically, it’s hard to fathom that people listen to them. Thankfully, it’s mostly reserved to the US.

  2. They say that the proof of God is in the Bible because it says so. This is like the “chicken or egg” question (paradox?).

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