Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Me Thinks They Doth Protest Too Much

[Original posted Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006, 8:21 AM]

"Scientists" are pressuring the agency of the Canadian government responsible for funding social science in Canada to declare that ID is a religious concept and not science.


There appears to be a need for additional clarity in the comment exchange with Courage Monkey. Perhaps a link to the original story will help. This post does not address the question of whether to teach ID vs. evolution, or whether ID is, or includes, legitimate science. Canadian professor Brian Alters' grant request to investigate whether the notoriety of ID has proved detrimental to Canadians was rejected by the relevant federal agency.
The committee found that the candidates were qualified. However, it judged the proposal did not adequately substantiate the premise that the popularizing of Intelligent Design Theory had detrimental effects on Canadian students, teachers, parents and policymakers. Nor did the committee consider that there was adequate justification for the assumption in the proposal that the theory of Evolution, and not Intelligent Design theory, was correct. It was not convinced, therefore, that research based on these assumptions would yield objective results. In addition, the committee found that the research plans were insufficiently elaborated to allow for an informed evaluation of their merit. In view of its reservations the committee recommended that no award be made. [emphasis added]
In other words, the grant was rejected for sloppiness. In response, Prof. Alters claims that this rejection confirms the conclusion of his as yet still unconducted study (Sidebar: Doesn't that seem a bit scant on which to base a rejection of the null hypothesis?) and he demands, now joined by other scientists, that a governmental grant review board make claims of scientific fact and religious classification. I say again, this "protest" more resembles a money-grabbing publicity stunt than a high-minded defense of the name of science.

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