Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Circus of the Spineless

The latest edition of The Circus of the Spineless is out. It is full of interesting posts and articles and its a great way to get to know other bloggers with similar interests. You can get your tickets here. This particular Circus has taken on something of a double meaning since the host has decided that only some bloggers are worthy of participating. If you are an evolutionist you can bring your act and join the Circus but if you happen to believe in Creation or Intelligent Design you can't come to the Circus, take your act elsewhere. Now what happens if someone who happens to believe in Intelligent Design hosts the Circus and refuses to take posts from Evolutionists? Why are we censoring each other? Why create more intellectual ghettos? Shouldn't our mutual love of the natural world enable us to share what we can of what we love?

Reminds me of the bumper sticker I saw a few years back: "The more I get to know people, the more I like my dog."

Oh well ... to the woods!


Mike said...

Hey Kingfisher. I like your play on words. However, I have to applaud Aydin's decision not to accept posts from avowed creationists. As you've undoubtedly noticed by now, most nature blogs (at least the ones that participate in the various carnivals) have a scientific bent. Without trying to start a debate, the reason creationists are scorned is because of their anti-science outlook. This is evidenced not just by their beliefs, which in themsleves wouldn't be a big deal, but also by the efforts of ID advocates to compromise science instruction.

Basically, this ban is not about attacking faith but an effort to protect the integrity of science.

I don't mean to put words in Aydin's mouth. This is simply what I understand the conflict to be. I also applaud his decision. Character is standing up against one's enemies and the ID movement is certainly opposed to science.

Speaking of carnivals. when are you going to share your work with I and the Bird?

Kingfisher said...

It's always a pleasure to have a visit from Mike at 10,000 birds (I hope I'm still doing this blog when your count hits the magic number!). Reading your entries is both entertaining and educational.

With respect to this other matter, I have never had any patience with anit-intellecutalism in any field. It is an underground stream that bubbles up everywhere, including science. To label someone who believes in intelligent design as an "enemy" of science or as a "fool" (as one participant at the Circus intoned) is just too easy a means of dismissing intelligent debate. Scientists who have concluded intelligent design are trained at the same schools, work in the same institutions, publish in the same peer reviewed journals, use the same scientific method in their research, have achieved the same kinds of distinctions in their scientific endeavors, and live in the same world as scientists who happen to embrace the theory of evolution. It is, after all, only one part of a very big scientific world.

Most of the objections do not pertain to the scientific research that has been done in the service of evolution but to the conclusions drawn from that research. Indeed, it is not a matter of challenging scientific method but, rather, some of the philosophical prolegomena that often lies unexamined beneath the surface of our efforts to explain the world we see.

Dawkins himself ("The Blind Watchmaker", etc.) recognizes the incredibly persuasive power of "apparent design" in the Universe even though he has satisfied himself that the design is only apparent. This kind of recognition creates a common ground of respect that encourages both sides to listen and contribute. This is one of the reasons that I thoroughly enjoy reading Dawkins.

Having said all of this, your two cents is always worth a buck on this blog. Stop by any time.

Mike said...

You're too kind! If you'd like to discuss ID and evolution further, feel free to e-mail me. And keep up with your great nature blogging.