Monday, July 31, 2006

Obviously, Only Catholics Have Standing To Assess The Believability Of Catholicism

I don't think so. Do there exist parallels to such sophistry in other fields of endeavor?

Uncommon Descent:

Are challenges to Darwinian theory from those outside the discipline legitimate?

I would argue that, indeed, they are.

In a previous UD thread, Tom English made the following comment:

I have seen a number of brilliant and highly educated people do abysmally stupid things when they stepped outside their domains of expertise. Computer scientists make abysmal biologists. Journalists make abysmal biologists. Philosophers make abysmal biologists. Theologians make abysmal biologists. Mathematicians make abysmal biologists. Physicists make abysmal biologists.

I would argue the following: Darwinian theorists do foolish things when they step outside their domain of expertise. They are generally not competent mathematicians, computer scientists, chemists, philosophers, theologians, or physicists. Yet, they make sweeping claims of incontrovertible fact that impinge upon all these disciplines, and then expect immunity from challenges from those with expertise in those disciplines.

The essentials of Darwinian theory are actually quite trivial and easy to understand. But are they true, and do they hold up under scrutiny from those with expertise in the disciplines upon which the theory impinges?

1 comment:

Michael Poole said...

Skipping the whinging about expert qualifications and topics that "impinge" upon some other field, the answer to both parts of the question is a resounding yes.

Do mathematicians take it seriously when state legislatures vote on laws saying that pi must have the value three? Do computer scientists take it seriously when someone proves that P=NP if you have an appropriate oracle function? Do chemists take it seriously when someone argues over the reactions necessary to convert lead into gold or mercury?

It is not surprising that most biologists do not take ID seriously; the arguments of ID are just as poor as those cases.