Challange / Minutiae · July 26, 2006

ID & Creation Science Update #4

I know a lot of you (all three) have been wondering, “Where is Calladus?” “Why isn’t he updating his blog?” And, “What is the average airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?”

Well, life happens. In my case, a lot of life happened all at once, and it’s taken me a little time to deal with it. I spent most of June working on my car after a somewhat catastrophic failure of the idler pulley, water pump, oil pan and crankshaft gaskets, and a hole drilled into the side of my timing chain cover by the idler pulley. I still need to replace the thermostat, and have someone work on my brakes and muffler. No, I don’t repair my own brakes. Blame that on Jake Stonebender. (Kudos if you recognize the Spider Robinson reference.)

Other things have happened too, which are a bit more personal and I won’t get into them here.

During all of this I had to keep checking out and returning the “Icons of Evolution” book by Wells to keep the library happy. I’d read a chapter and then spend several days working on my car. I’d turn the book in then check it out again. I even lost it for two weeks when another library patron put it on hold! It was very frustrating.

So I purchased it. I got it used from Amazon for about $9.00.

Yes, I know, I said I wasn’t going to do that! I had high hopes that some Creationist or proponent of Intelligent Design believed in his or her world view enough to actually make a gift of an ID book. But apparently true believers aren’t willing to do so.

This used paperback version of “Icons” is in absolute mint condition. It’s like no one even bothered to read it. Did it sit proudly on someone’s shelf for a year, displayed as ‘irrefutable evidence’ until the owner got tired of it and pawned it?

I’ve read it through once, and have started again, making notes as I go. My first impression is that if you are a Young Earth Creationist, you will probably HATE Jonathan Wells. In at least 3 different chapters he uses million year old evidence to discredit evolution. What’s up with that? My second impression is that Mr. Wells is a conspiracy theorist, just one step away from watching the skies for black helicopters.

Most of Icons is an effort to discredit Evolution or “Darwinism.” (He conveniently conflates the two.) Wells doesn’t propose an alternative theory, only a hatchet job on the evolution theory straw man that he constructed. However, he does drop hints about what his theory might be. I’ll leave that for my formal response.

The second chapter also introduces you to Wells’ belief that a community of nameless scientists are working together to keep ‘The Truth’ from everyone. Why hasn’t some intrepid reporter exposed this conspiracy yet? This is Pulitzer Prize material! Watch the skies!

Anyway I’m having fun with the book, and have a laundry list of scientist and other names to research. Wells drops names like a Hollywood socialite. So it’s going to take a while for me to review the context of specific quotes and relevance of the scientists quoted. I know I have to do this because proponents of ID often appeal to authorities by using irrelevant authority figures to prop up their claims. (Why would anyone consider a Doctorate professor of Mathematics or Physics to be an authority on evolutionary biology? It makes as much sense as me asking my old professor of Creative Writing how to repair my car. Maybe he would know how, but how could I trust him?)