Monday, December 11, 2017

#1936: John Marshall

Intelligent design creationism (ID) is pseudoscience, and as with most branches of pseudoscience, proponents of ID see the theory’s lack of popularity among those who actually has some expertise in the relevant areas not as a result of ID’s lack of scientific merit but as a result of conspiracy and/or bias. ID’s proponents themselves, of course, do not possess such expertise. A fine example is John Marshall, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia and ID apologist, who claims that mainstream scientists are trying to kick intelligent design “off the playing field of science” even though, according to Marshall, ID is “as much science as Darwinian evolution is science”. It isn’t. Marshall, of course, is not a biologist, and does not appear to have extensive knowledge of the relevant fields. Nevertheless, “as a theory, I believe that intelligent design fits the evidence of biology better than Darwinian evolution,” says Marshall, since that’s what he chooses to believe, regardless of evidence or principles for good scientific inquiry or evaluation of evidence (Marshall, in a 2007 talk in which he asserted his stance, failed to answer questions (from scientists) about ID’s testable predictions, for instance, which are sorely missing). He did bring up the standard false analogy involving DNA and information, however, saying that DNA is the “most complex, densely packed, elaborate assembly of information in the known universe” and even bears similarities to computer codes or a language, which is misleading at best. There is a nice, brief discussion of Marshall’s claim that ID is science here.

Marshall is also a signatory to the Discovery Institute’s laughable petition A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism.

Diagnosis: Marshall is a scientist. But being a working scientist in one field doesn’t mean that your dabblings in a different field are anything but pseudoscientific. Marshall is also a pseudoscientist.

No comments:

Post a Comment