Thursday, February 22, 2007

The argumentum ad andonandonandon

For those of you who've been pinning your hopes on ID theory, I hate to break it to you, but James L. Powell, professor of geology and the former director and president of the L.A. County Museum of Natural History, has issued the definitive refutation of this much-touted theory.

Brace yourself! If you standing, sit down. Then take a deep breath. If you have a heart condition, read no further! Ready? Don't say I didn't warn you. Okay, here goes:

"We have to say that if creationism is right and if there is an intelligent designer, then almost everything else we know about science is wrong. Then your flu vaccine wouldn't work, your car wouldn't start, there was no Hiroshima, and on and on and on."


  1. Wow. I mean, why debate the issues any longer? I'm devastated. Guess I'll just go sign up for the Richard Dawkins newsletter now....

  2. Silly me, there IS no warp speed...

  3. Gah! I didn't meant to delete!

    ...I'm going home...

  4. Given that ID isn't comprehensive, it has significant observations to bring to the table. In this light, my eight-year old can debate as well as James L. Powell:

    "Fine! I'll just take my marbles and go home!"

    "Oh, yeah! Well my daddy said..."

  5. I guess them cars were not designed after all. Just a deterministic random arrangement of molecules after billions of years.

  6. David Heddle was right to be incredulous. He's smarter than you, or maybe he's not as desperate to believe that the earth is a few thousand years old.

    When you listen to the entire program, the comment about Hiroshima and our cars and etc., all make perfect sense. The words ripped out of context make no sense. It's typical creationist quote mining. Something they're very practiced at.

    Notice that no link was provided to the original source? Well I went digging, and I found this, which is Powell's long explanation of radioactive decay, and how it relates to Hiroshima, and how it relates to atoms, lights and uniformity in general. (See 1:13:00-1:14:00) The summary video at the end of the series has him repeating what he had earlier said, although much less articulately and (honestly) stretching it a little for the sake of hyperbole. The quote is from this video, (1:35:00). It makes little sense if you don't listen to his earlier explanation of how physics ties together radioactive decay to atomic behavior to lights (and thus electricity) --> cars.

    It doesn't surprise me in the slightest that this turns out to be a purposeful relief of context, wherein he explains what he means by the Hiroshima reference and uniformity (he should've said, 'you can't expect your car to work'). Paul Nelson supposedly provided this quote to Krauze. Krauze didn't bother to tell us where to find it. I'm not surprised, because the man's overarching point (See 1:13:00-1:14:00) is a solid one, and this one quote is a fumbling attempt to "talk back" at creationists on their level of rhetoric.