Friday, April 25, 2014

Scientism or Intelligent Design?: What's Really Stupid

I had been looking forward to the remake of the Cosmos series this year because I knew the update would include all kinds of wild scientific discoveries that have widened our knowledge in the 30 years since Carl Sagan brought the wonders of the universe into our living rooms. Talk about being disappointed.

Part of the problem with the show is the absolute disdain its host has for considering anything beyond his narrow scientistic view of reality. That, and he's not a very compelling speaker or relayer of information. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson has become quite famous recently because of the show, but to demonstrate what I mean, check out this video that was suggested to me by the atheist tildeb a while back to show me how stupid Intelligent Design is and how brilliant Dr. Tyson is. Let's just say that when you watch the video, it becomes very apparent that both of those claims are patently and obviously false:

Dr. Tyson wants to make a big deal about the fact that there are an overwhelming number of factors "out there" that seem to be trying to kill us.


I guess I'm not sure how someone so brilliant (and I mean that sincerely) would miss the fact that in spite of all that, here we are.

He says, "That's not what I would call the Garden of Eden." No, Dr. Tyson, it's not what anyone would call the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden is a unique place in an already unique world. You have to be able to explain both of those. That's kind of the point of the Anthropic Principle -- that it is highly unlikely that a place could exist anywhere in the universe that should be able to allow for and sustain life. Proponents of Dr. Tyson's view have gone to great lengths to explain that fact away -- such great lengths that their leading proposal is that there are an infinite number of other universes and we just happen to be in the one that allows for us. Never mind that, when it comes to their reliance on scientific observation, all these hypothetical universes are, by definition, unobservable. This small point renders their view unfalsifiable and therefore ... wait for it ... unscientific!

From there he descends into the usual childish mockery we have come to expect from those who have no good argument to offer for how things that they admit look to be designed came to be designed. Instead, he challenges us to "stop looking at all the things that confound [the] revelation" that there is no design and accept the fact that there is no purpose for anything. One example he gives of something that no designer would come up with is "an entertainment complex in the middle of a sewage system" -- his description of the human reproductive and waste elimination systems.

I think this is telling.

Not only does a grade school level statement like that dodge the fact that every system that makes up the human body is exquisitely designed; not only does such a childish statement demand a transcendent, omnipotent point of view that Dr. Tyson most certainly does not have -- the sad fact is that a scientist of Dr. Tyson's stature seems to be so blissfully ignorant of the purpose for what he calls "an entertainment system."

Human sexuality and reproduction have a purpose in this life and that purpose is most assuredly not for "entertainment." Even a diehard, atheistic Darwinist should know that. The human reproductive system is meant for ... reproduction. This is not rocket science, but Dr. Tyson's view of it betrays the fact that his disgust with, and denial of, all things for which one could deduce a purpose stands not on scientific grounds but on a volitional and/or moral view that will not countenance the existence of any Designer who claims to place limits on the extent to which he seeks to entertain himself.


See also: "The Folly of Scientism"

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