October 17, 2005 | David F. Coppedge

Darwin on Offense II: Strategy Sessions

The Geological Society of America, normally concerned with technical details of rocks and how many millions or billions of years old they are, devoted two “expansive sessions” at its annual meeting Oct 16-17, with 24 separate presentations dealing with strategies to oppose intelligent design (ID).  Their press release portrays ID advocates as “trained attackers,” using the word “attack” four times as if their views and tactics are a frontal assault on science, using spurious arguments and devious methods.  It’s time for a counterattack, the GSA advises.  Donald Wise, one of the four speakers, has made his strategy public: the best defense is a good offense.

So how does a scientist or teacher defend evolution against trained attackers“Don’t,” suggests geoscientist Donald Wise from the University of Massachusetts.  Instead, go after the deep flaws in ID.  Take the human body, for instance, he says in his GSA presentation.  It’s a great argument against ID.  Anyone who has ever had back pain or clogged sinuses can testify to this.  Our evolutionarily recent upright posture explains our terrible back problems better than ID, and our squished, very poorly “designed” sinuses don’t function at all well and are easily explained by the evolutionarily rapid enlargement of our brains.
    Wise’s advice to scientists and educators is to: 1) get off the defensive; 2) focus on the ample weak points of Intelligent Design; 3) keep it simple; 4) accentuate it with humor; and 5) stick to irrefutable facts close to evolution and relevant to voters. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)

Eugenie Scott is one of the four speakers at the conference, with a talk on “Multiple levels of antievolutionism.”  The GSA also posted a complete resource kit with abstracts of most of the presentations and links to further information.  One of the presentations, seemingly out of place for a geological society, is called “Modern Biblical Scholarship as a Resource for Teachers of Evolution.”
See Reader Responses to this story.

Irrefutable facts – careful testing – observation – great.  When do they begin?  It would be harder to find a better illustration of Darwin Party hypocrisy.  These rockhounds have the gall to accuse their critics of propaganda tactics and logical fallacies when those are the Darwin Party’s stock in trade.  For plenty of examples, just look in the chain links here in five years of reporting on evolutionary theory: start here with entry #652 and work back.
    No need for lengthy commentary here; our readers did it justice (see reader responses).  Just to point out that Lee Allison’s tirade about bad design in the human body shows again the utter thanklessness in the Darwinian heart.  Isn’t that what Paul warned about those who turn their back on the obvious?  Watch gymnasts or weightlifters and anyone who puts their back into their work and tell them the human body was poorly designed.  There are limits to our specifications, yes – we cannot hoist 10 tons overhead – but no matter how much a body were designed to do, a Darwinist could always complain about why it is not better.  What do you want to bet these Darwinian ingrates brought on some of their own back pain by becoming obese or never learning good posture?  They also need a lesson on sinuses and the sense of smell (see 06/07/2005) – or any other aspect of human engineering (08/05/2005) – and learn a little gratitude.

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