Thursday, June 28, 2012

Perfectly Clear Podcast - Counterknowledge (Damian Thompson)

Counterknowledge by Damian Thompson counters Intelligent Design (ID), creationism and other controversial viewpoints such as those of Dan Brown.

Here is our Perfectly Clear Podcast reviewing the book.  The chapter on creation starts out attacking a website for kids, rather than deal seriously with the arguments presented in the journals defending Creation and the Flood:
CreationResearch Society Quarterly (CRS)
AnswersResearch Journal (AiG)
Journal ofCreation (CMI)

Thompson claims no Nobel prize winners oppose orthodox Darwinism. [1]  Arthur  Compton (Nobel Prize in Physics, 1927) spoke of “intelligent purpose” in creation. Wolfgang Pauli (d. 1958), Nobel Prize in Physics 1945, also criticized evolution. Creationist Raymond Damadian should have won the Nobel Prize for inventing the MRI.

Thompson connects creationism and ID, but fails to understand the close connection and how one implies the other. [2]  Thompson claims that ID advocates and creationists don’t make predictions. [3]  Not so, ID researchers have long foretold that “junk DNA” would find a function.  Dr. Russell Humphreys made predictions for the strengths of the magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune before they were measured by the Voyager probe – his predictions were highly accurate (unlike the evolutionists).
Thompson claims there are “very few” faculty in Christian colleges and universities who support Young Earth Science (YES). [4]  However, a full 42.3% of presidents, VP’s and department chairs of these schools endorse YES in one recent survey.  A more understandable mistake is Thompson’s claim that the Creation Museum in KY is the first one ever.  In 1992, icr opened the Museumof Creation and Earth History (4K sqr. ft.) in Santee, CA.

Many object to the term “Origins Science,” but this is in the category of Historical Science which is widely accepted.  CarolCleland (University of Colorado, Boulder) admits, “Historical science (which includes work in geology, biology, and astronomy, as well as paleontology and archaeology) is sometimes held to be inferior on the grounds that its hypothesis cannot be tested by controlled laboratory experiments.”  In addition, Derek Donald Turner (Philosophy Professor, Connecticut College) has written MakingPrehistory: Historical Science and the Scientific Realism Debate regarding such fields as paleobiology and geology which deal with “prehistory” where no experimentation is possible.
Thompson references Scientists Confront IntelligentDesign and Creationism ed. by Andrew Petto and Laurie Godfrey.  But I would read the 1 & 2 reviews for a more balanced perspective.  Amazingly, Deepak Chopra is pro-ID.  Oprah, sadly, accepts evolution.

1)  Counterknowledge by Damian Thompson (W.W. Norton, NYC, NY, 2008), p. 38.
2)  Ibid., p. 25.
3)  Ibid., p. 27.
4)  Ibid., p. 35.

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