Friday, February 27, 2009

Yes we have no publications

On Uncommon Descent (remember them?) they are slowly producing a FAQ. The latest, the third installment, is particularly weak.

The question (though not posed in the form of a question) is: Intelligent Design does not carry out or publish scientific research.

Presumably we are going to be presented with evidence that this is not true. We aren’t. The answer, in its entirety, contains no list of peer-reviewed papers. Not one.

What we get instead is a sermon. There could be a lot of ID research, there really could be, but the mean old scientific establishment is stymieing the efforts.

The evidence for this accusation is that a small research grant of Baylor Professor Robert Marks was terminated by the university and the money returned. The grant was not from NSF or NIH but from a charity organization named the LifeWorks Foundation and operated by a husband and wife team. It would be safe to assume that the proposal was not scrutinized by a panel of scientific experts.

This grant provided Dembski with stealth access back to Baylor where his many shenanigans, including embarrassing his very benefactor, have rendered him persona non grata. Regardless of what you think about it, returning the grant, after Dembski's involvement came to light, hardly constitutes any sort of systematic attack on ID scientific research.

The truth is quite different. While it is arguable that the playing field is not level in regards to speculation that an author might include in a peer-reviewed paper, it is not true that a legitimate scientific ID paper or proposal would be dismissed out of hand. Indeed, I suspect that a proposal of a potentially falsifying ID experiment, which should in principle be possible if ID is science as its proponents claim, would receive immediate funding. All they have to do is propose: If you fund us this much so we can buy this equipment and perform this experiment, we’ll get result A if ID is correct, and B if it is wrong.

I reckon even Richard H. Dawkins himself would kick in a few euros.

There is an easy way for the ID community to prove that their research is blocked. Publish a compendium of rejected research grants, along with the reviewer's comments. Let's see all those examples where Doctors of ID have submitted proposals to NSF only for it to come back summarily rejected for being forbidden research. The proposals can be sanitized—names and institutions can be disappeared like an inconvenient UD comment, but the contents of the proposal and the reasons for the rejections should paint a clear picture of persecution.

I have yet to see any such evidence.

1 comment:

  1. I had occasion to come back and re-read this today.