Friday, February 9, 2007

Bob's War on Science: Pretending Controversy Exists

Every Friday, Bobbo dedicates the fourth hour of his show to a segment hes calls "Free-for-all Friday." Bob takes calls, engaging his listeners on any number of topics. Think of it as an opportunity for Bob to display his usual stupidity in a question-and-answer forum.

This week, a caller wanted to talk about Creationism. The general argument from the caller was that Creationism must be presented in a way that makes it palatable for general consumption. This gave Bobbo an opportunity to spew his nonsense about why he hate Evolution. (As an aside, can we stop calling it "Creationism?" I suggest the "First Law of Fundamental Ignorance" instead.)

Anyway, Bob made this ignorant statement: "The creation of matter and energy violates the first law of thermodynamics."

I'm not sure how to react to this, but I'll start by asking this question: Bob, are you stupid?

The First Law of Thermodynamics is known as the Law of Conservation of Energy. It states "Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be converted from one form to another." In the macroscopic universe, the Laws of Thermodynamics are absolutely true. However, in the quantum universe, the laws of thermodynamic run into Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. Because of the Uncertainty Principle, particles and space-time bubbles continually pop in and out of existence for short times depending on their energy, without breaking the law of conservation of energy as they disappear again.

So at the quantum scale, Thermodynamics break down and don't apply to the creation of the universe. Bob is misapplying a scientific principle to support his point of view. What a shock.

The other point that Bob made during the conversation is that scientists are censoring creationists and schools should be able to "teach the controversy."

This is, in two words, absolute crap.

First of all, the notion of "teaching the controversy" was first written about by Gerald Graff over twenty years ago, with the crux of idea related to the culture wars and not creationism. The idea is that educators should discuss both sides of a cultural issue in order to teach critical thinking skills. But then the Creationist movement discovered it and “picked the pocket” of one Gerald Graff, who came up with the notion some 20 years ago concerning wholly unrelated things."

Because teaching the controversy was unrelated to creationism, creationists had to do something to be able use it as a strategy.

They had to create controversy.

So these ninnies spent time creating farcical ideas like "Irreducible complexity" and screaming that scientists are mean and won't teach their silly ideas.

Ideas that, coincidentally, fail to disprove evolution. So there is no controversy. To quote Vincent M. Cassone. professor and head of the Department of Biology at Texas A&M university,

There is no controversy. Evolution is fundamental to the understanding of Biology, and the several theories by which evolution can be explained comprise a dynamic, honest discussion of scientific thought. However, of all of these, no one seriously considers "intelligent design" as an honest alternative. I will go further. Proponents of intelligent design have displayed an inordinate level of intellectual dishonesty.

Bobbo being dishonest in his discussion of creationism? Shocking.

Either that, or he's just ignorant. Take your pick.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I was actually the caller described in this account. My main point to Bob was that Naturalism is a larger concern than the theory of evolution. We hence should join forces as Christians and combat (with ideas)the naturalistic bias in academia. Evolution is irrelevant to me and to my faith, I believe it.

The problem is, Bob is in such a debate mind set (as can be seen when he debates quests that largely agree with him) seeing things in a us againgst them paradigm that he misses the real issues in favor of discussing irrelvancies.

Creationists of all stripes (even islamic, hindu, native north american etc.) have a common shared commitment againgst strict naturalistic reductionism and hence should argue at that level until that debate is won.