Skiff: long on rhetoric, short on light

Our local “Dissenter from Darwinism,” Fred Skiff, gave a talk last Friday. Prior to the talk, I predicted:

One, that Skiff will provide a strawman version of evolutionary theory (heck, and science itself) as he did last time I saw him speak… Two, that Skiff will assert or imply that evolution implies atheism, and that if one accepts methodological naturalism, one therefore must also accept philosophical naturalism, and choose between evolutionary theory and their religious beliefs. Three, that he will assert that “intelligent design” is the sensible alternative to “orthodox” science, but its study is being repressed by “Darwinists” or something of that nature.

All I gotta say is: damn, I’m good. In a bit of what I assume was unintended irony, Skiff was introduced with a comment noting that discussions about intelligent design frequently generated “heat” but not a lot of “light,” after which Skiff spent much of his time railing against “Darwinists” and “Darwinism,” creating a strawman presentation of evolutionary biology, misinforming about the Richard Sternberg case, claiming that supporters of evolution were out to make it “illegal to question Darwinism” and that the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) has said to “destroy intelligent design by ruining reputations.” Is it any wonder Skiff receives a lot of heat after inflammatory rhetoric such as that? A summary of the rest of the talk is after the jump.
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Carnival barking

I was planning on writing up this aforementioned talk for this afternoon’s post, but there ended up being so much to say about it (and not enough time, alas, as I have to run to a faculty meeting shortly) that I’ll save it until Monday. (I *will* say that it was jaw-dropping, but not in a good way). In the meantime, the fortnightly carnival of science blogging, Tangled Bank, is up over at Neurotopia after a few days of computer issues, and the latest Skeptics’ Circle can be found at The Second Sight.

Snowin’, blowin’ and movin’

Apologies for the radio silence this week. The weather has been crazy here and power was off over the weekend, during which, unfortunately, I was also trying to move into a new house (moving during an ice storm: not recommended, by the way). Then I got into a fight with some of our downed tree branches and lost…don’t ask. Anyway, I do have a post on tap for later today and hopefully things will be back to some semblance of normal next week.