A question asked of me by a creationist.
“And by your lights, blindly accepting your word on scientific work is OK.

My short answer.

Hardly. I expect those that read my posts, if they are so inclined, to investigate the content of my posts. The vast majority of evos are quite scrupulous in posting links to sites that contain accurate information and cites to the primary literature. No evo expects you or anyone else to accept what we say ‘blindly’. However, many times we are castigated for the number of links our posts contain so, at least in my case, the number of links has markedly dropped. If you wish to explore paths to the primary literature I suggest you visit PatrickHenry’s home page here or Ichneumon’s home page here.

As stated above I *expect* readers of my posts to further investigate the content, not to accept what I say blindly.

“Maybe Coulter is wrong on this issue – but if “objective” journalism happens to be right about it, it is the merest of accidents. A case of a stopped clock happening to be right for a moment, twice a day. Because “objective” journalism has motive to promote evolution simply because it tears at the reputations of people who oppose cynicism.

That Coulter is in error in her attack on evolution is most assured. That the journalists, whether objective or not, have picked up on those errors and consequently listened to the scientists that actually do the work and know a great deal more than Coulter and her sources, is no accident. In most instances you would be correct about the value of journalistic information, however in this case those in the know have been vocal enough to attract the eyes and ears of journalists. If you doubt those that are refuting Coulter, don’t take their word for it – go to the primary literature.

“And although you may well believe yourself to be smarter than me (and that isn’t impossible), I credit journalism with cunning but not with the ability to understand science better than I do. They make far too many elementary mistakes for that.

My criticism of the content of your original post is not based on my opinion that I am more intelligent than you (I suspect the exact opposite) but on the errors in the information contained by that one site. Everything that I read at that site was a rehash of common creationist/IDist strawman arguments that have been repeatedly refuted in popular science articles written by scientists and based on primary literature.

When speaking to science, the vast majority of journalists brazenly expose their ignorance. No one should ‘blindly’ accept what they say. Fortunately, the Web makes it relatively easy to access the primary literature or at the very least, popularizations of it written by working scientists.

The claim that ‘science’ is suppressing dissent is an argument that pseudoscience presents as a matter of course. In the case of ID the reasons are the same – the work simply is not of sufficient depth and quality to be published by a reputable science journal.

When mutations were originally suggested as the major source of allele variety at the beginning of the 20th century, much the work was rejected because it was incomplete. As the work improved it was gradually accepted. When S. J. Gould suggested Punctuated Equilibrium, his words of dissent were listened to because of the work he and Eldridge put into the theory. Eventually, as the theory fleshed out, more and more biologists accepted it as an evolutionary process. Even today there are not a few that question the role PE actually plays in the overall Evolutionary picture.

Dissent is *not* stifled, if the work behind it passes the various checks and balances built into the methodology. The ID work done by Behe and by Dembski have been reviewed by a fair number of scientists outside of journals and have been shown to be low in quality. One review of Dembski’s work (Elsberry & Shallit) went so far as to provide corrections to the paper.

The majority of work done by the DI fellows has consisted of publicity not science. Any and all of the science that has been produced by the DI fellows that has been published has not been about ID. The only method they have thus far presented to identify and differentiate design in the natural world from the purely undesigned has failed in the very few instances it has been applied.

If the DI and its fellows want to be accepted as science they need to step up to the plate and produce some original, publishable work. Work that necessarily survives the same trials and tribulations that the evolutionary sciences have undergone.

Just ask any working scientist if they have had papers rejected at least once by the journals and I suspect you will find that the vast majority have suffered that embarrassment at some point in their career. I have an acquaintance who is very intelligent (more so than I, I’m afraid) that had one paper returned twice for corrections before it was deemed publishable. Published papers are routinely torn apart by other scientists. The scientific process is very adversarial.

Why should IDists be excused from that process? Should their work not stand on its own merits rather than be promoted through political means?