In a recent discussion about the Florida Academic Freedom Act, destined to re-emerge in the state legislature later this year, I tried to rationally explain my discontent to an ardent supporter.
I started with logic. I explained the difference between science and pseudoscience, peer review of literature as a gold standard, and how legitimate science tends to expand and grow when pseudoscience stands still.
My points were met with the familiar cries of conspiracy; a vast network of evil scientists (me included) in perfect synchrony that squelch the clear evidence of an intelligent designer. Somehow the millions of scientists worldwide are all involved in crushing an idea that if real, would be a whole new place of inquiry.
After listening to the insane arguments that underlie the need to teach children scripture in a science class, I got a little angry. My next comeback was much more pointy, "Do you realize that they have fooled you?"
The bottom line is that the pilots of ID and other religiously-based pseudo-scientific concepts have fooled their followers. They have played perfectly the paranoia that science is out to prove that there are no gods, and that their beliefs are targeted next. I guess that concrete evidence that is inconsistent with scripture might cause some to question their beliefs, so it is important for those in charge to offer other explanations so that faith and beliefs can be maintained. They also must vilify scientists and science- discredit them and show their evil corruptitude.
The folks that argue for ID have been duped by their puppetmasters. They have been assigned their blinders and marching orders and are sent out to make sure that their agenda is satisfied. With this they have successfully reached politicians and other decision makers. Of course, they say the same about legitimate scientists. However, our data are consistent from lab to lab, our stories generally grow within the predictions and when we are lucky enough for something to grow outside of the box we can follow it to exciting new areas of research. No matter how hard we look, there is never any evidence that agrees with ID, or at least cannot be reconciled with a simpler explanation.
Just the name alone shows the dishonesty- Academic Freedom Act. This is not about academic freedom. Even they will tell you that it is the desire to challenge teaching of evolution with information based on ID, challenging science with pseudoscience. At least package it for what it is- the "Opposing Science that does not Fit Within Our Beliefs Act". At least it would be honest.