Blogger Amitai Etzioni has weighed in with this delusional blog entry on the subject of evolution and ID. He is responding to a commenter to a previous blog entry of his:
According to the above comments, facts are based on “careful, controlled experiments.” But no fact about evolution is the result of an experiment. Need I say more?
The writer immediately retreats to rely on what the “vast majority of scientists” tell him. But evidence, as his previous line correctly points out, is not a democratic process. And by the way, the scientists that claim that they conducted experiments to prove their point? They didn’t.
This statement is preposterous even if Etzioni thinks that the term “experiment” must refer to a contrived situation in a laboratory. Spend five minutes browsing through the science periodicals in any university library and you will see how full of it Etzioni really is. His casual accusation of fraud against the entire scientific community really ought to be enough to have him dismissed from all serious consideration.
Etzioni prattles on a little longer, but P.Z. Myers has already undertaken the thankless task of responding.
But Etzioni was unimpressed with that blog entry. So he posted this amazing reply to Myers. We reproduce it here in its entirety:
I asked why not use the comparison between evolution and intelligent design, in science classes, to show students the difference between a theory supported by scientific facts and those that are not? When I was a student, granted a long time ago, we were told that there were those who BELIEVED in flat earth theory (which was promoted by the Church), and then we were asked to view ships coming in over the horizon. It was noted that if the earth was flat, the ships would look small but all of their parts would show. However, given the earth's curve, we first see the smokestacks, then the upper deck, and so on. Other observable data were provided. We thus learned not only that the earth was round but also that some theories, promoted by true believers, are without scientific merit. Why not accept the challenge in this case?
In responses on your blog, I was showered with abuse. I was called names and “damned,” and all kinds of ugly attributes were attached to my personality. Why? Is this a way to settle a scientific argument or any argument at all? I have encountered such responses before (especially when I called for the removal of guns from private hands), but only from people who did not have any other way of trying to get people like me to shut up and not to show that their emperor has no clothes. I believe evolution can do better. Right?
Like most ID-proponents, Etzioni immediately assumes the martyr pose as soon as he gets called on his ignorant and false statements.
Of course, the post Myers was responding to said nothing about comparing evolution to ID, so that students could see the difference between a theory supported by facts and one that is not. Myers was responding to a post that accused the entire scientific community of fraud, which made a blatantly false statement abut the evidential basis of evolution, and which went on to make other silly statements beyond that. Etzioni deserved every ounce of abuse Myers heaped upon him.