Y’know, I frequently disagree with pieces TechCentralStation runs—I expect to—but I don’t usually expect to feel embarassed for them. On Monday they ran this ridiculous defense of Intelligent Design, and I’m embarassed for them.
The awfulness begins in the very first line, when the author, who has a degree in metorology, makes a disingenuously vague reference to his status as a “Ph.D. scientist” at the start of an article about biology—a field about which he then demonstrates at some painful length he’s signally unqualified to comment. There follows the predictable appeal to the “open minded,” as though a lack of patience with patently religiously motivated, serially debunked cavilling at an overwhelming scientific consensus were a kind of character flaw. Then some howlers about the lack of instances of observed speciation (though the logic of granting the existence of change within species but finding it implausible that this could culminate in new species has always escaped me) and transitional forms, some sub-Paley type amateur philosophizing, and of course the tiresome I’m-rubber-you’re-glue-your-science-is-faith-too business.
I say this not by way of rebuttal—that would treat the article with a seriousness it scarcely merits—but just to express a modicum of dismay that a site that runs a fair amount of science reporting that, whether or not it happens to be correct on other points, is at any rate serious and interesting, would commit this kind of credibility seppuku. The gross lapse in editorial judgement evinced by the decision to run this piece will leave the intellectually serious casual reader fully justified in dismissing anything that appears there in the future—which would be a shame.