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Thursday, May 4, 2006

SCIENCE VS. STUPID

Posted on Thu, May 4, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Intelligent Thought
Publishing House: Vintage
Rated: NONE
WorkNameSort: Intelligent Thought
The worst kind of argument to have is one with someone who Just Doesn't Get It. The debates that find your well-reasoned points countered with the tautological equivalent of 'nuh-uhâ?� or 'because, that's whyâ?� may not make you feel like you lost the argument, but you certainly don't feel like you won, either. Especially when the topic you're disagreeing on isn't even something that should be up for debate.

That's the overriding sense one suspects the writers of the essays in Intelligent Thought were experiencing when they put pen to paper. More than one of them, I'm sure, muttered to himself: 'I can't fucking believe I'm having to write this.â?�

These essayists are scientists, leading lights in their field, and possibly some of the smartest people in the world; the topic is 'Intelligent Design,â?� and you can imagine the ease with which these men (and woman) demolish the wobbly speciousness of the pseudoscience behind ID's creationist claptrap. Though some of the scientists readily admit to playing right into ID-promulgators' hands ' the whole trick behind getting ID taught in schools is to pretend that there's a 'legitimate debate in the scientific communityâ?� ' in the end, they don't seem to care.

By elegantly and eloquently explaining the airtight science behind Darwinism (not a theory anymore, by the way, but a scientifically proven fact) and deftly swatting away the distortions and dogma that define ID, Brockman and the other contributors to Intelligent Thought may not end the 'debateâ?� with this book, but they've managed to provide an excellent and readable primer on evolution and the power of the scientific method.

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