Michael Crichton and Philip Johnson?

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Almost a year ago, Michael Crichton gave a heated condemnation of the scientific community for beefing up low-standard research with rhetoric, computer models based on equations whose variables we can't even guess at in an educated way, and conducting heresy trials against those who challenged the research. The targets? Carl Sagan's claims about the certainty of extraterrestrial life, the probability of serious nuclear winter in the event of a nuclear war, and now global warming.

What amazed me throughout the whole thing is how much he sounded like Philip Johnson or Michael Behe in their criticisms of neo-Darwinism. I doubt he'd allow the comparison, but his language is about the same, saying that consensus is a ploy when there's no argument, that those who question the consensus are belittled and called unscientific (note: I have seen Daniel Dennett do both these things), etc. To those who know anything about philosophy of science: How well does this comparison hold up? Are there crucial differences, or has Crichton given the intelligent design movement more ammunition?

2 Comments

hey, did I take that picture of you and Sam? i'd agree she's a stunner. ;)

oh, and thanks for making your stuff readable. i think i'll tag your blog as a 'thinker page that doesn't require too much pain'.

1-3-04 1:40 am

Thanks. That might have been your picture. I think I downloaded it from your site. It was the "official" one.

1-3-04 4:55 am

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