Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The weight of the world

Billy Dembski takes responsibility for all the errors in Ann Coulter's chapters about evolution in Godless, her latest screed. Given that Coulter's work is known to be filled to the brim with errors. But then, Dembski's work has been extensively debunked as well, and his record on responding to those critiques is dubious at best.

Billy quotes this from the publisher's blurb:
After 150 years of dedicated searching into the fossil record, evolution’s proponents have failed utterly to substantiate its claims. And a long line of supposed evidence, from the infamous Piltdown Man to the “evolving” peppered moths of England, has been exposed as one hoax after another.
It's true that Piltdown man was a hoax, but the actual fossil evidence being used for human evolution is not. Nor is the extensive evidence of transitional forms in the fossil record, some discovered very recently.

And the peppered moths did evolve. No one disputes that. Why exactly that happened turns out to be more complex than the traditional textbook account, but there's no justification for the scare quotes in the quotation above, nor for calling that phenomenon a hoax.

That passage is the only part which actually discusses science, rather than making baseless complaints about "liberals." And nothing there is justified or accurate. If the rest of the book is as accurate as that passage, or as Coulter usually is, Dembski will soon feel like he's carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.