Superlatives, science, and common sense

From the HUMANIST listserv, this letter (soon to be published in the local East Lansing newspaper) from Don Weinshank (Prof Emeritus, Michigan State):
Science has three dirty little secrets which the Intelligent Design folks try to exploit.

1. It's not democratic.
2. It doesn't follow common sense.
3. It doesn't have the Staples' "Easy Button."

It's not democratic because we don't get to vote on the laws of the universe, only test theories to explain them. Intelligent Design folks want to us to put evolution to a vote rather than to the test.

It doesn't follow common sense, which is based on everyday experiences, because modern science deals with the very large (the universe), the very small (sub-atomics), the very fast (relativity) and the very slow (evolution). Einstein said bluntly: "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen." (emphasis mine)

Intelligent Design wants to push the "easy" button. It has its canned answer to all complex questions - the Designer did it - even before they are asked.

Lousy science. Lousy religion.
A "collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen." Fascinating. Of course, that might include the assessment of modern science as focused only on extremes. While it may well be that scientists tend to be drawn to the spectacular (for both theoretical and egoistic reasons), it seems to me that there's still a lot of science going on in the squishy middle - and even there we produce defensible theories that defy "common sense."

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