Turning ‘Unknown’ Into ‘Unknowable’

Bob McHenry in Tech Central Station:

Free_2One of the defects of democracy is that we usually have quite ordinary persons as our leaders. Sometimes this doesn’t matter; their particular defects don’t bear upon public affairs, or the times are sufficiently placid that it just doesn’t matter that they drink, or play too much poker, or cultivate friends of doubtful character, or whatever.

These are not such times. The President’s ignorance of science might have remained a private matter, but he chose to speak on the subject of evolution and “intelligent design.” This is a great pity.

Science — from the loftiest of theorizing (like that of Einstein or, oh, Darwin) through the conducting of painstakingly difficult experiments to the application of new knowledge to the improvement of human life — science, I say, is the chief engine of our society. The great bulk of business entrepreneurs so celebrated in certain circles as the movers and shakers have made their marks by exploiting the knowledge gained by scientists.

Even its opponents grant the prestige and accomplishments of science by pretending to do science themselves, whether in the form of “e-meters” that turn galvanic skin responses into signs of mystic energy flows in the body or in that of ID, which artfully turns “unknown” into “unknowable” in a flourish of bad math and illogic.

More here.