Do scientists lie?

I’ve been stating that the secular scientists control the publishing of peer reviewed papers against the Biblical scientists for some time now. On this blog www.intelligentdesign.blog.com search for “publish” or “peer review” and you can read those articles. (UNFORTUNATELY – the blog.com seems to have gone down for the past month so I am switched to www.wordpress.com instead).

In my research I have read many, many articles (both pro and con) about this subject matter and I thought I would quote a lengthy comment from a Darwin-defending philosopher of science Philip Quinn in Michael Ruse’s book But Is It Science?, which discussed whether creationism is science. The full quote is worth reading carefully, as Quinn makes much the same argument that Joseph Martin does in the article I wrote : https://larryemarshall.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/cosmos-series-lies/

“It sometimes happens that the best arguments one can give in support of a view are not going to be effective and the most effective arguments one can give are not going to be good. After all, decision-makers are sometimes too busy to master complex arguments. Then, too, they can be prejudiced or even stupid. When one is aware that this is the situation — and I suspect this is rather common — then one confronts the philosopher’s dilemma.

One horn looks roughly like this. Convinced of the overall rightness of one’s position, one opts to present the effective bad argument. Each time one does this, one’s hands get a little bit dirtier. At first one is painfully sensitive to even small compromises that one knows to be violations of one’s intellectual integrity, but gradually numbness of conscience sets in. At last, when presenting the effective bad argument has become easy and habitual — second nature, as it were — one’s hands have become dirty beyond all cleansing and one suffers from a thoroughgoing corruption of mind.

The other horn looks roughly like this. Concerned to preserve one’s integrity at all costs, one resolves never to present the effective bad argument. One always presents the best argument one can for the position one thinks most nearly right, and one’s hands remain clean. But frequently these good arguments fail to persuade or carry the day, and gradually one’s credibility and effectiveness wane. At last, when one has an established track record of failure, the decision-makers conclude that one is of no use to them, and one is unceremoniously cast aside.

Though it should be obvious that I have been exaggerating a bit for rhetorical effect, I think the hard choice between corruption and ineffectuality is sometimes real enough. That is the dilemma! Is there a way between its horns? Perhaps. My colleague, Dan Brock, suggests that academic philosophers should only get involved in the policy-making arena on a temporary, short-term basis. Maybe this is a way in which we could manage to have our cake and eat it too. For a short period one might engage in giving bad effective arguments without being thoroughly corrupted. Then one could retreat back to the academy to wash one’s moderately soiled hands.

After having one’s intellectual integrity restored and reinforced, one might then be ready to repeat the cycle.

The application of what I have been saying to the creationist controversy is straightforward. It seems to me that the attempts by creationists to foist their particular brand of dreadful science on public school curricula are pernicious. We should resist such attempts and resist them effectively in the political realm. But some of the creationists who are making such attempts are, to put it not too harshly, shysters. So there may well be circumstances in which only the bad effective argument will work against them in the political or legal arenas. If there are, then I think, though I come to this conclusion reluctantly, it is morally permissible for us to use the bad effective argument, provided we continue to have qualms of conscience about getting our hands soiled. But I also believe we must be very careful not to allow ourselves to slide all the way down the slippery slope to intellectual corruption. Perhaps, if we divide up the labor so that no one among us has to resort to the bad effective argument too frequently, we can succeed in resisting effectively without paying too high a price in terms of moral corruption.”

(Philip L. Quinn, “Creationism, Methodology, and Politics,” in Ruse M., ed., But Is It Science?: The Philosophical Question in the Creation/Evolution Controversy, Prometheus Books: Amherst NY, 1996, pp. 397-399.)

Did you catch and understand all that?

According to Quinn, because “creationists” are “shysters” and promote “dreadful” and “pernicious” initiatives, that means it is “morally permissible” to respond using “bad arguments” (i.e., fallacious arguments) which amount to “compromises that one knows to be violations of one’s intellectual integrity” and lead to “intellectual corruption,” simply because those bad arguments are “effective” in defending evolution.

Quinn thinks one can “retreat back to the academy to wash one’s moderately soiled hands.” However, if the academy is recommending we should tell “taradiddles” or promote fallacious arguments simply because they’re “effective,” then that hardly seems like the place to go in search of moral or ethical cleansing.


One thought on “Do scientists lie?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.