Sunday, September 11, 2005

What quote mining tells us about ID

A big topic of posts on blogs like Panda's Thumb and Evolutionblog is the use of out-of-context quotes by members if the Intelligent Design movement. In the comments of one such post, a reader had this insight:
With these examples of taking quotes out of context and spinning them to support their theses rather than trying to figure out what they mean, can we conclude that IDers are also likely to grab any pieces of scientific evidence and spin them to fit their theses instead of trying to interpret what they mean?
Random thought: could this be a side effect of middle school/high school research paper writing? I don't know if they were even making students do these when Dembski et al were in school, but such papers are essentially exercises in factoid gathering. I'll admit it's even true of the paper on parapsychology I did senior year - one I look fondly upon because it sparked my interest in skepticism. Knowing so little about the topic, I could only quote factoids. If I could do it again today, the result would be much different.

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