Several weeks ago I noted Bob Park’s characteristics of Bogus Science, and then, based on his work, I listed some characteristics of bogus history, here in Bogus History 1, and here in Bogus History 2.
Here’s a test, more of the Bogus Science than Bogus History, but still a test: Almost-creationist astronomer Hugh Ross claims to have a hypothesis of creation that is not Darwin, that is testable, and which will be published shortly in his new book.
Do you see any of the warning signs of “bogus” yet? (Some answers suggested at the end, below the fold.)
Here’s an e-mail about the book, captured by the Texas Freedom Network:
Date: September 7, 2006
From: The Christian Newswire
New Testable Model for Creation Poised to Challenge the Darwinian Theory–Are We Willing to Let Science Be the Judge?
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 7 /Christian Newswire/ — Proponents of evolution considered the Kansas State School Board elections in August a huge victory for science education. Conservative Republicans backing the teaching of Intelligent Design in the public-school classroom lost seats to moderate Republicans and liberal Democrats favoring more traditional methods of teaching evolution.
“With the unprecedented strides scientific research has already made in the new millennium, we have been given a unique opportunity to make science education exciting again,” says astronomer Dr. Hugh Ross, founder and president of the premier science/faith think-tank Reasons To Believe.
“The 1981 Supreme Court ruling guarantees the place of any scientifically viable model in public education regardless of its theological implications,” contends Ross. “The problem scientists have with the current Intelligent Design movement is that ID proponents offer no model by which to test their claims. Testability and predictive power are crucial to credibility,” says Ross. “It is right for the scientific community to ask, ‘Where is your model?'”
Ross is ready to answer that challenge. After 20 years of research, he and the team of scientists at Reasons To Believe have developed a creation model rooted in the scientific method. It is testable, verifiable/falsifiable, and successfully predicts scientific discoveries. Dr. Ross introduces the model in his new book, Creation As Science: A Testable Approach to End the Evolution/Creation Wars (NavPress, September 2006).
“The all-too-familiar evolution-bashing reveals a failure to understand how science works,” Ross comments. “People need to realize that the scientific community will not abandon their current working model, despite its flaws, until and unless a model with greater explanatory power and predictive success emerges to take its place. I see the RTB model, though still a work in progress, as a viable candidate.
“This model-building effort and others like it can improve the quality of science education and enhance public enthusiasm for scientific research,” Ross asserts. “Treating evolution as a closed subject has only hindered the search for truth. And that search is what science is supposed to be about,” concludes Ross. “When will we have the courage to let evidence be the brutal yet fair arbiter in the competition of ideas? Let’s be open-minded enough to follow the trail of evidence wherever it leads.”
Ross’s announcement runs afoul of Parks’s Bogus Indicators 1, 2 and 4, just in the press release.
- The discoverer pitches the claim directly to the media.
- The discoverer says that a powerful establishment is trying to suppress his or her work.
- The scientific effect involved is always at the very limit of detection.
- Evidence for a discovery is anecdotal.
- The discoverer says a belief is credible because it has endured for centuries.
- The discoverer has worked in isolation.
- The discoverer must propose new laws of nature to explain an observation.
I’ll wager that Ross does not make any claims connecting Darwin to any dictator, however. Optimists will have enough to get them to the morning coffee break.