by Denyse O'Leary
In "Science Warriors' Ego Trips" (Chronicle of Higher Ed, April 25, 2010) Carlin Romano, who teaches philosophy and media theory at the University of Pennsylvania, comments on ID opponent Massimo Pigliucciâ€™s Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science From Bunk:
In an even greater disservice, Pigliucci repeatedly suggests that intelligent-design thinkers must want "supernatural explanations reintroduced into science," when that's not logically required. He writes, "ID is not a scientific theory at all because there is no empirical observation that can possibly contradict it. Anything we observe in nature could, in principle, be attributed to an unspecified intelligent designer who works in mysterious ways." But earlier in the book, he correctly argues against Karl Popper that susceptibility to falsification cannot be the sole criterion of science, because science also confirms. It is, in principle, possible that an empirical observation could confirm intelligent designâ€”i.e., that magic moment when the ultimate UFO lands with representatives of the intergalactic society that planted early life here, and we accept their evidence that they did it. The point is not that this is remotely likely. It's that the possibility is not irrational, just as provocative science fiction is not irrational.
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A sensible person can sid...