A science of purposeful distortion?

[From Bruce Abbott (960129.1055 EST)]

From Rick Marken (960128.1500) --

Bruce Abbott (960128.1610 EST)

No, I know what I am controlling for: truth. When I perceive untruth I try
to correct it. Sometimes the truth is not what we want to hear. What are
_you_ controlling for?

I am controlling for promulgation of a view of organisms as purposive
systems and for the development of a science of such systems.

Creation "scientists" argue that variation and natural selection cannot
explain the origin of species, and prove their case with a little simple
probability. They show that even if the universe is billions of years old
(which they dispute), there hasn't been enough time to create a human being
by random mutation.

The problem with this argument is that it assumes that every "attempt" to
produce a human being starts from scratch, whereas in reality, "successful"
solutions tend to persist, to be used directly or built upon through further
modification. This has been pointed out -- repeatedly -- to creation
"scientists" but it doesn't prevent them from using the same argument to
persuade the next lay audience on their itinerary. A lot of audience
members find it convincing, so the cause of creationism gets another push

Such tactics may score points with the uninformed layman, but they do not
impress scientists, especially evolutionary biologists, who know that the
supposed proof against the theory of evolution misrepresents the theory's
mechanism and predictions. The making of such erroneous claims by creation
"scientists" destroys their credibility in the scientific community.

I happen to believe that creation theory is wrong, but it would be even more
tragic if creation theory were true. Those who attempt to establish their
position -- right or wrong -- by misrepresenting and distorting opposing
views, destroy their own credibility and get their views rejected out of hand.

As one who would like to see PCT get a fair hearing within my own field of
research, and as one with some degree of familiarity with "opposing" views,
I have recognized occasions on which certain spokespersons for PCT have made
claims about those opposing views that are not warranted by the facts as I
see them. I believe that these misrepresentations have arisen through
unfamiliarity and misunderstanding, but if PCT is to get a fair hearing,
such claims must be abandoned to avoid loss of credibility within that
scientific community. Otherwise we sound like a bunch of creation "scientists."

If you are really "controlling for promulgation of a view of organisms as
purposive systems and for the development of a science of such systems," you
should be applauding rather that disparaging my efforts.