Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dan McLeroy: stupider than you thought

It's physically painful to realize that someone this thoroughly idiotic is in charge of the Texas State Board of Education.

If science is limited to only natural explanations but some natural phenomena are actually the result of supernatural causes then science would never be able to discover that truth — not a very good position for science. Defining science to allow for this possibility is just common sense. Science must limit itself to testable explanations not natural explanations. Then the supernaturalist will be just as free as the naturalist to make testable explanations of natural phenomena. The view with the best explanation of the empirical evidence should prevail.

People, that's thermonuclear stupidity!

Precisely how does McLeroy propose we test for those supernatural causes? Is he implying that supernatural explanations are testable but natural ones are not? How does he propose to differentiate the supernatural from the natural when testing it? Hell, how does he even define the supernatural in any context? Isn't the word just a sockpuppet for "God"? Of course it is. Seems to me the last sentence of the above quote completely negates all the blather that preceded it, because like it or not, the natural explanations science presents us with are the ones with the best empirical evidence behind them. It's hardly science's fault if brainwashed, asstard ideologues like McLeroy just ignore evidence that doesn't flatter their belief in their sky-fairy-of-choice. (Oops, there I go again trash-talking. I guess I'm due for a Kazim finger-wag.)

McLeroy raises these questions, to appear as if he's actually intellectually engaged in the issue, but he provides no answers, of course, because he cannot answer. He isn't interested in explanations for anything, anyway. Life to him is about belief, not knowledge. He's just looking for a legal strategy, as are all these Liars for Jesus, by which he can shoehorn his religious beliefs into public school classrooms and help throw an entire generation of students back into the 18th century, while the rest of the world barrels along into the 21st. There simply cannot be any limit to the public ridicule these people deserve.


  1. I'm not going to wag my finger about abusing that dickhead Don McLeroy, but I could do without the steady stream of snotty remarks about civility. ;)

  2. I? Snotty? How uncivil of you, sah! Pistols at dawn!

  3. Let me know if either of you shall require a second for your duel.

  4. Pistols at dawn, blasphemy. Real men fight with in Michael Jackson's beat it video. Better bring your dance shoes boys!

  5. That quote is unbelievable. After dialoguing with numerous theists who put forward that we can't find measurable manifestations of god--BECAUSE god is supernatural, I'm confused about the same thing. How do we test a thing that has no measurable impact on the natural world?

    Interestingly this is the topic of a old book I'm reading. And the author quite rightly puts forward that testing for a transcendental cause (what I think of as also being "supernatural") is not possible almost by definition; if it has a known/measurable cause, it's not really transcendental anymore. I don't know how we would escape that same Catch-22 with "supernature." If it's measurable in the natural world--on what grounds is it then labeled "super" natural?

    One recommendation in this book was to study the rate of predictions--without regard to causality, such as would be done with Zener Cards. If we test the cards, and we come up with repeated results that go beyond chance, but we have no observable cause for the finding--then we have something to explain. If there is no natural cause for the successful results, someone could posit that perhaps the cause is not natural--but I am not sure how we'd rule out natural possibilities if we couldn't identify any cause? It would only be honest to say we don't know the cause at that point.

    I think if we got consistently positive results in many different prayer studies (assuming they were done blind, adhering to normal standards of addressing bias)--that would be worth looking into.

    I mean, I have no objection to anyone trying to "test" anything. And certainly if we come up with inexplicable, valid, positive, repeating results in well-designed studies, I'd say let's keep looking.

    But to use an undefined term, such as "supernature" and then talk about testing it...? Obviously the first step is defining it. What is "supernature"? What are we talking about when we use that term?

  6. Yeah, this yahoo has clearly never thought about this too hard. If something "supernatural" were testable and verifiable....then it wouldn't be supernatural. I don't even know if I can come up with an analogy for how idiotic that is. I admit I don't have a dictionary definition in front of me, but it doesn't matter. People generally take the word "natural" to mean that it is demonstrable and testable and that there is no supernatural explanation. I wouldn't really care what a whacko like this says, but the guy is an important figure. Of course, it is Texas...

  7. First time commenting.

    I'm with Martin and Tracie but why are you guys still surprised at the ability of theists to continue to form half-baked arguments?

    I understand it could be cause of his position (and his ability to inflict damage within that position)

    Not criticising the post tho, keep the ridicule coming :P

  8. Real men fight with in Michael Jackson's beat it video.

    But, but...knifes are dangerous, someone could get hurt!

  9. While we can't test for supernatural, sure we can test for the intersection of natural and supernatural (if there is one as theists believe). Their ideas are hypothesis on how the universe works, if they truly want to get into actually defining what God is and what mechanisms God works under; let them.


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