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The Sciences

Kurt Vonnegut and Rattlesnake Fangs

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJanuary 24, 2006 9:35 PM

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PZ caught Kurt Vonnegut mouthing pro-ID nonsense recently. This is deeply depressing. Myers attributes it to Vonnegut getting pretty old and addled, but I'm not so sure. Back in 1998, Vonnegut showed up at Yale University for a master's tea at my college, Silliman. I didn't think much of it at the time, but I remember him making a remark about rattlesnakes that suggested that he thought in a "design" sort of way. I don't recall precisely what Vonnegut said, or what question he was responding to. But I distinctly remember him likening rattlesnake fangs to syringes, in that they are ideally "designed" for the purpose of injection. It's precisely the sort of analogy ID proponents tend to use, in the process deceiving themselves into assuming that such metaphorical thinking actually casts light on reality qua reality.

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