Sunday, December 20, 2009

Discovery Institute: What About All the Conservative Evolutionists?

Via Steven Novella at Neurologica Blog, we learn that Novella's favorite member of the creation science Legion of Doom is back - Michael Egnor. Novella does his wonderful "treat the denialist as a research subject to be diagnosed rather than as a legitimate debate opponent" approach, so I'll restrict my comments to two points.

First, Egnor says:
Ultimately, perhaps massive defunding of organized science, and a new system of support for research that demands utter transparency and maximal accommodation of debate, may be the only way to defend ourselves from an utterly corrupt scientific elite.

I'm sure Egnor's colleagues in the Pediatrics Department at Stony Brook University, and the administrators who bust their asses making sure the lights stay on, would like to know this man is calling, in print, for the de-funding of science; I'm sure that the faculty and students would like to know that other people in U.S. medical institutions are starting to wonder what kind of a place Stony Brook must be to have denialists of this sort on their payroll. Patients must be having second thoughts about quality of care as well. It's kind of strange for a neurosurgeon at an East Coast school to be complaining about the corruption of "the scientific elite", but I guess what it really means is he's grumpy that his badly written grant applications don't get funded.

Egnor also adds:

The ID-Darwinism debate clearly demonstrates that venality and shameless self-interest, as well as a toxic leftist-atheist ideology, runs very deep in the scientific community.

This is a favorite tactic of creationists (i.e. Darwinism = atheism = leftism = America-haters). What about all the extremely patriotic and hard core fiscal-conservative libertarian atheist types? Like for example, Michael Shermer (or many of the readers of this blog, including myself)? Are we just being duped by leftists? Or are all actually crypto-leftists, hiding behind a veneer of capitalism? Whichever side of the political fence you happen to be on, you should feel free to ask Egnor et al whether they're misinformed, or deliberately lying, since they seem to be so curiously insistent on this point.

It's also worth asking Egnor at al what has changed since the days of the Scopes Monkey Trial. One of William Jennings Bryant's central arguments against teaching evolution in schools is that it would cause children to become more capitalist!

Surprisingly enough there's no comment section on DiscoTute posts to ask this question to the rubes whose confirmation biases they're working to reinforce.

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