Friday, February 25, 2005

"Blog of the Year," indeed.

Over here, The Poor Man points out that, besides being a little thin-skinned, the good folks over at Powerline are (and I'm being diplomatic here) scientific imbeciles, and it's worth deconstructing that Powerline piece just a little to truly appreciate the imbeciliousness of its author.

From this 2003 article, we have Powerline's Buttrocket:

I think that Darwin's theory of macroevolution is plainly wrong, on strictly scientific grounds.

In the first place, anyone referring to "Darwin's theory of macroevolution" can immediately be dismissed as a complete crank. This will be the topic of a future article, but the important point is that that phrase is pure, unadulterated creationist gibberish. But wait. It gets better.

Referring to the Texas Tech professor who refused to write a letter of recommendation for a student who was an unabashed, young-earth creationist, Buttrocket writes:

One could argue (as Volokh did, if I remember the conversation correctly) that, apart from the merits of the issue, a professor is under no duty to write a recommendation for a student, and therefore should be able, legally and morally, to refrain from recommending any student on any non-discriminatory basis. But discrimination against Christians, observant Jews and conservatives is much more prevalent in our society than race or sex discrimination (putting aside, of course, affirmative action).

But the student wasn't being denied a letter of recommendation based on his religious views. He was being denied based on the fact that he was an idiot who didn't understand even the most fundamental aspects of science.

There's so much more to eviscerate about Buttrocket's gibberish, but here's the best part:

As to the Texas Tech professor, I doubt that he is very atypical. Karl Popper argued long ago that Darwin's theory of evolution was never a matter of science; it was always about faith.

This claim about philosopher Karl Popper is one of the hoariest and most-refuted chestnuts in the creationist arsenal. Back in 1976, in discussing natural selection, Popper wrote:

"I have come to the conclusion that Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research programme - a possible framework for testable theories."

Only two years later, however, after having natural selection explained to him a little more fully, Popper issued a very unambiguous retraction:

"I have changed my mind about the testability and logical status of the theory of natural selection; and I am glad to have an opportunity to make a recantation."

documentation of which can be found on the Web in numerous places such as here and here. And it's not like Popper's retraction is all that hard to find, if you care to look.

In other words, well over 20 years after Popper cleared things up, we have Buttrocket, either too stupid or too dishonest to represent him properly. And these folks are Time's "Blog of the Year"? Who's next? Michelle Malkin? Ann Coulter? Little Green Cowards? It's not like they could make a worse choice, is it?

7 comments:

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jason said...

See what I mean?

Jason said...

You want to gripe about me on other blogs, Sissy? Be a man about it - if you can.

dAVE said...

Are you afflicted with large numbers of creationists in Canada? Have they taken over any school boards?
These people have such a non-understanding of science and critical thinking in general that it's really pathetic to see them try to argue rationally, like when they do their biblical numerology and think it's equivalent to real mathematics.
Basically, as Mark Maron on Air America Radio said, their entire argument comes down to: "It's so complicated, I can't understand it. It must be magic."

CC said...

From CC:

It's like the U.S. -- Canada has its own version of the "Bible Belt" in places. Certainly, here in Southwestern Ontario, the creationists come and go. Same with southern Manitoba, and Alberta is *definitely* creationist country in places. Perhaps others can describe what's happening in their parts of the country.

Creationist activity seems to come in cycles. They'll be really active for a while, raise a fuss, make lots of news, get slapped down eventually and disappear for a while. Then it starts all over again.

CC said...

From CC:

Gripe about you on other blogs, McHue? I don't think so. When I want to badmouth you, I do it here. Sheesh. Get a life.

Gazetteer said...

Excellent piece CC--looking forward to the foreshadowed next one.

Just wondering....will the creationists be turning down that next generation of antibiotics that might save them from all those bugs that emerged due to natural selection since the advent of penicillin a scant 60 years ago?

Or is that just one more irrefutable example of unintelligible design?