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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Steve Fuller replies to Sahotra Sarkar: Say "Cheese" and tell the baboon to quit scratching himself ...

I see where Steve Fuller has now posted his response to science historian Sahotra Sarkar (see Darwinism: Sociologist's book on ID controversy denounced by three-star Darwin bore (August 13, 2008):
The book of mine that Sarkar reviewed is entitled ‘Science vs Religion? Intelligent Design and the Problem of Evolution’. This simple point is worth bearing in mind, since Sarkar seems to have little interest in — or knowledge of – the question defined by the book’s title.

[ ... ]

The fact that Sarkar found so much of my discussion ‘useless’, ‘extraneous’, ‘unreliable’ and ‘vacuous’ should have made him wonder whether I had written the book he imagined he was reviewing. But no — like the horseshoe crab programmed to be in hot pursuit of edges, he carried on regardless.
But Sahotra can’t really help it, can he? Evolutionary biology has, in reality, contributed so little to the advancement of any type of knowledge (other than the construction of Darwinian fairy stories) that the field is full of third-raters who simply don’t get it - and also don’t know that there is anything to get. That was one thing I quickly learned when I first began to cover the controversy between intelligent design and Darwinian evolution. They reminded me so much of the third-rate faculty of education bores I used to grit my teeth over, who were promoting theories like “self-esteem is crucial to learning.” Like evolutionary biologists promoting Darwin's theory, the education bores believe without seeing.

For the record, self-esteem is only weakly related to achievement. A moment's reflection will demonstrate it: We all know people who are sure they did "awful" on a test because they "might have" got one answer out of twenty wrong. They feel so terrible about themselves that they will experience only momentary relief when they get a perfect score next time. They will go on doing "just awful" all their lives until they have to buy a second glass cabinet to hold all their awards. And we also know people with vastly inflated self-esteem who advertise their coolness by flunking the test or not even showing up for it.

At any rate, having cut my teeth, so to speak, on education bores, I knew exactly what I was seeing among Darwin's bores.

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