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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Darwinism and popular culture: Socrates, the employment line for Darwin doubters forms eight blocks from here, in front of a boarded-up door ...

A philosopher recently wrote to some friends, including me, with the following problem: He was tired of the stupidity that passes for discussion over at certain Darwinist blogs that we will leave unnamed at present. He proposed to engage the bloggers and commenters in discussion.

Well, he certainly isn't the only person who has proposed this idea to me recently, and I offer no advice, only an observation: Nearly eighty percent of evolutionary biologists are pure naturalists = no God and no free will. My valiant friend intended confronting the Internet entities that are attracted to these key Darwinists, who help them out by pouring abuse on anyone who disputes the Law given on Mount Improbable.

He tells me, "... this is the strategy of the skunks. We need to let them stink alone and turn our attention elsewhere." Sensing I should say something in reply, I responded,

I hope you do not expect too much.

Science today is in a state of corruption, as Climategate shows.

The key problem is overreaching. Pretending to know things we don’t in a very complex world, and using our pretense as an opportunity to promote an agenda to society.

Physicist Larry Krauss who spoke at our national science writers’ meet in May, is an atheist who knows exactly how the universe will end, for sure, due to “science.”

Look, every apocalyptic nut in a "The End Is Near" sandwich board knows that too.

Similarly, the Climategate scientists, their spinoff industries, and their media enablers "know" that human-caused global warming is true – and they know it in an essentially occult way.

The reason they behave as they do around data is the same reason as Madam Rosa (a local supposed psychic) does. Once people have decided to jettison facts in favour of what they need to believe – or need others to believe - they must protect a large and growing deficit.

One way of protecting the deficit from an honest evaluation is to attempt to discredit those who know about it and speak out. This works better if a mystique surrounds them (= "we are science”) and if they are well thought of by elite social groups (= "we support science”).

Darwinism is no different. In the absence of a large body of clearly established facts, speculation reigns triumphant. As the press release on Kombuisia (an Antarctic fossil) shows, publicity is often pursued for undisguised political ends. We really do not know very much about this very long extinct animal at all. But it can be co-opted for the global warming uproar.

Hence the chorus of ridicule you will face from the Darwinists and their hangers-on. They need Darwinism to be true, both for philosophical and pragmatic reasons. They treat as enemies of the truth anyone who questions it - and, just imagine, on so poor a ground as lack of firm evidence! What is the world coming to?

If evidence cannot be found, it will be grandfathered, manipulated, or speculated into existence. Anyone who doubts this process is labelled an “enemy of science,” which saves a lot of bother with evidence.

Are people today truly afraid of science? Let's think this one out. Assume I have cancer, and the prognosis is poor. However, cancer researchers come up with a treatment protocol that scores a high success rate (without obvious ethical failings). Would I refuse to taxi down to the clinic to get it pronto, because of some theory about science?

In my experience, very few people are anti-science when a science fact base is demonstrated. If most patients (including myself) in this hypothetical case go into long-term remission, the fact base is demonstrated.

It is the same with crop science. Few farmers in the Third World turned down the Green Revolution, which is why the UN is now obsessing about a worldwide obesity problem, instead of the formerly more common “walking skeletons” problem.

Note that, in neither case does anyone much care what naysayers think. So there is no need for "Climategate" tactics in these matters.

But today, too much of what is called “science” is protected from honest evaluation by obfuscation, appeals to authority, attempts to control science media, concealment, labelling those who cannot replicate the results as cranks, persecuting dissenters, and pretending that speculation is evidence, among other unconstructive responses.

Say what you want about that stuff, it is not a matrix for new discoveries.

I have every confidence that my friend will find a way to make the best use of his time.

Incidentally, skunks don’t stink alone. Why be a skunk, apart from the chance to stink in someone’s face? That’s the whole point.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

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