The site Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne (author of a book of the same name) here takes on a creationist who rather purposefully takes items of debate about the influence of natural selection versus potentially equally influences such as genetic drift to make the “case” that scientists are in complete disagreement about how evolution actually works to generate new species. This is a blog that gets richer as you go. In the end, it provides a classic illustration of the honesty in critical thinking and how easily it can be distorted to reflect the goals of ideological thinking, such as so-called intelligent design theory and (urp) creationism. Both make a gross practice of cherry-picking real science to construct the science of denial (my term) which is no science at all, but is instead a worldview based on avoidance of fact.
Even if you haven’t seen “Annie Hall,” you need to watch this video showing a wonderful scene from the movie. Woody Allen and Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) are in line for a movie, and a pompous academic behind them pontificates about the film in an extremely annoying way, mentioning Marshall McLuhan (a Sixties cultural icon). After Woody has had enough of the pomposity, he drags McLuhan out from behind a movie sign (yes, that’s the real McLuhan), and confronts the academic with him. McLuhan proceeds to tell the chastened academic that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and that he knows nothing of McLuhan’s work. Allen turns to the camera and says, “Boy, if life were only like this!”
But it can be! Last week I received an email from young-earth creationist Paul Nelson, who works for the Discovery Institute, taking me to task for what he saw…
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