Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why Do People Laugh at Creationists?

This video asks the question and gives a pretty good answer.

[Hat Tip: Mike's Weekly Skeptic Rant]


  1. Here's someone who needs laughing at.

  2. Nice video. I pretty much agree with everything...that veeeeeeery rarely happens to me.

    On second thought, some observations:

    1) "1 strike and you are out" I know several cases of biologists right up to the XXth century unjustly accused of bullshitting their fantastic data, whose lives were ruined and their science ignored. It's good to keep in mind this loophole, though rare, does exist.

    In actuality, according to the video, we should strike out Mendel since the perfection of his mendelian proportions is obviously fake data; such precision is ridiculously improbable.

    Here we have another loophole; a man that we KNOW committed dishonesty, polishing his data, but was nevertheless correct in his fundamental layout.
    Would you strike mendel out of science and spit on his grave?

    I'm not justifiying anything. Honesty is HUGely important. I can't believe people do silly things like faking data. All I'm saying is: there are these weird cases, too.

    Another observation. MOST unfortunately, many academic people, including some important ones, have indeed tried to make any given problem "evolutionary" by translating it to the terms of natural selection. Some cosmologists talk about selection of universes. Some sociologists talk about meme selection...and so it goes. We can always imagine some kind of variation is being selected.

    Also, Ronald Fisher himself tried to draw an analogy of natural selection to thermodynamics (which was quite a miserable, non-enlightening failure)

    As a biologist I myself can't be more happy to agree that explanations in physics have nothing to do with evolution and natural selection. But there are academic niches for the "cosmologists" of natural selection. These guys will sell that natural selection is something like a universal property of matter (other who see selection at all levels could be similarly charged).

    Very unfortunately, some irresponsibility within academia may contribute to the pathology of ID,specially so, the excesses of "ultradarwinism": the propension to make a darwinian theory of selection out of anything, often with little regard for scientific utility or empirical confirmation.

    In my opinion, darwin greatly advanced the recognition of common descent; but he intellectually shackled evolution with an over-encompassing notion of selection, which was adaptationist and ultimately progressist. Natural selection means a quite more specific thing to biologists today than what it meant to XIXth century Darwin.

    Evolutionary science nowadays is a LOT more structural and historical. We have long ago moved beyond the early scenarios XIXth "survival of the fittest". The problem is: Some of the academia still haven't. Specially so, those who claim to do something "evolutionary" yet have no formation in biology and no knowledge of natural history