Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Kill all the science writers?

 
Several bloggers are upset enough at Carl Safina that they have posted detailed critiques of his article in the New York Times: Darwinism Must Die So That Evolution May Live.

I not so upset. In fact I mostly agree with the opening paragraphs of Safina's article ...
Equating evolution with Charles Darwin ignores 150 years of discoveries, including most of what scientists understand about evolution. Such as: Gregor Mendel’s patterns of heredity (which gave Darwin’s idea of natural selection a mechanism — genetics — by which it could work); the discovery of DNA (which gave genetics a mechanism and lets us see evolutionary lineages); developmental biology (which gives DNA a mechanism); studies documenting evolution in nature (which converted the hypothetical to observable fact); evolution’s role in medicine and disease (bringing immediate relevance to the topic); and more.

By propounding “Darwinism,” even scientists and science writers perpetuate an impression that evolution is about one man, one book, one “theory.” The ninth-century Buddhist master Lin Chi said, “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” The point is that making a master teacher into a sacred fetish misses the essence of his teaching. So let us now kill Darwin.
However, it gets worse from then on and this opens the door for serious criticism. Read P.Z. Myers (Darwin is already dead, and we know it) and John Pieret (Charles Darwin Superstar).

I especially like one of the paragraphs from John's posting1 ...
Science writers are a different matter altogether, however. But why should Darwin suffer for their sins? Wouldn't the more efficacious solution be to kill all the science writers? It would at least make a refreshing change from lawyers.


1. John is a lawyer.

4 comments :

  1. Well, why not put lawyers and science writers in arenas and see who comes out ?
    Then we should do something to handle the winners :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, why not put lawyers and science writers in arenas and see who comes out ?
    Then we should do something to handle the winners :-)


    Only if the only weapons allowed are razor-thin wristwatches.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Let's see...Safina has a Ph.D. in ecology and has authored many peer-reviewed papers on conservation biology.

    I'm afraid you're going to have to kill all the scientists.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm afraid you're going to have to kill all the scientists.

    Oh, all right ... right after the science writers ...

    ... with one or two notable exceptions!

    ReplyDelete