Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sean B. Carroll writes about science deniers in "The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution"

Now, nearly 150 years later, we can see. We no longer look at Nature's diversity "as a savage looks at a ship." From the new DNA record, the evidence of the workings of the evolutionary process abounds. But many people--a great many--either do not see what scientists see, or do not believe what scientists have concluded.

I have borrowed the title of this chapter from the wonderful book Seeing and Believing by Richard Panek, about the invention of the telescope and how it changed our perception of the sky and our place in the universe. Like Darwin, Galileo's observations and ideas were rejected by authorities who had no use for new evidence or ideas. But, eventually, the observable evidence overwhelmed ideological resistance. For all of those who do see the overwhelming evidence of natural selection and life's descent from ancestors, and the immense span of time over which the story of life unfolded, it is, to put it mildly, baffling how so many still do not. It is absolutely astonishing and often infuriating that some take it so far as to deny the immense foundation of evidence and to slander all the human achievement that foundation represents.

With the facts on evolution's side, how can this doubt and denial persist, or even be growing, here at the outset of the twenty-first century?

4 comments:

  1. I recon the xians blabber on about creationism and its newly located cousin, intellegent design for only one reason. If one part of their wholly book is found wanting, you could safely assume the rest of it is nonsense too. So, they've got to battle the biologists and the educators. It's really a house of cards for the creationists. Science has proven beyond reproach that the biblical fable of gawd creating the whole lot in a week is complete tripe. If they let this one go, and they are slowly losing the fight because they've got nothing to back up their argument, then the house will come down. This is very important to the faith industry as continued business demands that evolution be knocked on the head. Sadly for the devoted biblical "scholars" (talk about a shonk...) there's nothing they can do, say or present that will give their story a shred of credibility. Everything they say is a further nail in the creationism/IT coffin. Science and the truth will win.

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  2. "House of cards" describes their problem perfectly. Perhaps I should cheer for the science deniers because it's them more than anyone else who are going to be responsible for killing Christianity. A religion that depends on denying a mountain of scientific evidence can't last forever.

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  3. It's not a "house of cards". There's no house at all. A house of cards is one that's actually there, then it all falls down when one piece is removed. But with creationism, it's all just bullshit through-and-through. There's no piece worthy of any house, cards or otherwise. No part of it can hold up anything. It's all just reliance on fear, stupidity, and early indoctrination.

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  4. Evolution fact our or not, I have finally figured our why creationist so often win debates Have you ever tried to sit with your 1-year old and attempted to have an intellectual discussion as to the reasons for her to have to go to bed. You will lose that discussion.

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