evolgen

Flock of Dodos

They showed us the movie Flock of Dodos at the Evolution Meeting. Randy Olson (the director) was also there to field questions. So was Eugenie Scott. Someone asked about scientists boycotting the Kansas Kangaroo Court. Olson thought it was a bad idea because it made it look like the scientists couldn’t deal with the “criticisms of evolution”. Scott defended the boycott by arguing that because the school board’s decision was predecided, scientists would have only legitimized Connie Morris and her posse of ignorance. In case you care, I agree with Genie.

I think Flock of Dodos is a movie worth seeing (especially if you can swing a free screening). Olson’s thesis is that the creationist movement is bad for the American education system, but biologists aren’t doing a very good job dealing with it. He’s really into catch phrases and framing, but it would be much nicer if we could educate the public to the point where it can move beyond advertising tactics. Until then, we need something equivalent to “Teach the Controversy” for our side. Any suggestions?

Comments

  1. #1 gwangung
    June 29, 2006

    He’s really into catch phrases and framing, but it would be much nicer if we could educate the public to the point where it can move beyond advertising tactics.

    Meh. Then you’ve lost the battle, already.

    NEVER, NEVER think of it as “advertising tactics.” You’re not respecting your audience here. Humans always like things to be summarized concisely, even more so in modern society, with all the myriad things they have to pay attention to. If you’re not willing to do that, and others are, you’re going to lose.

  2. #2 RPM
    June 29, 2006

    Another one of Olson’s points is that you can’t talk down to people — you always come across looking like the bad guy. I think I did just that in how I phrased that point. But there’s a difference between explaining something clearly and using talking points.

    In the end, this issue come down to honesty vs lies and good science vs bad science. We have the upper hand in both of those points, we just need to get the message out clearer.

  3. #3 Josh
    June 29, 2006

    Teach the truth?

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