Respectful Insolence

This is not funny

Mike, Mike, Mike…

What did I ever do to deserve this? Specifically, your remarks about our creationist neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Egnor:

In his “response,” “Egnor” manages to completely distort pretty much everything about my article, in a way that is so ham-fistedly inept that it is simply impossible for me to continue to believe that the “Michael Egnor” articles are being written by a real person who really believes what he (or she) writes…It’s been fun while it lasted, but the game’s over now. Would whoever is really writing this stuff please take this opportunity to own up to it? Please? Come on, I know it’s got to be someone who is a regular here…Orac springs to mind as a possibility. He’s definitely got a good sense of humor, and I recently found out that the fictional computer that he takes his pen name from was created by a scientist named “Ensor.” It’s only one letter off, and “Egnor” does have that onomatopoeic ring to it.


True, Mike does then go on to say that he doesn’t think it’s me and gives good reasons; but even a joke that Dr. Egnor and I might be one in the same is profoundly disturbing. That being said, sadly, I’m pretty sure that Mike is incorrect in his speculations. There is simply too much evidence that Dr. Egnor exists, is a Professor of Neurosurgery at SUNY Stony Brook; and has fallen deeply into the pseudoscience that is “intelligent design creationism.”

Personally, I speculate that Dr. Egnor’s fallen victim to the arrogance that some surgeons, alas, sometimes fall prey to. So confident is he in his intellect that he thinks he can understand this whole evolutionary biology thing without actually bothering to study it. He thinks he’s figured it out from the material that the Discovery Institute has no doubt spoon-fed him, so much so that he has convinced himself that he knows as much or more than scientists who have dedicated their professional careers to the study of evolution. Add to that a visceral hatred of the concept of evolution, which he apparently considers Godless and responsible for eugenics, despite his recent admission that eugenics is not Darwinian, and you have an enthusiastic new Discovery Institute shill that they like to trot out at every opportunity because, you know, he’s a neurosurgeon.

In any case, I assure Mike that I am most definitely not Dr. Egnor. After all, Dr. Egnor so lacks a sense of humor that I just can’t picture him using EneMan as a blog mascot.

Time to find those Tibetan monks again to do a job for me.

Comments

  1. #1 Godless McHeathenpants
    April 24, 2007

    Darn, I was hoping I could tell you about it. *pout*

    Still, are you sure you aren’t pulling a fast one? I’d like to think this guy was an intentional joke.

    Engor/Esnor is a far better argument for you pulling a fast one than mouse traps are for ID.

    Maybe you could take a picture of you two together just to be sure?

    [snark]

  2. #2 SLC
    April 24, 2007

    In a serious vein, one has to wonder about Prof. Michael Behes’ motives in continuing to associate himself with the whackjobs at the Discovery Institute. It couldn’t be monetary considerations could it. Nah.

  3. #3 txjak
    April 24, 2007

    Aside from the possibility of pecuniary motives for Drs Egnor and Behe, there is the chance that they are mythomaniacs.

    “Mythomaniac” initially referred to someone who was obsessed with or passionate about myths but was eventually used for individuals affected with or exhibiting mythomania.

    See today’s Merriam Webster Word of the Day: mythomania

    URL: http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/mwwod.pl?Apr.24.2007

  4. #4 Joe
    April 24, 2007

    Despite his protestations that he is merely a scientist asking questions, there is evidence that Behe has been a creationist for a long time. Before he came across “irreducible complexity” (IC), he wrote a tract about the absence of evidence for intermediate forms between whales and terrestrial animals (said intermediates have since been found). I can’t think of any reason for a biochemist to write such an article except to support creationism.

    In addition, at the Dover trial it came out that Behe helped write the, flagrantly, creationist text “Of Pandas and People” in the 1980s.

    A friend of mine knew him in grad school and says Behe passed for normal. I was willing to believe that Behe had simply mistaken his philosophy of IC for reality. Now I think he is a fraud.

  5. #5 Sid Schwab
    April 24, 2007

    What it all says to me is that the dissonance generated by awareness of mortality is so strong in some people that even intelligent ones are willing to reject reason and fact in order to placate the fear therefrom. Some doctors, like others, can “intellectualize” it; but what they are doing, fundamentally, is the opposite of what Richard Feynman once said: I’d rather live with doubt than to believe something that turns out to be wrong . Egnor, who indeed seems to exist, is just a more-public-than-some example of how, in many, the brain’s demand for salve (salvation?) simply over-rides everything else, allowing cleavage to stupidity in the quest to alleviate fear and doubt.

    Meanwhile, Orac: any chance you’ll have time to, y’know,….

  6. #6 SLC
    April 24, 2007

    Re Behe

    I seem to recall that Behe has claimed that he was heavily influenced by Michael Dentons’ 1985 book, “Evolution, a Theory in Crisis.” Unlike Denton, who seems to have backed away from many of the claims made in that book, it appears that Behe is still stuck in 1985.

  7. #7 Sheila
    April 24, 2007

    If I were god, I’d be mighty pissed that people would think I could design something so poorly engineered as the human body. Sure, it’s wondrous and all, but from God I’d expect perfection. Why would he put blood vessels in front of the retina, and is the human spine really the best thing he could come up with for our backs? And don’t even get me started on the buggy software…

  8. #8 Mark R. B.
    April 25, 2007

    As the skew of the biased population normed vector space CCR5, are amenable, which is a mathematical third_order_intercept_point equation used to study genetic evolutions.
    To the problem of phylogenic adaptations_ punctuated equilibrium _to the casual relationship_ punctate equilibrium _ quadrant that ought to be Uninhabited “Stokes argues that there are two axes to research, “pure” and “applied”. Bohr epitomises “pure” bohr**-2 [~ng2qpt], Edison “applied” and Pasteur is both (silencing small interfering RNAs or technical difficulties in synthesis of pre-RNA small nuclear snRNP), overall the process of self-assembly as a system of chemical reactants.

  9. #9 blf
    April 27, 2007

    …it appears that Behe is still stuck in 1985.

    I think there’s a typo there: 1589 seems more appropriate… ;-)

    But is creatinist’s thinking even that advanced? c.4th century seems likelier?

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