Respectful Insolence

A new ScienceBlog

I’m a bit late on this, given that the blog went live yesterday, but far be it from me not to welcome denialism blog to the ScienceBlogs universe. It’s a promising new blog that in its couple of months of existence has already made an impact in the skeptical blogosphere. Also, Mark Hoofnagle, one of the bloggers responsible for it, has become a regular commenter around here.

I may not always agree with Mark and Chris about specific cases of what constitutes “denialism” (most of the time, but not always), but I do like their blog. Besides, if I ever agreed with everything a blogger wrote, I’d get bored pretty quick.

Of course, I hope Mark and Chris realize that, now that they’re part of the ScienceBlogs collective, I’m going to be relentlessly after them to host a Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle.

Comments

  1. #1 MarkH
    May 1, 2007

    I’m already scheduled for August I thought.

  2. #2 Orac
    May 1, 2007

    Oops. Right you are: August 2.

    My bad for not checking the schedule…

  3. Indulgentiam quaeso.

    To the boy who objected so strongly to my comment the other day.

    Listen, Sonny. I got into disputes defending evolution against Biblical literalists when Sam Harris was in training pants. One thing that you can still count on coming up is “well, they’ve never been able to find THE MISSING LI-INK“. That friggin’ missing link, or should that be missing friggin’ link? The problem wasn’t that the stupid idea couldn’t be refuted, it’s that it’s refutation, depending on the history of a science that the fundamentalist is even more ignorant of than the science itself and a long explanation of science they don’t have a clue about, is a practical impossibility within a real-time argument. That is except in miraculous instances of seeming instant enlightenment, rare and not replicable in controlled conditions.

    Not helping is the fact that generation upon generation of scientists hadn’t found it a true, beautiful and worthy expenditure of their veddy, veddy, precious, time to eradicate the dumb idea from the vulgar public’s consciousness or even in the press. One could be forgiven for suspecting that some of them found it quite useful in their public careers. Piltdown? The really sensible thing would have been to stomp it to dust back in the early 20th century. Perhaps some of them, instead of finally forcing the punctuation to the end of the pseudo-evolutionary belief, thought that it would evolve into reality very gradually in accordance with the best classical tradition of their chosen heterodoxy. Maybe some of them feared that correcting anything about evolution risked adding force to the arguments of the enemies of science, their version of the most ingrained Vatican insider’s “giving scandal to the simple people”.

    I suspect that clearly idiotic condescension is still a large part of the more impractical reaction to creationism. No. Either you believe in honesty and telling the entire truth or you don’t. You don’t get to keep the whole truth about evolution within professional science. That is one of the biggest problems that science faces today, it has been believed that it could get by without effective missionary work among the backward rabble. Well, the rabble are at the gate to the compound and they’ve been told some stories they don’t like one bit. Telling them the truth on their own terms is the only thing that’s going to avoid ruin.

    Now that I think of it, that’s a pretty good indication of why the great war to eradicate religion is such a stunningly stupid idea. They can’t even get rid of an massively erroneous myth about evolutionary science yet they want to take on the entire range of entirely non-scientific religious belief and grind it into dust? Um, hum. I see.

  4. #4 Orac
    May 2, 2007

    Olvlz,

    Are you sure you put this comment after the correct post?

  5. You might be right, Orac. But is it my fault that your threads are so interesting that I had several open at once this morning?

  6. #6 Mike P
    May 2, 2007

    Silly blog (not yours, Orac, but denialism.com)

    Curious, Would this piece, in your view, criticizing cancer research qualify as woo or denialism?

    I know you’ve hammered Hank Barnes a bit, but I thought the piece was pretty solid.