GWW made an interesting discovery: he’s a creationist. I don’t understand why the Right is constantly elevating these ignoramuses; there must still be a few conservatives who read this site (I can’t possibly have driven you all away)…aren’t you embarrassed by this kind of thing?
For instance, here’s some dumb-as-a-post reasoning:
I personally don’t have a problem with evolution being taught in public schools. I occasionally have a problem with the way it is taught – as a final, solid, unquestioned truth, as opposed to a still-changing theoretical approach that many scientists think best explains the way things came to be.
Yglesias speaks about Darwinistic evolution as if it was a solid, undebatable fact, like 2+2=4. But the whole thing’s a lot more complicated than that. An academic survey a couple of years ago found that nearly a third of hard scientists believed in theories other than the typical evolutionary construct – either something involving genetic mutation, or intelligent design, or something inspired by Stephen Jay Gould, or the like.
Where to begin? We teach the facts and the evidence, and the phenomenon of evolution is a fact. And at the same time, there are missing bits and pieces of the whole story, and we teach those as well. I suspect that Mr Domenech has never actually taken a biology course, and doesn’t have the slightest idea what he’s talking about. That second paragraph confirms it.
What exactly does he think the “typical evolutionary construct” might be? He seems to think that genetic mutation isn’t part of it, which is bizarre. He thinks SJ Gould wasn’t part of the evolution mainstream, which is an odd thing to say about a Harvard paleontologist. And to toss intelligent design in there—it’s true that it isn’t part of the “typical evolutionary construct” (he got one thing right!), but no, very few scientists believe in that. This whole thing is a crazy distortion of what biologists actually do.
All right, we could just assume he’s uninformed, and doesn’t know what he’s talking about…but he goes beyond that to egregious dishonesty, with a fraudulent quote-mine.
Will Saletan is normally at least evenhanded. But his offhand dismissal of the reasons for teaching Intelligent Design in public schools is full of holes. He can’t just dismiss intelligent design as “empy” or “full of lies or dogma,” when no less prominent an evolutionist than Stephen Jay Gould has lent weight to the theories of Michael Behe and his brethren. This is not to say that one should accept the doctrine of intelligent design–but biological evolution in the macro remains a theory, by definition. It is not true that, as one W&M prof frequently remarks, “evolution is as real as Cincinnati.” One can drive to see Cincinnati. One cannot drive to see the billions of years required by biological evolutionary theory.
Simply because Saletan disagrees with ID theory does not mean that the theory fails to meet the threshold required to be mentioned in a public school course. If that were true, half of what we teach in high school social studies class would be out. If public school curricula were determined by majority opinion, Saletan would be red in the face: only 10% of Americans agree with Saletan’s view of evolution.
Wow. You read that, and it sounds as if Gould had endorsed Intelligent Design creationism—Mr Domenech is slinging around Gould’s credibility and authority to rebut Saletan’s dismissal of ID. Follow that link, though, and you won’t find Gould saying supportive things about Behe or the work of the Discovery Institute: instead, it’s a diatribe by one Robert Wright, against Gould, accusing him of doing such poor science that he is providing aid and comfort to creationists. Wright’s article is a rather hacky hit piece, but it’s clear that he has nothing but contempt for creationists, and there’s nothing there to suggest that Gould had anything good to say about them, either. Domenech is blatantly misrepresenting the story.
The rest—the implication that evolution is weak because it “remains a theory“, that you cannot see the evidence for evolution, and that ID somehow meets a standard sufficient to be taught in public schools—is just traditional creationist stupidity. Falling back on the argument from popularity is a theme common to this guy.
Nearly twice as many Americans believe in creationism as in evolution (the theory which Derb subscribes to — in my opinion, that positive belief is actually worse than the negative belief on creation). It’s been that way for more than a decade. I don’t necessarily subscribe to all Creationist theories, but I do take Genesis literally. And I believe the commonly taught theory of evolution is a total crock.
I’m not surprised to learn that he is the product of home schooling, which in its worst instances can foster an unfortunately narrow point of view, and usually means the kid is instructed by someone with absolutely no training in education. It seems to be only on the right wing that a frothing idiot like this guy can fall upward into a mass media job—where the first thing he does is chew out the mass media for being too liberal.