Stranger Fruit

One of the reasons that I canceled my subscription to Skeptic was that it was giving a mouthpiece to Frank Miele and his odious defences of Arthur Jensen and putative links between race, intelligence and IQ. Miele as an undergraduate contributed to the racist journal Mankind Quarterly, has collaborated with eugenicist Richard Lynn, and has received funding from the eugenicist Pioneer Fund. Which makes the following all the more ludicrous.

Over at Uncommon Descent, Dave Springer (a.k.a. "DaveScot") has approvingly linked to an overwrought article by Miele which decrys Newsweek for its coverage of global warming denial and compares the mainstream to the Inquisition. Writes Miele:

Indeed Newsweek’s author Sharon Begley denounces global warming skeptics as”deniers,” a term which I think establishes the pseudo-religiousquality of the global warming crusade as well as anything.

We are indeed reaching the point where “science”has become the equivalent of religious dogma, and “deniers” of the”received truth” (from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,in this case) have the same status as the poor saps who dared to tell the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (previously known as the Inquisition) that church dogma was wrong.

Although “deniers” of the faith of global warming cannot yet be executed, they can be excommunicated – from the one true church of government funding for scientific research – and that threat of lost funding has marginalized skeptics of global warming to the point where they probably feel a little like Galileo under house arrest.

Science as religion? Check.

Mainstream scientific ideas as dogma? Check.

Galileo reference? Check.

We’re on a roll here. And as the cherry on top we see:

What difference does it make where I get the money to do my scientific research, if indeed it is scientific research and not just propaganda? Obviously no difference at all.

Especially if one has received money from the Pioneer Fund.

With all the carping on that the denizens of Uncommon Descent do about "Darwinism" and eugenics, you gotta wonder whether Springer actually knows that Miele is a collaborator with Lynn who said:

"What is called for here is not genocide, the killing off of the populations of incompetent cultures. But we do need to think realistically in terms of ’phasing out’ of such peoples. If the world is to evolve more better humans, then obviously someone has to make way for them. … To think otherwise is mere sentimentality."


  1. #1 Mike P
    August 14, 2007

    Wow, I didn’t know Skeptic was like that. I e-mailed them about internships; now I’m glad they never got back to me.

  2. #2 MarkH
    August 14, 2007

    Sounds like someone’s been reading the crank howto.

  3. #3 Nick (Matzke)
    August 14, 2007

    I think that anyone who says we should “evolve more better humans” should get voted off the planet before we do anything else.

    Skeptic and Skeptical Inquirer have many good points, but I have noticed a tendency for Official Skeptics to (sometimes) be sympathetic to several dubious things: biological determinism, IQ/genetics/race issues, Mensa societies, bashing Margaret Mead, & confusion of atheism with science. I think the “great skeptics”, e.g. Carl Sagan, Martin Gardner, etc., didn’t have these problems, mostly because they have a strong sense of humanity to provide balance to their analytical side, but the right combination is not present in everyone.