9 February 2009

The existence of intelligent reporters is still in controversy.

I wish reporters would stop printing this ridiculous line that evolution is "still in controversy." Evolution is in controversy in the same way that the existence of the Easter Bunny and Sasquatch are still in controversy. For that matter, the perenniel question of whether flames flicker due to the invisible flapping wings of tiny spirits is "still in controversy" if we simply mean that some group of people somewhere on the globe have a different take on thermodynamics.

12 comments:

forest wisdom said...

Well hello there. I see that I am presently "In the Headlights." I'm not sure why, but thank you.

I see this is a political blog and from what I can glean from perusing a bit of your archives, it looks like we're on pretty much the same page politically. Well, that's always a plus, eh? :)

I'll be subscribing and following along. Thanks again for the link.
Peace

forest wisdom said...

PS May I inquire how you found my blog? Just curious....

Karlo said...

Thanks for visiting. I'll put you down in the permanent link section as well. I probably found you via another blog. I try my best to locate blogs via lateral networks instead of through Google searches. The internet's supposed to be such a democratic place, but I've read that it ends up being pretty hierarchical. I'm doing my best to create a flat world! (:

libhom said...

Intelligent reporters exist on Democracy Now and in Mother Jones.

:P

PENolan said...

I never knew tiny spirits were fanning flames. I learn all sorts of stuff over here at Swerve Left. Good thing the world is getting flatter.

sanshinseon said...

Anyway, you seem to be missing the point -- when people say that evolution is still controversial what they mean by that (if they are educated and informed) is that while the concept that species evolve over time is accepted as fact, the mechanism(s) by which they do so is still something that evolutionary biologists have hot debates over. Darwin was in fact wrong, or at least way too simplistic, about the causal mechanism(s) -- that's turning out to be a very complex subject. Crazy Christian fundamentalists often use these debates and uncertainty over the exact workings of evolution to try to debunk the entire notion; that's wrong and ignorant, they misunderstand the nature of scientific theories and verification. But commentators are quite correct when they say that evolutionary theory is still quite controversial...

Karlo said...

But aren't the ddetails of pretty much any theory controversial? It's my understanding that the current theory of evolution accepted by most biologists doesn't differ in any fundamental way from that of Darwin. Even if they did, it certainly wouldn't mean that "the theory of evolution" is in dispute.

sanshinseon said...

Yeah, you're basically right -- as said, those who "deny evolution" entirely, using as one excuse that there is still much controversey over how it operates, are ill-educated, mis-informed, "wrong and ignorant, they misunderstand the nature of scientific theories and verification".

BTW, there are good articles on the current debates and understandings in Tuesday's NYT:
Darwin, Ahead of His Time, Is Still Influential
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/science/10evolution.html
Darwinism Must Die So That Evolution May Live
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/science/10essa.html

Karlo said...

I find it strange that there's this attempt to judge certain theories solely in terms of their formulation ages ago by their founders. Pretty much any theory would do poorly by this yardstick. This is also done with Marxism (although, dogmatic Marxists themselves are much to blame for that).

Karlo said...

Pharyngula has a good discussion (rebuttal?) of the Safina article.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/02/darwin_is_already_dead_and_we.php

mister anchovy said...

Any old fool knows that Sasquatch, and his cousins Yeti and Bigfoot exist. I can't vouch for the Easter Bunny though.

Karlo said...

If we do a statistical survey of belief in the population, I think the Easter bunny would win. Of course, Yeti's real. The world gets pretty wild and strange once one leaves the U.S. mainland. It's a jungle out there. Fortunately, we have some people fighting the gorillas so that the don't infest our jungles.