Some Things You've Just GOT to Ignore

I am not convinced that he doesn't understand it.

That is how a much respected correspondent of mine replied to my critique of an essay which criticizes the scientific community in Kansas for the no-show strategy in the recent KB0E hearings on the Science Curriculum.

Yah. She was correct (as usual!) in pointing out the author's first line to me "In the game of Politics..."

Adding weight to his argument, he Charles C Haynes, goes on to say
Clearly, what the public thinks — and how people vote — matters...
And he expounds upon it with:
Because the general public (including state and local board members) knows little or nothing about the actual science involved, decisions about what gets in the science classroom are often based on hostility to evolution — not on a scientifically sound discussion of the evidence.

That's why science groups should abandon the silent treatment and begin promoting their own alternative for dealing with this controversy in standards and classrooms."

But this is exactly why the issue needs to be dismissed publically by the Science community. I know it seems strange but "dismissal" is not, in this situation, an ignorance of or withdrawal from the argument. As a strategy, it is based upon the idea that science needs must regroup and observe the antics of the creationist vogue in order to let them show themselves as the fools they truly are. It is a trust, no matter how foolish it may indeed be in the ability of the people to see for themselves what is really being debated.

Here's the hard point that makes Prof Haynes' commentary more accurate than I want to give it credit for being: I am constantly amazed at the number of people who think evolution means that humans evolved from modern day apes! From high-schoolers to my 40 something co-workers, folks simply don't understand the details of evolution, much less the mechanism of Natural Selection. As Brent of UTI points out in a recent post, even the "eminent" historian Paul Johnson believes, and gets PUBLISHED belching out the ignoramist line that evolutionists have never truly or convincingly

... made their calculations (of the time-line of human evolution) chronologically. Had they done so, they'd have seen that natural selection works much too slowly to fit into the time line allowed by the ages of the universe and our own planet.

This kind of non-sense coming from an educated man, a very-well educated Professor, was printed by an organization such as Forbes, in which it appears! His "evidence" is his ignorance! Brent's take on that is excellent so I'll just get back to why I strongly, not completely, but strongly disagree with Professor Haynes' position that abstaining from the KB0E hearings was both rational and politically sound.

Politics is as much a dramatic art as it is mere exposure. Even bad publicity is good doesn't ring very true for science in an atmosphere where it is not understood very well to begin with.


  1. The correspondent who provided the Haynes article replied to my post that some "letters to Forbes" were in order. I concurr. So this is what I sent to

    Dear Editors

    I was truly embarrassed that an illustrious institution such as Forbes Magazine had put aside your erudition and reputation and run the offensively ill-conceived and poorly researched rant of Mr. Paul Johnson. I have never known Forbes to be interested in Popularity Contests so, lacking Mr Johnson's wild imagination, I cannot imagine what your purpose for giving voice to such an irresponsible disseminator of misinformation could possibly have been.

    I do understand that you listed his egocentric little exposition under the heading of "Commentary", but its placement in the Current Events ledger disingenously lends the implication that it is somehow, despite its sophmoric approach to cross-disciplinary dialogue, a respectable critique of the "Darwinian brand of evolution." Apparently even such educated men as yourselves have an inexplicably limited understanding of the actual theory of evolution.

    Like Mr Johnson, I am no paleo-anthropologist nor biologist nor theoretical mathematician. I have a simple BA in Political Science and I repair WinTel computers for my bread and my future. As a hobby and great joy, I blog and live and love my family of three. Unlike this silly, silly man, I am a rational and reasonable human being who, though sensitive and tolerant of the many silly things my species-mates have considered "true" over the millenia, believes that the substance of empirical evidence and the repetition and mundanity of the scientific method shall always be more valuable in my decision making than any amount of existential angst I may experience when I have to say "I don't know."

    As Editiors, you just may want to understand what those who reflect upon you are writing before you publish their silly and destructively ignorant words.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Michael Bains
    Cleveland, OH

    As always on this space, comments are sought and very welcome.


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