As in: Science 2.0 on Darwin great E. O. Wilson dismissing arch-Darwinist Richard Dawkins as a ‘journalist’, where I noted,
This clearly feels like a moment of Darwinism in decline. They don’t seem to mind trashing each other in public now.
Here is what I told a friend the issue is:
The point isn’t that scientists say rude things about each other’s opinions (though Dawkins is called a scientist only for political advantage now). But if, despite being seen as “world’s smartest scientist,” it turns out that Dawkins is only a hack like me – doesn’t that raise the question whether the same could be said of Wilson? Of Coyne? Of Barash? Of the whole lot? THAT’S what I am talking about.
It’s somewhat like the Crown Prince of Schmonarchy calling the Princess Royal of Skmonarchy a “brainless strumpet” in public. Okay, … if she’s that, what’s HE?
Smarter people defend their *social/political position* by refraining from personal abuse even of people in similar positions whom they privately hate and despise. It’s group survival. Or not, as the case may be.
I grant you, the Darwinists may, in an age of increasingly authoritarian government and stacked courts, shove their views down the public’s throat in indoctrination systems, and legally punish dissenters. But that is not nearly as advantageous a position as actually enjoying respect, whether the respect is earned or not.
Throwing enjoyed respect away is, I suggest, a bad sign.
Busy this morning. Will write more on the background to the controversy later. – O’Leary for News
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