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Ramming Darwin into the brain only works on profs

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From Dan Kahan at Yale’s Cultural Cognition Project on why believing in “modern evolutionary science” (Darwinism) is not the same thing as knowing anything about it:

First, there is zero correlation between saying one “believes” in evolution & understanding the rudiments of modern evolutionary science.

Those who say they do “believe” are no more likely to be able to be able to give a high-school-exam passing account of natural selection, genetic variance, and random mutation — the basic elements of the modern synthesis — than than those who say they “don’t” believe.

In fact, neither is very likely to be able to, which means that those who “believe” in evolution are professing their assent to something they don’t understand.

That’s really nothing to be embarrassed about: if one wants to live a decent life — or just live, really –one has to accept much more as known by science than one can comprehend to any meaningful degree.

What is embarrassing, though, is for those who don’t understand something to claim that their “belief” in it demonstrates that they have a greater comprehension of science than someone who says he or she “doesn’t” believe it.

Of course, believing in “modern evolutionary science” is how TV hairpieces can pretend to be educated people.

Having “got it,” that people might not be ignorant just because they doubt, Kahan then goes on to say:

The thing is, though, even after acquiring knowledge of the modern synthesis– likely the most awe-inspiring & elegant, not to mention astonishingly useful, collection of insights that human reason has ever pried loose from nature–the bright kid who before said “no” when asked if he or she “believes” in evolution is not any more likely to say that he or she now “believes” it.

What? Dan Kahan can’t possibly be dumb enough to believe that Darwin’s undemonstrated mechanism is “astonishingly useful.”

For what? For clubbing people into line, yes indeed. Lysenkoism did the same thing in Stalin’s Soviet Union. In politer societies like our current one, an endless production line of “aren’t I good?” girls, male and female, results.

But at this late date no one who has been paying attention honestly confuses weeding out losers (natural selection) with enormous information levels in life forms. That Darwin stuff was all cooked up long before anyone realized the vast amounts of information life forms need.

The cult got started, and is perpetuated at universities to this day because dealing with the real issues would be too much work.

Is this guy Kahan just falling into line, to prevent being besieged by Darwin’s trolls? Does he need to get out more? At least he sticks to his guns about what he actually knows: Knowing about Darwinism has no relationship to believing it any more than knowing about magical thinking means believing it.

Too bad if he wimps out at this point. Dissent is rational.

See also: Why telling more people the good news of Darwin won’t help

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7 Replies to “Ramming Darwin into the brain only works on profs

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    OT:

    Animals inspire next-gen drones?

    http://www.laboratoryequipment.....cation=top

  2. 2
    Dionisio says:

    OT:

    …neurons have a greater capacity than previously appreciated to fine-tune the release of neuropeptides and thereby their communications with other cells.

    http://www.laboratoryequipment.....cation=top

    “…than previously appreciated”?

    Underestimated? Misunderstood? Poorly understood? incompletely understood? what else?

    Biased? wrong preconceptions?

  3. 3
    Dionisio says:

    OT:

    In the 1970s, mitochondria were the darlings of biological research. Everyone and their cousin was plucking the tiny kidney-shaped organelles out of cells and picking them apart, hoping to unlock the secrets of cellular energy production. Then, in 1978, biochemist Peter Mitchell won the Nobel Prize for sorting out how mitochondria produce ATP. Just like that, the frenzy was over. “It was like mitochondria didn’t have anything else to offer,” recalls György Hajnóczky, a biologist at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. “Few cared about them anymore.”

    http://www.the-scientist.com//.....Energizer/

    Is this how the scientific method should work? Basically they concluded that producing ATP was beyond their expectations for that minuscule insignificant cellular organelle, hence that must be it? Right?

    Just like that, the frenzy was over.

    “It was like mitochondria didn’t have anything else to offer,”

    “Few cared about them anymore.”

    Is that how Nicolas Copernicus and Isaac Newton pursued science in their time too?

    A simple question comes into mind: WHY didn’t scientists continue research on mitochondria back then?

  4. 4
    Acartia_bogart says:

    @Dionisia: “A simple question comes into mind: WHY didn’t scientists continue research on mitochondria back then?”

    Mitochondrial research has never stopped. The literature is full of studies, up to present day. But all research leads to new avenues for research.

  5. 5
    Dionisio says:

    #4 Acartia_bogart
    “Mitochondrial research has never stopped. The literature is full of studies, up to present day. But all research leads to new avenues for research.”

    György Hajnóczky, a biologist at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. “It was like mitochondria didn’t have anything else to offer,” “Few cared about them anymore.”

    No one said the research stopped completely. But according to the Hungarian biologist, few scientists remained interested in continuing mitochondria research. So I wondered why. Your comment seems to answer my question. Thank you.

  6. 6
    Robert Byers says:

    Its truth and obvious that the hordes of people who agree or disagree with evolution do so for reasons other then understanding and being persuaded by the merits.
    For evolutionists its about trust in experts with degrees and opponents its about trust in the bible or God or religion EXCEPT those few who , on both sides, have studied the issue and come to conclusions oneself. There is also a sharp scepticism in North americans.
    People who discuss/fight on these issues, like on forums like this, really are the more thoughtful and informed people on these matters. Regardless of ones conclusions.
    Thats why these thinkers really are the future of evolutionism’s survival or demise. thats why the ID/YEC movement is so dangerous and even predicable to prevail.
    We shouldn’t be so confident after so much exposure to the best evolutions got in making its case.

  7. 7
    Robert Byers says:

    Another point here is that this lawyer is saying VERY few people have studied evolution in its major works. This is welcome to creationism.
    this is why its easy to say its wrong. one is not debunking hordes of thinking scientists. Its just a few cats.
    Thus a few ID/YEC thinkers can bring the present revolution.
    in fact the existence of us who carefully study this and say nAY is already a deadly probability factor against evolutionism being successful after all this criticism.
    A sly equation has crept into this.

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