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Science signaling?: When virtue signaling goes to social hell

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From David Klinghoffer at Evolution News & Views:

I keep circling back in my mind to the dramatic juxtaposition of atheist, theistic evolutionist (TE), and ID advocate in Saturday night’s debate at the University of Toronto. I won’t use names, since it was almost a clash of archetypes where the personal identities and personal circumstances hardly matter. That the TE persistently joined with the atheist in going after the ID’er speaks volumes.

An email correspondent, thinking along the same lines, offers the phrase “science signaling,” a play on “virtue signaling.” The latter refers to the habit of some in political and other debates to care more about signaling their own virtue than about winning the election or other contest against an opponent. The currency is feeling special and impressing strangers, not actually accomplishing anything.

In science signaling, the point is to signal that you’re on the prestige side of any controversy. The theistic evolutionist in Saturday’s event was true to type for many TE advocates. He seemed eager, pathetically so, to show the atheist that he “resonated” with him. While unctuously assuring the ID’er that they were on the same side spiritually (as “brothers in Christ”), even as the ID advocate talked science only and not religion, the TE’s focus appeared to be on sharing some of the reflected prestige of the atheist scientist. More.

<em>Teapot</em> Cobalt Blue It’s actually worse in private gatherings.

People who really know cows, turtles, or ponytail grass struggle to keep a good social face when confronted by pop Darwinblather marketed to and by, and then repeated by, people who have never lived or worked with any such entity, who know nothing about them.

But they do know some Darwinblather they can recite. Stuff it would never occur to them to think through.

= The most aggressive male gets the mate! That explains [insert blather here … ] !!

(Maybe. That is, if the most aggressive male doesn’t die first. If he gets into enough fights, infections or brain damage may fell him. Anyway, females generally don’t like the type, and will try to run off with a quieter male if they can … )
Patchy AusstechformenNo matter. We all put on our social grins. But speaking of pseuds and impositions on public time and patience, see also: a classic example of virtue signalling: Think Green only if you’re seen?

For a clearer perspective on evolution, see What the fossils told us in their own words.


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The guy claiming to be evangelical would have no credibility with 98% of evangelical unrelated to his views on evolution. He was silly. On youtube the debate got 16000 hits. I like these things to get attention but this was not the debate . It shows there is a market but you need the right people. The bad guys must be worthy enough to allow the knockout blows of creationists. Robert Byers
of related note:
Intelligent Design Critics: ‘Never Mind What You’re Saying. What I Say You’re Saying Is Stupid’ - April 3, 2016 Excerpt: Throughout much of the debate Krauss was committing what philosophers and debaters call the “strawman fallacy.” It amounts to erecting a false version of another person’s position — one that’s easy to knock down, like a “straw man” — and then knocking it down and declaring victory. It pretends to refute the other person’s position when really it doesn’t even address it, but something else instead. Krauss didn’t limit himself to intelligent design straw men. He ranged as far as presenting straw man versions of God, the Bible and Christian theology. And he didn’t just do it in response to Meyer: he dove right in to ridiculing strawman versions of ID and Christianity in the first few minutes of his opening presentation, which came first in the debate. It’s clear what Krauss thinks of God. It’s clear what he thinks about what he says Meyer and ID say. It’s not clear what he thinks about the actual theory of intelligent design, only that he seems not to want to think about it, at least not publicly since he is clearly intent on changing the subject in order to do battle with straw men instead. https://stream.org/intelligent-design-critics-what-i-say-youre-saying-stupid/

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