Feeling dizzy in the coal mine. Yesterday, we looked at the fallout from the Sokal hoax. recently perpetrated on social science journals, wherein concerned academics got the journals to publish intentional rubbish that passed Political Correctness standards. A reader writes to say that hoaxer Peter Boghossian’s 2013 book, A Manual For Creating Atheists popularized “street epistemology.” This is an atheist tactic where the evangelist for atheism repeatedly asks non-expert Christians why they believe what they believe:
In his Manual, he critiques ID:
Currently, intelligent design (ID) is a type of God of the gaps argument. The idea behind ID is basically, “You don’t know how life was formed and sustained, so it was God that formed life and sustains life.” Questions about origin of life present another God of the gaps-type argument, “You don’t know the process by which living organisms naturally arise from non-living matter; therefore the cause was God.” (p. 172)
The reader notes that the criticism bears no resemblance to actual ID work (cf Biologic Institute).
No, it doesn’t. And it also bears no relation to the reasons why Boghossian’s job is at risk, a situation which the reader who wrote to us firmly opposes, of course. But we need to keep the file up to date.
Some of us wish more people in the middle understood: Boghossian’s job is at risk because, so it would seem, social justice warriors (SJWs) are people with degrees but little serious scholarship. They need the right to propound rubbish in accepted venues, in support of their current objectives—whatever they happen to be. Once they have started, or parasitized, an academic journal, they, of course, defend it against all comers.
The fact that Boghossian is an evangelistic atheist banging the drum for “science,” won’t save him. Did he help make fun of the idea that humans impose “heteronormativity” on dogs? Drive him from his job! He defiled a (current*) sacred cause! More, he damaged the reputation of journals the SJWs started or captured.
Religion in the traditional sense is of no concern to SJWs. You can be a witch or an astrologer and be right at home in their circles. The only thing you can’t believe in is intellectual freedom, due process, rationality, evidence, or any other ideas that SJWs associate with the threat of not getting what they want. Some of us call them the raging Woke, and not without reason.
*If you, reader, think that all this won’t affect you in your comfy job somewhere, remember that the raging Woke differ from most fanatics in one important way: Their causes have comparatively early sell-by dates and change often. They don’t concern you now? May later. Any aid you give them today by tolerating their concerns, however apparently well-meaning, could come back to haunt you. And you will have that many fewer allies.
*Note: Jonathan McLatchie, often featured here, addresses that sort of street epistemology here.
See also: Social science hoaxer’s job at risk for revealing “bias” If science of any kind survives, the question will be not “Why are the journals allowed to be so debased?” but “Why is this field publicly funded?” Oh, and, “Why do degrees in the subject matter?”
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