Intelligent Design

Not Nearly Enough Pro-Evolutionary Propaganda in Research Papers

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A recent essay in PLoS biology bemoans that researchers are not using the term “evolution” nearly often enough in research papers. The essay lays out the horrendous possibilities that this could mean:

A critical question is whether avoidance of the word “evolution” has had an impact on the public perception of science. To investigate this, we examined whether the use of the term “evolution” in the scientific literature affects the use of this word in the popular press, i.e., whether there is evidence for “cultural inheritance” of word use. We searched articles on antimicrobial resistance in national media outlets, such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fox News, and the BBC (Text S1). Our results showed that the proportion of times the word “evolution” was used in a popular article was highly correlated with how often it was used in the original scientific paper to which the popular article referred (Figure 2). This clearly shows that the public is more likely to be exposed to the idea of evolution and its real-world consequences if the word “evolution” is also being used in the technical literature.

So please, keep using the word “evolution” in your papers! If you don’t, the public won’t be orthodox evolutionists, and the NCSE can’t talk about how much evolution is used in the biological literature! Nevermind if you think that “evolution” might not be the right or most specific word for what you’re doing, you need to use the word evolution more, or your papers won’t have the needed amount of propoganda value for the press!

17 Replies to “Not Nearly Enough Pro-Evolutionary Propaganda in Research Papers

  1. 1
    bFast says:

    evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution, evolution! How’s that.

  2. 2
    JGuy says:

    –Hopefully it’s a backfire paper–

    What will be funny is when people read the article, then realize & think, “Hey, you’re right! We haven’t used evolution… because it was never useful. Hmmm.. maybe those ID guys are right?” 🙂

  3. 3

    If you think I’ve cashed in on ID, just wait till you see how I cash in on the upcoming bicentennial/ sesquicentennial (Darwin’s birth and anniversary of the OOS, resp.). To gear up, I’ve bought evolveyourself.net (for the evolution self-help course I’m putting together) and pro-evolution.net (because we can’t be pro-evolution enough!).

  4. 4
    Michaels7 says:

    Haha… Bfast, now all the evolutionist will hit this site in searches on evolution!

    Darwin, Darwin, Darwin… hehe

    oooo, Dawkins, Dawkins, Dawkins.

    meme, meme, meme…

    dead dead dead. heh!

  5. 5
    russ says:

    If you all don’t mind, would you please start making liberal use of the phrase “PayPal Russ a dollar” in your posts? I believe that “the public is more likely to be exposed to the idea of sending Russ money and the real-world consequences of doing so if the words ‘PayPal Russ a dollar’ are also being used in the technical literature.”

  6. 6
    Atom says:

    Why would I “PayPal Russ a dollar”? It seems that by asking me to re-post “PayPal Russ a dollar”, you are just seeking to get a better google index for “PayPal Russ a dollar”, which would only lead more people to PayPal Russ a dollar.

    I will give you no help in that scheme to “PayPal Russ a dollar.” 😉

  7. 7
    Charlie says:

    This has been a contention of mine for some time.
    The word ‘evolution’, and often the accompanying propaganda, appears to be tacked onto articles so gratuitously that it seems to be there for the purposes of 1) getting through peer-review/satisfying an editor, 2) affirming confidence in the paradigm (especially if the data undermine it), 3) spreading the word, as per the OP. This way pub-med can return lots of hits to demonstrate the importance of ‘evolution’ to the endeavour of science.

    The genetic code is discovered to be one-in-a-million and for some reason there has to be a section at the end describing that some think it may have evolved. The preamble to an article on the Big Bang first affirms the ‘fact’ of evolution.
    Even when popular magazines touch on science I’ve seen that an article on the “mystery ape” has a pointless quote “we may be seeing evolution in action” and an issue with several articles on the scientific mysteries and benefits of laughter is followed by one crediting it to RM and NS.
    It reminds me of Letterman’s spoof where Osama Bin Laden sends a video describing something as mundane as a birthday party and then, almost having forgotten, tags on “Oh yeah, and death to America” at the end.

    “Oh yeah, evolution is a fact.”

  8. 8
    Jehu says:

    Well I guess the “secret handshake” has now become public policy.

  9. 9
    DaveScot says:

    So much for the secret handshake.

    I actually had to click through to PLoS before I believed some dipthong(s) were actually bold enough to demand more gratuitous mentions of evolution in peer reviewed journals and even more incredulous is that the editors of PLoS would publish such trash.

  10. 10
    johnnyb says:

    What is most amusing is that the ID folk are accused of using science to promote their social agenda, when it is the evolutionists who are publicly, explicitly using peer-reviewed journals to push their media agenda! I guess their problem is not that ID is politicizing science, but that it’s not politicizing science in their direction.

    Everyone should read Michael Crichton’s Aliens cause Global Warming speech. Especially relevant is the ending:

    In recent years, much has been said about the post modernist claims about science to the effect that science is just another form of raw power, tricked out in special claims for truth-seeking and objectivity that really have no basis in fact. Science, we are told, is no better than any other undertaking. These ideas anger many scientists, and they anger me. But recent events have made me wonder if they are correct.

    ….a few paragraphs describing an example of a scientists punished for publishing ideas outside the paradigm….

    Is this what science has become? I hope not. But it is what it will become, unless there is a concerted effort by leading scientists to aggressively separate science from policy. The late Philip Handler, former president of the National Academy of Sciences, said that “Scientists best serve public policy by living within the ethics of science, not those of politics. If the scientific community will not unfrock the charlatans, the public will not discern the difference-science and the nation will suffer.” Personally, I don’t worry about the nation. But I do worry about science.

  11. 11
    Tim says:

    Lab-coated dudes! I have to demand a
    Real research study, not propaganda!
    Was that tripe peer-reviewed
    Or just rubber “shampooed”
    By your friends at the thumb of the panda?

  12. 12
    j says:

    “Newspeak was the official language of Oceania and had been devised to meet ideological needs of Ingsoc… In 1984 there was not as yet anyone who used Newspeak as his sole means of communication, either in speech or writing. The leading articles in the Times were written in it, but this was a tour de force which could only be carried out by a specialist. It was expected that Newspeak would have finally superseded Oldspeak (or Standard English, as we should call it) by about the year 2050…”

  13. 13
    Patrick says:

    hmph. Even when evolution is referenced it’s often just a quick, hand-waving storytelling session.

  14. 14
    MaxAug says:

    As if using a word repeatedly would count as evidence for something…
    Anyway, im pretty sure you guys remember about that famous Joseph Goebbels quotation right?

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

  15. 15
    Douglas says:

    I suggest they be sneaky about it, and “code” the word, “evolution”, in various equidistant letter sequences in their papers. That way, it won’t be so obvious they are propagandizing, but the vast masses will subconsciously detect the widespread use of the word, “evolution”, and therefore subconsciously conclude that evolution is unavoidable and foundational to all science. That, or they will subconsciously conclude that most scientists are brazen, manipulating liars, and they will lean further to ID.

  16. 16
    DaveScot says:

    douglas

    The Evolution Codes?

    Now there’s an idea.

  17. 17
    Douglas says:

    Dave,

    Yeah, and it just occurred to me they could also include messages such as “Darwin rules”, “Darwin’s rules”, “Eugenie Scott is hot”, “You can trust Eugenie”, “Dawkins is a scientist, really”, etc.. The possibilities are endless, and no monkeys need be involved.

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