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Why do journalists “believe evolution” when the public doesn’t?

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In 1996, it looked like a “depression gene” had been found. As it happened,

But a new study—the biggest and most comprehensive of its kind yet—shows that this seemingly sturdy mountain of research is actually a house of cards, built on nonexistent foundations.Ed Yong, “A Waste of 1,000 Research Papers” at The Atlantic

Think of it: A thousand research papers and tens of thousands of pop sci riffs, hundreds of thousands of concerned people, just noise and numbers somewhere.

Okay but, going forward, as our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon notes,

The article reviews “candidate depression genes” and the 1000 research papers written on them, which turn out to be nothing more than statistical noise. Then he asks the question, will the public distrust science?

“Keller worries that these problems will be used as ammunition to distrust science as a whole. “People ask, Well, if scientists are publishing crap, why should we believe global warming and evolution?” he says. “But there’s a real difference: Some people were skeptical about candidate genes even back in the 1990s. There was never unanimity or consensus in the way there is for human-made global warming and the theory of evolution.”

Why does every journalist give evolution and global warming a pass? The public doesn’t.

The Long Ascent: Genesis 1â  11 in Science & Myth, Volume 1 by [Sheldon, Robert]
Rob Sheldon is the author of Genesis: The Long Ascent

Why do journalists believe when the public doesn’t?

Ah, a question the Uncommon Descent News coffee room can answer: The type of people who work as journalists for legacy media today are often just ahead of the next layoff. Most people don’t need their stuff anymore.

They are trying to interpret a world they don’t understand. They cling to Evolution (Darwinism) as TRUTH! because someone told them so. They are often not smart enough to see that any true story would be much more complex. Any interesting story is more complex too.

If the journalists are Americans, the level of complexity they can generally handle is: Orange Man Bad Other regions may feature different specific tests but no test of intellectual capability should exceed that level of complexity.

See also: Fun: Why do experts suffer from a “peculiar blindness”? Epstein: The result: The experts were, by and large, horrific forecasters.

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5 Replies to “Why do journalists “believe evolution” when the public doesn’t?

  1. 1
    EDTA says:

    > There was never unanimity or consensus in the way there is for human-made global warming and the theory of evolution.

    Last time I checked, there wasn’t consensus on those things either. Oh, but he just means there’s consensus among those who already agree. You can’t count the “deniers”.

    I care nothing for unanimity or consensus. That is built by social pressure, arguments from authority, wanting to seem “with it”, and so on. (And it’s amazing how quickly consensus evaporates when something turns out to have been wrong.)

  2. 2
    vmahuna says:

    “Why does every journalist give evolution and global warming a pass?”
    1. Evolution is the Creation Myth of Atheists. The journalists (who get their stuff in print) are ALL Atheists.

    2. They’re also Liberals/Socialists politically, so they get Politics and World Affairs wrong, too. And Global Warming is currently the best international scam going, although it should be dead within a year or so. Even a Liberal can only beat a dead horse for a few years after the audience moved on to The Next Big Thing. But the general idea is to create self-funding (i.e., DIRECTLY collected “taxes”) non-elected agency that can ORDER people around. The classic example is the New York Port Authority, but the Federal Reserve, which is merely a PRIVATELY OWNED bank, is much more powerful. The United Nations was supposed to be the finishing touch, but when it became clear that the USA couldn’t simply order 100+ sovereign nations around, the UN began its slide into irrelevance. The Press of course LOVES the UN.

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    Keller worries that these problems will be used as ammunition to distrust science as a whole. “People ask, Well, if scientists are publishing crap, why should we believe global warming and evolution?” he says. “But there’s a real difference: Some people were skeptical about candidate genes even back in the 1990s. There was never unanimity or consensus in the way there is for human-made global warming and the theory of evolution.”

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky if “There was never unanimity or consensus in the way there is for,,, the theory of evolution” then please prey tell why there is a “Scramble For Darwin’s Successor”?

    Scramble For Darwin’s Successor
    The various new proposals include punctuated equilibrium, neutral evolution, evolutionary developmental biology, self-organization, epigenetic inheritance, and natural genetic engineering. Big claims are made for each of these variants and other versions of blind evolution. But in the end those claims — while undoubtedly believed sincerely by their proponents — have little more substance than a bluff. Each has serious shortcomings as a substitute for foresight and planning with a purpose…
    https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/the-scramble-for-darwins-successor/

  5. 5
    asauber says:

    “There was never unanimity or consensus in the way there is for human-made global warming and the theory of evolution.”

    Yes, 100% of people who actually believe in human-made global warming and the theory of evolution think they are true.

    But then there’s the rest of us.

    And then there’s the pushers who don’t really believe but want users to.

    Andrew

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