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“Science denial,” politics, and religion, from a highly politicized science journalist

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Chris Mooney, in the Washington Post:

So what’s the upshot? Obviously, both politics and religious beliefs contribute to science resistance, and the relative influence of one over the other varies on an issue-by-issue basis. The role of religion is very strong on the evolution issue, far weaker on the climate issue, and somewhere in between on the stem cell issue. And if you picked other issues to examine, you would assuredly find different results yet again. More [including snazzy chart art].

But like we said before, de Nile is a river in Egypt. All the term “science denial” means in the context is that a suspect claim has not been successfully sold as “science.”

No surprise, religious people don’t buy naturalist theories about humans, and people who really do need and want to work don’t buy falsehoods about “shovel-ready” green jobs.

The only recipe for changing well-earned public doubt is: Either end representative government or prevent information from reaching the public.

See also: Massimo Pigliucci takes no prisoners in his war on “denialism”

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33 Replies to ““Science denial,” politics, and religion, from a highly politicized science journalist

  1. 1
    awstar says:

    both politics and religious beliefs contribute to science resistance, and the relative influence of one over the other varies on an issue-by-issue basis. The role of religion is very strong on the evolution issue, far weaker on the climate issue, and somewhere in between on the stem cell issue.

    I detect a trend here. Could it be that the degree of religious push-back on science is proportional to the size of the lie told by deceivers dressed in lab coats?

  2. 2
    Sirius says:

    Amazing to me that the Washington Post would have hired as blatantly politicized a “reporter” as Chris Mooney. He is the author of The Republican War on Science. Maybe they figured that as he is on the same team as Obama he would help the Post get preferential leaks from the White House. That’s the most likely possibility.

  3. 3
    News says:

    awstar, it could be as simple as that the communities in question know what is wrong with the vast claims.

  4. 4
    mullerpr says:

    This entire “science denial” agenda, in a modern world where almost no physical action are taken without the tacit acknowledgement of the scientific method, is like asking the question “Are you still hitting your dog?”

    Have we came to the point where this rhetoric devise is unchallenged in civilised conversation?

    Maybe this just shows that science as a means to knowledge is afterall worthless without good philosophy.

  5. 5
    wd400 says:

    What name should be given to people who deny the conclusions of the overwhelming majority of scientists working in a field. That we descend from a common ancestor which chimps, that the earth is warming and our emissions are largely responsible for it and the fact vaccinations don’t cause autism are well established within science, but resisted by some non-scientific groups.

    What name should we give to those groups if you don’t think “science denial” is real?

  6. 6
    Adapa says:

    awstar

    I detect a trend here. Could it be that the degree of religious push-back on science is proportional to the size of the lie told by deceivers dressed in lab coats?

    Actually studies and polls on rejection of science show that such rejection is directly proportional to lack of education. Here is a recent Gallup poll on views of human origins”

    Historically, Americans’ views on the origin of humans have been related to their religiousness, education, and age.

    Religiousness relates most strongly to these views, which is not surprising, given that this question deals directly with God’s role in human origins. The percentage of Americans who accept the creationist viewpoint ranges from 69% among those who attend religious services weekly to 23% among those who seldom or never attend.

    Educational attainment is also related to these attitudes, with belief in the creationist perspective dropping from 57% among Americans with no more than a high school education to less than half that (27%) among those with a college degree. Those with college degrees are, accordingly, much more likely to choose one of the two evolutionary explanations.

    Younger Americans — who are typically less religious than their elders — are less likely to choose the creationist perspective than are older Americans. Americans aged 65 and older — the most religious of any age group — are most likely to choose the creationist perspective.

    Gallup Poll: Human Origins

  7. 7
    jstanley01 says:

    wd400 @ 5

    What name should be given to people who deny the conclusions of the overwhelming majority of scientists working in a field[?]

    In the English language they would be called “dissenters.” Granted, there can be various qualities of grounds for dissent, from well-grounded to irrational. But it is transparent to anyone in the general public who is paying attention that the “denialist” meme has been cooked up by the guardians of orthodox science to marginalize all dissent on select subjects.

    The hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming, for which there are all kinds of legitimate grounds for dissent, has to be the poster boy for the practice. Thanks for bringing it up.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    wd400, I don’t deny the science of neo-Darwinism, I deny that Neo-Darwinism is even a falsifiable science in the first place.,,,

    Darwinism is a Pseudo-Science:

    “Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news. If new species appear abruptly in the fossil record, that just means evolution operates in spurts. If species then persist for eons with little modification, that just means evolution takes long breaks. If clever mechanisms are discovered in biology, that just means evolution is smarter than we imagined. If strikingly similar designs are found in distant species, that just means evolution repeats itself. If significant differences are found in allied species, that just means evolution sometimes introduces new designs rapidly. If no likely mechanism can be found for the large-scale change evolution requires, that just means evolution is mysterious. If adaptation responds to environmental signals, that just means evolution has more foresight than was thought. If major predictions of evolution are found to be false, that just means evolution is more complex than we thought.”
    ~ Cornelius Hunter

    1. No Rigid Mathematical Basis
    2. No Demonstrated Empirical Basis
    3. Random Mutation and Natural Selection Are Both Grossly Inadequate as ‘creative engines’
    4. Information is not reducible to a material basis
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oaPcK-KCppBztIJmXUBXTvZTZ5lHV4Qg_pnzmvVL2Qw/edit

    Of supplemental note wd400, given your fixation on spreading the 98% genetic similarity myth as proof of neo-Darwinism, I thought of you yesterday as I listened to this lecture from Dr. Richard Sternberg (who has a PhD in evolutionary biology),,

    Richard Sternberg PhD – podcast – On Human Origins: Is Our Genome Full of Junk DNA? Part 2. (Major Differences in higher level chromosome spatial organization)
    5:30 minute mark quote: “Basically the dolphin genome is almost wholly identical to the human genome,, yet no one would argue that bottle-nose dolphins are our sister species”,,,
    http://www.discovery.org/multi.....-dna-pt-2/

  9. 9
    awstar says:

    Adapa #6

    Actually studies and polls on rejection of science show that such rejection is directly proportional to lack of education. Here is a recent Gallup poll on views of human origins”

    The polls show younger Americans are more educated and less religious. But the younger Americans eventually become older Americans who are “the most religious of any age group — are most likely to choose the creationist perspective.”

    Who’s to say many older Americans such as myself who had the advantage of a college education in a state university and never gave origins much thought when younger, have now figured out that the educators are sorely mistaken and the Bible has been true all along.

  10. 10
    Adapa says:

    awstar

    The polls show younger Americans are more educated and less religious. But the younger Americans eventually become older Americans who are “the most religious of any age group — are most likely to choose the creationist perspective.”

    I’m not sure how you draw that conclusion. The poll is a snapshot of the demographics now. There is no evidence to suggest that the younger, more well educated population of today will become more religious and/or less educated as they age.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    as to denialism, atheists are notorious in their blatant denial of the scientific evidence at hand.,,, Deeper and deeper levels of integrated functional complexity continue to be revealed in molecular biology by the advance of modern science, a level of complexity that our best engineers and computer programmers can only dream of imitating, and yet atheists, despite their failure to generate even one molecular machine by unguided Darwinian processes, continue to deny that intelligence had any role whatsoever in designing life,

    “The more I come to terms with the sheer engineering prowess of the cell, the more I am becoming convinced that the argument from biological design is perhaps the single most powerful argument for God’s existence — I now consider it to be stronger than even the cosmological and teleological arguments. It seems to be a rather under-used apologetic, however, particularly in Christian-atheist debates. ID as a scientific proposition, of course, doesn’t necessitate God as designer. But it is certainly a very compelling part of a cumulative body of evidence for theism. Catching just a glimpse of the beauty and sophistication of the cell should be enough to render absolutely anyone without excuse.”
    —Jonathan McLatchie

    “(Although atheists accuse Theists of making extraordinary claims) The truly extraordinary claim — indeed, the wildly and irresponsibly outrageous claim — is that a highly scalable, massively parallel system architecture incorporating a 4-bit digital coding system and a super-dense, information-rich, three-dimensional, multi-layered, multi-directional database structure with storage, retrieval and translation mechanisms, utilizing file allocation, concatenation and bit-parity algorithms, operating subject to software protocol hierarchies could all come about through a long series of accidental particle collisions. That is beyond extraordinary. It is preposterous. It is laughable.”
    Eric Anderson

    Programming of Life – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00vBqYDBW5s

    Venter: Life Is Robotic Software – July 15, 2012
    Excerpt: “All living cells that we know of on this planet are ‘DNA software’-driven biological machines comprised of hundreds of thousands of protein robots, coded for by the DNA, that carry out precise functions,” said (Craig) Venter.
    http://crev.info/2012/07/life-is-robotic-software/

    Michael Behe – Life Reeks Of Design – 2010 – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdh-YcNYThY

    Systems biology: Untangling the protein web – July 2009
    Excerpt: Vidal thinks that technological improvements — especially in nanotechnology, to generate more data, and microscopy, to explore interaction inside cells, along with increased computer power — are required to push systems biology forward. “Combine all this and you can start to think that maybe some of the information flow can be captured,” he says. But when it comes to figuring out the best way to explore information flow in cells, Tyers jokes that it is like comparing different degrees of infinity. “The interesting point coming out of all these studies is how complex these systems are — the different feedback loops and how they cross-regulate each other and adapt to perturbations are only just becoming apparent,” he says. “The simple pathway models are a gross oversimplification of what is actually happening.”
    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....0415a.html

    etc.. etc.. etc…

  12. 12
    awstar says:

    Adapa #10

    I’m not sure how you draw that conclusion. The poll is a snapshot of the demographics now. There is no evidence to suggest that the younger, more well educated population of today will become more religious and/or less educated as they age.

    It’s not so much a conclusion as a testimony. If someone is educated, they tend to believe what is being taught. But over time, if what is being taught doesn’t hold water, that someone, like me, starts to think maybe there is a better truth. You’re snapshot will change year after year after year. And instead of there being more and more believing evolution is true as the years go by, I’ll bet that fewer and fewer will believe evolution is true as the years go by. And only Biblical creationism offers a reasonable explanation of what really happened in the beginning.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    as to adapa’s statistic

    Apparently, the “enemies of science” know science as well as other people
    Excerpt: I recently conducted survey research comparing the most conservative of Protestants — those who identify with a conservative Protestant denomination, attend church regularly and take the Bible literally, or about 11% of the population in my analysis — with those who do not participate in any religion. The conservative Protestants are equally likely to understand scientific methods, to know scientific facts and to claim knowledge of science. They are as likely as the nonreligious to have majored in science or to have a scientific occupation. While other studies have shown that the elite scientists who work at the 20 top research universities are less religious than the public, it appears that the vast majority of people with workaday scientific occupations are like their neighbors, religiously speaking.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....er-people/

    Why do atheists have such a low retention rate? – July 2012
    Excerpt: Only about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household remain atheists as adults. This “retention rate” was the lowest among the 20 separate categories in the study.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....tion-rate/

    Look Who’s Irrational Now – 2008
    Excerpt: “What Americans Really Believe,” a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....54585.html

    There are actually studies that show that people who do not believe in a soul are a little bit more anti-social (psychopathic) than the majority of people who do believe in a soul:

    Anthony Jack, Why Don’t Psychopaths Believe in Dualism? – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?l.....zOk#t=862s

  14. 14
    StephenA says:

    wd400 @ 5

    What name should be given to people who deny the conclusions of the overwhelming majority of scientists working in a field[?]

    In the English language they would be called “dissenters.”

    ‘Skeptic’ would also be an acceptable and accurate description, best used with a modifier that indicates what it is exactly they are skeptical of. (e.g. Dawinism Skeptic, Global Warming Skeptic, Old Earth Skeptic, etc.)

  15. 15
    humbled says:

    WD400, you said “What name should be given to people who deny the conclusions of the overwhelming majority of scientists working in a field. That we descend from a common ancestor which chimps, that the earth is warming and our emissions are largely responsible for it and the fact vaccinations don’t cause autism are well established within science, but resisted by some non-scientific groups.

    What name should we give to those groups if you don’t think “science denial” is real?”

    I would call them informed, skeptics or free thinkers.

    I’ve been around long enough to see so called overwhelming evidence quietly brushed under the carpet when it turned out to be nonsense. History is also littered with junk consensus science.

    Many of us old enough still remember when our so called medical experts told our pregnant woman to take thalidomide to combat morning sickness. When we spoke out we were labeled deniers then as well. Even while our kids were being born disfigured or worse, we were assured all was well. We shouldn’t have believed so easily, we were naive.

    Never again. We’ve learnt our lesson. But history will repeat itself and those who don’t listen are doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    of related note to ‘denialism’, it is interesting to point out that atheists, besides denying they have a mind, and free will, to reason with in the first place, live in denial of the ‘design thinking’ that is hardwired into their thinking:

    Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? – October 17, 2012
    Excerpt: “Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find.” The article describes a test by Boston University’s psychology department, in which researchers found that “despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose” ,,,
    Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65381.html

    Young Children Think Like Scientists – 27 September 2012
    Excerpt: “What these experiments show if you give the children one of these causal problems like figuring out how the machine works and then just leave the video recorder running, what you see is when the child[ren] are just spontaneously playing. … What they do is to do a bunch of experiments that will give them just information they need to figure out how the toy works,” Gopnick said.
    http://www.livescience.com/235.....tists.html

    Geometric Principles Appear Universal in Our Minds – May 2011
    Excerpt: Villagers belonging to an Amazonian group called the Mundurucú intuitively grasp abstract geometric principles despite having no formal math education,,, Mundurucú adults and 7- to 13-year-olds demonstrate as firm an understanding of the properties of points, lines and surfaces as adults and school-age children in the United States and France,,,
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscie.....-geometry/

    Children are born believers in God, academic claims – 24 Nov 2008
    Excerpt: “Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Anthropology and Mind, claims that young people have a predisposition to believe in a supreme being because they assume that everything in the world was created with a purpose.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....laims.html

    Another study that backs this ‘living in denial’ of this belief in God that is hardwired into them is that Atheists sweat when they dare God:

    Daring God Makes Atheists Sweat – 11/19/13
    Excerpt: This research conducted by the University of Finland found that having atheists dare God to do terrible things causes them stress to the point of sweating. Conversely, the same individuals did not exhibit those same stress levels when simply wishing for awful things to happen.
    http://fixedpointfix.com/darin.....sts-sweat/

    Verse and Music:

    Romans 1:19
    since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

    Jewel – Who Will Save Your Soul (Official Video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wBDDAZkNtk

  17. 17
    franklin says:

    humbled

    Many of us old enough still remember when our so called medical experts told our pregnant woman to take thalidomide to combat morning sickness.

    If you live(d) in the USA this is not true. Thalidomide was never approved for use by the general public in the US by the FDA. Of course this did not stop woman living in the US from seeking access to the drug in other countries when their demands for access to the drug in the USA were denied.. Clinic trials in the US with thalidomide did result in some birth defects but that ended the trials and the withdrawal of the drug for consideration of use for morning sickness.

    If you wish to go tit-for-tat we have the case history of smallpox (totally eradicated), polio (outbreaks limited to third countries along with non-vaccinated groups in the USA), and measles (another ‘could be eradicated’ if it were not for the ‘informed skeptics’ spreading misinformation as well as outbreaks in non-vaccinated groups in the USA).

    In many cases ‘science deniers’ is the appropriate label to apply to these individuals.

    We also have the case history of vaccines wiping smallpox from the face of the

  18. 18
    jstanley01 says:

    StephenA @ 14
    Both “dissenter” and “skeptic” are long-used English words, the latter tracing as far back as ancient Greek thought. “Skeptic” used to be used at times, standing alone, for doubters of religion. But that usage has faded as the predominance of religion in American society has faded, and now “I am a skeptic” begs the question “skeptical of what?”

    But the words “denialism” and “denialist” are clearly full-blooded neologisms. Newly-coined words whose meanings are based upon a usage of the word “denial” that has yet to be canvassed by the dictionary definition of the word.

    Where this new usage of “denial” can be traced back to are alcoholic self-help groups. Groups who deal with individuals who deny that they have an alcohol problem when, quite obviously, they do (see AA Glossary, c.f. “Denial”).

    Hence, the neologism “denialism” has been defined as the act of declaring something to be untrue that is obviously true (see Wikipedia, Denialism), and “denialist” has been defined as a person who engages in “denialism.”

    It’s an interesting etymology.

  19. 19
    jstanley01 says:

    Corrected link to AA Glossary, c.f. “Denial.”

  20. 20
    Joe says:

    What is the science science that says we descended from a common ancestor with chimps? The premise can’t even be tested.

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    smallpox: Edward Jenner was an English physician and scientist who was the pioneer of smallpox vaccine,,,, His father was the Reverend Stephen Jenner,,,
    “The most famous champion of vaccination was a Christian doctor, *Edward Jenner* who did his work against fierce opposition and in the teeth of threats against himself. In effect he wiped out smallpox from among the diseases that terrify mankind. He died from a cold caught carrying firewood to an impoverished woman.”
    http://www.rae.org/pdf/influsci.pdf

    polio and measles: John Enders, MD
    Death Bed: “On a September evening at their water front home in Connecticut, in 1985, Enders was reading T.S. Eliot aloud to his wife, Carolyn. He finished and went to bed, then quietly died. He was eighty-eight. At his memorial service his friend, the Bishop F.C. Laurence, said, “John Enders never lost his sense of wonder – wonder at the great mystery that exists and surrounds all of God’s creation. This awareness is what gave him his wide vision and open mindedness, his continued interest in all things new, his ability to listen, his humility in the presence of this great mystery, and his never-ending search for the truth.” His widow said that John briefly revealed his heart when he told her, concerning how creation ran, “There must be a mind behind it all.”
    http://www.scienceheroes.com/i.....Itemid=117

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    of note: T.S. Eliot’s extraordinary journey of faith
    http://www.abc.net.au/religion.....972229.htm

  23. 23
    Adapa says:

    Joe

    What is the science science (sic) that says we descended from a common ancestor with chimps? The premise can’t even be tested.

    The science is called genetics. Human-chimp common ancestry has been tested and confirmed by doing a genome-wide comparison and noting the similarities, between 95% and 99% depending which areas of the genome are compared. The most commonly accepted figure is 98.7% shared genome or 1.3% difference with their last common ancestor alive about 6 million years ago.

    Here’s something I bet you didn’t know. Using the exact same method of genomic analysis and comparing the same genome regions it turns out that tigers and common house cats have a 98.1% genome similarity, 1.9% difference. They last shared a common ancestor about 8 million years ago,

    The tiger genome and comparative analysis with lion and snow leopard genomes

    Think about that for a minute:

    Humans and chimps are closer to each other genetically than tigers are to house cats.

    Yet you don’t hear anyone squawking about the common ancestry of house cats and tigers.

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    Comprehensive Analysis of Chimpanzee and Human Chromosomes Reveals Average DNA Similarity of 70% – by Jeffrey P. Tomkins – February 20, 2013
    Excerpt: For the chimp autosomes, the amount of optimally aligned DNA sequence provided similarities between 66 and 76%, depending on the chromosome. In general, the smaller and more gene-dense the chromosomes, the higher the DNA similarity—although there were several notable exceptions defying this trend. Only 69% of the chimpanzee X chromosome was similar to human and only 43% of the Y chromosome. Genome-wide, only 70% of the chimpanzee DNA was similar to human under the most optimal sequence-slice conditions. While, chimpanzees and humans share many localized protein-coding regions of high similarity, the overall extreme discontinuity between the two genomes defies evolutionary timescales and dogmatic presuppositions about a common ancestor.
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....chromosome

    A False Trichotomy
    Excerpt: The common chimp (Pan troglodytes) and human Y chromosomes are “horrendously different from each other”, says David Page,,, “It looks like there’s been a dramatic renovation or reinvention of the Y chromosome in the chimpanzee and human lineages.”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....richotomy/

    Richard Sternberg PhD – podcast – On Human Origins: Is Our Genome Full of Junk DNA? Part 2. (Major Differences in higher level chromosome spatial organization)
    5:30 minute mark quote: “Basically the dolphin genome is almost wholly identical to the human genome,, yet no one would argue that bottle-nose dolphins are our sister species”,,,
    http://www.discovery.org/multi.....-dna-pt-2/

    “Where (chimps and humans) really differ, and they differ by orders of magnitude, is in the genomic architecture outside the protein coding regions. They are vastly, vastly, different.,, The structural, the organization, the regulatory sequences, the hierarchy for how things are organized and used are vastly different between a chimpanzee and a human being in their genomes.”
    Raymond Bohlin (per Richard Sternberg) – 9:29 minute mark of video
    https://vimeo.com/106012299

    Kangaroo genes close to humans
    Excerpt: Australia’s kangaroos are genetically similar to humans,,, “There are a few differences, we have a few more of this, a few less of that, but they are the same genes and a lot of them are in the same order,” ,,,”We thought they’d be completely scrambled, but they’re not. There is great chunks of the human genome which is sitting right there in the kangaroo genome,”
    http://www.reuters.com/article.....P020081118

    First Decoded Marsupial Genome Reveals “Junk DNA” Surprise – 2007
    Excerpt: In particular, the study highlights the genetic differences between marsupials such as opossums and kangaroos and placental mammals like humans, mice, and dogs. ,,,
    The researchers were surprised to find that placental and marsupial mammals have largely the same set of genes for making proteins. Instead, much of the difference lies in the controls that turn genes on and off.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.....m-dna.html

    Family Ties: Completion of Zebrafish Reference Genome Yields Strong Comparisons With Human Genome – Apr. 17, 2013
    Excerpt: Researchers demonstrate today that 70 per cent of protein-coding human genes are related to genes found in the zebrafish,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....131725.htm

    Evolution by Splicing – Comparing gene transcripts from different species reveals surprising splicing diversity. – Ruth Williams – December 20, 2012
    Excerpt: A major question in vertebrate evolutionary biology is “how do physical and behavioral differences arise if we have a very similar set of genes to that of the mouse, chicken, or frog?”,,,
    A commonly discussed mechanism was variable levels of gene expression, but both Blencowe and Chris Burge,,, found that gene expression is relatively conserved among species.
    On the other hand, the papers show that most alternative splicing events differ widely between even closely related species. “The alternative splicing patterns are very different even between humans and chimpanzees,” said Blencowe.,,,
    http://www.the-scientist.com/?.....plicing%2F

    “There is always an observable consequence if a dGRN (developmental gene regulatory network) subcircuit is interrupted. Since these consequences are always catastrophically bad, flexibility is minimal, and since the subcircuits are all interconnected, the whole network partakes of the quality that there is only one way for things to work. And indeed the embryos of each species develop in only one way.” –
    Eric Davidson

    Still Awaiting Engagement: A Reply to Robert Bishop on Darwin’s Doubt – Paul Nelson – September 8, 2014
    Excerpt: “Neo-Darwinian evolution is uniformitarian in that it assumes that all process works the same way, so that evolution of enzymes or flower colors can be used as current proxies for study of evolution of the body plan. It erroneously assumes that change in protein coding sequence is the basic cause of change in developmental program; and it erroneously assumes that evolutionary change in body plan morphology occurs by a continuous process. All of these assumptions are basically counterfactual. This cannot be surprising, since the neo-Darwinian synthesis from which these ideas stem was a pre-molecular biology concoction focused on population genetics and adaptation natural history, neither of which have any direct mechanistic import for the genomic regulatory systems that drive embryonic development of the body plan.”
    Eric Davidson – 2011
    ,, it is difficult to miss Davidson’s thrust. As far as the origin of animal body plans is concerned, neo-Darwinism isn’t incomplete or insufficient. It is dead wrong.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89641.html

  25. 25
    mullerpr says:

    wd400,

    Let us take the description of the issue and explain why you are asking the wrong questions… You keep accusing discent from materialist orthodoxy as being the issue, instead of engaging the empirical and logical reasons for the discent.

    Just take one aspect, the Steady State model of Cosmology is gone, dead by empirical falsification… But orthodox still demand naturalist explanation even though nature is not eternal and self-existent. Why protect that dogma against the accurate and empirically proven description of realty?

    Protecting the status quo in the face of new and mounting evidence is dogmatic backwardness akin to pre-Copernican thinking.

    A good read might be:
    The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/.....ot_redir=1

  26. 26
    awstar says:

    Franklin #17

    If you wish to go tit-for-tat we have the case history of smallpox (totally eradicated), polio (outbreaks limited to third countries along with non-vaccinated groups in the USA), and measles (another ‘could be eradicated’ if it were not for the ‘informed skeptics’ spreading misinformation as well as outbreaks in non-vaccinated groups in the USA).

    In many cases ‘science deniers’ is the appropriate label to apply to these individuals.

    Wasn’t there some controversy between the Salk vaccine camp and the Sabin vaccine camp? I wonder if the parents that didn’t want to risk having their children get polio through the oral vaccine (which was definitely a possibility, but perhaps small) would today also be labeled science deniers? Do the priests of science allow them to have the right to object?

  27. 27
    Robert Byers says:

    Its not science denial but conclusion denial. Therefore creationism etc attack methodology and not just conclusions. We say they ain’t and we is doing science or better investigation.
    its just lame oh saying if we disagree with their conclusions we don’t accept science.
    Oh brother.
    Make your damn case already!!!
    If we turn out to be right will it mean those guys were denying science? NO! its just inferior competence in investigation.

    As I like say PRESENT your top three, or one, knockout evidences for the great claims of evolution.
    If you got one you win.

  28. 28
    humbled says:

    Franklin, no I’m in England and yes Thalidomide was heavily promoted by GP’s etc. No amount of historical rivisionism will remove the medical incompetence of the “experts” back then or the memories and tragedy that followed as a result.

    As for science skeptics, I personally feel we’ve had enough of the nonsense. We’ve been lied to, exploited and profited off. Our health and well being is NOT the so called experts number 1 priority. As the public becomes aware of this behaviour, as well as the terrible track record and profiteering of these charlatans, the scepticism will grow, as it should.

  29. 29
    lifepsy says:

    wd400,

    What name should be given to people who deny the conclusions of the overwhelming majority of scientists working in a field.

    Neo-Darwinists.

    (if the field is the Life sciences, and we’re going by the conclusions of the actual data)

  30. 30
    lifepsy says:

    Adapa

    The science is called genetics. Human-chimp common ancestry has been tested and confirmed by doing a genome-wide comparison and noting the similarities, between 95% and 99% depending which areas of the genome are compared.

    Another ambiguous fail.

    Do you guys ever base your case on real unequivocal data? I can’t think of one solid argument you have that isn’t awash in assumptions and subjective interpretations. Ridiculous.

  31. 31
    wd400 says:

    Too many replies here for individual responses. It seems most of you would prefer to use a term like “skeptic” or “descenter”, which is fine to describe a group that stands opposed to a particular finding of modern science. But there is also the general phenomenon of ideological opposition to mainstreams science: almost all IDists are theists, almost all global warming skeptics have right wing economic or liberterian idealogies, almost all “natural health” enthusiasts are the opposite.

    Maybe “denial” isn’t the best word, but this idealogicall motivated opposition to mainstream science is certainly a real thing.

  32. 32
    wd400 says:

    Lifespy,

    FWIW, there are many lines of evidence that prove human-chimp kinship to such that “skepticism” would be perverse. One of those lines of evidence is the presence of multiple genes that were polymorphic in human-chimp ancestor and remain polymorphic in both species today (look up trans species polymorphism).

  33. 33
    Andre says:

    And those shared genes are equally relevant to common design WD400

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