Abbot: “Whether a planet could be habitable is determined primarily by the planet’s climate. This lecture will address insights we’ve gained from studying Earth’s climate and how those have been used to make predictions about which exoplanets might be habitable, and how astronomical observations indicate the possibility of new climatic regimes not found on modern Earth…” [The Woke are, of course, welcome to scream, assault passersby, and torch cars and buildings in the comfort of their own Zoom meeting at the same time.]
The friend who sent this in wonders, will the Woke come for Darwin too? It’s a bit more complicated in that case. No one, after all, strikes a serious blow against science by attacking contemporary Darwinism. Darwinism is really more about atheism than about science — and the Woke are in a war on science, not on atheism.
One thing that’s coming out of all these stories is that those who do NOT cower and mumble abject apologies to the gleefully unlettered tend to do better. Mobs have only the authority they seize from cowards. And who wants to defend an abject coward? He’ll sell you out too. A person who takes a stand can be defended.
One used to hear many people say “Cancel Culture is so ridiculous, it will go away soon.” Well, that’s not happening. Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne, who usually writes about other matters, discusses two representative incidents.
Malicious envy was always out there but before social media it could rarely assemble so large a mob. But that’s a challenge, not a prophecy. We ID types can help fend them off. We are used to fighting Cancel Culture.
Cancel Culture: People who could not advance by achievement advance by thinning out the ranks above them by denouncing the societal sins du jour that they can stick on them, truly or falsely. NOT going out on a limb here: Most Cancel Culture types actually wouldn’t care about the same offenses, if practised by people who advance their interests. Mediocrities can’t afford to be that fussy.
Calls for Random House to stop publishing his books? As if he were Michael Behe or something? Clearly, Darwinism is losing its cultural teflon.
Yawn. Move over and make room for Cancel!ed George Romanes. Or… Whatever Cancel Culture demands that we do, let’s all just stop doing it. Soon, they will be looking for really small holes to hide in.
Darwin’s racism doesn’t make his theory — either in its original form or any current iteration — right or wrong. The theory must be addressed on the merits of the case. So no deplatforming. Bring on the debate.
Author William Cole emphasizes Darwin’s opposition to slavery but one of his quoted experts puts that in perspective: “Professor James Moore, a biographer of Darwin, told The Telegraph: ‘Almost everyone in Darwin’s day was “racist” in 21st century terms, not only scientists and naturalists but even anti-slavery campaigners and abolitionists.” Of course. There’s no reason why a racist couldn’t also be a passionate abolitionist. Whatever a person may believe about human equality, slavery is a corrupting influence on any society.
Sheldon: Dawkins was part of the cancel culture 30 years ago “Christianity is like smallpox only harder to eradicate”. So the fact that the cancel culture turns on its own, is not surprising.
Cancel Culture is basically fascism, tweeted. But the way Darwinism and Social Darwinism sponsored racism — because in that scheme of things, someone always needs to be the lesser human — should have been dealt with a long time ago. There are certainly plenty of other reasons for doubting Darwin and denouncing Sanger today.
ON Boghossian: A lifelong liberal and critic of former President Donald Trump, Boghossian believes describing people as left or right is losing utility. It’s those who demand you think a certain way who are on one side, while those who do not are on the other.
Prez Pettit: “BJU students regularly score above the 90th percentile on the Medical College Admission Test …” But that’s just the problem, Steve. They can’t get your students on lack of competence so they have to engage in covert viewpoint discrimination. Swamidass is suggesting a means of proceeding along those lines.
Pedro Domingos: In my confrontation with the AI cancel crowd, I was particularly helped by the fact that several of the ringleaders are (or call themselves) professional AI ethicists. Some of them are even well-known within their field. When they serially engaged in childish and unethical behavior in full view of their colleagues, they did my job for me.