I do wish they didn’t bother

You can understand why those with an agenda will try to challenge or trap a biologist in order to bolster their cause or knock down what they see as the opposition. They think that they can see weaknesses or flaws in science and that they know how to exploit them. What they tend to do of course is merely demonstrate their own ignorance, bankruptcy of ideas or lack of scruples when it comes to an academic exchange (well academic on one side).

It takes an especially confident frame of mind therefore to try and challenge an entire suite of biologists on something so utterly fundamental as the basis of the theory of evolution by natural selection. Would you believe that this didn’t turn out well and, despite an exceptionally polite tone, the destruction of the position taken is quite beautiful and simple. I thought you’d enjoy it as an example of such exchanges, one only hopes that something is taken away from this.

7 Responses to “I do wish they didn’t bother”

  1. 1 Zhen 06/11/2011 at 3:09 pm

    Eh, there’s nothing we can do about it. Whenever you talk about the science of evolution and biology, it’s bound to attract people like that. I’ve seen forums get invaded by people like that.

    You ever been to a cryptozoology forum? There’s this guy trying to find Mokele-mbembe to prove the earth isn’t as old as scientists say.

    • 2 Marc Vincent 06/11/2011 at 7:53 pm

      Well, he should be encouraged – it’d get him out of the way 😉

  2. 3 Sheila Chambers 07/11/2011 at 12:53 am

    These fools never give up do they! All evidence is dismissed by them, they prefer ancient superstitions.
    Others are afraid they are losing out in their religion business which is still very profitable and tax free, and indeed they are losing their “flock” of “sheep”.
    But we should continue to peck away at their superstition and preferred ignorance with scientific evidence whether they like it or not.

  3. 4 Mark Robinson 07/11/2011 at 4:34 am

    “… one only hopes that something is taken away from this.”
    I suspect that that is highly unlikely. One trait that all of these anti-science people have in common is their complete unwillingness to alter their belief. They are impervious to well-reasoned argument or even evidence, and simply look for things/people that will re-affirm their position.

    The same tired tropes are trotted out time and again (“it’s just a theory”, “what about the eye?”, “it’s highly improbable”, supposedly missing missing-links, quote-mining, etc, etc). I suspect that a lot, if not most, of these people just parrot stuff they’ve read on some ID/creation blog without ever thinking critically about what they’re saying/writing beyond “that confirms my belief in God/non-acceptance of evolution”.

    As much as I am in favour of science outreach and teaching people to think for themselves, frankly, I think it’s a waste of time explaining things to/arguing with these people.

    • 5 David Hone 07/11/2011 at 8:27 am

      “As much as I am in favour of science outreach and teaching people to think for themselves, frankly, I think it’s a waste of time explaining things to/arguing with these people.”

      Well there are enough comments and things doing the rounds that show that some people really are engaged and start to read and learn *because* of this stuff. Even if most of them respond badly or not at all, some do have their interest piqued *because* they have never been exposed to the reality of the evidence and how science works. As such, it’s worth at least trying.

    • 6 RK 08/11/2011 at 1:34 pm

      We can’t hope they’ll change their beliefs, but we can hope they learn to not challenge science publicly!

  4. 7 Sheila Chambers 07/11/2011 at 9:26 pm

    I know a person who is one of these closed “mind” fundies. She dismisses all evidence, poo poo’s science even when it was SCIENCE that saved her life after she tossed some clots into her lungs that could have killed her.

    She gave the credit for still being alive to “god”.As you said, there is no reaching these people, they just shut their ears and claim YOUR the one with a stubborn mind!! She claims I’m rejecting “god”! WHAT “god”???

    Show me some evidence that supports the existence of someones “god” and I will accept it’s existence until then STFU about your imaginary “god” and stop trying to convert me.
    Yes I know it’s hopeless to convert her but I would like to see her give credit where credits due, her DOCTORS.

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