Maybe the dumbest thing I heard this week


Uncommon Descent

And remember, this is the week we learned ‘covfefe‘.

I don’t usually pick on Uncommon Descent. Their posts are too often incoherent; it’s about as sporting as fishing a hatchery pond. As much as I criticize Evolution News and Views, their posts are generally at least understandable. But I can’t resist on this one. A new post from ‘News’ (which I THINK means Denyse O’Leary; that’s never been completely clear to me) complains about a Nature editorial arguing that

As political leaders on either side of the Atlantic set out contrasting positions on science funding, researchers everywhere need to ensure that their voices are heard.

and that U.S. scientists

…need to talk not only to their elected officials about what they do, but also to their neighbours and communities.

The cdesign proponentsists have a pretty strong disdain for scientists expressing political opinions. That’s fine; whatever. The pitch I couldn’t let go by, though, was this gem:

Squabbles over money come and go. A prosperous economy alleviates them because, in that case, for most politicians, what’s a million?

A prosperous economy alleviates squabbles over money. Sure, that’s what happens. Now that we’re in a prosperous economy by any reasonable measure, I guess all that old squabbling over money is done.

Why get into a career-limiting fight about it?

Such sweet concern-trolling! It’s not that I’m down on your First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceable assembly; I’m just worried about your career prospects!

The most serious problem for science right now is the gradual leak into the disciplines of post-modern culture.

I agree that postmodern nonsense is a problem, but the ‘most serious problem for science’? Come on. It’s not the ~5% funding rate for NSF grants? Not the subtle and not-so-subtle sexism and racism? Not the fact that about one postdoc in five will end up in a tenure-track position? Nope, apparently it’s a few nitwits on the fringe saying everything is a social construct.

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