I am genuinely amused at this caricature of scientists from a creationist site. How many of you believed these things?
Everyone is biased. Scientists just happen to be biased in favor of reality, and have a set of tools that help them overcome predispositions that might lead them into error (Non-scientists have the same tools. Creationists just prefer not to use them.)
Again, they try to be objective.
Hah! Anyone who has done any science at all knows that a good part of the process is spent winnowing out sources of error.
He wears a…wait, what? In a list containing such grand and unattainable virtues as lack of bias, objectivity, and infallibility, this joker throws in choice of attire? Something doesn’t fit here.
Need I add that the title is about “the scientist in the white coat,” so by definition he or she would be wearing a white coat?
Now watch as our creationist tries to correct these myths:
“Biased” means he has books titled “Chemistry”, “Anthropology”, and “Evolution” on his shelf? And look at those awards! I’ve never heard of the Uniformitarian Geological Society, and look! He has a Masters degree…in Science!
I don’t quite see how the cartoon illustrates that he lacks objectivity. Is it the glasses?
He is…HU-MAN? What is this? Was there some suspicion that candidates completing their Ph.D. (or, in this case, their Master’s) were inoculated with super-scientific viruses that transgenically mutated them into an alien life form? If so, I want to know who leaked the secret.
Well, actually, about the white lab coats…it depends. In some disciplines, they are a very good idea. If you’re doing chemistry where nasty stuff might spill, it’s a good idea to protect your wardrobe by wearing a lab coat. If you’re doing the kind of biology where you work with messy squirty beasties that might get blood or ichor on you, ditto. If you’re concerned about sterile technique or don’t want to risk bringing home something you’re working on that could be toxic, you protect yourself with a lab coat. So, yes, many real scientists do routinely use lab coats. On the other hand, if you’re like me and work with inocuous tiny embryos with no risk of infection or contamination, nah, no lab coat.
One other very important omission: the cartoonist keeps using “he”. A lot of scientists are women, too, you know.
The hilarity isn’t over yet. There is precisely one comment on this particular blog post, and here it is.
I’ve always asked, why is it that scientists get away with such blatent eliteism. Read any scientific paper and you will find it written in such obscure and baffling language as to be purest nonsense.
Evolutionary biology is just such a nonsense-science: It’s intended to befuddle rather than to inform. How much better to believe planly-spoken biblical facts that are easily understood by all men regardless of their level of education.
Lets end this eliteism now!
The imaginary scientist in the cartoon has one book labeled “Gould” on his shelf. Read any of Stephen Jay Gould’s books (except the last one, unfortunately), and you’ll find them to be lucid and enthusiastic and eager to explain. Even more so, crack open one of Richard Dawkins’ books — they are exceptionally clear. Heck, just walk into your bookstore, find the tiny, narrow little shelf where the science books are hidden, and you’ll find lots of plain-spoken exposition.
Science papers tend to be heavy on the jargon because they are tightly condensed. It’s a highly refined format designed to facilitate communication between knowledgable people in the field. It’s not that hard, though: we teach undergraduates how to read and write science papers, and although admittedly they find them difficult at first, it only takes a little knowledge to be able to work through them. A little knowledge that this poor fellow plainly lacks.
But hey, let’s end elitism by demanding that everything be written for the lowest common denominator: creationist men, apparently.