I was more than a little disappointed when Forbes magazine published the screeds of those ignorant doofii, Ham, Wells, Flannery, West, and Egnor. Now, though, they’ve also published a broadside from Jerry Coyne that demolishes the five creationists. His primary focus is on Egnor (but just as much could be said against any of them), and he doesn’t hold back.
Why does he so readily dismiss a theory that has been universally accepted by scientists for over a century?
Apparently because a rather old book, Michael Denton’s Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, first published in 1985, convinced him that evolutionary theory was underlain by very weak evidence. If Egnor had bothered to look just a little into Denton’s book and its current standing, he would have learned that the arguments in it have long since been firmly refuted by scientists. Indeed, they were recanted by Denton himself in a later book more than 10 years ago.
Since Egnor is decades out of date and shows no sign of knowing anything at all about evolutionary biology in the 21st century, one wonders what could have inspired his declaration at this time.
There’s more, much more. Read it all if you enjoy watching an intellectual mauling.
Also, Coyne did not hold back in criticizing the magazine, either — and Forbes published it all without edits. That’s to their credit, but I can’t help but feel that there’s a callous calculation here, that even arguments against the quality of their publication are seen as a way to boost circulation.
The only “controversy” is social and political: Will Americans, in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution, be allowed to impose a false, religiously based view of biology in the public schools? This “teach the controversy” approach, so popular among fundamentalists, ill suits a publication with the gravitas of Forbes.
Can we expect that it will balance stories on medicine with the competing views of shamans, Christian Scientists and spiritual healers? Will articles on the Holocaust be rebutted by the many Holocaust deniers? When the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing rolls around this July, will Forbes give a say to paranoids who think the landing was a fraud, staged on a movie lot?
This, in effect, is what Forbes has done by giving equal time to evolution-deniers. Journalists have an obligation to be fair, but this doesn’t mean that they must give charlatans a prestigious platform from which to broadcast their lies. By doing so, Forbes has debased both journalism and science.
Exactly. Why would anyone go to that gang of charlatans at the Discovery Institute for articles on evolution? Because idiocy sells?