Stem cells, cloning, and the theological opponents of science

If you’ve read this outrageous WaPo op-ed that basically says you can’t expect moral behavior from scientists who are glorified baby-killers, you might appreciate this rebuttal at the Give Up Blog. The foundation of the fundiecrat anti-science article is that 1) Hwang Woo Suk was bad, therefore all stem cell/cloning research is tainted, and 2) alternative techniques (most of which they don’t seem to understand) and adult stem cells will give us all the answers we need.

Which actually leads into this week’s “ask a science blogger” question:

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Priorities, people!

OK, many people seem to be picking up on Coulter’s plagiarism, Karl Mogel picks up on the overt sexism of Coulter’s remarks*, but there’s far too little discussion of the fact that Coulter’s book is a tissue thin collection of lies. Her understanding of science is negligible, and she’s simply parroting old creationist nonsense, but almost no one is pointing out that fact. Is science just too hard for the media? Shouldn’t the fact that she plagiarizes be a lesser sin than the fact that she is making stuff up?

Although, actually, I do feel that the fact that she dismisses over half the population as too stupid to do good science, and doesn’t even think biology is a science, is probably more serious.

*One bothersome thing I need to point out about Karl’s analysis: The Panda’s Thumb would also do very poorly, with women grossly underrepresented on the list of contributors. There is no shortage of XX science bloggers, though, as the list at scienceblogs shows.

John McKay tells me that Media Matters has a thorough content-based criticism of Coulter’s book. Excellent!

Creationist email: I have a new friend!

I posted a little sample of my creationist junkmail yesterday, and I’ve finally figured something out. The first mailing said, “Original Theory By Perry Marshall, Edited in part by D. Donohew”—what that meant was that D. Donohew had found this crap by Perry Marshall on the web, and was simply doing a copy&paste and sending it to me. How did I figure this out? Because Mr Donohew is now regularly sending me crap that he has written himself. You may be surprised to learn, given that that first email was a pile of spluttering nonsense, that Mr Marshall is a paragon of lucidity and insight compared to his plagiarist.

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Watch out for possible commenting glitches

There have been these annoying glitches in TypeKey comment management in the past, and the source of the problem is inconsistency in how the different science blogs require valid email addresses in your comments. We’re about to enforce a uniform standard across all the science blogs—you will all be required to use a valid email address, although I don’t think it will be displayed—and that might cause a few hiccups here, at first. Give it a chance and it will all shake out, I hope.