Scientific American gives up

| 29 Comments | 2 TrackBacks

As previously mentioned on PT, the editors of Scientific American, the august popular science magazine that is over 100 years old, recently caved to creationist/IDist arguments. The editors report in next month’s issue: “Okay, We Give Up.” They are opening their pages to creationism/intelligent design and numerous other attempts to substitute wishful thinking for scientific facts.

The editors write, “There’s no easy way to admit this. For years, helpful letter writers told us to stick to science. They pointed out that science and politics don’t mix. They said we should be more balanced in our presentation of such issues as creationism, missile defense, and global warming. […] But spring is in the air, and all of nature is turning over a new leaf, so there’s no better time to say: you were right, and we were wrong.” They even say, “In retrospect, this magazine’s coverage of so-called evolution has been hideously one-sided. But ID theorists think that at unspecified times some unnamed superpowerful entity designed life, or maybe just some species, or maybe just some of the stuff in cells. That’s what makes ID a superior scientific theory: it doesn’t get bogged down in details.”

We at The Thumb are of course shocked and horrified by this disastrous turn of events. You might consider going over the Scientific American blog and try to reason with them, after all they were rebutting the Discovery Institute Media Complaints Division just last week. But Daily Kos has posted the whole scandalous editorial, and it doesn’t look good. The whole evolution gag was fun while it lasted, but the overwhelming power of the brilliant rhetoric of the ID movement has trumped all of our so-called scientific evidence. Drinks on the house from here on out. We figure they’ll last until about April 1.

P.S.: You really should sign up (with Bloglines or something similar) to the Scientific American blog. There is a whole Evolution section; recent examples of interesting posts include “Big Screens, Small Minds” on the IMAX affair, “Too Rich, Too Thin, Too Reasonable,” on Richard Gallagher’s pro-teach-evolution-AND-creationism op-ed from The Scientist, or, more incredibly, “Scientific American: Your Magazine for Hominid-on-Hominid Action!,” about someone who apparently thinks that the painting of Homo floriensis on the front cover of the February 2005 issue is pornographic and should be removed from libraries.

2 TrackBacks

Hobbit Porn from stranger fruit on March 27, 2005 9:41 PM

Over at the Scientific American blog we get to truly understand how uptight people in this country are. John Rennie posts: I've come to learn that a fellow named McSpadden in Knoxville, Iowa, is trying to have copies of the February 2005 issue of Scie... Read More

Who is Matt Collins? from The Panda's Thumb on April 13, 2005 8:36 PM

Everyone remembers the widely-blogged Scientific American April Fool’s editorial, “We give up: We feel so ashamed.”  The editorial claimed that Scientific American had given up on reporting on real science and agreed to let intel... Read More

29 Comments

Ya gotta love April.

Years ago I was ready to book a vacation to San Serif.

http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/[…]omments/860/

Alas.

bill

Hey, don’t knock Sans Serif. It’s a very well-rounded place, and it’s geography lacks many of the harsh, jutting features that make other places difficult to travel through. It’s a nice place to go golfing.

[/glen branch mode]

no better time to say: you were right, and we were wrong

Couldn’t be so funny if it weren’t so true.

That’s what makes ID a superior scientific theory: it doesn’t get bogged down in details

ID creationism also explains the phenomena of Sasquatch, UFOs and the Holocaust-that-seemed-like-it-happened-but-really-didn’t better than evolutionary biology.

Of course, human psychology explains all those phenomena – and creationism – better than evolutionary biology.

Exhibit A: the Panda’s Thumb collection of dissembling trolls.

You’d almost have to believe it was April Fools Day except that bizarre statements like this have been heard from creationists before

“We’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture.” – Pastor Ray Mummert

Damn, don’t you just hate those intelligent educated people always piping up with some articulate thoughtful comment just when you think you’ve created a perfect storm of dust and bogus propoganda?

Don’t worry, Pastor Ray. You aren’t alone. Our trolls feel your pain.

http://haloscan.com/tb/atrios/111203575681665486

http://www.independentreport.org/MT[…].html#000564

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tm[…]ticsreligion

I propose that Pastor Ray’s quote be turned into a permanent banner for this blog.

“We’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture.” — Pastor Ray Mummert

Excellent find!

Florida Judge Orders Bibles to Carry Anti-Creationism Sticker!

Unconfirmed sources report that a State of Florida Appellate Court Judge is about to hand down a ruling that will require all Bibles in the state to carry a warning sticker. The proposed sticker reads: “Warning this book promotes the dogma of creationism. Because experts disagree about the scientific basis of creationism, it and the rest of the material in this book should not be taken on faith. One should approach this material with an open mind and study it critically.” The Florida religious community has greeted the news of the expected ruling with pleasure and is anxious to comply. … The White House refused to comment publicly on the matter as it is still before the judge, but the President is said to be pleased by the expected ruling. “The President, while himself a religious man, realizes that not everyone shares his beliefs.” Explained White House spokesman Ben Lion, anonymously on deep background. “America is a secular country and we need to be careful not to try and impose our beliefs on the heathen savages that we are forced share our county with.” …

Scientific American used to be a good higher-level science magazine. If you can find copies of it from before about 1960 or so in a library, it’s worth reading. Since then, they’ve become a Popular Science lookalike.

I’m all for having them run ID articles - just so long as they get the same peer review that any other scientific article would get - or the same fair and balanced treatment that Bjorn Lomborg got.

I, for one, am delighted to see that Scientific American is seeing that which Gould, Mayr, Dawkins, Provine and their many followers were congenitally incapable of seeing. It is about time.

“Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for neo-Darwinism.” John A. Davison

I, for one, am delighted to see that Scientific American is seeing that which Gould, Mayr, Dawkins, Provine and their many followers were congenitally incapable of seeing. It is about time.

“Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for neo-Darwinism.” John A. Davison

You’re joking, right Mr. Davison?

Gary

It’s Dr. Davison and I am deadly serious.

It’s Dr. Davison and I am deadly serious.

“Dr.” as in Dr. Pepper or Dr. Demento, right? Col. Sanders, maybe? Phony honorifics rule.

So, Dr. Davison, which of the following is correct:

1) You have not read the Scientific American editorial. 2) You have read the editorial and are incapable of distinguishing an April Fool’s joke from a serious column. 3) You were just kidding when you said you were serious.

Dr. Davison is running for Governor in Vermont. See http://www.uvm.edu/~jdavison/

Does his platform consist entirely of quotes from deceased former governors?

Doctor Davison forgive me, I stand corrected. However, I have difficulty crediting that anyone with half a nickel’s worth of that sense which we call humor or any appreciation of irony whatsoever would have missed the fact that this editorial was an April Fool’s joke. The fact that, at the end, it is pretty much baldly stated to be one, coupled with the fact that it is a Scientific American tradition of some years’ standing would have tipped off most people. Certainly most Doctors, I should think. Gary

Gary

I never even bothered to read it. I just assumed that even Scientific American would have come to its senses some day. Well if Scientific American hasn’t seen the light yet, it will within a very short period of time. There is now and never was a role for chance in either ontogeny or phylogeny. They have both been driven by endogenous predetermined information front-loaded into probably several separately created ancestral forms.

Referring to ontogeny and phylogeny, Leo Berg said it all:

“Neither in the one nor in the other is there any room for chance.” Nomogenesis, page 134

He also suggested the following:

“Organisms have developed from tens of thousands of primary forms, i.e. polyphyletically.” Nomogenesis, page 406

Who can prove otherwise? Certainly not I.

So much for Darwinism, the biggest hoax in the history of science.

John A. Davison

Davidson, you are the expert on hoaxes, especially after your involvement in the sordid Hydrick affair.

You, Fran and Cathy Lee should be forever ashamed of yourselves.

http://www.mukto-mona.com/Special_E[…]nfession.htm

I won’t bring up the distasteful episode where you guys aired that ridiculous “cabbit” footage. Shame on you John!

GWW I used to get phone calls from adoring young women who would ask “Are you John Davidson the singer and actor? I used to answer, “No my dear, I am John Davison, whose primary enjoyment is harming young minds like yours with the truth about the biggest hoax in the history of humankind.

GWW I used to get phone calls from adoring young women who would ask “Are you John Davidson the singer and actor? I used to answer, “No my dear, I am John Davison, whose primary enjoyment is harming young minds like yours with the truth about the biggest hoax in the history of humankind.

GWW I used to get phone calls from adoring young women who would ask “Are you John Davidson the singer and actor? I used to answer, “No my dear, I am John Davison, whose primary enjoyment is harming young minds like yours with the truth about the biggest hoax in the history of humankind.

If anyone can direct me to other sites which specialize in refutations of the ID argument, I would be grateful.

So witty he said it thrice.

If anyone can direct me to other sites which specialize in refutations of the ID argument, I would be grateful.

Doug: check out the “evolution resources” listed on the “front page” of Panda’s Thumb. Especially the TalkOrigins archive and TalkDesign sites.

(I might add, parenthetically, that some of the, ahem, “intelligent design advocates” that come here to - I guess - present their case, unwittingly make for pretty compelling refutations of the ID position. But you probably figured that out.)

Syntax Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 1, column 101, byte 101 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.12.3/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187

Commenting on marsupial and placental saber-toothed cats:

“The skulls of carnivorous marsupials and of true carnivores show an extremely surprising similarity in overall habitus and, in particular, in the unusual overspecialization of the upper pair of canines. The similarities in form are present even in such details as the structure of the large flange on the lower jaw, DESIGNED to guide and protect the upper canines.” Schindewolf, page 261, (my emphasis)

The above with the accompanying figure but without the emphasis is from “A Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis,” Rivista di Biologia, forthcoming.

So much for those who deny Intelligent Design.

John A. Davison

You guys are too funny!

especially, Dr. Pepper/Davison

Keep it up!!

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on March 27, 2005 6:31 PM.

Top Ten Litmus Tests was the previous entry in this blog.

The evolutionary revolutionary is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.361

Site Meter