Scientific American gives up

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.