Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Going By the Numbers

There has been a fair amount of negative comment in the science-friendly blogosphere about a recent interview by Ronald Numbers, a historian of science and medicine at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the author of the definitive history of the creationist movement, The Creationists.

Frankly, I think most of the wailing and gnashing of teeth is a little overplayed, perhaps the result of a feeling of "where do we get our kicks, now that Kitzmiller did ID in?" The criticisms of Numbers seem to have more to do with sloppy language on his part, that is hardly unexpected in oral interviews, than it does with any "heretical" thoughts. Be that as it may, Jason Rosenhouse at Evolutionblog has taken Numbers to task for a passage that includes:

[Creationists] hate the fact that science has been hijacked by agnostics and atheists to offer such speculative theories as organic evolution.

One of the comments asked:

"Hijacked by agnostics"? How does that even work? Is there, like, a group of militant agnostics that run around forcefully not knowing things?

To which "ivyprivy" replied: "No one expects the Unitarian Jihad!"

Never one to pass up a free membership, henceforth my Unitarian Jihad Name is:

The Jackhammer of Courteous Debate.

Get yours here.


Shouldn't that be the "Tackhammer of courteous debate"? :)

"Unitarian Jihad"? I like it ;-).

As it happens, there was for a while a certain write-only poster called "gryb" who spewed these long screeds slamming the US, the Republicans, fundamentalism, etc, on t.o and s.r.c -- basically a leftist version of every right-wing rant you've ever read (not that I disagreed with him over the substance. Well, not strongly ;-). Somewhere amid the verbiage I got the impression he was UU.

Until next time, I remain, Brother Machine Gun of Looking at All Sides of the Question
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