Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Of Forests and Trees

A thought:

Most working scientists see themselves as clearing a small patch of light in a great glowering dark forest of unreason. Confronted with pseudoscience like "Intelligent Design," they see the darkness pushing back at them, trying to reclaim what they have so painstakingly cleared and lit. That, I think, is what is behind the anger, to the degree that there is any anger. In fact, what there mostly is, is scorn for shallow second-rate ideas with no worked-out science behind them, and frustration that so many people are taken in by those ideas, when science has much deeper, more interesting, and more fruitful ideas to offer. I doubt many biologists feel "threatened" by I.D., any more than geographers feel threatened by the Flat Earth theory; it's just a reminder of the unhappy fact that when people are invited to choose between reason and unreason, they all too often go for the latter.

- John Derbyshire, National Review Online, February 18, 2008

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