Sunday, August 16, 2009


Of Bulls and Arguments

Josh Rosenau of Thoughts from Kansas and the National Center for Science Education has a take-no-prisoners article up on "bullshit" in public discourse that includes William Dembski, "birthers," "truthers," and "death squaders." However, a major focus of the post is the ugly conflict between the "New Atheists," particularly Jerry Coyne, and Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum.

I cannot characterize [Coyne's] review [of Mooney's and Kirshenbaum's book in Science] as anything but bullshit. His opening sentence claims that "Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum argue that America's future is deeply endangered by the scientific illiteracy of its citizens and that this problem derives from two failings of scientists themselves: their vociferous atheism and their ham-handed and ineffectual efforts to communicate the importance of science to the public."

In fact, Mooney and Kirshenbaum specifically do not claim that atheists are responsible for scientific illiteracy, nor do they claim that scientists alone are to blame.
I haven't read the book so I don't know which characterization of it is right. But the ugliness goes on.

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