This isn’t math, but I felt like commenting anyway. That shining example of
an Intelligent Design advocate, Dr. Michael Egnor, is back once again. And this time,
his point, such as it is, is to basically fling insults at PZ Myers. What did PZ do to bring on his ire?
Well, PZ was annoyed with Time magazine, because for their “Time 100” list, they
had Michael Behe write the entry about Richard Dawkins. The passage which Engor took such offense at was the following:
The incompetence is stunning. Richard Dawkins makes the Time 100 list, and who do they commission to write up his profile?
Michael F**king Behe.
That’s not just stupid, it’s a slap in the face. It would have been no problem to find a smart biologist, even one who might be critical of Dawkins’ message, to write something that expressed some measure of respect from the editorial staff. But to dig up a pseudoscientific fraud whose sole claim to fame is that he has led the charge to corrupt American science education for over a decade is shameful.
Now, what’s wrong with PZ’s reaction, according to Egnor?
Yes. PZ used the word “Fucking” to refer to Behe.
I added the asterisks. Both Behe and Myers are college biology professors who teach young biologists and biochemists the methods of scientific inquiry and, by example, teach students the appropriate standards of scientific discourse.
Which professor is shamefully corrupting American science education?
Yup. That’s it. It’s the one word. In the mind of Michael Egnor, throwing off a nasty word in the heat of the moment is a grave offense, far worse than spending more than a decade as a professional liar, far worse an offense for a scientist than, say, pretending to know the content of several dozen papers that you’ve never read.
Now, I’m not exactly PZs biggest fan. I think he’s abrasive and arrogant. But I also know, from the experience of reading his writings, that he’s an intelligent, passionate advocate for science; he’s a teacher who works hard at teaching his students real science, critical thinking, and the scientific method.
And I agree with him about the incredible stupidity of asking Behe to write the piece on Dawkins. Behe is not a legitimate scientist. Behe is a dreadful hack who’s spent most of the last two decades hard at work on a program to deliberately and dishonestly misrepresent science as part of a political agenda. He’s been caught lying repeatedly; his ideas, such as they are, have been discredited. He even made an ass of himself in the Kitmiller trial, by handwaving away a stack of papers that he’d never seen before, because even without reading them, he just knew that they contained
nothing of any relevance. Choosing him to write a profile of Richard Dawkins is just plain offensive. It’s sort of like asking PZ to write a profile about the Pope’s influence as a theologist.
So, Dr. Egnor. Which professor is shamefully corrupting American science education? The professor who is a passionate (if arrogant) teacher of real science? Or the dishonest (and arrogant) professor who is an advocate of introducing misrepresentations into the science curriculum in order to discredit scientific theories that disagree with his religious beliefs?
Let’s try looking at one other little quote, which I think is pretty illustrative of the difference between the two as educators. PZ is a tireless advocate for the teaching of real science to all science students. Behe, on the other hand, at the end of his interview with the director of the movie “Flock of Dodos”, said “Why should I care what gets taught in public school? My kids don’t go to public schools.”
Who’s the teacher who really cares about science education? And who’s the one corrupting it? Look at the facts, and it’s pretty obvious.
Of course, Dr. Egnor won’t do that. Because as he’s demonstrated in the past, he
doesn’t need to waste his time looking at petty little things like facts, because he already knows the truth. Just like Professor Behe.