The Panda's Thumb
March 27, 2004 2:07 AM   Subscribe

The Panda's Thumb is a multi-authored blog "dedicated to explaining the theory of evolution, critiquing the claims of the anti-evolution movement, and defending the integrity of science and science education in America and around the world." [Via The Loom.]
posted by homunculus (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
There's some very interesting stuff on that site, although reading the responses to the Intelligent Design articles in World magazine was like watching fish in a barrel being shot.
posted by bashos_frog at 6:15 AM on March 27, 2004


Weird site found a few posts down:

http://www.talkdesign.org/faqs/hunch/hunch.html
posted by scarabic at 11:45 AM on March 27, 2004


Wow, lots of good stuff. Especially this:
Of course, Dawkins and Dennett have written extensively on the question of just why false claims to truth manage to survive in this “competition.” This is the subject of memetics, which VanDyke does not mention or cite to. The fact is that the best argument does not always win. If a theory (or “memeplex”) is true, then it will have a competitive advantage, but other memeplexes have other advantages. Nazi bookburners had such a competitive advantage over Jewish scientists like Einstein or Szilard that they were forced to evacuate the country—but Nazism certainly wasn’t popular because of its truth value. Science has much to fear from “rivalry,” where that rivalry is based on methods and ideas which do not pursue and cannot reach, the truth. It has much to fear from dogma, superstition, coercion, censorship, ignorance, illiteracy, fanaticism, or blind adherence to tradition. These things all have their competitive advantages in the great cultural competition. But the simple fact is that evolution does not teach that “competition leads inexorably to progress,” if by progress we mean improvement, or the attainment of the good. The late Stephen Jay Gould spent a large portion of his life attacking that notion. Evolution leads only to the next step, not necessarily to a “higher” step. In seeking the truth, therefore, we must be constantly on guard for those memeplexes that “rival” the rational pursuit of the truth.
posted by skallas at 9:26 PM on March 27, 2004


Intelligent Grappling.
posted by homunculus at 1:15 AM on March 28, 2004


This is a great site. I found it via Brian Leiter. He has recently dealt with the ID nonsense that crept into Harvard Law Review and with not too much of a surprise was defended by that rag, The National Review.
posted by john at 7:53 AM on March 28, 2004


A good summary of the Leiter/Harvard Law Review/National Review dustup (with all the necessary links) in this piece from Kevin Drum in the Washington Monthly. What's really priceless is the extent to which the National Review embarrass themselves by employing a writer whose biases turned out to be more personal than ideologically partisan. Intelligent design indeed.
posted by BT at 6:56 PM on March 29, 2004


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