assuming insult

Deacon of Powerline in “Call me stupid,” (22 Feb,) seems confused.

the fact that one of us doesn’t believe a piece of scientific orthodoxy demonstrates, what, that our attacks on liberal political orthodoxies, falsehoods, and forgeries shouldn’t be taken seriously? If a majority of scientists disagree with Rocket Man about Darwin, then he must be wrong not only about Darwin, but about Rather.[powerline]

The brouhaha also seems to have been noted by some others.

Via Instapundit, I note that Powerline is professing to have “enjoyed [an] attack” by Pharyngula, in which PZ Meyers writes that John Hinderaker’s criticism of evolution is simply a “stinking pile of baloney“.

Greeaaat. That’s gonna be a big help. And we wonder where critics ever got the idea that right-wingers are anti-scientific troglodytes.

Dismissing the theory of evolution as a “rather obvious fraud” — and mocking those who point out that such a view reveals a massive analytical deficiency — is as damaging to the credibility of the Right as the quasi-marxist illiterate economics of the Michael Moore’s, et al, is to the Left.
[Jon Henke, “E pur si muove”>. Q&O 23Fb05]

The first problem for Deacon is that the anti-evolution crowd is a premiere example of irrationality on the right, not the left.

Second, the word ‘orthodoxy’ describing the views of scientists regarding their theories says that something is awry. Evolution is not a matter of “Soundness of faith; a belief in the doctrines taught in the Scriptures, or in some established standard of faith;” (Webster’s 1913) but rather a measure of what is seen. The whole evolution/creation argument centers on just this definition of science as being something observed rather than something believed. Using the word ‘orthodoxy’ implies a view that the community of biologists is corrupt in terms of professional competency and such a view needs substantiation on a level with its seriousness (which is huge IMHO).

Bringing in Darwin and then complaining about ad hominem is also interesting. The use of Darwin as a substitute for evolution also does not indicate good knowledge of the subject under discussion either.

I think the suspicion about credibility in regards to Rather is a bit of a stretch, but there is a point that someone whose opinions are not in line with their understandings of issues does suffer credibility problems that go beyond any particular issue.

There are very many parallels between the creationists argument techniques against evolution and the leftist arguments against Bush. But, since these get into things neither the left or right cares to examine (potential flaws in self), it makes the Summers debate look tame.

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