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Bloggingheads and creationism

August 31, 2009

Carl Zimmer has a good post on why Bloggingheads has jumped the shark in the worst possible way. Lots to agree with, and unlike the Discovery Institute & Behe, he doesn’t mention Stalin(ism).

My standard for taking part in any forum about science is pretty simple. All the participants must rely on peer-reviewed science that has direct bearing on the subject at hand, not specious arguments that may sound fancy but are scientifically empty. I believe standards like this one are crucial if we are to have productive discussions about the state of science and its effects on our lives.

This is not Blogginghead’s standard, at least as I understand it now.

Having Nelson and Behe on was a mistake in the same way that legitimizing pseudoscience is a mistake. Removing the Behe lovefest conversation was also a mistake. Carl is correct, I feel, in his views regarding Bloggingheads (as is Sean Carroll over at Cosmic Variance). And that is all I will say on the matter.

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  1. Wes
    September 1, 2009 at 9:43 am

    What the hell was Ron Numbers thinking? I can’t understand how he could have believed that kissing Paul Nelson’s ass for an hour on the internet would result in anything productive, or garner him anything but criticism from his colleagues. It seems like all he and McWhorter accomplished was 1.) Harming their reputations amongst observers of the creationist movement, and 2.) Chasing off two excellent voices (Zimmer and Carrol) from what had been a really unique and interesting idea.

  2. Doc Bill
    September 1, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I’ve never heard an interview with Paul Nelson where his ass wasn’t kissed until, I suspect, it got chapped. That’s one sweet ass you got there, Paul!

    In one interview Nelson was asked what it would take for him to accept the theory of evolution. Good question. Paul said that he had a list of about seven things.

    Looking good, I thought, but my hopes were dashed. Paul then went on to say that he left the list in his hotel room and felt uncomfortable trying to wing it from memory.

    What the hell?

    The Dog Ate My Homework Excuse?

    And, in the end, Nelson was let off the hook to mumbo on about some other jumbo. It was disgusting.

  3. Wes
    September 7, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    UPDATE: Phil Plait and PZ Myers said they won’t be participating in Bloggingheads any more.

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