February 24, 2009

Who's pissy?

Famous blogger Andrew Sullivan's "Dissent of the Day":
I take issue with your use of the phrase "get pissy" to describe Nick Gotelli's refusal to debate members of the Discovery Institute on evolution. The DI has a proven history of antipathy towards sound science. Their behavior a few years ago around the Dover, PA trial on teaching intelligent design in public school classrooms is ample evidence. The Discovery Institute has consistently displayed the same degree of integrity towards evolution that the Family Research Council does towards human sexuality. Why reward such behavior with a debate?
Andrew Sullivan retorts, in effect: "Because debate is good." Followed by a brief litany of selfless personal anecdotage. But that is hardly the point, and Sullivan's dissenter is exactly correct.

Prof. Gotelli owes that coterie of dissembling harlequins nothing; besides, he clearly has better things to do. And the Discovery Institute hasn't formulated a novel argument since the apologist William Paley tripped over a pocket watch* on the heath in 1802.

* Which reminds me of a joke:

A tourist is visiting the HMS Victory, aboard which Horatio Nelson died during the Battle of Trafalgar. "And if you look here," says the tour guide, gesturing toward a raised commemorative plaque in the ship's deck boards reading 'Here Fell Nelson,' "You will see the place where the Lord Admiral lost his life."

"I'm not surprised," mutters the tourist. "I nearly tripped over the damn thing myself."

4 comments:

gnarlytrombone said...

Such open mindedness led Sullivan to publish the aforementioned 'scholarly' quote doctorer and her fellow Manhattan Institute fabulist Elizabeth McCaughey.

And lest we forget, Sully also hired Stephen Glass as a fact checker.

Heraldblog said...

Debating cranks on matters scientific is the last thing you want to do. Just lends 'em credibility.

Super Id said...

I agree with Herald.

After all, wasn't DRI's whole approach in Dover to "teach the debate?"

illusory tenant said...

Teach the controversy, the controversy that the DI "fellows" themselves entirely fabricated.

The DI actually scampered away from the Dover trial, but re-insinuated themselves afterwards, with such compelling peer-reviewed research as William Dembski's famous "farting judge" animated cartoon.