Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Bad Washington Post

The Washington Post added a new blogger to their fold, a bat-shit loonie wingnut to balance the radical centrism of the rest of their offerings. Pharyngula outs him as a creationist.

This is the best passage:
Yglesias speaks about Darwinistic evolution as if it was a solid, undebatable fact, like 2+2=4. But the whole thing's a lot more complicated than that. An academic survey a couple of years ago found that nearly a third of hard scientists believed in theories other than the typical evolutionary construct - either something involving genetic mutation, or intelligent design, or something inspired by Stephen Jay Gould, or the like. Like any theory, new discoveries force scientists to reexamine their previous conclusions: as recently as last month, many scientists believed their dating of the Big Bang (another theory) to be dead-on - but new discoveries imply they were off by millions of years.
Did you see how Steven Jay Gould, most famous modern defender of evolution, became an alternative to the "typical evolutionary construct"? That's pretty funny, and probably draws from the creationist canard that punctuated equilibrium disproves evolution.

But the really funny thing is the part where mutation is an alternative to evolution. Mutation is an evolutionary mechanism. Mutation as an evolutionary mechanism is "a solid, undebatable fact, like 2+2=4." No biologist disputes that. The number of biologists who back intelligent design approaches 0.

That he is prepared to deny this simple evidence means he walks right into Dr. Myers' hands. He writes: "it's impossible to believe in both Naturalistic Evolution and the ability of humans to achieve true ideas of religion."

Now, I don't happen to think so, but I also happen to think that his bullying approach to religion isn't true religion, so what do I know. If evolution and religion are truly incompatible, Domenech has screwed himself, and may as well become an atheist, because evolution happens. Certainly, his brand of Biblical literalism has been tested and found lacking. I don't think that means religion doesn't exist.

Domenech, however, is determined, and clarifies his position:

I think Creationism is different than Creation. I believe any Christian who claims to believe in the inerrant truth of the Bible must believe in the latter, but not necessarily a specific strain of the former.

I'd compare this debate to the back and forth about end times theology -- there's not going to be an answer reached here on earth, so it's at best an academic discussion.
This neatly answers Brad DeLong's question to Domenech: "It's time to demand that Domenech give answers to the most pressing question of our day: Were there rainbows before Noah's flood?" Maybe.

So, Young Earth, Old Earth, it's all the same. There's no way to tell in our lifetimes, because all those rocks that can be dated to several billion years old might just be God lying to us all. Or something.

Set aside his abundant wrongness on every topic he touches (Red Dawn is good campy fun, not "the greatest pro-gun movie ever"), he also seems to have no respect for empirical evidence, which will make it difficult for him to make any substantive comment on policy. Not that we could expect much more from an editor at Regnery.