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The Sciences

Time to Refute Stephen Meyer?

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyNovember 18, 2009 12:23 AM


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I just learned his book Signature in the Cellmade the top ten list for Amazon science books of 2009. This reinforces a fact that I have long emphasized--conservatives support their authors, promote them on radio (as Michael Medved did yesterday), buy their books in droves, turn them into stars. Liberals and academic scholar and scientists, in general, don't have the same drive to win the war of ideas. This is why Bjorn Lomborg is always such a big success, for instance, while authors of pro-science climate books regularly struggle to get noticed (unless they are Al Gore with preexisting celebrity). Now, in the evolution arena, Meyer's book is clearly drawing a lot of attention and is scarcely being refuted so far as I can see, despite containing some pretty obvious travesties (e.g., in Meyer's own field, the history of science). So perhaps I had better dive in, as I did on the air yesterday, and describe some problems with Meyer's arguments and approach. Alas, it is pretty hard to directly refute someone who looks at the currently unsolved question of the origins of life, throws up his hands, and says, it's so improbable, God must have done it. That's just not in the scientific spirit. Still, perhaps it is time to take on Meyer's misinformation, as it is obviously starting to have significant influence.....

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