What would you do if you were the head of an outfit trying to promote some anti-science nonsense opposed to one of the best-established theories in science? To make it even more challenging, suppose you had no evidence to support your position? That’s the problem facing Bruce Chapman, whom we affectionately call “Chappy.” He’s the founder and chairman of the Discovery Institute.
Chappy’s position makes him Lord High Keeper of the Discoveroids’ Wedge strategy, and the ultimate leader of all cdesign proponentsists. Therefore, when Chappy speaks, creationists pay attention — and so do we.
Chappy’s latest is From the Folks Who Brought You Camels and Lucky Strikes: “Consensus”. As his title suggests, Chappy is going to argue that his isolation from the science mainstream is a powerful argument in his favor. He says, with bold font added by us:
Spend some time with old issues of Time Magazine or Look circa 1950 and you’ll find ad after ad touting the doctors who smoke Camels or Lucky Strikes … . The PR agencies surveyed the doctors, sometimes counting hundreds of thousands of them, then advised readers that such and such brand was “not irritating on the throat,” was “soothing,” and other euphemisms for scientific approval of what turned out to be a deadly product.
Scientific approval for a harmful product? Egad, could it be that the same thing is going on with evolution? Yes, dear reader, that’s what Chappy is suggesting. He tells us:
Most doctors smoked in those days. There was a kind of consensus that smoking was okay, especially if you bought a particular brand, one with filters, perhaps. That the incidence of lung and throat cancer was rocketing didn’t register fully on medical practitioners for a long while. The connection with heart disease also was missed.
Oh, they didn’t know. Most scientists don’t know about the wonders of intelligent design either, but that’s no excuse for peddling evolution. Let’s read on:
All those doctors testifying on behalf of cigarettes didn’t matter to the truth, did it? The cigarette makers did not exactly announce a scientific consensus, but they implied it.
Oooooooooooh — ignorance led to a consensus, or at least an implied consensus. Chappy wants us to learn from this that consensus is a very strong warning sign. He continues:
History tells repeatedly of scientific consensus or implications of same that were driven by self-interest, expedience, groupthink, or just plain ignorance.
Does history “repeatedly” tell us of such things about science? What about times in history when there was a religious consensus? Did that ever cause any problems? Chappy doesn’t bother with that. His enemy is science. Here’s more:
As SUNY brain surgeon Michael Egnor notes, the consensus is for man-made global warming (aka, climate change), Darwinian evolution, and whatever the latest fad headline attests that “Scientists Say.” In the case of forensic science and the FBI, it has turned into a scandal.
But such is the prestige of scientists that you will hunt hard for universities that tolerate contrarian views on politically delicate science issues, or will even allow debate. But the careful reader can find out for himself.
Yes, the “careful reader” can visit creationist websites, like that of the Discoveroids. There they will learn about the evils of science, and the unmistakable warning sign of scientific consensus. The fringe is the best place to be — the farther out the better. The Discoveroids are very well positioned. So is The Time Cube.
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