Friday, November 04, 2005

A Matter of Public Opinion

The "debate" between Evolution and "Intelligent" Design rages on. Here's a quote from an ID1 proponent
Calvert said museum exhibits such as the one in Lawrence are flawed because they ask visitors to believe humans evolved randomly, with no specific purpose or design by a higher power -- a theory polls show a majority of Americans do not believe.
I didn't realize that the opinion of a majority of Americans was the deciding factor in a scientific inquiry.

Does that mean back in 1492, before Columbus sailed the Ocean blue, that when the vast majority of the world's population thought the Earth was flat... the Earth actually was flat? Or back when we all thought that a solar eclipse was a giant snake swallowing the sun2, that Snakey really was up their chowing down? Was it a public opinion poll that allowed Watson and Crick to determine the structure of DNA, and not really them stealing data (and a share of the Nobel prize3) from Rosiland Franklin?

Damn, why did I study so hard in my organic chemistry class when I could have just went out into the quad and asked a representative sample of people "Excuse me... How do you synthesize methyl-ethyl ketone?"!

1That's ID for "Intelligent Design." Not to be confused with ED (Erectile Dysfunction... Ha Ha, Erect)
2Or whatever the crap it was
3I know, she died before they got the Nobel Prize, and they don't give out posthumous Nobels... but that doesn't change the fact that Watson was a dick... there I said it.


At 11:31 PM, Blogger biff said...


At 3:41 PM, Blogger Viatrix said...

It would have been very interesting to see what would have happened had Rosalind Franklin lived. I imagine Watson--definitely something of an ass and rather overrated imho--and Crick would have been in much, much hotter water. One suspects she might have received the prize because the image was hers, yet it was Watson, not Franklin, who recognized its full import. Regardless, she was an outstanding scientist and it is our loss that she died so young. (I recommend the recent biography of her.)


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