Over on Cognitive Daily, we’re hosting Tangled Bank, a collection of blog posts about science.
However, we were uncomfortable posting some of the submissions on what’s supposed to be an objective site, so rather arbitrarily, we decided to move those more overtly political submissions over here, where I have no such qualms. Some of them are quite good. I hope you enjoy them!
Eva Young has two posts about the ID/Darwinism debate. In the first one, she takes on some of the standard arguments against evolution. In the second, she talks about how gay blogs are addressing the issue
Grrlscientist has written a thought-provoking essay on the role of science blogs in public life. She argues that more than just outlets for disseminating scientific information, they should actively argue against political- and faith-based movements such as creationism and ID.
Mike Dunford has written a detailed explanation of a problem that’s been plaguing Hawaii recently: the invasive gall wasp that destroys the culturally significant wiliwili tree, citing it as an example of the power of using evolution to solve real-world problems.
Orac Knows offers a critique of politicians who try to claim science education should be “balanced” with “faith-based” perspectives.
The Bad Astronomer has written an extended response to Bush and Frist’s suggestion that Intelligent Design be taught in schools.
Stephen Frug has crafted an interesting argument against teaching ID in schools: that, like many new developments in science that aren’t currently being taught, it’s not established enough to warrant inclusion.
From the Rachel highlights an episode in Darwin’s life (with some quotes from Janet Browne’s biography) in order to make the point that there exists a kind of authority for scientific judgement, analogous to the diagnostic authority that doctors have. Pseudoscience is so prevalent these days because a large portion of the public fails to acknowledge the authority of scientists.
An extract from an 1850 speech on quackery by Joseph Henry. Pay particular attention to the links, added by contemporary annotator Doran.
Daryl Cobranchi describes his submission thus: “It’s short but that’s about all I can stomach of ID.”
Finally, on a related but separate subject, P.Z. Myers explains how the process of becoming human is much more complex than simply fertilizing an egg.
I’d like to make a bit of an editorial comment of my own about all this. I think one of the biggest problems the scientific community faces regarding the ID/abortion debates is simply this: most people don’t like science. I think one of the reasons the average Joe is so difficult to convince on these issues is because Joe’s eyes glaze over at the mere mention of science. In order to explain to Joe why his cockamamie ideas are all wrong, we first have to convince Joe that science doesn’t have to be boring. A tall order, I know, but perhaps some of the folks I’m citing here are headed in the right direction.