Tuesday, November 27, 2012

NYT publishes utter nonsense

The New York Times published an idiotic essay by Nicholas Wade today, and I really don't understand their motivation. The substance of the essay is the typical brain-dead nonsense that spews from every creationist mouth at least twice daily.

Using Rubio's pandering statement about the actual age of the Earth being a "mystery", Wade suggests we offer the creationist loons a "fig leaf". And what is this fig leaf? Surprise, surprise. It's the same nonsense that creationists regurgitate every day:
By allowing that evolution is a theory, scientists would hand fundamentalists the fig leaf they need to insist, at least among themselves, that the majestic words of the first chapter of Genesis are literal, not metaphorical, truths. They in return should make no objection to the teaching of evolution in science classes as a theory, which indeed it is. 
Ah, yes. Evolution is "just a theory", as the rubes love to say. This is meant to suggest that someone was sitting on a rock by a stream one day, and suddenly came up with the idea that "maybe life evolves". Aw, maw, that cain't be true; it's just some guy's wild-eyed theory.

Of course, when the word "theory" is used in a scientific sense, it doesn't mean what the rubes think it means. I'm going to trust that my readers already understand this, but in case a reader stumbles by who doesn't grasp the difference, have a look at Wikipedia's entry for scientific theory. It ain't hay.

What I don't understand is why the New York Times, which undoubtedly grasps the distinction between the actual and the rube versions of "theory", would print such nonsense. It's irresponsible and does further harm to the fight to educate the masses. Just a theory, indeed! Disgusting.