Reimagined and Revamped. Fighting the spread of nonsense often feels like a Sisyphean task. However, the joy is in making the information available, not the hope of conversion.

A dinner on Darwin Day

So a friend of mine hosted a Darwin celebration at a local restaurant. We all wore our Darwin T-shirts, we had a Darwin cake, and we started out discussing evolution and our latest stories of our encounters with creationists. But I soon observed something weird.

Given a group of 20 “Darwinists” (I hate that term, its so stupid) all of who understand the evidence for evolution, or if not, understand why they should believe evolution even if they do not know the evidence specifically, you will find:

  • A Global Warming Denier
  • An Anti-Vaccinationist (and in this case someone who is under the impression that formula “kills the baby’s immune system”)
  • A 9/11 conspiracy theorist
  • A person who goes to psychics
  • A CAM practitioner or apologist
  • Someone who has been visited by aliens

Not to mention a couple of libertarians. This makes me think: What’s my woo? What is it that I say when I go to a party that makes people think “What an gullible twit!” when they leave my company. Certainly we can’t be impervious to all pseudoscience and myth. I am always willing to change my mind if some good evidence shows up that is contrary to my current beliefs, we should all be.

3 comments:

On 2/13/09, 3:10 AM , Anonymous said...

You buy into the woo of global warmism!!!111!lol!

(Sorry, I think my impression of a denialist troll needs some work.) That is a really interesting question. Given that I was a believer in homoeopathy until about two years ago, and skeptical (actually skeptical, unlike the deniers) about global warming, it does make me wonder.

 
On 2/13/09, 5:55 AM , Techskeptic said...

LOL, I was thinking that same thing. Any of the other folk sat that dinner could have written that same post and replaced any line with the opposite.

 
On 2/13/09, 7:50 PM , Gav said...

Nice post Techskeptic. If you've seen the Penn & Teller show BS, they have a saying "Everybody's got a Gris-gris" (being some belief akin to a voodoo charm for luck, without even realising they have it). I've often wondered what/if my own one is.

Funnily enough, I think the position I'd be most sympathetic too is "Someone who has been visited by aliens", since that involves direct experience (which was likely not interpreted correctly).

For everything else on the list, people are more or less starting at the same blank slate when it comes to knowledge from various pracitioners, etc.