Browncast Episode 33: an ethnography of doubting Darwin

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Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on LibsyniTunes, Spotify,  and Stitcher. Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe at one of the links above.

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Today I am posting a podcast that I decided to record on a lark. I talked to Benjamin Dierker, the author of Why One-Third Of Biologists Now Question Darwinism. To be frank, this is a case where you need to read beyond the title…

Dierker and I had a lot of common ground and his main project is not a defense of Intelligent Design, as much as an ethnography of it. We hashed out what Neo-Darwinism means, as well as how conservatives should bury the hatchet when it comes to their historical enmity to evolutionary theory. In fact, we discussed extensively how the left’s revolt against human nature in the past generation opens up an avenue for conservatives to be on the side of science.

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3 Replies to “Browncast Episode 33: an ethnography of doubting Darwin”

  1. “as well as how conservatives should bury the hatchet when it comes to their historical enmity to evolutionary theory. ”

    I accept that at the present day, in the USA, the definition of “conservatives” is frayed. Today “conservatives” have a meaning that may just be a coalition of those who are not liberals and do not like them. I do not see what will be gained by conservatives if and when they give up the historical enmity to evolution, or why they would choose to be on the side of science.

    For those of us who have spent time in the science and technology management, there has never been a bleaker time to be pro-science in the government: the senate conservatives and the present executive are in a tandem against all forms of funding to science and research; one can easily look at the executive earmarks (NIH, NASA, DOE, NSF, NOAA) and find the way wind is blowing. If it is assumed that the present administration-tea party coalition is “conservative”, there is no reason to believe that “conservatives” are on the side of science, or wish to be.

    1. ” there has never been a bleaker time to be pro-science in the government: the senate conservatives and the present executive are in a tandem against all forms of funding to science and research…..”

      There IS a breed of “conservative” (not Razib) for whom being on the side of science isn’t about say curing cancer, it’s mostly about “proving” that women are bad at STEM and that black people are dumb. So, many of them are increasingly gung-ho about evolutionary theory, including believing lots of “just-so” evo-psych stories that suit their agenda.

    2. In America, the word “liberal” is used in a fast-and-loose way too, to describe a motley collection of left-of-center people, many (perhaps most) of whom have illiberal attitudes and closed minds. In fact, many of the “establishment conservatives” are more liberal than most “liberals”. Not the Trumpies though; they are quite illiberal and often bigoted.

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