Sunday, 1 June 2014

Is Dan Kahan Depopulationist, somehow? So far, I don't know for sure

Here* is a good quote for you:

But let's start with a reprise of the basics -- because one can never overstate how aggressively ignored they are by those who flip out & let loose with a toxic stream of ignorance & cultural zealotry every time a polling organization announces the "startling" news that nearly 50% of the US public continues (as it has for decades) to say "no" when asked whether they believe in evolution (in addition, if one asks how many of the "believers" subscribe to a "naturalistic" or Darwinian view as opposed to a "theistic" variant, the proportion plummets down all the more-- for "Democrats" as well as "Republicans" blah blah blah).

First, there is zero correlation between saying one "believes" in evolution & understanding the rudiments of modern evolutionary science.

I think there is a point, unless the real correlation is rather negative.

I went through Junior High School answering tests on Evolution with the so called right answers and adding an abbrevation for the Swedish for "according to evolutionists" to every answer. And at the end of the test adding an expansion of the abbreviation.

I did not get many wrong on evolution. Senior High School I had first IB (preferring Physics and Chemistry above Biology, for an obvious reason), then switched to a literary line and answered a test on Natural Sciences which had a biology I was less well read on than the Evolution I disbelieved and still disbelieve, namely digestion. What are the names of the cells or organs that do what in the stomach or intestines ... beats me again. As I got the grade on only one test applicable for previous year my grades in Natural Sciences would have been better if I had got it on Evolution - with no credits off for stating disbelief.

Now, Dan Kahan had a good thing to say. Alas, he also gives some kind of voice to a very bad one. Not sure how conscious he is of the implications of his words. Here they are, with my emphasis:

In fact, neither is very likely to be able to, which means that those who "believe" in evolution are professing their assent to something they don't understand.

That's really nothing to be embarrassed about: if one wants to live a decent life -- or just live, really --one has to accept much more as known by science than one can comprehend to any meaningful degree.

Does he mean one has to accept as known by science how electricity works in order to survive among the multitude of electric equipment?

But that is not really relevant for all of the world or indeed all of US. Some parts are very rural and very Amish like. And very decent lives are lived there.

Besides it is not true. Even for the parts of the world that are so equipped.

One can consider electricity as magic (not understood by the scientists, or being ignorant that scientists are studying effects and causes** rather than spells) and still comprehend that going near a wire that has fallen down in a storm will fry you.

One can consider electricity as magic and know it is deadly magic if you stick two knitting needles into a plug. And so on.

Or does he mean something much more sinister?

The next text is not by Dan Kahan. It is a comment on a blogpost on Phenoma*** - a small collective of bloggers who do it for National Geographic (another of them linked to Dan Kahan).

The comment is not by the blog post author, but by one nayab khan - perhaps no believer in Evolution, or at least not a decided one, but a believer in Over Population:

things are never the same.we cant know the reality we dont even know how much time the world has exactly spent and how much will,the stars sun & moon etc all cant be expected to be the best for life existance for human beings but we can stop the over population and overgrazing & set the conditions of the earth .pix are amazing by the way.

OK, Dan Kahan, this thing of limiting the population, is THAT what you refer to when speaking about "just living really"?

Because, I am not sure until you answer whether that is really your take, if so that sounds like a pretty Nazi like thing to say.

Or does he just mean something along the lines of "curiosity killed the cat", perhaps? But I do not think it did.

Which is it Dan?

Hans Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
Sunday after Ascension
1 / VI / 2014

* the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School
Weekend update: You'd have to be science illiterate to think "belief in evolution" measures science literacy
Dan Kahan Posted on Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 10:59AM

** When it comes to what the Creationist Community likes to call Operational Science.

*** > Phenomena > No Place Like Home: March 24, 2014
Milky Way Has 4 Billion Years to Live — But Our Sun Will Survive
by Nadia Drake

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