I firmly believe that science has been the single best candle keeping us illuminated from the darkness of superstition and myth. That is a core truth to me.
I have a bit of tinnitus, so I tend to fall asleep with a little bit of noise. It’s why I like breezy summer nights, in fact: I can leave the window open and that noise from my ears doesn’t bother me so much. But most of the time I have a noise generator and a radio, each on low.
I’ve been a fan of Coast to Coast AM going back to the Art Bell days. Not because I believe most of these things, but because the storytelling that goes along with them is what I find engaging. The current host, however, is quite a bit more political and less fun than Art was. George does alright and I find him likable, but it isn’t the same as it used to be.
Then there’s last night. There was a doctor on from somewhere in the south, and he apparently has published a book called the Evolution Delusion. I can be fucked to look it up because I’d feel dirty. I was shaking I was so angry listening to this garbage.
I made it through six minutes, and he was already going off on how evolution does a terrible job explaining the origins of life. Uh, that’s abiogenesis, not evolution. A middle school student could tell you that. And then he was blabbering on about “kinds” as though that’s a scientific definition of species. Which means that we have some evolution, but never a change in kinds. Utterly full of shit on that one.
My favourite claim was the one where there are no transitional fossils, nothing that goes from kind to kind. He actually uttered the statement that there was no evidence of a fossil between a fish and a mammal. No shit, there was quite a bit in between.
And then the one that sent me over the edge: that if we evolved from apes, why are there still apes? For one thing, we are apes. Deal with it. For another, we have a common ancestor to some current apes. This is the same as saying, you came from your grandparents, so why do you still have cousins. Different branches of the tree, my friends.
Adam Rutherford over at the Guardian handles this rather thoroughly, and with far more tact than I have left. It just frustrates me so badly because, like climate change, we know what’s going on. The only reason to push delusions and errors so hard is because the uneducated want to cling to these delusions. They’re taking the rest of us down with them, though, and that’s the problem.
Sorry, I know this isn’t the usual fare of this blog, but this is so far beyond what should be acceptable, especially for the highest-rated nighttime radio show, I’m astounded. This political cycle has demonstrated just how far ignorance has driven us from the path of rationality and wisdom, and now we have garbage that should be laughed out of the public sphere being showcased. I’m stunned. I’m baffled.
And I’m more than a little bit worried.