[eDebate] ans Korcok ans Meagher re evolution

Kevin Sanchez let_the_american_empire_burn
Sat Apr 26 17:46:51 CDT 2008



here, http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/2008-April/075025.html, korcok accuses meagher of "imply[ing] that scientists, specifically
biologists, and more particularly evolutionists somehow unwittingly
smuggle notions of 'superiority' and 'anthropocentrism' or 'speciesism'
into their science".

wasn't he really making the opposite claim? not that evolutionary biologists smuggle such notions *into their* science, but that non-scientists smuggle notions *out of* evolutionary biology in order to justify self-serving myths of human superiority and progress? so, it's not that scientists are reading normative claims into their descriptive research; it's that WE are, to underwrite teleological theories (a la robert wright) and sometimes eugenical prescriptions (a la herbert spencer).

i can't speak for him, but i don't understand why one would have to be competent "in biology, chemistry, geology, zoology, and paleontology" to consider (and criticize) these common misapplications of otherwise solid scientific work.

what's more, it's illogical to infer from the stupidity of some editors of an academic journal that an entire "style of critique" has been deemed illegitimate.

while i much admired sokal's prank, he himself admits that he knows little to nothing about developments in the field of philosophy (not to mention, literary criticism, rhetoric, etc.), and in his non-ironic writings, sokal assumes premises which even most analytical philosophers (who he, oddly, excludes from refutation) no longer find particularly convincing - the correspondence theory of truth, to use one example.

i wish a humble hoax could put to bed centuries-old metaphysical quandaries,
but such wishes don't wash dishes.


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