Sunday, 22 August 2010

The New York Times on bizarre science blogs

Science blogs that bow to Charles Darwin deal with many subjects but rarely with science. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

If we assume that science blogs deal with science, we will probably be mistaken, The New York Times suggests.

The newspaper is hardly known for its conservative views so that its article on science blogs is quite a surprise.

Already the title of Virginia Heffernan’s article, Unnatural Science, might tell us something of its content.

Heffernan read some well-known science blogs and discovered that the scientists and other people who write them hardly ever focused on writing about science. PZ Myers, who has acclaimed notoriety for being a feisty defender of atheism, for instance chooses to insult those who do not share his godless worldview.

Myers’ views of the Eucharist celebration in the Roman Catholic Church or the assumed child marriage of the prophet Muhammed are by far more egregious than the Danish cartoon featuring Muhammed that raised blood pressure in Muslim countries a few years ago.

It is rather difficult to understand how anyone could promote scientific knowledge by insulting Muslims, for instance, but perhaps ”science blogs” have a logic of their own.

Often these blogs use science as a smoke screen for attacking those who do not bow to Charles Darwin.

The Scientific American newsletter lends support to Ms. Heffernan’s thesis. Almost all its columnists and writers are atheists/free thinkers/skeptics, who seem to have a hard time trying to understand why most people reject their worldview.


Heffernan, Virginia. 2010. Unnatural Science. The New York Times. (30 July).