Secular Right | Reality & Reason



Would you Adam and Eve it?

Here’s Ann Coulter:

Amid the hoots at Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry for saying there were “gaps” in the theory of evolution, the strongest evidence for Darwinism presented by these soi-disant rationalists was a 9-year-old boy quoted in The New York Times. After his mother had pushed him in front of Perry on the campaign trail and made him ask if Perry believed in evolution, the trained seal beamed at his Wicked Witch of the West mother, saying, “Evolution, I think, is correct!”

That’s the most extended discussion of Darwin’s theory to appear in the mainstream media in a quarter-century. More people know the precepts of kabala than know the basic elements of Darwinism…

And that’s one of the least [insert appropriate adjective: there are many to choose from] sequences of this gimcrack screed, to which the only reply worth the time spent typing it is whatever.

I suppose one has to accept that its author, a smart and distinctive writer (and, I should add, certainly one with whom I frequently disagree), actually believes what she is writing, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid the suspicion that amongst some, at least, on the right a quick bit of Darwin-bashing is seen as an easy way of boosting their conservative credentials still further. The equivalent of so much resonant and confused leftist rhetoric, it doesn’t mean anything, it doesn’t do anything and (hopefully) it won’t change anything, but it sounds good on stump, page and screen. It cheers the faithful. It rallies the crowd. It sells the books.


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  • Craig · September 1, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Maybe that’s it. Ann’s a good writer when she sticks to her field, constitutional law. When she tries science she comes off as a loon.

  • Matt Foss · September 1, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    “That’s the most extended discussion of Darwin’s theory to appear in the mainstream media in a quarter-century. More people know the precepts of kabala than know the basic elements of Darwinism…”

    I hate to admit it, but this is a true statement. The mainstream media hasn’t done anything to combat popular ignorance about evolution.

    We have people imagining biospheres spontaneously emerging in jars of peanut butter and gibbons wholly transforming into humans, thinking that refuting these absurd straw-man ideas somehow disproves the actual theory. No wonder there’s still a “controversy”.

  • Tim McD · September 1, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    That’s just it. There is no theory. A theory begins as a testable hypothesis, and after thorough, replicatable, testing, advances to a theory when we cannot disprove it.

    The theory of evolution is speculation. Will probably always be speculation, because we have no way to test it. I had hopes that as we learned more about DNA something testable would come along, but nothing so far.

    The theory of evolution should be taught in schools, not in the science department, but over in the soft sciences department with the other speculation.

    ID should not be taught in schools, as it is clearly a religious belief.

    Now, the age of the universe,that needs to stay in the science department, because Trigonometry and Geometry, those are science, well math, and they work! And if light has been traveling over 10 billion years to get here, then the universe is at least 10 billion years old, quod erat demonstratum.

  • CJColucci · September 1, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    “That’s the most extended discussion of Darwin’s theory to appear in the mainstream media in a quarter-century. More people know the precepts of kabala than know the basic elements of Darwinism…”

    Although I share Matt Foss’s disappointment with how good a job the mainstream media does explaining evolutionary theory, Coulter’s statement is just plain false. In the last two weeks alone, I have read a handful of articles exploring basic, and not so basic, aspects of evolutionary theory — and not in places like Scientific American, either.

  • Hunter · September 3, 2011 at 12:53 am

    @Tim McD:

    There is a group of disciplines often referred to as “historical sciences” — their foundations don’t rest on “test tube experiments” but on observations of physical evidence in the natural world. Their theories are, in fact, subject to falsification based on analysis of available evidence as well as new evidence that is constantly being discovered. Their techniques are based on observation rather than manipulation. Among them are geology, genetics, and evolutionary biology. The idea that evolution must be subject to replicable “experiments” is quite bizarre — how does one make something evolve, especially since the very first step, meiosis, is random?

    Sorry, no — evolution is not “pure speculation.” It is a solid scientific theory supported by evidence from paleontology, microbiology, genetics, geology, population biology. In fact, the evidence in support is so overwhelming that few scientists even bother to question its validity, and those who do are not biologists.

  • Fill Up · September 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    To my mind Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is a valid concept and can simply be proved daily: Note how as we develop new strains of vaccines to protect from different flu viruses, new flu viruses appear that are immune to the newly developed vaccine. The same can be said with the development of DDT designed to eliminate pests. As more and more DDT was used in farming new pests appeared immune to DDT. THE FITTEST SURVIVED….and so it goes

  • Snippet · September 4, 2011 at 2:56 am

    I am incapable of believing that Ann Coulter believes a single word of that article.

    Maybe I just suffer from a lack of imagination, but that whole thing just didn’t smell like an honest effort to understand/explain/grapple with evolution.

    I think she views evolution as dangerous and something to be fought, true or not.



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