Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Like spitting into the wind.

Many of you are probably already familiar with cartoonist Scott Adams, the man responsible for the Dilbert comic strip that has grown to such popularity. Indeed, as the son of an engineer, it would be difficult for me to not be familiar with the strip as my father thinks that it is absolutely hysterical. For those who are not as familiar, Dilbert follows the exploits of the eponymous engineer and his menagerie of friends, sentient animals, and associates in what can only be described as the company from hell. It is also, as a side note, a company that I would have vastly preferred to my previous employment. What you may not know is that Scott Adams is, among other things, a rather prominent evolution opponent. No, seriously. This doesn't surprise me too much, really, since he's trained as an engineer and engineers generally view problems as soluble using planned, designed action.* As such, the quasi-random mutation walk followed by fierce selection of options just seems... wrong to them somehow.** Previously Adams had limited himself to lampooning evolution, albeit poorly, on his blog. Now, however, he has upped the ante somewhat:



Now, I'm a proponent of free speech so I have no problem with this cartoon being aired, but I do think it's a shame that it has to depict evolution in such an inaccurate light. Archaeologists, anthropologists and biologists have many different lines of evidence supporting evolution. That our understanding of how evolution works has changed somewhat over the years doesn't mean that the entire concept is wrong. If it did, then the shift from Newtonian physics to Relativistic physics would have forced us to throw the concept of physical law out the window.

And despite the poor quality of Adams' arguments, I guess I just think it's a shame that he's making them via such a powerful medium. How many hours in the classroom will it take to counteract this brief two minutes of animated propaganda?

Too many, I'm afraid.


* I find this humorous, really, given that genetic algorithms are gaining in popularity as a way to design products.

** Some of them, anyway. I don't want to imply that all engineers are automatically anti-evolution.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Aftersox said...

I used to like Dilbert... just like I used to like Ben Stein...

Friday, October 26, 2007 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Anomie said...

Oh! Oh! My theory is ALSO that all species that ever existed are still around and just hiding!!! And now I have a little dog-thing that agrees with me! YES!

Friday, October 26, 2007 5:28:00 PM  
Blogger tina said...

Welcome back, Drek!

Friday, October 26, 2007 5:36:00 PM  
Blogger maxliving said...

In this month's Wired, Clive Thompson addresses the incessant argument that evolution is only a "theory."

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/15-11/st_thompson

Saturday, October 27, 2007 6:49:00 AM  

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