Well, Dobzhansky actually said, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”, but, as I’ve mentioned before, there’s a lot to be learned from the sociopolitcal controversy surrounding evolutionary biology. Over at Pandagon, Amanda writes about Ross Douthat’s ridiculous claim that those who favor legal and safe abortion are eugenicists (italics mine):
Anti-choicers who engage the “OHMIGOD EUGENICS” argument are advancing what might be the classic bad faith argument. They’re not interested in stopping eugenics so much as creating a wedge issue that will cause liberals to squabble with each other. At least they have a good read on liberals, who will happily squabble with each other at the drop of a hat, even if we’re in complete agreement. And that a percentage of us will throw all common sense out of the window in order to grab the holier-than-thou ring, including avoiding stopping to consider if it’s unwise to force women to bear disabled babies they’ve determined they’re unwilling to care for into a world where people are unwilling to adopt them. Which isn’t to say that I think that abortion in all these cases is the best choice, but that children with Down’s syndrome, for instance, have enough problems without adding “resentful parents who will neglect them” to the pile.
This is something that many people around these here ScienceBlogs (including the Mad Biologist) have noted: creationists are not interested in the content of their arguments. Instead, they use words as weapons to defeat evolution. What they say has little intrinsic value (as should be obvious based on the pathetic nature of their arguments). Words have no meaning for them–all that matters is defeating the Great Evil. Ditto those who oppose safe and legal abortion.
there’s some truth in what amanda is saying about the wedge impact
1) just to be clear, ross is not a creationist. in fact, he has written against intelligent design (google ross douthat and TNR)
2) i’ve read ross long enough to know there is good faith concern under there about the instrumental attitude toward human life.
What do you mean by “the instrumental attitude towards human life?” Is that conservative code for utilitarianism that considers a broader good than the good of those who are wealthy and in power?
Words have no meaning for them–all that matters is defeating the Great Evil.
If that’s true, (as I think it is), then the thing to do is not to declare oneself as the “Great Evil”.