A snippet from the Culture Wars

An astrophysicist’s story: I was giving a talk in Houston and I was told that there was a group of people coming who were going to make their protest by walking out when they heard the word “Evolution”. So I was very careful to use circumlocutions until I got to the evolution of Red Dwarf stars. And they didn’t know what to do. So they stayed to the end.

This co-ordinated walkout seems to be an accepted creationist tactic. I suppose they call it dialogue. At any rate, I have heard it reported from the Bible Belt around Vancouver, as well. The really frightening thing is the growth of what Damian Thompson calls Counterknowledge — developed, consistent, yet mendacious systems of counterfactual belief. I know it is easy, and right, to tease a neocon supporter of the Iraq war about his criticisms of other forms of counterknowledge. But that doesn’t make them less frightening. The same lecturer said “There are a lot of people who believe that there is _scientific_evidence for YEC. I don’t know what you can do about these people.”

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