Drivel. What Else Can I Say?

I wonder why anyone with any sense reads such drivel.

I’m referring specifically to this article written on Greg Laden’s blog. It was referred to me by a colleague via Twitter.
Now the author appears to want to remain anonymous. Interesting isn’t it that they won’t place their name on their own work? Makes me suspect out of the gate. Doesn’t it for you?
In case you haven’t read the article, it’s another take down of Professor Dawkins. Now let me first state that Professor Dawkins doesn’t need or require me to defend his reputation. Hell, I couldn’t if I tried since I’m not a scientist in his category of expertise. But let me just say right here that from his popular books, that many of us have read, I have learned and have been able to espouse and argue with those that deny evolution most aspects of evolution and counter arguments presented. Because I’m not an “Evolutionary Biologist” however, sometimes, I have to say “I don’t know”. I used to think that was bad. Due to Dr. Dawkins and some other writers though, I’ve come to reconsider that I really don’t have to be an expert in a subject to refute it; all I need to be is conversant in the subject enough to refute most of the bogus claims that are made. Provide evidence to show my opponent that they are misguided, and walk away.
Let me move on, however. In paragraph three of this article, after the author speaks about Dr. Dawkins’ authorship of a couple of popular book, brings up, of course, Elevatorgate.
The author then goes on to misquote Dr. Dawkins as saying, about rape,Ladies, there is no way to get raped in an elevator. All you have to do is push the Stop and Door Open button and leave.
That wasn’t the point of Dr. Dawkins’ statement though. That isn’t even what he said. I wish if people were going to accuse people for something they said, they’d quote them accurately. Here’s the actual quote:

Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep”chick”, and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn’t lay a finger on her, but even so …

That’s it! And after two and a half years Professor Dawkins has been demonized for that statement alone. He’s been mischaracterized as a misogynist, as a rape apologist, as, well, pretty much anything you can come up with.
What was his point though? That’s what’s missing from this argument, from this non-debate. There are women in third world countries that actually do experience rape, and hatred, on a daily basis. There are women in countries that don’t have the right to walk on the streets by themselves, cannot vote, cannot drive themselves to a store, must cover themselves from head to foot for fear that a man might see them, then experience rape in which they are the accused, not the rapists.
I don’t report this as a person that’s not just read about these things in the newspapers and seen them reported on television. I’ve actually spent time in the middle east. Trust me, if you’re a western male, grown up in the culture(s) that we have here, you really don’t want to be there.
This is a terrible “guest post” on Greg Laden’s blog. I would think that he, as someone who in the past has had some credibility, and as a researcher himself(I guess) would want to validate the statements of those that he allows to post on his site.
This post just validates one thing for me. Harvard was errant in awarding him a PhD.

2 thoughts on “Drivel. What Else Can I Say?

  1. Some months ago, Greg Laden wrote a piece called “haters gonna hate” attacking Ed Clint for critiquing Rebecca Watson’s attempt to take down evolutionary psychology. The thing I thought was amazing was that Laden openly admitted that he had not actually read Clint’s article. His excuse was something along the lines that he didn’t think it worth the time. Yet he had the time to write an ad hominem attack on Ed Clint, arguing that because he associates with people who don’t like Watson, his piece must have been nothing more than a spiteful attack on her. This shows how much contempt he has for doing actual research and validating his statements. In contrast, Ed Clint’s article was a point-by-point rebuttal that cited references to support the arguments made. I think this shows which of the two knows the real meaning of skepticism.


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