The Corner

The Darwinian Mandarinate

Tim: I say again, this is not how science proceeds. There is no “Darwinian

Mandarinate.” Science is not an ossified establishment, defending

privileges and power against all comers. Look into some science journals.

Talk to some working scientists. Science is bustling and anarchic. When a

plausible new theory comes up, keen young scientists flock to it in the hope

of making a name for themselves by overthrowing the established orthodoxy.

A high proportion of scientists are contrarians by temperament. “Why is

this so?” they demand. “You SAY it’s so, but where’s the evidence?”

Scientists don’t take kindly to authoritiative pronouncements handed down

from on high on tablets of stone. It’s just not like that. (If only PH.D.s

in the sciences had the vote, we should have Libertarian govt.) Interesting

new theories always attract attention and funding. “Darwinian Mandarinate”

is an absurd caricature of science. It simply isn’t like that.

The reason that keen young scientists aren’t flocking to ID and emitting

flurries of papers on it is that it’s not a plausible theory. In fact, it

is not a theory at all, in any sense that science understands.

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