Category Archives: Satire

Star Trek Heresy

Matthew Continetti does not love Spock.

Last week, I tweeted that I was going to write a post about how Obama is not Spock like, but to the degrees that he is, I agree that it’s Spock’s most annoying traits.

[Afternoon update]

The gauntlet has been thrown:

Continetti just glosses over the sacrifice at the Battle of the Mutara Nebula, I assume because he knows it demolishes his case. What about the personal loss at the betrayal of Valeris? What about the hurtful but necessary decision — directly enforced by Spock — to let Edith Keeler die? How I hated him for that! But look, who among us wouldn’t let Hitler dominate the world in exchange for a lifetime of sweet sweet loving from young Joan Collins? Anyone? No one? Just me?


The New Consensus Study

on evolution:

Our search resulted in 487,629 papers that mentioned “evolution” or “natural selection” in the abstract. However 451,412 of those could not definitively be placed into one of our seven position-defining categories*, no matter how hard we tried with our group of 20 reviewers. [The consensus view among us is that these reviewers are completely independent and objective; their common participation at our web site devoted to presenting pro-selection arguments, but nothing to the contrary, is just not relevant in this case.**]

Of the remaining 36,217 papers, 35,167 (97.1%) supported the consensus position that over half of the observed evolution over the twentieth century is due to natural selection. The fact that only 126 of these 35,167 papers were actually focused on critically evaluating the topic at hand, i.e. the different possible mechanistic explanations of observed evolutionary change and/or speciation (e.g. random drift, founder and other stochastic events, mutation rate variation, instantaneous genetic barriers, etc), is an irrelevant point, a complete red herring. We can reasonably assume that in at least the majority of 50% of the time, none of these 35,167 authors would indicate agreement with a position that they themselves had not carefully investigated, without having more than half of a predominantly pretty good reason for so doing***. It’s just not really half as difficult as people make it out to be when you boil it down. As we have now done. For you.

In conclusion, there is very clearly a very strong consensus as to the influence of natural selection on evolution during the twentieth century and this consensus has been increasing as the evidence increases. It is important that policy makers realize this and take action. Please pick this up and disseminate it widely so everybody knows about it; everyone else is, so you will be part of the consensus effort if you do. Thank you.