As usual, when a critic can’t find any holes in my argument, he simply invents them:
First, Day establishes as his premise that real biologists, scientists who practice in the real world and actually understand Darwin and evolution, are “afraid to expose themselves to the ridicule that the softness of their science renders them liable.” In short, he’s saying they don’t talk to the public.
This is incorrect. There are obviously several evolutionary biologists who do talk to the public, Dr. Myers among them. My link to his blog proves that I am aware of this. And some of them very much enjoy talking to the public, it seems Richard Dawkins would rather talk to the public than do science these days. What they don’t want to have to do is listen to anyone else, much less be forced to respond to questions they would prefer to avoid answering. Dawkins, in particular, is notorious for avoiding difficult questions whether the subject is biology, philosophy or theology. I suspect he’ll add history to that list, particularly military history, pretty soon.
So you can dance all you like, science fetishists, and substitute any amount of “reason” for the observable evidence, but you’ll never be able to get around the fact that Dawkins, Myers and Rulon have all publicly admitted their desire to avoid debate in their area of scientific expertise. As laudable and justifiable as you may find their reasons, their confidence in their beliefs will be questioned by most reasonable and intelligent people for their obvious unwillingness to defend them in public on neutral ground.
The sleight of hand involved in substituting near synonyms such as “talk to the public” and “public scrutiny” for “public debate” is very remniscent of Sam Harris and his attempts to substitute “unjustified belief” and “an absence of rationality” for “religious faith”. But the set is not the subset, and attempting to equate the two is intellectually dishonest.
While scientists certainly have the right to not defend their beliefs in public debate, it is everyone else’s right to draw their own conclusions about this decision to flee the field.