I don’t mean to claim originality here; there will always be people who can’t read the signs of the times. The interesting thing is to see how similar their illogic is across supposedly insurmountable political boundaries. Consider WTC conspiracy theorists and antievolutionists.
The generic argument goes like this:
- An incremental mechanism does not produce immediately observable results; therefore
- That mechanism is insufficient; but
- Authorities continue to promulgate it; therefore
- There is a conspiracy to enforce adherence to dogma; when in fact
- Some completely different phenomenon was at work; and
- Acceptance of the reality of that phenomenon would delegitimize existing authorities.
Also, if at all possible, the conspiracy should include elements of criminality, the more lurid the better — not so easy for antievolutionists, though see, for example, Jack Cashill’s Hoodwinked: How Intellectual Hucksters Have Hijacked American Culture for a valiant attempt. Ironically, the appeal of such ideas relies heavily on certain realities of evolutionary psychology. Use the formula I’ve outlined here, and you’re on the way to success by scratching those itching ears.
So while the people who prattle about microevolution never adding up to macroevolution, and the people saying fire won’t melt steel so there must have been demolition charges, are on precisely parallel tracks, let’s hope they remain parallel, in the sense of never getting together. The ensuing disaster would make 9/11 seem like, er, loose change.