Biocurious is a weblog about biology, quantified.

A bad comparison

by Andre on 17 January 2007

Physicists sometimes say things about evolution. Sometimes they’re good and sometimes they’re bad:

“If we compare the debate over the theory of evolution with the debate over the theory of global warming – global warming’s a whole lot more certain at the moment.”

That’s Jim Drummond, a physicist at the University of Toronto that studies climate change quoted in the Star Tribune. Maybe he didn’t think that one through, or maybe the reporter didn’t notice the air quotes he was making with his hands. I don’t know, but it does seem that a little media savvy would go a long way in this case. Not all controversies are legitimate. Was that his point?

Couldn’t he have made a better comparison if he felt a comparison was necessary? Any suggestions? PZ points out that this is already being jumped on by heroes like Doug Tice.

Thanks to Jason Robertshaw from Cephalopodcast for pointing this out to me. I hope Bob Park has a comment for us on Friday.

  1. Ritchie Annand    4203 days ago    #

    I remember being horrified at some of the things Stephen Hawking said related to biology in Universe in a Nutshell. This small gem was only the tip of the iceberg:

    I think that the human race, and its DNA, will increase in complexity quite rapidly.

    No, it’s not taken out of context, unfortunately.

    Penrose on consciousness is equally worrisome.

    I do hope that was just an oopsies by Drummond or the reporter.

    Neat blog, by the way. I always believe that cross-contamination between the sciences can only be a good thing, since there is much niftiness to be had combining physics, chemistry and biology knowledge in myriad ways.

  2. Bill Tozier    4194 days ago    #

    Someday we’ll have to publish that paper. Maybe our Erdös numbers will improve from all the cites we get…. ;)

    But I promised myself we’d wait until it was no longer able to be considered a mean satire of a living physicist. Looks like we’re still on for that….

  3. Andre    4190 days ago    #

    I hope that someday is soon. It seems like I link to that paper in every other post… I need some more variety. I think it will always be a satire of some living physicist, but that shouldn’t stop you!

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