I’ve been warning about the dangers of politicizing science. Jerry Coyne recently provided a nice example concerning PZ Myers, a huge supporter of the March for Science (HT: Dhay).
Watch as Coyne takes the social justice atheist to the woodshed:
But someone who should know better is the evolutionary biologist and blogger P. Z. Myers, who bought into Fine’s bogus argument and fallacious mathematics in a post called “Cordelia Fine is doing the math.” Myers accepts Fine’s contention that promiscuous males don’t really have more offspring than do choosy human females—females who are prevented from getting fertilized when they’re pregnant. Her arguments are wrong—for one thing, she sets unrealistic error limits for promiscuous males to outdo monogamous ones—but Myers has always rejected biology that is ideologically unpalatable to him.
In a rare occurrence at his site, the commenters, usually a choir of osculatory praise, gave him pushback. In fact one, “Charly”, did the math correctly and showed that males in relationships with multiple females (bigamous or polygamous) have the potential to have more offspring than do monogamous males, supporting the ideas that men are selected to compete for women. (Duh!) Charly ended his calculations with this statement: “But maybe my reasoning and math is wrong, I am sure someone will point flaws out.”
In the next comment, Myers admitted that Charly’s math was actually right—math that invalidates Fine’s argument—but then he said this:
Your math is fine. It’s your humanity that is broken.
And there we have it, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters: an admission that the biology is right, at least in theory, but the person who did the calculations is immoral. What better example can we find of someone who opposes the truth because it’s ideologically repugnant? Even Myers’s regular commenters couldn’t live with that pronouncement. …