Orson Scott Card vs. the Brain Eater
In case there was still any lingering doubt about whether Orson Scott Card has fallen prey to the brain eater, he is now . PZ Mhriearrr goes on a tear.
See also his (dismembered in five parts by yonmei, starting here) and this interview with Card, by Donna Minkowitz.
Here’s one of Card’s comments against “Darwinism”:
It would be impossible to believe that the entire series of steps in the complex system could randomly appear all at once. But any one step along the way, since it does nothing by itself, could not give the organism that had it any competitive advantage. So why would each of those traits persist and prevail long enough for the complex system to fall into place?
The flaw in this argument lies in “it does nothing by itself”. Behe et al. are fond of bringing up bacterial flagella as an example of an irreducibly complex system that could not have evolved on its own. But, as came out during the Dover Panda trial, part of this flagellum are the components used to build the type three secretory system, a mechanism bacteria use to get rid of waste products.
An axe without a head is just a stick, but a stick is still useful. And a bacterium without all the parts to make a flagellum can still build a mighty useful secretory system.
The rest of Card’s essay is just as bad. The great irony is that he accuses “Darwinists” of ignoring the evidence against “Darwinism” and of hiding behind diplomas to avoid providing any evidence; but at no point does Card provide any evidence for Intelligent Design.
(Aside to PB: How does this fit into our earlier conversation about science fiction writers advocating outrageous ideas?)
I am not sure I remember exactly what point I was making in that earlier discussion… however, I have an essay to contribute, brought to mind by the Minkowitz claim that Ender’s Game is an awesomely ethical book. The essay is by John Kessel, whose SF rarely advocates outrageous ideas. 🙂
Interesting. So it would appear that Card’s morality in Ender’s Game is diametrically opposed to Sartre’s in No Exit. In Ender’s Game, Ender is good despite his actions because his intentions are good. In No Exit, all of the characters have been sent to Hell because they performed bad deeds in spite of their intentions.
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