Wanted: Mathemagician to work with extremely large values of 1 …

About this odd recent job posting (math fix for neo-Darwinism), Doug Axe at Biologic Institute offers "Oxford seeks mathemagician" (May 5th, 2011):

Scientists employ different rhetorical strategies to accomplish different things. That shouldn’t be surprising, perhaps, but for some it is. The reason is that while the public is very familiar with rhetorical shiftiness in some occupations, they tend to see only one side of science—the confident, assertive, authoritative, we-know-what-we’re-talking-about side. Science-speak often comes across with a hint of arrogance, but since science itself depends on the goodwill of the public for its very existence, it usually corrects itself on those occasions when it oversteps its bounds. There are a few peculiar exceptions though, …

But the question has been raised: To what extent is the public so inured to Darwn nonsense that the big ta-da! – we proved there is enough time for Darwinism by building in just a few leetle fixes! – will just roll through the pop science press, dutifully followed by more evolutionary agony aunts, Darwinian brand marketers, and "cre-uh-theist" circuses?

Denyse O'Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.

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