Don't sound like a kook

less than 1 minute read

Larry Moran describes a lecture by Michael Behe, an advocate of intelligent design arguments: “Michael Behe in Toronto, Part 1”. Moran didn’t care for the lecture. I wanted to react to this comment:

This is one of the distinguishing characteristics of kooks. If you have to defend your views by pointing out that many great scientific ideas were initially rejected by the scientific community then you've already lost the battle. No legitimate scientist does this.

Some scientists unfortunately do do this. Especially in paleoanthropology. As in, “They all scoffed at Dart, too”. Or, “They all said Neandertals were just pathological modern humans, too”. Yes, former paleoanthropologists faced challenges in having their ideas accepted. It is the nature of science. It doesn’t follow that your ideas are correct.

I think paleoanthropologists should take Moran’s words seriously. Great scientists overcome challenges. Kooky scientists try to make their own trivial challenges sound like the great intellectual battles of history.