Thursday, April 7, 2011

188: Fred Hutchison

An associate of Alan Keyes (writing on his website) Hutchison is the kind of guy who insists that he masters all sorts of sciences, but whose positions roughly correlates with that of the European church in the 15th century. A sample:

- He rejects Einstein, because the theory of relativity offers “no explanation of why an apple falling from a tree moves straight down” (as opposed to Newton). Of course Hutchison knows nothing about physics – he has managed to misunderstand some popular scientific presentation of Einstein.

- He rejects global warming because we have no “explanation of how CO2 differs from nitrogen and oxygen in its influence on the greenhouse effect”. He denies that gases can affect atmospheric temperature.

- He rejects the theory of evolution because, well, he doesn’t have any clue whatsoever how it is supposed to work.

- He believes he has decisively shown that Terri Schiavo must have been conscious, simply because “Consciousness must subsist in the incorporeal spirit”.

And of course, there is the usual anti-gay and anti-abortion stuff – you know how it goes.

Interestingly, he brags about how he debated two scientists in an e-mail exchange and won hands down – he doesn’t quote them, only provides some of the usual garbled nonsense about evolution and global warming, and then declares himself the victor.

Diagnosis: The living embodiment of Dunning-Kruger, Hutchison’s gloating confidence that he’s won combined with his total ignorance about the field of discussion in which he was “participating”, is disconcertingly common. His influence may be slim, but the Dunning-Kruger effect is the very thing that sustains manufactroversies.

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