Stephen A. Batzer is a forensic engineer and adjunct assistant professor at the University of Arkansas, and a semi-regular contributor to Discovery Institute creationist blogs attacking the theory of evolution. Batzer has, we emphasize, no discernible background in biology, but he is very concerned with how uncivil scientists and those who understand the theory of evolution often are to creationists and religiously motivated denialists. As Batzer sees it, given that “the majority of Americans are highly skeptical of the Darwinian narrative” – an observation he calls, somewhat surprisingly, “a blow to science” – real scientists need to tone it down.
In his blogpost “Why Darwinism and Incivility Seem to Go Together”, he expands on his thoughts with a list of perceived mechanisms. Among the reasons why science defenders are so prone to “incivility”, as Batzer sees it, is that “[y]ou are challenging their religious beliefs, which they know, just know, to be true,” that they are rather stupid, and that they are unaware of the sophistication of creationist theories. At least his findings on the topic are rather indicative of the creationist approach to research. The fact that his whole effort is a rather blatant effort to poison the well eludes him completely. “One thing that draws me to the ID movement is that it has the polite and understated ethic that science is supposed to have – but does not have when the subject is evolution,” concludes Batzer. Here is an example of the movement’s understated ethic by his co-blogger David Klinghoffer.
Diagnosis: A minor character in the anti-science brigade, perhaps, but definitely among the more out-of-touch and (therefore) obnoxious ones. Certainly deserves to be called out.