Humor Intelligent design/creationism Skepticism/critical thinking

Dr. Egnor an elaborate April Fool’s joke?

This Panda’s Thumb entry makes me wonder if I was wasting my time with all those rebuttals of Dr. Michael Egnor’s astoundingly ignorant attacks on “Darwinism.” Could it be that Dr. Egnor really was just pulling our legs all along?

I have to admit that it seems plausible. After all, how could a man like Dr. Egnor make it through an undergraduate biochemistry degree program, then medical school, then the often brutal and–dare I say it?–Darwinian culling process of a neurosurgery residency program, only to go on to become a respected Professor of Neurosurgery at SUNY Stony Brook, and, with all seriousness, still actually believe that evolution explains nothing about how bacterial resistance to antibiotics occurs? After reading his misstatements and misinformation about evolution and suffering through a couple of his podcasts, in which Casey Luskin keeps is nose inserted firmly in Dr. Egnor’s behind, as he breathlessly asks him about how he became a “Darwin skeptic,” I have to admit that, as a fellow surgeon, I was beginning to have a hard time believing that Dr. Egnor was for real, given the way he ignored all evidence and rebuttals, explanations of his misinformation, and soldiered humorlessly ahead claiming that Darwin was responsible for eugenics, that evolution has nothing to do with understanding bacterial resistance to antibiotics, that, because scientists studied comparative anatomy before Darwin, evolution tells us nothing about comparative anatomy, and that evolution contributes nothing to our understanding of genetics, all claims that I’ve rebutted multiple times now. How could someone intelligent enough and driven enough to become a highly respected academic neurosurgeon believe such easily refuted nonsense?

It turns out that maybe Dr. Egnor had a sense of humor after all, and all we “Darwinists” have been suckered. All I can do is tip my hat to the Discovery Institute for a ripping good April Fool’s Day prank. I should have trusted my instincts that no fellow surgeon could be as willfully ignorant and obtuse as Dr. Egnor’s parody of an “intelligent design” creationist has been over the last couple of months!

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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