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Another post from a ‘Bastion of S***headed Ignorance’

Darwinist blogger and computer scientist MarkCC (why don’t they use their real names?) called me a lot of names a couple of days ago. The most profane was that I am a ‘bastion of s***headed ignorance.’ Profanity seems to be a particular problem with the computer-math Darwinists. A dysfunctional clad, perhaps. They’re dysfunctional because, as Aristotle wrote, effective rhetoric has three characteristics: logos, ethos, and pathos. Effective rhetoric appeals to the best in reason, ethics, and emotion. When I’m called unprintable names merely for expressing my skepticism about the relevance of Darwin’s theory to the practice of medicine, I’ve already won the ‘ethos’ and ‘pathos’ skirmishes. I can concentrate on the logos.

Mark’s blog is worth reading, if you’re over 18. After cursing me in ways that suggests Tourette’s syndrome, he writes a series of equations, and then blames my way of thinking for his father’s infection and paralysis (seriously). He is displeased with my opinions on Darwinism and medicine.

Mark took umbrage at my podcast comment that Darwinism wasn’t indispensable to understanding antibiotic resistance in bacteria. His father seems to have had a very hard time with a resistant strain of bacteria, and he blames me and my view of Darwinism, sort of. I’ve treated thousands of people with serious infections, and I’ve dealt, in a very first-hand way, with the difficulties of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. I’m sorry about his dad’s illness. But Mark hasn’t shown any real insight into medicine or into what doctors actually need to understand in order to deal with serious infections.

Mark, your dad’s illness didn’t happen because his doctor didn’t know enough about random mutation and natural selection. Our battle against bacterial resistance to antibiotics depends on the study of the intricate molecular strategies bacteria use to fight antibiotics, and our development of new antibiotics is a process of designing drugs to counter the bacterial strategies. We use molecular biology, microbiology, and pharmacology. We understand that bacteria aren’t killed by antibiotics that they’re resistant to. We understand tautologies. Darwin isn’t a big help here.

Michael Egnor

Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics, State University of New York, Stony Brook
Michael R. Egnor, MD, is a Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook, has served as the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and is an award-winning brain surgeon. He was named one of New York’s best doctors by the New York Magazine in 2005. He received his medical education at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital. His research on hydrocephalus has been published in journals including Journal of Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, and Cerebrospinal Fluid Research. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Hydrocephalus Association in the United States and has lectured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.