What Everybody Knows

In my previous post, I tossed out the following observation:

It is, at any rate, folklore among the anti-creationist blogging community that non-American scientists are more likely to use the word “Darwinism” and its variants than American ones are, although it seems that outside academic circles, “Darwinism” and “Darwinist” may have negative connotations everywhere.

This got me thinking. There are umpty-ump science bloggers on the Net nowadays, and more commenters than one could shake a phasmatodean at. This is a big pile of people, and though it has very fuzzy boundaries, one might justifiably call it a subculture. What, then, are its cultural icons?

If your eager and curious niece finally started using the Internet for something other than MySpace and wanted to become part of this whole skeptical, scientifical shindig, what would you tell her? Who are the personalities of this world? What are their clashes, their feuds, their running jokes? Who hangs out at their places? What are the books which everybody has read, or at least pretends to? Set forth, if you can, the stuff which everybody knows — the hidden curriculum of our Network campus.

One thought on “What Everybody Knows”

  1. I don’t know, because other than Sunclipse I’m not really in the Network. Others certainly also know more than I about the explicit curriculum, and I’d love to hear suggestions, but here, without warranty, are some “readings” that jumped out at this newbie:

    The Kitzmiller opinion has some fascinating stuff about the creationist movement, and the story it tells is perfect for a made-for-TV movie (wait, somebody thought of that). 

    And a couple of things in the TalkOrigins archive are compulsively browsable even though I haven’t read them end-to-end: the Index to Creationist Claims is both broad and deep yet delivered in bite-sized chunks. Evidences for Macroevolution was fascinating, because I had no idea some of this stuff existed, and the examples of evolutionary corner cases are neat in themselves.

    I read The Selfish Gene back in the day, and I wonder whether there are similar nontechnical summaries that better address the nuances that Dawkins treats briefly, like the many mechanisms by which altruism evolves and the effects of savannah-optimization.

    Apropos nothing, Intelligent design was Wikipedia’s featured article yesterday.

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