National science = pseudoscience

Francisco Ayala says that “Intelligent Design” and other anti-Darwinist movements are almost entirely an American phenomenon. John Derbyshire points out that real scientific work is always cosmopolitan rather than national.

John Derbyshire offers a reflection on my account of Francisco Ayala’s thoughts on “Intelligent Design” that is obvious once said but which hadn’t occurred to me. As Ayala points out, Intelligent Design is almost purely an American phenomenon. And, as Derbyshire notes, any theory with a strictly national following — he gives as an example Lysenkoism — ought to be presumed to be pseudoscience rather than science.

Of course, now that Derbyshire has pointed out this weakness in the ID campaign, it will no doubt be possible, with some small fraction of the tens of millions of dollars flowing into the Discovery Institute, to locate associate pseudoscientists elsewhere.

Just one more example, along with MacDonald’s and rap music, of the most pernicious aspects of American culture being exported to the rest of the world.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: