Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sexism and Creationists...what a combo

I like to tell my Biology and Genetics students that we are for the most part out of the sexist bad old days when women were thought to be incapable of doing science...but Michael Behe-he of the irreducible bacterial flagellum has demonstrated that sexism is alive and well. Seems he is playing the gender card in the case of grad student virologist, SA Smith when she had the gall to correct the Dr. Behe about the evolution of the HIV virus.

Well I had to check what Behe said for myself, because I had met Behe and watched his testimony at the Kansas Creation Science hearings and he seemed like a nice sort of guy though majorly confused about what his own paper on the evolution of proteins was really saying.

Behe says of SA Smith:

"Although she calls herself a “pre-grad student,” the tone of the post is decidedly junior high, the tone of someone who is trying hard to compete with all the other Mean Girls on that unpleasant website. I’ll pass over all that and try to stick to the substance."

Hmmmm I had to look up Mean Girls and I assume Behe is really referring to this site connected to the movie, Mean Girls. Sounds to me as if Behe has taken to imitating a real life Mean Girl Ann Coulter. I guess Behe is a bit grumpy given the failure of his irreducible complexity ideas to explain anything about biology. Or maybe its simply that 19th century scientific beliefs go hand in hand with misogyny.

To be fair to Dr. Behe, maybe he is really meaning to play the "I'm the professor she's the grad student" card. As if THAT is going to win any friends and influence people. Also to be fair misogyny along with racism is found in other scientists including some who are decidedly NOT creationist, James Watson being a recent and ancient case in point.

Ann Coulter image from

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