One of the biggest whines I hear about science blogs is that they are not enough about science. Of course, this whine only arises when the focus of the blog is pro-atheism. This leads me to conclude two things:
- This is just another way for people tell atheists to shut; it’s disingenuous.
- People do not understand any of the arguments being put forth by these pro-atheist blogs.
The reason a lot of pro-atheist science blogs focus on issues which, at least at first glance, do not appear to be very science-y is that conveying the latest research is not the only way to defend and promote science. For instance, having a wider appeal is going to gain a wider audience. If PZ only wrote about research like this, how many people would read about it? The reason more than a handful of individuals even know it exists is that they are already reading Pharyngula for a lot of the other content.
Another way to defend and therefore promote science is to attack religion. It is a fact that religious thinking harms science on the whole. (Please note “on the whole”. I have little doubt that something like “A-ha! But what about Excellent Scientist X? He’s religious!” just popped through at least a couple heads.) We have people who believe the Earth is 6,000 years old. We have those who deny the fact of evolution. We have parents who believe faith healing is okay. We have restrictions on research for bogus ethical concerns. All these things are a direct result of religion. For anyone who believes science deserves the highest mantle, talking about the harms of religion is one extremely effective method towards bringing science up to its proper place.