A Salvo from Crux

Remember Crux Magazine? Where the same fuddy-duddies who have been pushing 200+ year-old antievolution arguments tried to bill themselves as hip, cool antiestablishment commentators? Remember the “HIV doesn’t cause AIDS” article they promoted? Well, now they’re back. This time, though, they aren’t releasing their content online where just anybody can grab it and comment on it. In fact, they’ve done up their new site, Salvo Magazine, in MacroMedia Flash, so one can’t even grab the text that easily. That’s OK, because they really don’t have much in the way of content. The front-page background graphic is an overlay of about three pages of scribbled math-like notation, tinted in blue tones. I’m not sure what target audience gets turned on by restaurant-napkin math, but Salvo Magazine is looking to corner it.

Then there is the mission statement. Remember, I can’t just cut-and-paste the text, so here is the graphical version:

Well, so far as I can see the stances taken by the Cruxies have thus far really promoted death in the real world, since that has been the upshot of the promotion of the “HIV doesn’t cause AIDS” advocacy campaign. Some African states have latched onto that message as a justification for not spending resources on the expensive medications that are aimed at controlling HIV titer levels in patients, with the predictable outcome that people are dying faster there due to inadequate treatment for their condition.

As for “questioning the sanity of our consumerist lifestyle”, that would properly describe those who insist that we need to take action on human contributions to global climate change. But treating climate change as anything other than liberal myth-making is beyond the social conservative stance one finds in the Cruxies. The apparent attitude is that we may as well use it up now; Armaggedon will arrive soon and obviate any long-term programs to conserve resources or protect the environment. It seems to me that if you do believe Christian scripture, then you are still bound to act as a steward for creation, despite any hunches you might have concerning the fulfillment of end-time prophecies.

The whole thing smells strongly of the “cultural renewal” component of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. The one consistent thing about teleological notions invoked for explaining parts of evolutionary biology is that they have all failed. They don’t work. In fact, the teleology embraced by the former Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China as a substitute for western evolutionary biology helped to kill tens of million of people via famine. I suppose that “Celebrating over 200 years of failure!” wasn’t considered to be the sort of marketing copy they wanted, even though it would have come much closer to truth in advertising for this foray into uninformed commentary. Speaking of which, be sure to check out the “Intro” letter from the editor, wherein Bobby Maddex bemoans the situation that while journalists comment on everything else around without worrying about their lack of credentials in those topics, that they tend to defer to scientists on scientific topics. Maddex attributes problems in science to diminished oversight by journalists, citing the recent case of Hwang Woo-Suk. This, of course, is balderdash. Journalists and their supposed lax scrutiny in reporting of research didn’t have anything to do with Hwang’s behavior; the controlling influence in cases like this comes from the level of scrutiny applied to examining methods and results that is undertaken within the scientific community. But if one wishes to justify a magazine that appears poised to deliver lots of uninformed commentary each month, I guess such marginal justifications need to be vigorously pursued.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Data scientist in real estate and econometrics. Blogger. Speaker. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

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