HuffPo Science section engages in dishonest quote mining

The HuffPo Science section can’t seem to keep its mitts off religion. Why on earth do they keep dragging God into that section?

The latest theistic incursion is a “slide show” called “Science and religion quotes: what the world’s greatest scientists say about God.”  There are 21 quotes, each accompanied by a photo of the scientist, and, to be fair, there’s a mixture of atheist and pro-religion statements.  A few of them, however, seem unfair to me, since the scientists at issue were clearly atheistic or agnostic in other, unquoted statements.

Carl Sagan:

“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual…The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.”

Okay, but this isn’t about God or religion, it’s about awe before the universe. By interpolating it in a post dealing with what scientists say about religion and God, HuffPo is Pulling An Ecklund, a neologism that I coyned to mean “a maneuver to bolster religion by including secular ‘spirituality’ within its ambit.” And of course it’s well known that Sagan was an atheist.  Here’s another quote, from Broca’s Brain, that they could have used (see quote #26 on the link, about an end-of-the-world prediction by religion):

“But religions are tough. Either they make no contentions which are subject to disproof or they quickly redesign doctrine after disproof. The fact that religions can be so shamelessly dishonest, so contemptuous of the intelligence of their adherents, and still flourish does not speak very well for the tough- mindedness of the believers. But it does indicate, if a demonstration was needed, that near the core of the religious experience is something remarkably resistant to rational inquiry.”

Albert Einstein:

“Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is indeed quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.”

Once more the old man is co-opted in the cause of God.  Einstein clearly didn’t believe in a personal God, and said so many times.  He called himself an agnostic, but I think he was, like David Attenborough, just a nonbeliever who didn’t like the term “atheist.”  They could, for instance, have used this quote from Einstein:

“The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text.”

or this one, in reply to an atheist who was worried about news reports that Einstein was conventionally religious:

“It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”

But the worst one is this:

Charles Darwin:

“The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for 
the existence of God.”

If you know anything about Darwin, you’ll smell this quote as fishy.  It reeks of being ripped out of context, just as creationists misuse Darwin’s quote about the absurdity of assuming that the eye could have evolved. Darwin was a nonbeliever: an agnostic at best, perhaps even an atheist.  So let’s look at this quote in context. According to the Darwin Correspondence Project, it’s from a letter written by Darwin to N. D. Doedes on April 2, 1873.  Here’s the whole letter, with the entire discussion in bold (the part quoted in HuffPo is underlined)

Dear Sir

I am much obliged for the photograph of yourself and friend.I am sure that you will excuse my writing at length, when I tell you that I have long been much out of health, and am now staying away from my home for rest. It is impossible to answer your question briefly; and I am not sure that I could do so, even if I wrote at some length. But I may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide. I am aware that if we admit a first cause, the mind still craves to know whence it came and how it arose. Nor can I overlook the difficulty from the immense amount of suffering through the world. I am, also, induced to defer to a certain extent to the judgment of the many able men who have fully believed in God; but here again I see how poor an argument this is. The safest conclusion seems to be that the whole subject is beyond the scope of man’s intellect; but man can do his duty.

With my best wishes for your success in life, I remain, dear Sir, | Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin.

Note how not only the introduction to the quote is omitted, but, crucially, the quote given by HuffPo ends in a period, but Darwin goes on to question the very argument for God’s existence!  The semicolon and part after it is simply omitted.  And note how he brings in the existence of suffering as a counterbalance to God’s existence. This is classical Darwin, trying to avoid overt atheism without signing on to the idea of a personal God, or even a benevolent one.  When pressed, Darwin always punted and averred that it’s beyond our powers to judge. He was, like Attenborough, not fond of confrontation, especially about the idea of God.  His wife was religious, of course, and he also worried about religious opposition to his great ideas of evolution and natural selection.

HuffPo has simply done what creationists do: mined a Darwin quote to make it seem as if he believed in God.  It’s ridiculous, and whoever put those quotes together should be admonished. I’ll inform the editor of the science section, but I doubt that they’ll make any changes.

61 Comments

  1. Posted February 11, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I am offended! I demand that they remove it immediately!!

    ;-)

    /@

  2. Yi
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    What else are they able to do except telling lies?

  3. DiscoveredJoys
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Rather than a cunning plot it could be just sloppy journalism. There are plenty of deliberately mis-mined quotes out there for some journalist to snatch and fill up some pixels with.

    Lies, or uncritical plagiarism? Neither reflects well.

    • Posted February 11, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      In many instances of this kind of quote-mining the authors must realize the disingenuousness of what they’ve done. It’s so plain to see what Sagan meant by “spirituality.”

      I don’t deny that there are people who might be too thick to get it, but they really must be in the minority. It’s incomprehensible to me. People do this kind of thing and then try to pretend they’ve made a solid point. It’s like they’re trying to pull the wool over their own eyes, too.

      Infuriating.

      • Sastra
        Posted February 11, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        I think that the trick to pulling the wool over your own eyes is to assume that all similarities run deep. If one meaning of “spirituality” involves soaring feelings of wonder at the universe and another meaning of “spirituality” involves a belief that mind is a fundamental source of the universe then they must be connected. One entails the other. Convince yourself that being sloppy means that you’ve noticed a pattern.

        I used to use the term “spirituality” much as Sagan does in his quote. I no longer do. It’s not just that it’s likely to be misunderstood. It’s that it’s likely to be willfully and gratefully misunderstood by people eager to score points for their own beliefs by moving the semantic goalposts.

        • Posted February 11, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          Yes. Equivocation is a favorite, albeit dull and clunky, tool in the theist’s rhetorical toolbox.

      • DiscoveredJoys
        Posted February 12, 2012 at 6:02 am | Permalink

        Sad to say, there are many journalists out there whose primary aim is to ‘knock out 500 words under the heading of…’. The lack of truth or accuracy is merely collateral damage in the race to fill up the space between adverts.

        It’s one thing to cherish free speech, another to prostitute it.

        • Posted February 12, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

          True, the meeting of quotas/deadlines often means standards go right out the window. But cases like the Sagan quote above can’t, I don’t think, be dismissed as “merely collateral damage.” It shouldn’t take but more than one reading to understand Sagan’s real meaning.

      • Posted February 12, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        Never attribute to mendacity that which can adequately be explained by incompetence. That Darwin quote-mine seems to be very common. If you search Google for a section of that quote, you get 20,700 hits. If you add the all important “but”, that drops to 6,450 hits.

        The clown who put that together was probably using Google as his only source, and blindly repeated someone else’s lie.

        • Posted February 12, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say “never” assume mendacity over incompetence.

          But, okay. Even so, the Darwin quote is really the only one that can be adequately explained by incompetence.

        • Andrew G.
          Posted February 13, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

          “Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice”

  4. BilBy
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Ooh, that’s a beaut of a quote mine! Incidentally, I have had the Darwin ‘eye’ quote written on the top of an essay on evolution by a student – I think he felt it was a crisp little sarcastic bomb he could drop with impunity, having written an essay that kowtowed to scientific orthodoxy. I’m afraid I called him out on it in front of the class. He didn’t know the full quote of course, much to the amusement of the rest of the group.

  5. Greg Esres
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    “Why on earth do they keep dragging God into that section?”

    Probably because it drives up their hit count when people link to it. ;-)

    • Phil Loubere
      Posted February 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Precisely. Science sections have mostly been killed off in newspapers, and are in similar peril on news sites.

  6. Posted February 11, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    The Sagan quote is not awful, but the Einstein one is pretty unrepresentative, and the Darwin one is just awful. It’s the very opposite of what he was saying!

  7. Daryl
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Love the phrase “pulling an Ecklund”

  8. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Einstein said some very stupid things about religion. Here’s my favourite example:
    Religion and Science

    Now, even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies. Though religion may be that which determines the goal, it has, nevertheless, learned from science, in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment of the goals it has set up. But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

    You will not infrequently see the “lame & blind” quoted without context.
    .
    How stupid is this? Let me count the ways.

    * The realms of religion and science are clearly marked off? That sounds very NOMA. This is why we never have religious people claiming that science supports their theistic dogma and such.{/irony}

    * “Strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies” – Huh? What does science need from religion, except not to be persecuted?

    * Aspiration toward truth and understanding springs from the sphere of religion? I don’t think so.

    * “The faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason” – this is not “faith” in the religious sense, but a reasonable conclusion which may be drawn from over half a millenium of scientific investigation.

    That’s a lot of stupid to fit in just in one paragraph! I suggest this is a case of an expert in one subject being falsely looked to as an expert in a very different subject.

    • Sastra
      Posted February 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      I’ve seen that quote before and thought that (with the exception of the ‘faith’ in comprehensibility part) it made reasonable sense if, instead of “religion,” you substitute the term “ethics.” Or, perhaps, “philosophy.”

      Try it. When you read it over that way it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that this must be what Einstein really meant. He was defining humanist ethical impulses and goals as ‘religion.’ That fits.

    • Posted February 11, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      I think Einstein really did have a kind of “faith” in the orderliness of the universe. He was not just making the ordinary, empirically well-supported claim that the universe is lawful. He had faith that the universe was not merely lawful but that the laws should have had a particular kind of mathematical beauty and elegance. His general theory of relativity was an example of that kind of beauty. When he speaks about “god” and faith, I think he is usually referring to this sense of beauty.

      • Posted February 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        From the beginning of my awareness of science I have been amazed at the notion that reality corresponds with mathematics. However, this may itself be an illusion. After all, mathematics probably began with the need to make buildings, so it was created to correspond with reality.

        • Posted February 11, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

          Well, it’s not that surprising if the universe is itself purely a mathematical object. Max Tegmark proposes, physical existence is just a special case of mathematical existence. In this view, math is discovered, not invented. Tegmark has a site (more of a webpage than a blog I’d say).

          • Posted February 14, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

            Unfortunately, that neo-neo-Platonism is very ill-defined.

            And the reason mathematics applies to reality is because it doesn’t – it rather applies to our ideas about reality, which can use any tools available.

  9. Stonyground
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    In all the comings and goings that occur between the religious and the atheists, the continuous dishonesty of the religious side is one of the best arguments for atheism.

    • TnkAgn
      Posted February 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • Leon
      Posted February 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      +2

  10. Posted February 11, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    The Darwin quote seems fair to me. He is only describing the “chief argument”, and not saying that he is persuaded by it.

    • Posted February 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Only if you know the quote’s context. In isolation, for the uninitiated, it’s a very, very odorous – and odious — red herring.

      /@

    • Posted February 11, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      No, even in isolation, the meaning of the quote is clear and not misleading. Darwin is simply making a statement about an argument for God. Both theists and atheists make such statements without necessarily agreeing or disagreeing with the argument.

      I might say, “the chief argument for bombing Iran is to stop their uranium processing.” That would say nothing about whether I am for or against bombing Iran. I think that Jerry has gotten excited over nothing again.

      • Posted February 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

        It’s hard to believe you’re serious with this argument. As Jerry observed, removal of the semicolon changes the meaning and is pure dishonesty. It shows the intent of the writer is to deliberately mislead, do some pandering, and make a few bucks.

      • Posted February 12, 2012 at 4:06 am | Permalink

        Roger, you cannot say, “even in isolation, the meaning of the quote is clear and not misleading,” because you are already well aware of the context — as you go on to say!

        Anyone who doesn’t appreciate that will most likely take the statement at face value, rather than as a hypothetical — esp. if they’re theistic and thus likely to be misled by confirmation bias.

        /@

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 12, 2012 at 4:28 am | Permalink

        If you describe an argument, without further comment or qualification, there is a clear and strong implication that you agree with that argument. This is precisely why quote-mining – removing the originator’s comments which would reverse the meaning – is so fundamentally dishonest and objectionable. It’s misrepresentation of a person’s position.

        And the “quote” from Darwin is a classic example of that. It stinks.

      • Kevin
        Posted February 12, 2012 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        It’s a clear misrepresentation of the man’s thoughts.

        You’re wrong. You will never be right.

        End of discussion.

  11. Frank
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    THANK YOU very much for tracking down that Darwin quote. I saw the HuffPost slide show and indeed KNEW that it was fishy, but couldn’t imagine where they got it. This is perhaps an even more insidious example of willful distortion than the famous “eyes are impossible” quote.

    • Kevin
      Posted February 12, 2012 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Of course, this is the way Victorians spoke. They formulated the argument of the “other” side, then proceeded to explain why something was or was not so.

      To propose that the argument (of the opposition) represents the man’s views would be akin to quoting Newt Gingrich as saying this about President Obama: “I think he worked very hard at being a person who is normal, reasonable, moderate, bipartisan, transparent, accommodating.”

      The quote is accurate — but leaves out Newt’s final clause of the sentence. Which I won’t quote.

  12. David Leech
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    It’s doubly dishonest as ‘appeals to authority’ should have no place in science. Nullius in verba.

  13. Shelldigger
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Lying creationists lying again. Move along, nothing to see here.

    While many of us are aware of blogs like this, that tend to correct these assholes constantly. It would be nice if it could be done on a much grander scale, to reach the masses. Yes, we who frequent Weit/Pharyngula/PT etc, are aware, but so many more need to be reached…

    I wish every time ignorant tripe is brought to light, that the creationist loons who buy into the nonsense were slapped upside the head with some cold hard facts. Hell, show it on the 5:00 news. Show it again at 10:00. Send it to every media outlet known and let the world see what you guys are dealing with each and every day.

    I know I wish for too much…but damn.

  14. GBJames
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Why do religious apologists have so much trouble with that “no false witness” commandment?

    • Chris Booth
      Posted February 12, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Its very simple. Commandments say “thou shalt not”, which means that it applies to others. Commandments do not say “I shall not”. So they behave the way they do, with unending dishonesty, fraud, and hypocrisy.

      • GBJames
        Posted February 12, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        You may be on to something there!

  15. Posted February 11, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Atheist Den and commented:
    One common fallacious apologist argument is the appeal to authority. In this fallacy, one brings up experts in particular fields or people of otherwise high repute, pointing to them and saying in essence, “Well they say this is true and they know more than us, so it must be true!”

    One of the most common apologist uses of the appeal to authority is to point to scientists who believe in God. Sometimes, as with Isaac Newton, they are correct about a scientist’s beliefs, although this doesn’t remedy the fallacy. (Newton believed in all kinds of crazy crap, and what, in the first place, qualifies a scientist – or anyone for that matter – as an “expert” on whether gods exist?). Unfortunately, however, the deliberately dishonest misrepresentation of clearly atheist/agnostic scientists as believers happens all too often, as apologists engage in out-of-context quote mining to distort the original words for their own agenda, Albert Einstein being victim number one.

    In this blog piece, Jerry Coyne breaks down a recent Huffington Post slideshow which features some classis examples of such quote mining.

  16. G
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Nice job setting the record straight. So much for HuffPo “journalism”.

  17. Julien Rousseau
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like they are mining the Eddington concession with their Darwin quote.

    Also, didn’t Sagan say in the Demon Haunted world that when he used the word spiritual he didn’t mean anything supernatural given that the word spiritual comes from spirit which comes from the latin for breath, a purely material phenomenom.

    This would mean that the Sagan quote about spirituality has nothing to do with religion or anything supernatural, unlike what they try to portray here.

  18. Posted February 11, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    What I don’t get is why there’s the need to quotemine. There are plenty of religious and spiritual prominent scientists throughout the ages that finding quotes in context and representative of their views. Why try to paint scientists as saying something they aren’t?

    • Posted February 11, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Because theists think they’ve accomplished an extra-special “Gotcha!!!” by “quoting” thinkers they know atheists look up to.

      Also, deep, deep down, they might even realize their own authorities aren’t making valid arguments.

      • Posted February 12, 2012 at 3:44 am | Permalink

        “Also, deep, deep down, they might even realize their own authorities aren’t making valid arguments.”
        hahahahahahaha, yeah right!
        :(

        • Posted February 12, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          Oh, I know there’s no shortage of wooly-brained theists who have total confidence in their “arguments.”

          But I really do think there are also many who pledge allegiance to theism only on the surface, and try very hard to ignore what they might be sensing deep, deep down. For instance, people who would always opt for going to the doctor over staying home and praying super-duper hard.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 12, 2012 at 4:38 am | Permalink

        I’ve even seen Richard Dawkins quote-mined (by some Goddist in an on-line argument with me). I’d read The Blind Watchmaker by then so I knew the quotemine had to be BS.

        And I’m sure it’s what JS1685 said – the ‘gotcha’ factor. Same motive that inspires William Lane Craig wanting to debate RD.

        In a way, it’s just the Goddists trying to get their own back. Since the Bible is such an incoherent mess one can find a quote (*absolutely in-context*) to support or contradict anything, they try to do the same with atheist / evolutionary icons. Unfortunately for them, the writing of Darwin / Dawkins / Jerry etc tends to be coherent and consistent, so the only way they can find what they want is to quote out of context.

  19. BillyJoe
    Posted February 12, 2012 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    There is a lesson here for all atheist:

    Do not use the words “god”, “spiritual”, and “religious”, to describe your views becasue you will always be misunderstood or misrepresented.

    • GBJames
      Posted February 12, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      I don’t think word-avoidance will help. You will be misunderstood or misrepresented even if you don’t use the words.

      • Leon
        Posted February 14, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        True, but we don’t need to give them extra ammunition. I’m with BillyJoe on this one.

  20. Posted February 12, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    “admonished” is only 1/2 of what I think should be expected. The other half is a demand to explain WHY it was done.

  21. Kharamatha
    Posted February 12, 2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    That’s no quotemining. Darwin never wrote that period, thus it’s an incorrect quote, context or no context.

  22. Screechy Monkey
    Posted February 12, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I have a quibble with the Sagan quote you provided:

    “But religions are tough. Either they make no contentions which are subject to disproof or they quickly redesign doctrine after disproof.”

    Isn’t “redesigning doctrine after disproof” what we WANT them to do? Isn’t it what we say is good about science?

    I suspect that what Sagan meant is that they “redesign” not in the sense of admitting error and honestly revising doctrine to account for new facts, but rather in the sense of claiming that they really meant something else all along (“oh, no SOPHISTICATED theologist ever claimed that [the Earth was 6,000 years old; Adam and Eve were actual people; etc.]”).

  23. Claimthehighground
    Posted February 13, 2012 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    In a debate, Prof. Jerry Coyne could say, “If a man says, ‘I believe in God’, he is making a personal belief statement and not a statement based on evidence.”

    The HuffPo quote: Prof. Jerry Coyne, noted atheist stated in his recent debate, “I believe in God.”

    That would put you right up there with Sagan and Einstein and Darwin, oh my.

  24. Posted February 13, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I was under the impression that Sagan stopped short of explicitly declaring himself an atheist. From what I remember – and I could be wrong about this – he had some concern with the implication that the nonexistence of gods was something that could actually be known.

    Still, nothing in his writings or public remarks could lead anyone to a good-faith belief that Sagan was in any way religious, so this may well be splitting hairs.

  25. Toiletman
    Posted February 13, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    It’s of course nonsense and very dishonest and even if the words were not taken out of context, they would not forward their agenda at all as their agenda is to forward a very specific god. Darwin seemed to be half-assed unitarian universalist with doubts at the end of his life. A kind of “religion”(maybe rather just group who shares some supernatural beliefs) I can still tolerate as they do not deny reality.

  26. ckerst
    Posted February 14, 2012 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    Why would anyone read the Huffington Post?
    It’s terrible writing by talentless drones.
    When I saw that they feature Deepok Chopra I left the sight and never returned. I don’t watch Dylan Ratigan for the same reason, I don’t waste my time on fools.

  27. derekw
    Posted February 14, 2012 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    What is the story behind the following quote from Darwin? The first edition apparently did not have ‘Creator’ but he included it in all his following editions (2nd through 6th?)
    There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

    • Leon
      Posted February 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Dawkins talks about that in a footnote at the end of his book “The Greatest Show on Earth”. He added it to the second and subsequent editions under pressure from religious figures. Late in life he wrote that he regretted doing so.

  28. Michael Simpson
    Posted February 14, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    HuffPo has been frequently described as one of the worst anti-science websites. It focuses on an almost New Age/Postmodernism without a critical, scientific point-of view makes me doubt almost every editorial comment they make despite my be a liberal nut job too.

    This type of quote mining is what the anti-vaccination lunatics, evolution denialists, and other anti-science cretins use.


3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Why is Evolution True blog posted a critical analysis of the quote mining:  HuffPo Science section engages in dishonest quote mining.  My favorite is the section about Albert […]

  2. […] Why Evolution is True accuses the Huffington Post of quote mining. […]

  3. […] HuffPo Science section engages in dishonest quote mining (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com) […]

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