I got this from a gazillion readers, but the first two to inform me were Jason and Scott, with thanks to all the rest. But the story isn’t pretty. Curt Shilling was a great pitcher who played with the Red Sox, the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Philadelphia Phillies. Since 2010 he’s been a broadcast analyst for the sports network ESPN, with a break for treatment for mouth cancer, caused by his constant use of smokeless tobacco (the powdery stuff you use like chewing tobacco).
He may have been a great player and now a good broadcaster, but he doesn’t know squat about evolution. Nevertheless, he’s been tw**ting about it constantly, getting into something I cannot abide: Twi**er fights. Here are some of his tw**ts, and you can see more at Deadspin.
Oy gewalt, he’s fallen for that old chestnut? Why are there still apes?
I’m not sure what he means by “misses,” but there are plenty of fossils of creatures that went extinct without leaving descendants (trilobites are a famous case). And of course we have gazillions of transitional forms; you should all know about these by now.
Well, Schilling’s clearly an ignorant creationist (I’d like to send him my book), and so deserves some correction.
Unfortunately, that correction came from his ESPN colleague, senior baseball writer (and Harvard grad) Keith Law, who engaged in a twi**ter battle with Schilling and others, ardently defending evolution. Here are some of the exchanges, and Deadspin has another article showing more of them:
Law’s last comment is very good, but of course if Twi**er allowed more characters he could have explained about transitional forms, like “dino-birds” with teeth and feathers.
But after this social-media fracas ESPN suspended Law from using Twi**er (we don’t know how long the ban will last). Now it’s not clear whether evolution had anything to do with this: as awfulannouncing.com reports, ESPN denies it:
ESPN has issued the following statement to AA on Law’s suspension:
“Keith’s Twitter suspension had absolutely nothing to do with his opinions on the subject.”
But that wording suggests that ESPN suspended him simply for squabbling with Schilling. What other reason could there be for a Twi**er suspension? But that’s not fair, either, for Schilling was also engaged in that squabble. Right now, it’s a mystery, but if “squabbling” is the cause, Schilling should be suspended—and longer, because of his science denialism and embarrassing ignorance!
If you still want to complain to ESPN, or defend Law’s right to tw**t about what is, after all, scientific truth, there’s a simple form here (you needn’t register, just fill in the form and give them a piece of your mind). I think it’s important to let this important t.v. network know that defending good science is not something that deserves censorship.
h/t: Jason, Scott