Chris Mooney, author of “The Republican War on Science” has an interesting piece online at Science Progress, titled, “Enablers: Sometimes Refuting Unscientific Nonsense Reinforces It”. In it, he argues that time spent arguing with anti-Evolutionists, or Global Warming skeptics could be better used promoting accurate and real science, rather than refuting unscientific information:

“The reason is that if you actually bother to rebut the Heartlands and Discoverys of the world, you instantly enter into a discourse on their own terms. The strategic framing these groups employ to attack mainstream science heavily features the rhetoric of scientific uncertainty–and so if you try to answer their arguments, you’re inevitably committed to conveying more abstruse technical information and, thus, more uncertainty as soon as they wail back at you (which they thoroughly enjoy doing).”

He also notes that journalists love a controversy, so by engaging in arguments, you bring more attention to the anti-science viewpoint. I think he’s right in a lot of ways. So much of the science blogosphere seems to be endless tedious refutations of creationist posturing that 1) I have no interest in reading, and 2) seem to only draw more attention (and higher Google rankings) to that posturing. Obviously we can’t let anti-science forces be the only voice heard, but aren’t there more positive ways we can engage the public, rather than constantly engaging in back-and-forth bickering?