Michael Egnor. Who?

In the back-channels here on Scienceblogs and on Panda’s Thumb we were discussing the pros and cons of paying so much attention to one Dr.Michael Egnor, a new creationist shill for the Discovery Institute. Yes, it feels like a tremendous waste of time to debunk incredibly stupid (and incredibly old and well-worn and well-debunked) claims of a very minor figure in the anti-Enlightenment movement.
But, who knows, one day he may appear in MSM (you know how they like to show “both sides” of everything!) and some journalist (or just interested people) will like to know who this Michael Egnor is.
What’s the first thing the journalist will do? Go to Google, of course, and search for Michael Egnor on Google Web Search and/or Google Blog Search. If you do the same, you will see there is quite a lot about him as a surgeon, and quite a lot written by Creationists in his support. What is the journalist (or interested person) to do? Believe that crap? Well, no. Because science bloggers have spent time debunking his arguments, about a third of all hits on Google searches are to their blog posts, exposing him for an ignorant witch-doctor as he is. Unfortunately, it appears that Google treats Scienceblogs.com as one blog an thus shows only two posts from here instead of something like 40.
So, to help those blog posts out and make sure that more of them show up on Google searches, here is a nice sampling of the best:
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9 responses to “Michael Egnor. Who?

  1. This post is now #1 on Google Blogsearch and Google News. That should do it…

  2. Michael Suttkus, II

    If I may say so, the first entry on the list ought not to be just a list of “doctors to avoid”. While useful in it’s own right, any of the aforementioned journalists scanning through the list and starting at the top might decide the list has no useful information, given the first item amounts to “BAD GUYS!”
    I mean, I know doctor’s espousing creationism is a bad idea, but I think the first item on the list should demonstrate this fact, not just build from the conclusion.

  3. I tried to do it more-or-less chronologically, but I can certainly mix em up and have that one come up later.

  4. It doesn’t matter to search engines, but humans might appreciate knowing where each link actually points, something like the following:

    Michael Egnor. “Dr Michael Egnor challenges evolution!” (Pharyngula).

  5. George Dickeson

    If I were a Google engineer and I was working on the problem of subverting the attempts of Google Bombers, I think that searching for blog posts that contain the same linked text string over and over again would be a good place to start.
    Just saying.
    That said, I’m sure that the attentions scienceblogs have given Egnor will do enough to alter the search results favorably.
    At the moment however, the second entry in a Google search is for nymag article on the best doctors of 2005. Which is a bit scary to say the least.

  6. It’s working!
    Not bad after only one day.

  7. A little anecdote … you supply the relevance and/or meaning …
    Around 1980, I sat next to my Florida newspaper’s religion editor. Her knee was giving her trouble, so she was referred to an orthopedic surgeon, who operated, the surgery was successful, she returned to work.
    Creationism had just begun to become newsworthy and controversial, and to research stories about creationism’s growning impact on education, my colleague was in regular phone contact with the USA’s most well-known creationism organization, in southern California.
    Grateful for their cooperation, she nevertheless wanted the local angle, and asked her Los Angeles creationist contact if creationism had a spokesperson closer to our newspaper.
    He did indeed, and gave her the name and phone number of the orthopedic surgeon who’d recently been carving around inside her leg.

  8. Woo hoo! I made the list!

  9. Logically speaking, we shouldn’t base the value of every piece of a scientist’s work based upon one sub-section of his work. For example, just b/c an orthopedist doesn’t believe in evolution doesn’t mean he’s unable to preform surgery properly. However, in practice humans only have a finite number of processor ability, so to economize we definitely do find generalizations to be useful. Just like stereotypes have their uses at times, we must also be aware of the limitations and MAJOR drawbacks to many stereotypes and similarly we must be aware that even creationists can sometimes find a blind nut. Um…. You know what I mean…