The disagreement between George Borjas and me on the desirability of guest workers is an interesting one to expand upon, not because this will change either one of our minds, but because it may help others evaluate their own views.
This point about the usefulness of conversation is often lost by the interlocutors. The ones engaged in debate often feel like they’re in it to win when in fact their debate is most useful to the spectators still forming their opinions.
This may be the kernel of my concerns about the way science is communicated to the lay public. Often, we’re given “the truth” as determined by science rather than exposed to the real debates raging in science; we don’t get to see the scientific method in progress and we don’t get to learn how to think like a scientists. When Dawkins, or whoever, attacks IDers they come off as dogmatic as the IDers themselves. Certainly, Dawkins isn’t going to change the mind of the IDers and spectators of the debate learn nothing except the fact that Dawkins is a jerk.
I think this was the point I was trying to make a couple years ago:
there’s a fine line between legit criticism of evolution and wacko/nut job criticism. I think your tone in this debate turns off lay-people because in attacking the latter, you appear to be attacking the former. It feels like you’re making evolution sacrosanct, impervious to criticism. Let us peer into your world. Show us how you investigate inconsistencies or vagaries in the theory. Instruct us on how one thinks critically about evolution. Please don’t lecture us about how wrong ID’ers are and how they are whack-jobs. We know this. Instead, show us the beauty of your subject and in the light of its beauty, the crazy talk will become self-evident.