The Dunning-Kruger-Schilling Effect

Here’s a rule that athletes, actors, musicians — hell, everyone — ought to follow: If you aren’t educated on a subject, shut the fuck up about it. You’re only going to make yourself sound like an idiot. Retired baseball pitcher Curt Schilling provided a perfect demonstration of the Dunning-Kruger effect on his Twitter feed earlier this week:

He then shared a link to a Youtube clip of some very odd bloke blathering incoherently about evolution for an hour and a half. And then:

Seriously, Curt. You were a great pitcher. You’re headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame. But you don’t know fuckall about this subject and you’re just making a fool of yourself.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • teawithbertrand

    The best part about the “if we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?’ argument is the subtext of it that reads “I’m so fucking stupid that I think every scientist in the world is ignorant of the existence of monkeys (and apes)”.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Curt Schilling, the Jenny McCarthy of evolution.

  • moarscienceplz

    Here’s a rule that athletes, actors, musicians — hell, everyone — ought to follow: If you aren’t educated on a subject, shut the fuck up about it.

    IMHO many artists and athletes shouldn’t even be interviewed about their subject of expertise. Most of ’em just don’t have the verbal skills to express themselves well. I’ve seen far too many interviews where a famous dancer or painter just drones on and on. If they were good at expressing themselves verbally they probably wouldn’t have chosen a non-verbal medium to express themselves in.

    I heard a rather amusing confirmation of this just a few days ago. Two DJs at a rock oriented radio station were talking about lyrics and one of them mentioned that when she asks musicians what a certain line in their song means, they will often say, “I don’t know. It just sounded good.”

  • scienceavenger

    I, Joe Schmo, having no particular training in this field, nonetheless, after minutes of intense thought, have noticed something I assume every expert dedicating his life to the study of this subject has failed to notice, and conclude the entire field is bogus.

    Or put another way, hey Mr. Schilling, show me ONE example, ANWHERE in the world since the scientific revolution, where some random dumbass like you contributed something of value to any scientific subject long and widely studied.

    I’ll wait…

  • gshelley

    It also suggests all they know about common descent is that we evolved from apes. I don’t think I have ever seen someone say “Hey, if we evolved from fish, why are there still fish?”

    Though I don’t know if that’s because they don’t know this, or because it is such an obviously stupid question that even an idiot who totally misunderstands evolution can see it is ridiculous

  • alanb

    Hey, elitist Mr. scienceavenger who probably eats arugula, I’ll have you know that I refutiated Einstein’s theory of relativity just last night. All you need to do is use common sense while will beat your fancy-schmancy edumacation every time.

  • Randomfactor

    Isn’t it likely that the missing link between apes and humans is baseball players?

  • scienceavenger

    News Flash, common sense used to refute global warming.

    Wow, evolution, relativity and global warming, smashed in a matter of days. Look out quantum physics, common sense is coming for you.

  • scienceavenger

    If Millenials evolved from Baby Boomers, why are there still Baby Boomers?

  • John Pieret

    you don’t know fuckall about this subject and you’re just making a fool of yourself.

    Well, if he has evolved into a fool, how come fools still exist? Answer me that Mr. Smartypants!!!

  • colnago80

    I really wish folks would stop falling for the canard that humans evolved from apes. The implication is that we evolved from present day apes like chimps. The correct response is that apes and humans evolved from ape-like creatures 6 million years ago, which have long since gone extinct.

  • colnago80

    If science was about common sense, quantum mechanics would have been discarded long ago. There is nothing commonsensical about

    QM. To quote Steven Weinberg, QM is a preposterous theory which, unfortunately, appears to be correct.

  • dmcclean

    I saw a comment on some forum thread about this that said: “I once saw a workhorse evolve into a jackass.”

  • smrnda

    I’m going to ask a few evolutionary biologists about pitching a baseball. If Schilling thinks this is a bad idea, then I think he knows why nobody should take him seriously on science.

  • Francisco Bacopa

    The best response to “Why are there still monkeys?” is this: “If you are descended from your grandparents why do you have cousins?”

  • http://dontlinkmebro F [i’m not here, i’m gone]

    Show me ONE fossil, ANWHERE in the world that is a “miss”, a creature in between two creatures as it evolved? Doesn’t exist.

    Every single fossil ever? If that gets boring, there are living ‘transitional forms’ everywhere. Just look around you.

  • Artor

    Here is an athlete waxing prosaic on his subject of expertise. Take special notice of his eloquence.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJdF8DJ70Dc

  • http://www.facebook.com/teve.tory Teve Tory

    if americans came from europeans, why are there still europeans?

  • freehand

    “Show me ONE fossil, ANWHERE in the world that is a “miss”, a creature in between two creatures as it evolved? Doesn’t exist.”

    .

    Ummm. Unless they went extinct, every fossil is transitional.

    .

    The youth director of my SBC church once explained at us: “If evolution were true, we might have evolved on Mars, but then we’d all be dead!” I felt a by-then familiar horror clutching in my mind as I realized that he thought he was making some kind of “gotcha” point. Although I admit there are probably few scientists who have considered this …aspect of their theory. What I found even more disturbing were the other teens sitting around me, nodding their heads sagely as though they understood what he was thinking, and thought it profound.

  • gshelley

    @11

    Humans did evolve from apes. As did chimpanzees, gorillas and orang utans. Just because people misunderstand this doesn’t mean it isn’t right.

  • lvap

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone know what experiments he’s talking about? You’d think that if the theory was disproven 1000 times we’d know about it.

  • tfkreference

    I went to the link that scienceavenger provided at 8. A little ways down the page, my iPhone’s browser went blank and I couldn’t read any more of it. I refreshed and the same thing happened.

    It really is a smartphone.

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    @20

    Humans did evolve from apes. As did chimpanzees, gorillas and orang utans. Just because people misunderstand this doesn’t mean it isn’t right.

    Indeed. If a living specimen of the last common ancestor* of humans and chimpanzees wandered out of the forest tomorrow, there would be no question of not classifying it as an ape.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    The reason why creationists keep using the “why are there still monkeys?” argument is because they still have this picture in their minds that evolution means that one day, chimps started giving birth to humans or to some kind of human-chimp hybrids. It doesn’t matter how many times we explain to them that isn’t the case, it’s what they still picture. That’s why Kirk Cameron thinks his crocoduck drawing is such a trump card.

  • kosk11348

    Shilling is very good at deluding himself about his own competence. Despite having no experience as a video game developer, Curt Shilling also started a game company–38 Studios, which successfully secured a $75 million from the state of Rhode Island. After producing one title which saw moderate success, the company shut down, declared bankruptcy, and defaulted on its loan.

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com cycleninja

    Why Schilling has a job with ESPN is a mystery to me. He’s one of the most disliked baseball players of recent memory, and he’s radioactive on Twitter because of stupid shit like this.