The atheist community seems to have a great deal of respect for the “hard” sciences – biology, physics, etc. However, the social sciences seem to be some sort of crazy mystery or something.
If someone went on an atheist forum and said something to the effect that there is no such thing as a “transitional form” – probably someone would correct them politely (for the 180th time). If the person persisted even after he was corrected, and accused everyone of being brainwashed, etc – then that person would be considered disruptive to the forum even if the person was never really really awful. Right?
Now, on the social science side, you’ll have someone saying that stereotype threat doesn’t exist, there is no such thing as patriarchy (that the concept was invented by feminists who all believe that women have zero social power), or that transgender people “go against nature” – blah blah blah. I mean, they might as well have said that the moon is made of cheese from the perspective of someone who actually seriously studies these things.
So, the same rules apply, and I’ve seen (even on the not-so-civil PZ blog) people send these folks to study after study and various educational websites and such; but there is no budging.
The atheist community at large (and especially the skeptics) have been pretty harsh with denialists, if those denialists are denying something hard science came up with. However, social science denial is treated like they just decided they don’t like modern art or something.
This is the same old thing, where some people see hard science as strictly FACT (completely and perfectly objective) and social science as strictly VALUE (completely devoid of being able to know or not know anything at all).
Unfortunately, the folks who are attempting to have an honest conversation are being confused with proactive denialists and categorical anti-feminists. Just like someone who might want to have an honest discussion about irreducible complexity might be confused with a proactive evolution denialist and categorical anti-science zealot. (That isn’t an easy problem to fix.)
On the flip side, those who refuse to “admit” that the gender wage gap in the U.S. is a myth and Title IX is bad because it hurts boys, are accused of being vapid echo-chamber brainwashed feminazis.
And talking about social science – oh what a waste of time! Next, you’ll be caring about people’s feelings.