Discovery Institute: Casey is Flipped the Bird

A FEW DAYS ago we posted: Discovery Institute: IDEA Clubs Flopped? In that post we mentioned that there was one event event scheduled for 20 February at the University of Oklahoma, sponsored by what seemed to be the only functioning IDEA club in existence. We said:

Casey Luskin, co-founder of the IDEA Center, will present “The Truth about Kitzmiller v. Dover and Academic Freedom.” Luskin is coauthor of “Traipsing into Evolution: Intelligent Design and the Kitzmiller v. Dover Decision.”

It seems that the event was actually held. There’s a strange report about it at the blog of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids): Civility of Darwinists Lacking at Academic Freedom on Evolution Event in Oklahoma.

The blog article consists primarily of an email report sent in to creationist headquarters — oops, we mean the Discoveroid think tank — by Casey. Since it’s from Casey you know it’s accurate in every detail.

Alas, we’re not told how many people attended this event. Our guess is six, perhaps seven, but one never knows. Casey says, with bold added by us:

Pro-Evolution Blogger Abbie Smith Flipped Me Off on Friday Night, and Here’s the Story

For you gentle souls who may not understand Casey’s expression, and who thus fail to grasp the horror he experienced, we’ll give you a reference: the finger. Let’s read on:

University of Oklahoma (OU) graduate student and science-blogger Abbie Smith flipped me off during my talk about academic freedom at the University of Oklahoma on Friday night.

We have no idea who Abbie Smith is. She and Casey were apparently arguing about how someone was being treated on Abbie Smith’s blog. This is not a major issue in the world of science, but it’s a big deal to Casey.

We continue with Casey’s report:

At one point Abbie said something about being banned from Bill Dembski’s blog. But since I know nothing about the circumstances of this event, I couldn’t really comment.

This stuff is important! Casey continues describing his dramatic exchange with Abbie Smith — entirely from his side, of course — and then he concludes with this:

Thus ended our dialogue. And as Abbie walked away, she flipped me off.

Wow! Where’s Ben Stein when we need him?

Update: Be sure to see: Hey Casey!

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

44 responses to “Discovery Institute: Casey is Flipped the Bird

  1. I looooove Abbie (ERV). If you don’t read her blog – you should.

    She live blogged the event – here you go.

    http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2009/02/casey_luskin.php

  2. OMFG LOL!

    Thank you!! Seriously, that put this into perspective PERFECTLY!

  3. Shit, also, TITS! *flips everyone off*

  4. I also want to vouch for Abbie’s expertise in virology and in dismantling creationist arguments. The latter typically with a generous serving of LOLspeak.

  5. ERV says: “Thank you!! Seriously, that put this into perspective PERFECTLY!”

    But I didn’t have the advantage of being there.

  6. James says: “I also want to vouch for Abbie’s expertise …”

    Always good to meet a fellow conspirator.

  7. And I’ll vouch for her ability to ridicule Behe and her love of dogs, particularly her pit bull.

  8. The “controversy” hasn’t had such a moment of merriment since the Dover decision.

  9. Of course he complains about the suppression of dialog from the safety of a site that doesn’t allow comments.

  10. Well, I don’t allow any creationism here. But we do have comments.

  11. I was actually at the event (I’m a student at OU) and Abbie’s behaviour was pretty unacceptable. I thought it was good that she went up to the question mic which was used after the talk to defend herself and her position (and the reason Casey mentioned her was because he obviously knew she was going to attend the event and that she was a local evolution blogger), however she started taking up time and wasn’t really getting anywhere. Then she walked back to her chair after sarcastically saying “I forgive you Casey” and gave him the finger.

    Abbie seemed to really know her stuff, and she also seems to be very well versed in her work as a grad student at OU, but behaving like that at an academic setting nullifies her credibility.

  12. Tucker says:

    Abbie seemed to really know her stuff, and she also seems to be very well versed in her work as a grad student at OU, but behaving like that at an academic setting nullifies her credibility.

    I guess it depends on whether you prefer style or substance.

  13. Describing a talk by Casey Luskin as “an academic setting” seems a bit of a stretch.

  14. You think that’s unacceptable behavior, check this out:

    The [Dover] verdict turned out to be more controversial than Judge Jones had imagined. Following the trial, he received death threats. Jones and his family had to be placed under round-the-clock protection.

  15. James, it’s true that Judge Jones received death threats. And as I wrote in The Ugly Face of Creationism, Robert Pennock received threats after testifying at the Dover trial. But that’s okay, because the creationists were merely exhibiting their righteous frustration at the evils of “Darwinism.”

    All that’s behind us now. We finally have the best reason of all for teaching creationism and rejecting evolution — Abbie shot a bird at Casey! Case closed.

  16. Judge Jones recieving death threats is terrible and inexcusable, but has nothing to do with the talk on friday. And yes, I would consider an event where people hold lectures at a university an academic event. And what does this have to do with rejecting evolution Curmudgeon? Abbie behaved inappropriately at a setting which was supposed to be civil. I was even one of the people that yelled out to let her ask her question. But point remains, you don’t give people the finger, it’s rude, it’s disrespectful, and it should be beyond the maturity level of a grad student.

  17. Tucker says: “But point remains, you don’t give people the finger, it’s rude …”

    Fine. That’s your point. It’s what any rational observer would regard as an extremely trivial point. You really ought to get over it.

    What if Isaac Newton went around giving everyone the finger? So what? His laws of motion are fine, and his alchemy was ridiculous, and it’s irrelevant whether he gave anyone the finger.

    And what if Charles Darwin led an absolutely exemplary life — which he did — and never flipped a bird at anyone — which he probably didn’t. Again, so what? There are still creationists running around … well, you know all that.

  18. One has to admire the “economy” of Creationoid logic:

    Darwin Believer makes “rude gesture” => Darwin Believer’s arguments in support of Evolution are null and void.

    To quote Mark Twain:

    …. one gets such wholesale returns out of such a trivial investment in fact.

  19. Longie says: “Darwin Believer makes “rude gesture” => Darwin Believer’s arguments in support of Evolution are null and void.”

    One shudders to think of the scientific consequences if Abbie had mooned the guy.

  20. Lol…I never said that her views (credibility is a different word…look it up) were null and void. She’s a smart girl, she was just rude. That was all I was saying. How can that be turned into:

    ” One has to admire the “economy” of Creationoid logic:

    Darwin Believer makes “rude gesture” => Darwin Believer’s arguments in support of Evolution are null and void.”

    And Curmudgeon, the only point I’m trying to make here is that I think she would have won over more of the crowd if she had behaved differently.

    But I think this is my last post, because apparently I’m a creationist wacko if I don’t flail my arms in the air praising Abbie and think that Casey Luskin is a huge jerk.

  21. scratch that, not views, arguments.

    I never said her arguments were bad.

  22. How is it not rude for Casey Luskin to waste everyone’s time telling lies about science? Mr. Luskin has earned a lot more than just being flipped off once in a while.

  23. Lol…I never said that her views (credibility is a different word…look it up) were null and void. She’s a smart girl, she was just rude. That was all I was saying. How can that be turned into:

    One has to admire the “economy” of Creationoid logic:

    Darwin Believer makes “rude gesture” => Darwin Believer’s arguments in support of Evolution are null and void.

    What the poster actually wrote was:

    … but behaving like that at an academic setting nullifies her credibility.

    So, if her action (rude gesture) nullifies her “credibility,” then it follows that she isn’t credible. If she’s not credible, then her arguments aren’t credible (or if you stipulate that her arguments ARE credible, then you must accept that SHE is credible, in spite of her rude gesture, which falsifies your assertion that her gesture nullified her credibility.)

    Hence, my original paraphrasing of the Creationist logic:

    “rude getsure => null & void arguments”

    is, for all practical purposes, a fair and accurate summary of the argument being made. For those keeping score, this argument (that a rude gesture implies nullified credibility) is a variant of the logical fallacy argumentum ad hominem — that because the arguer is a bad person (because he/she makes rude gestures, looks at smutty pictures, doesn’t bathe frequently, etc.) ergo, we may summarily ignore the factual substantive points of his/her argument.

    This concludes my only response to this bit of rhetorical tap dancing; if someone wants to sympathy for their word games, they can go look for it in a dictionary, between “sh*t” and “syphilis” …..

    My work is done.

  24. Longie says: “My work is done.”

    If crudity were the indicator of credibility, you would be forever surrounded by skeptics.

  25. Tucker:

    If you consider Abbie’s behavior unacceptable, then what about past online antics courtesy of DI mendacious intellectual pornographers Michael Behe and Bill Dembski against their foes, including both Abbie and yours truly?

    [Loads of text deleted.]

    Abbie may act a bit immature at times, but her behavior is far, far better than anything I have seen or heard from the likes of Behe, Dembski, Casey Luskin, and the rest of their fellow Dishonesty Institute mendacious intellectual pornographers.

    Respectfully yours,

    John

  26. Tucker:

    I just sent this to Casey Luskin:

    Casey:

    Last summer I posted these sad, but true, observations at one of Amazon’s sites (see below). Before whining further about Abbie Smith’s behavior, how about these from our mutual “pal” Bill Dembski:

    [Loads of text deleted.]

    Respectfully yours,

    John Kwok

  27. John Kwok, I like having you as a visitor and a commenter at this blog, but I’m going to draw the line at letting you post allegations about Casey, Behe, or Dembski. All that you say is likely true, but it doesn’t belong here. My heavy-handedness is nothing personal. I’m not taking sides in the matter you’d like to discuss. Everyone knows my opinion of creationists’ integrity. But I’m just keeping my humble blog out of the line of fire. When some dispute involves me, my behavior will be quite unrestrained.

    Addendum: If you have a published news story about such allegations, that’s different. We can quote the media’s account of the allegations. But I’m talking about news — not blog chatter. News is welcome here. Especially news that exposes creationist mendacity. Also welcome would be any confessions published at the confessor’s own blog. Otherwise, I don’t want it here.

  28. mightyfrijoles

    Sometimes getting a bird is not so bad. After all if some dimwit knows nothing about the subject and insists on sticking his nose in your face, some reaction is deserved.

    Case in point, and I think quite germaine,

    http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/blog/the_dagger/post/Watch-as-Jim-Calhoun-emasculates-an-activist-rep;_ylt=AkHJvLp.WOmoWUgQ0dn8JlzevbYF?urn=ncaab,143147

  29. Curmudgeon,

    I wish you hadn’t edited my posts, simply because people need to know what a bizarre, unethical Xian fanatic Dishonesty Institute mendacious intellectual pornographer Bill Dembski is. Moreover, much of what I have reported has been posted elsewhere at reputable websites like Panda’s Thumb, and published too in publications like the Reports of the National Center for Science Education (The most recent issue mentions Abbie Smith’s 2007 exploits against Dembski in an article written by NCSE deputy director Glenn Branch.).

    Anyway, for those interested, I have reposted some of Dembski’s worst behavior in some of the comments listed following this US News and World Report essay written by eminent philosopher Robert Pennock:

    http://www.usnews.com/blogs/room-for-debate/2009/2/18/creation-of-christian-soldiers-a-chilling-sidelight-of-darwin-bashing/comments

    Under no circumstances should my reporting of Abbie Smith’s activities be construed as complete endorsement of her online and public behavior. In the recent past I have had to question some of her understanding of evolutionary biology as evidenced by several recent posts at her blog. Moreover, she seems to take special delight in attacking those who are religiously devout, which I believe is in error, simply because it plays into the hands of creationists who have tried arguing that “belief” in evolution means denial of GOD; an assertion which 54% of all evolutionary biologists who believe in GOD – according to a recent poll – would also reject.

    Respectfully yours,

    John Kwok

  30. I’d like to point out a little inconsistency:
    “But I’m talking about news — not blog chatter.”
    I’m afraid that anything posted at the Disco Institute’s website is not news, but blog chatter. You just contradicted the entire content of your post.

    As someone who has been banned from Dembski’s blog twice – once for [politely] pointing out a factual error, and the second time for asking the blog authors and commenters how they logically get from A to B – We can safely say that when Luskin asks for civility or open comment policies he is writing checks that his side cannot cash.

  31. John Kwok says: “I wish you hadn’t edited my posts, simply because people need to know …”

    I agree, and I wasn’t happy about doing it. Especially because it put me in the awkward position of “protecting” people for whom I have contempt. But when all that stuff started showing up, I felt that things were getting out of control.

    I like allegations of wrongdoing to be supported by stories in the media — which we can gleefully quote. Otherwise, let them be discussed at some other blog. We can link to such blogs, but I don’t want to quote mere gossip. We can always say: “If you want to know they’re saying about Dembski’s character over at XYZ blog, visit this link …”

    I see that this is what you’ve just done, and that’s just fine. Sorry about the hatchet job on your comments.

  32. Inoculated Mind says: “I’m afraid that anything posted at the Disco Institute’s website is not news, but blog chatter.”

    Correct. It’s an exception, because that blog’s existence and activity is news. I may need to revise my rules to make that clear.

    Addendum: No, it’s clear enough. No problem quoting something from the Discoveroid blog — or some other creationist blog — and then pointing out why it’s wrong. I do that all the time.

  33. Curmudgeon,

    Thanks for your comment, but I endorse more Inoculated Mind’s, with special emphasis on these closing comments of his:

    “As someone who has been banned from Dembski’s blog twice – once for [politely] pointing out a factual error, and the second time for asking the blog authors and commenters how they logically get from A to B – We can safely say that when Luskin asks for civility or open comment policies he is writing checks that his side cannot cash.”

    Respectfully yours,

    John Kwok

  34. John Kwok says: “… but I endorse more Inoculated Mind‘s …”

    You guys aren’t wrong. I’m well aware of the nature of the adversary. I share your opinions. We’re only talking style here. I just don’t want a blog full of … well, let’s put it like this: Abbie runs her show, PZ runs his, and this humble place is mine. I’ll never get the traffic they get. That’s fine with me.

    You’re not wrong in your opinions, they’re not wrong about their blog practices, and I’m not wrong about the way I choose to do things here — although I may be deluded in thinking that this place has a touch of class.

  35. Curmudgeon,

    Well yours is a most elegant way to agree to disagree. I endorse your sentiments completely, except to note that, sadly, both Abbie and PZ go out of their way to alienate those who are religiously devout. The worst offense I can think of was PZ’s risible attempt at mocking a Catholic ritual at his blog last summer (Almost a close second is stating that Ken Miller – who is both an old friend and mentor of mine – is a creationist, simply for some of Ken’s uniquely held beliefs, which shouldn’t detract from Ken’s excellent work in condemning and exposing the likes of Bill Dembski and Mike Behe, among others).

    Appreciatively yours,

    John

  36. John Kwok, thanks for your willingness to tolerate my peculiar ways. Class or no class, I’m planning to run a few more “ape giving the finger” pics, whenever the appropriate occasion arises.

  37. Speaking of allegations, Tucker said,

    however [Abbie] started taking up time and wasn’t really getting anywhere.

    It’s clear from her description of events that she was shouted down and was unable to get her question heard. So I think it was probably the hecklers who were taking up time.

    I’m not a flipper-off, myself; but imagine if every news story of a sports event were precluded by the coach’s whine about how one of the players made a rude gesture in the heat of the moment.

  38. Monado –

    If what Luskin claims to be true at his blog that Abbie was merely echoing what John Lynch had said at a recent public appearance at the University of Oklahoma, then she should have thought clearly before repeating it, lest she be misconstrued as one of Lynch’s acolytes (And I don’t mean this as a criticism of Lynch BTW.).

    Alas Abbie has a tendency to jump to conclusions, especially when they are unwarranted, as noted here in her rather inane discussion of “evolutionary potential”, misinterpreting what PZ Myers had said with regards to an important PNAS paper co-authored by Payne et al. last month which correlated increasing organismal body size with changes in the oxygen composition of Earth’s atmosphere over the last 4 billion years:

    http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2009/01/latent_evolutionary_potential.php#comments

    It’s really a sign of her immaturity when she noted at that blog entry:

    “Gawd I love doing HIV-1 research. Stuff that takes big-stuff-biologists millions of years to watch, we can figure out in a few weeks.”

    I heard a talk on February 13th given by Yale microbial ecologist and virologist Paul Turner who, while noting that we do observe the fastest examples of natural selection in microbes and viruses, did not leap to the inane assertion that we understand it better than we do for metazoans.

    You could say that Abbie was hoisted by her own petard during the Q & A session following Luskin’s “speech”.

    Regards,

    John

    P. S. Hope you are shaking off your cold.

  39. Mr. 10 seconds ago

    Mr. Kwok,

    You mention Paul Turner in an attempt to establish Abbie Smith’s “immaturity”. You kind of have to give her a break here. Ms. Smith’s comment with regards to fast turnover in microbiology was just giddy excitement. It had almost nothing to do with science. She definitely didn’t write a grant request.

    I feel similarly about her discussion with PZ Myers. She may have jumped to conclusions, but it’s not like she published them academically. She, as well as any sane researcher, knows that you have to re-examine your ideas after the initial excitement wears off.

    Besides, she may screw stuff up where you got it right, but she’s probably also gotten plenty right where you would have screwed it up.

    -Mr. 10 seconds ago

  40. Dear Mr. 10 seconds ago,

    Don’t try to be patronizing in your inane assertion that, “Besides, she may screw stuff up where you got it right, but she’s probably also gotten plenty right where you would have screwed it up”. Abbie Smith doesn’t have a background in organismal biology, period, while I do …

    [blather deleted]

    Respectfully yours,

    John Kwok

  41. John Kwok, if you have a problem with Abbie Smith, vent it elsewhere. Okay?

  42. @ The Curmudgeon –

    I am merely pointing out that …

    [blather deleted]

    Please restore my previous comments or allow me to rephrase them.

    Thank you.

    John Kwok

  43. John Kwok says: “Please restore my previous comments or allow me to rephrase them.”

    Neither. Goodbye.