Discovery Institute: Victim of “Hate Speech”?

PERHAPS you’ve noticed that we’ve been neglecting the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids). It’s not because we’ve stopped thinking of them as Enemies of the Enlightenment, but because most of their recent blog posts have been exceedingly boring. They’ve been promoting creationist books, or else trying to drum up enthusiasm for various creationist revival meetings where their “science” is preached by their “fellows.”

But we couldn’t resist this one: Who are the real proponents of hate speech on campus? It’s by John West, one of our favorite Discoveroids.

West is a winner of the Curmudgeon’s Buffoon Award. He’s a Senior Fellow at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute (the DI), where he is Associate Director of their Center for Science and Culture. That makes him one of the chief Keepers of their Wedge strategy, and the guru of the cdesign proponentsists (a term described here: cdesign proponentsists).

West can be counted on each year to attempt Another July 4th Hijacking. He’s also known for making Wild Charges of Evidence Suppression concerning “recent scientific evidence challenging Darwinism.”

So what’s West up to now? Here are some excerpts from his latest blog article, with bold added by us:

Supporters of Darwin’s theory continue to distinguish themselves on America’s college campuses — not for their reason and logic, but for their incredible ill manners and an almost pathological inability to engage in civil discussion.

Oh, boo hoo! Let’s read on:

Last week, a factually-challenged attack on intelligent design was published in The Nevada Sagebrush, the student newspaper at the University of Nevada, Reno. Nothing new in that; I see ill-informed articles on intelligent design all the time.

We too see what we think are “ill-informed articles on intelligent design,” and most of them are on the Discoveroid blog. We continue with West’s article:

But after my colleague Rob Crowther posted a short comment suggesting that readers might actually want to hear from intelligent design proponents themselves (imagine that!), the Darwinist thought-police came out in force. One writer who is so courageous that he hides behind the pseudonym “bobxxxx” fulminated:

[Quoting bobxxxx:] Robert Crowther… and the rest of the theocratic morons of the Dishonesty Institute are traitors who want to destroy America’s science education. If it was up to me they would be put in prison for treason. They are enemies of America, no better than terrorists, and they should be treated like terrorists.

That guy used to post at our humble blog — until we stopped him. Although he seemed to understand the motivations of the Discoveroids, he sometimes got carried away, and even when admonished he wouldn’t tone down his style of expression. Here’s West’s response:

Traitors? Terrorists? Enemies of America? ID proponents should be “put in prison” for freely expressing their views?!! Perhaps the University of Nevada should consider requiring its students to take a course on the First Amendment. It’s pretty obvious that some of them don’t understand the value of free speech.

See how it works? You can’t let creationists get under your skin, because when their ceaseless promotion of creationism in science class provokes a furious response, they’re not rebuked — rather, they’re delighted. They leap upon such indiscretions and take advantage of them to feign injury and to claim that all they want is fair play.

As for the First Amendment, maybe West should take a course in that. There’s more to it than free speech. It also contains the Establishment Clause, which all theocrats despise. It’s the principal reason the Discoveroids’ supernatural “science” can’t be taught in state-run schools.

Then West gives another example of “hate speech,” presumably taken from the same internet discussion. As we understand it, a creationist commented to complain about some over-the-top remarks by science defenders, and the creationist (who sounds like Casey) claimed that ID defenders were always such nice people. (Yeah, that’s probably who it was. See: Hey Casey!) According to West, a science defender then responded by saying that even Nazis could display good manners.

That’s true, and it was technically a sound rebuttal, but invoking Nazis is never good debate tactic. Bear in mind that after reading only West’s account of things, all the science defender said was that good manners aren’t relevant to the substance of the issues being discussed.

But West chooses to take that comment in the worst way, and he then concludes by saying:

This is not free speech; it’s an attempt to suppress free speech by demonizing and intimidating others so they will be afraid to speak up. I have a suggestion for the Darwinist purveyors of such hate speech: If you really want to identify the opponents of a free society, try looking in the mirror.

The mirror? Hey, Westie — if you’re truly concerned about hate speech, why not look over at the desk next to yours? There you’ll find your Discoveroid colleague, David Klinghoffer, who — like you — has been granted the title of Senior Fellow in your outfit.

Your comrade, Klinghoffer, likes to play the Hitler card. And communism. And Stalin. And even the Columbine shootings. Most recently, he’s added Charles Manson to his fantasy account of Darwin’s legacy.

So go ahead, Westie. Cry and complain about alleged hate speech, based on a couple of comments on the internet. But whatever you do, don’t look around your own shop. You might not like what you see. If, that is, you can allow yourself to see it.

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

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7 responses to “Discovery Institute: Victim of “Hate Speech”?

  1. Complaining about internet comments is like complaining about the weather. They will always be with us as long as the internet is a free access medium. It doesn’t take much effort to find similar “hate speech” from ID/creationists. West’s complaints are like kids calling each other doo-doo heads.

    Yeah, people go overboard and say hateful things, especially when they can remain anonymous. All you can do is ignore them and try to remain coherent yourself.

    I find it curious though that the Discoveroids so-called “blogs” and articles don’t allow comments. They afraid the “hate speech” will overwhelm their proponents?

  2. RogerE says: “I find it curious though that the Discoveroids so-called “blogs” and articles don’t allow comments.”

    It’s because they’re champions of free speech.

  3. A factually-challenged article? In a student newspaper? Oh, my stars and garters!

  4. Gabriel Hanna

    It’s because they’re champions of free speech.

    It’s about damage control and deniability.

    Too many young-earth creationists would show up to agree with them. Too many scientifically and historically literate people would show up and embarrass them.

  5. I find it funny that “burn in hell” or some variant doesn’t cross these guys minds as “hate speech.” No matter how many bible quotes and “prayers of hope” accompanying them, you’re still saying that a person should suffer eternal torment for disagreeing with them, or even worse, showing how pathetic they are.

  6. Yeah, I sound mad and I have every reason to be so!!!! I am very upset by the rampant STUPIDITY in this Country……..

  7. Since when is science about “free speech”? Silly me!! I thought it was about facts.