Discovery Institute: “Stop Calling Us Creationists!”

This one is about a silly little post that just appeared on the blog of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).

It’s titled Reuters Gets It Wrong: Intelligent Design Isn’t Creationism. You know from the title what it’s all about, but we’ll give you a few excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Reuters made a basic mistake in their recent coverage of the Texas brouhaha over evolution education: they conflated intelligent design and creationism. To wit:

[Warning, this is a creationist quote and we haven't checked it:] Intelligent design and creationism are theories that life on earth was created essentially the way it is described in the Bible’s Book of Genesis – not by evolution, but by a ‘creative intelligence’ generally considered to be the Christian God.

Almost three years ago we wrote about a similar incident: “Don’t Call Us Creationists!” — that one involved Casey’s complaining when Tom Brokaw made the same “mistake.” And yet, after all their propaganda about the “scientific theory” of intelligent design, news people still think the Discoveroids are a pack of flaming creationists. This is an outrage! Let’s read on:

The plain fact of the matter is that intelligent design, unlike creationism, has nothing to do with Genesis and everything to do with what the scientific evidence tells us.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We continue:

[T]he defining feature of intelligent design … is merely the claim that certain features of our universe and living things are best explained as the result of design rather than blind, unguided processes such as Darwinian evolution.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! No creationism there! Here’s more:

In order to set the record straight, we contacted Reuters and asked for a correction. They responded by saying they didn’t think the “issues” we brought up “merited a correction for the story,” but they thanked us for the helpful “background information” (also known as “research the reporter should have done”).

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! In other words: “Buzz off, creationists!” Here’s the end of the Discoveroid post:

Reuters should take note: Misreporting an issue by misdefining your terms misses the picture — and undermines your credibility as an objective outlet doing serious journalism.

Don’t you love it? A Discoveroid is warning someone else that misreporting undermines credibility. Wait — what’s that noise? Oh, it’s the sound of thousands of irony meters simultaneously exploding.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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28 responses to “Discovery Institute: “Stop Calling Us Creationists!”

  1. If it walks like a crocoduck …

  2. Reuter’s story reposted here:
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/07/22/texas-to-keep-creationism-out-of-its-science-classes/
    The quote is in the last paragraph…ID is Creationism…

    The DI lie reminds me of the now famous “I did not have sex
    with that woman”.

  3. Here’s the problem with their argument: no scientist that hasn’t been brainwashed by religious dogma early in their childhood would argue for an imaginary being guiding the evolutionary wheel! There are other more plausible explanations to account for the diversity of life on this planet. As you stated before Creationist work backwards with the assumption of a personal god and drive all of their arguments from that original assumption. No where within the scientific methodology do we begin with the assumption there is a invisible hand guiding the universe, instead that assumption we call faith.

  4. My 8-year long complaint:

    IDers are “creationists” as critics define them, namely “any pseudoscience peddler intent on fooling the masses (& sometimes themselves) because of an intense paranoia that acceptance of evolution will lead to evil behavor.”

    Unfortunately the 99+% of people who don’t follow the antics of the scam artists as well as we do define “creationist” as “honest believer that life began as described in Genesis, a possibly recent ‘abrupt appearance’ of ‘kinds’.” Most ID peddlers do not fit that description, and even if they do personally believe any of the mutually-contradictory versions, they are not confident that they are supported by evidence.

    “IDers are not creationists” (and “ID is not creationism”) is not a lie, but a half truth. Which is in this case worse than a lie. Unless we expose clearly how IDers bait-and-switch the two definitions, and reply with a mere “ID is too creationism” we are doing exactly what the IDers want.

  5. aturingtest

    The only difference that I can see between the DI and AIG is that AIG is at least up-front about their pre-suppositions (see their Statement of Faith), while the DI seems to be trying to hide theirs by simply denying that they have any. That the DI doesn’t use the bible as their source for pre-supposition doesn’t make it any less a one.
    The DI is AIG without the courage of their convictions.

  6. And let’s not forget this great story from Larry Arnhart:
    “A few years ago, I lectured at Hillsdale College as part of a week-long lecture series on the intelligent design debate. After Michael Behe’s lecture, some of us pressed him to explain exactly how the intelligent designer created the various “irreducibly complex” mechanisms that cannot–according to Behe–be explained as products of evolution by natural selection. He repeatedly refused to answer. But after a long night of drinking, he finally answered: “A puff of smoke!” A physicist in the group asked, Do you mean a suspension of the laws of physics? Yes, Behe answered. Well, that’s not going to be very persuasive as a scientific answer. And clearly Behe and other ID proponents prefer not to answer the question.”

  7. aturingtest says: “The DI is AIG without the courage of their convictions.”

    The Discoveroids are stealth creationists, nothing more, nothing less. But they’re not fooling anyone — except maybe Casey.

  8. Good story, John Farrell. Behe and most of the others know it’s a scam.

  9. Hey, DI — and just what did your “Intelligent Designer” do to bring about this universe? You would say he “created” it, wouldn’t you?

    By definition then, you are creationists. You make yourselves look absolutely stupid when you try to deny it.

    Yes, we understand that the sole purpose for your existence, and the reason you try to deny being creationists, is that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Creationism is essentially a form of religion, and therefore it is inappropriate for public schools to teach it as science. You look pretty silly wearing that “intelligent design” disguise.

  10. We should ALWAYS precede any mention of the Seattle group of IDiots’ designation with the word ‘creationist’ – ‘creationist intelligent designers,’ etc. That is a true designation and needs to be emphasized. Let ‘em complain.

  11. vhutchison says:

    We should ALWAYS precede any mention of the Seattle group of IDiots’ designation with the word ‘creationist’ – ‘creationist intelligent designers,’ etc.

    Bah! I call ‘em all creationists. Who cares if they’re young-earth, old-earth, flat-earth, or the Discoveroid type — a/d/a “the cult that dare not speak its name.”

  12. The wiki article on Intelligent Design pulls no punches, and nails it in the first paragraph. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design

    The more the DI squeals, the more they attract attention to the fact that no one else is buying their story.

    The irony is, if ID really was science, they would be working overtime trying to find clues as to who or what the designer is, what the processes of design are and if there are rules governing those processes, when precisely did design occur in the history of life, why did design occur the way it did and not some other more efficient way, is it happening today, etc. etc. etc. They do none of these things. The only thing ID actually does is develop debating points.

  13. If they are scientists, then where are their laboratories? Field work? Data?

    They can’t just have a hypothesis (and one that isn’t even falsifiable to bout) and run with it… where is their work?

    I demand that they show their work!

  14. LRA says: “I demand that they show their work!”

    That’s not now it works. First you have to give up your Darwinist monopoly and accept them as your equals. Then you have to teach their “theory.” The work will come later.

  15. ID’s basic argument is that the universe is too complex to understand so it must have an intelligent designer. If every caveman (person) sitting around the camp fire had thought the same way we would all still be sitting around camp fires scared of our own shadows and wouldn’t have this lovely blog.

  16. aturingtest: “The only difference that I can see between the DI and AIG is that AIG is at least up-front about their pre-suppositions (see their Statement of Faith), while the DI seems to be trying to hide theirs by simply denying that they have any.”

    The DI has it’s own statement of faith – the Wedge Strategy. Granted, they probably never intended it to go public, but since it was leaked they never denied being behind it. Nor do they try very hard to hide that most or all of them personally believe that the designer is God.

    What they do try to hide is what they know about “what happened when” in biological history – the one part of a potential alternate “theory” that it is legal to teach. If the evidence independently supported any of the mutually contradictory (young earth, old earth, geocentric, etc.) literal interpretations of Genesis, no court could ever prohibit the teaching of it. So they must know that the evidence, how ever weak they think it is for evolution (and I suspect most Discoveroids are faking that too) they know darn well that what AiG claims, and even what the OECs at RTB claim, just do not hold up to scrutiny. Not even by 9th graders.

  17. Hair-splitting and squabbling isn’t limited to creationists, it seems. The National Science Board also had some mild infighting recently, according to this NCSE post. (I’m inclined to agree with Jon Miller, BTW – who doesn’t believe in sugar-coating anything…)

    http://ncse.com/news/2011/07/evolution-at-nsb-redux-006806

  18. Dang SC, I just bought a new one too. Guess that’s why I don’t read UD or Luskin.

    Anyway, logically, any designer that is not a deity can’t do the things that it must do according to the ID folks. ID must be religious.

    I’ve got more details here: http://ogremk5.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/why-intelligent-design-must-be-religious/

    I think I covered everything, including quotes from the major players (thanks Dembski) who just can’t keep the Good News of ID to themselves.

  19. @LRA -

    It isn’t only that they don’t have any laboratories or field work.

    They don’t have any hypotheses, either. Other than the negative one of “maybe there’s something wrong with evolution”.

    As far as data, I think that they’d say that they have the same data as evolution. Of course, any data at all would equally well fit their empty theory. Shmoos, centaurs, and rocs are, after all, intelligently designed – they just don’t happen to exist.

  20. Venture Free

    If you don’t like a description of yourself, change the definition of the description so that it no longer applies to you.

    “I’m not fat! Fat means weighing more than 350 lbs, and I only weigh 300 lbs.”

    “I’m not ugly! Ugly means Steve Buscemi and I’m not Steve Buscemi.”

    “I’m not a creationist! Creationism means publicly proclaiming a literal interpretation of the bible, and I only do that in private.”

  21. Venture Free: “I’m not a creationist! Creationism means publicly proclaiming a literal interpretation of the bible, and I only do that in private.”

    That’s what drives me nuts. Most fellow critics of ID think that IDers privately believe a literal interpretation of Genesis (OEC version at least), but dare not admit it because of “Edwards v. Aguillard.” I suspect the opposite – that they privately know that all literal interpretations – OEC and especially YEC, do not hold up to the evidence. But that they have a burning need to promote any and all literal interpretations of Genesis, becaus that’s the only way they think we can save the “masses” from evil behavior. So even before they were required to change the wording from “creation” to “design”, a growing faction of “creationists” knew that the game was over, and that the only way to keep the “masses” believing a literal Genesis was to play “don’t ask, don’t tell” with what the creator/designer did when.

  22. I see they have purged their revamped blog of their motto:

    The misreporting of the evolution issue is one key reason for this site.

    … but not of the practice.

  23. TomS: “They don’t have any hypotheses, either. Other than the negative one of ‘maybe there’s something wrong with evolution’.”

    And that’s, as you know, even with others handing them testable alternate hypotheses on a silver platter. All they need to do is take the God language out of AiG’s “what happened when” hypotheses. Or if (as most DI folk admit) they find no credible evidence for a young-earth, they can salvage “indepedent origins” hypotheses from OECs – or better yet from Schwabe and Senapathy, who use even less religious language. Those who acceot common descent like Behe could look to Richard Goldschmidt, or even his own “front loading” hypothesis from “Darwin’s Black Box.”

    Why do they avoid such perfect opportunities? The only reasonable explanation is that they know that all of them will fail the tests. And that even bypassing testing and teaching them to students would expose weaknesses that dwarf the ones they pretend that evolution has.

  24. Jack Hogan

    I like to call them micro-creationists. The YECs are hard core macro-creationists. They believe the earth and all animals and plants were poofed into existence in an instant about 6000 years ago.

    Behe style IDers are more subtle in their poofing claims. They move their poofing events down to the molecular level. One moment, possibly a billion years ago, bacteria with no flagella and then “poof”, an instant later there are bacteria with fully formed and functioning flagella, with all the DNA needed to reproduce. In order not to alienate their YEC allies, they make no real claim about when this miracle — that’s essentially what they claim — occurred.

    YEC style macro-creationism also requires Behe style micro-creationism.

  25. John Pieret says: “I see they have purged their revamped blog of their motto”

    Yeah, that always was a hoot. Took ‘em a long time to figure it out.

  26. @ Jack Hogan

    I know that this drives SC nuts, but where do the OECs, geocentrists and flat-earthers fit in your classification? Don’t get me wrong, I think that any classification that exposes the similarities and differences is better than just applying the same term to everyone from a flat-earther who thinks scripture qualifies as evidence to a common-descent-accepting anti-Darwinian (Behe) who thinks that scripture does not qualify as evidence.

  27. @Frank J

    The OECers do not know themselves where they fit in on the spectrum of micro to YEC style macro creationism. They are all over the place in their claims about what was poofed into existence and when. They are all some type of special creationist. As the DI IDers are the most dishonest of the creationists, the OECers are the most confused.

    Many OECers now call themselves ID proponents. So do many YECs.

    As for the geocentrists, I haven’t encountered one who was not a Biblical literalist and a YEC. Assuming flat-earthers are also a Biblical literalists, they would be YECs.

  28. aturingtest

    OgreMkv said:
    “Anyway, logically, any designer that is not a deity can’t do the things that it must do according to the ID folks. ID must be religious.”
    Wow, good point. Being able to do what they claim must have been done would be the definition of a deity, wouldn’t it?