The image above will be explained in due course. Meanwhile, over at Panda’s Thumb, Richard B. Hoppe has a great article: The Disco ‘Tute’s fake laboratory. You probably already know the story. Richard says:
Yesterday I pointed to a post at Larry Moran’s Sandwalk about a Discovery Institute video showing Ann Gauger, a “researcher” at the Disco ‘Tute’s BioLogic Institute, in which she mangles phylogenetics and population genetics. Commenters on Youtube and both Sandwalk and here have identified the laboratory in which Gauger was supposedly speaking. It is a stock photograph from a commercial photo site. It’s a green screen job, which is a peculiarly appropriate method by which to present the DI’s pseudoscience. Fake lab, fake science.
Can we say “pathetic”?
It’s a great story, but we were content to leave it to Richard. He’s done a fine job of exposing the Discoveroids’ deception. But now we have to jump in, because a new angle has appeared, and this one is for us.
At the blog of the Discoveroids there’s a new post by David Klinghoffer. He and they are described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. Klinghoffer’s post is Scandal! Gauger Filmed in Front of Green Screen. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and David’s links omitted:
Here’s the most ludicrous criticism of intelligent design that I’ve come across so far this week. Richard B. Hoppe at Panda’s Thumb is echoed by Casey Johnston at Ars Technica in jeering that a video I highlighted — Biologic Institute’s Ann Gauger speaking about population genetics — was filmed in front of a green screen. In a post-production effect Ann was given a more relevant backdrop, a stock photo of a lab.
Yes, we know all that. The question now is: How will the Discoveroids handle this embarrassing disclosure? Typically they just deny that they’ve done wrong. But that won’t work here because it’s undisputed that they faked the photo. So what will they do to salvage the situation? As you’ll soon see, they have their ways. This isn’t the first time they’ve been known to soil themselves in public. Let’s read on:
Shock! Horror! Yes, it’s true. I confess.
Yes, it is obviously green screened. And what’s wrong with that?
Neat, huh? Allow us to remind you of a few other occasions when they’ve reacted like this. The first time we know of that they deployed this technique was when their monstrously evil Wedge Document was exposed. Their reaction is posted at their website: The “Wedge Document”: “So What?”, and of course we posted about it here.
We wrote about the only other time in Klinghoffer: “You Caught Us. So What?”, in which we described their reaction when a creationist school board in Louisiana’s Livingston Parish openly declared that they wanted to use the new law in their state — which had been hustled through the legislature with Discoveroid help — to teach creationism. This exposed to all the world what Louisiana’s “academic freedom” bill was really all about.
The way Klinghoffer handled the situation (after the Discoveroids had clumsily tried to throw Livingston Parish under the bus) was simply to admit it and shrug it off as unimportant. We concluded by saying:
Actually, Klinghoffer’s impudent “So what?” is rather appropriate. The Discoveroids’ followers don’t care about the Louisiana affair — they know they’re all creationists and they’re happy with it. The behavior of the Livingston Parish school board doesn’t embarrass them — it probably thrills them. Meanwhile, the Discoveroids’ opponents already know that the Discoveroids are creationists — we’ve always known. So really, what difference does the mess in Louisiana make? Nothing will change.
And so it is with the Discoveroids’ fake lab photo. It doesn’t really matter. Yes, it’s a fake. So what? Everybody knows they don’t have an intelligent design research program. What’s the big deal?
Okay, now that we know what’s going on, let’s return to Klinghoffer’s article:
Typically, filming in a genuine location like this would be troublesome for us and bothersome for others who work there — a distraction for all involved, including viewers, when the intent is to focus on the argument. Many other times, in other contexts, we have similarly used backdrops where, to get to an actual locale, it would require travel not to mention complicated, time-consuming setup and many other headaches. Going with a green screen makes sense for an organization that operates under a constrained budget.
Uh huh. Sure. There’s so much sensitive work going on in their lab that the presence of a photographer would set them back for months. He continues:
Using a green screen is a totally standard technique that you’ve seen countless times on TV and in videos, especially documentary filmmaking. It’s a convention. You want to protest the convention and make a fuss? Be my guest, knock yourself out.
Then, as if it were an equivalent example, Klinghoffer shows a picture of Richard Dawkins with the Thames River superimposed in the background during an interview. See? The Discoveroids are no more phoney than Dawkins!
We should note that Klinghoffer’s defense of the fake lab photo involves not only their “Yeah, but so what?” defense, they also used the Tu quoque technique. That’s two silly defenses. Nice try, David!
Oh, what about that photo above this post? That’s your Curmudgeon in his lab, working on our faster-than-light starship drive. If the Discoveroids can fake it, then so can we!
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