Klinghoffer: Scientific Anti-Humanism

The Discovery Institute’s David Klinghoffer — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page — has just posted this dandy item at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog: Scientific Anti-Humanism Is Being Refuted by Science Itself.

“Scientific anti-humanism”? We thought we were familiar with all the Discoveroids’ Orwellian anti-science terminology. This one is new, so it deserves our Newspeak Alert. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and Klinghoffer’s links omitted:

Scientific anti-humanism refers to the cheapening of human dignity and of the value of human life in the name of science. Among many other pieces of novel information on that theme, the most important point that came out of Michael Medved’s discussion with John West just now on the Science and Culture Update is that this corrosive tendency is being refuted by science itself.

Anti-human science is refuting itself? M’god — compared to that, a pretzel seems like a Euclidean straight line. He continues.

Darwin persuasively taught that life is the product of blind, meaningless, purposeless churning, making all life, not just human, hardly anything more special or dignified than cosmic refuse. Indeed in a Darwinian worldview, life is cosmic refuse.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!. Well, let’s be fair here. Your Curmudgeon has a “Darwinian worldview” — in the sense that we’re far more impressed by verifiable evidence than by mythology or untestable claims about supernatural phenomena — and yes, when we observe their work product, we’re sometimes tempted to think of some people as cosmic refuse. Let’s read on:

While accused abortion butcher Kermit Gosnell may be an outlier, he is an emblematic personality in our Darwin-tutored culture.

Oh happy day! Klinghoffer had recently disappointed us by failing to blame the Boston Marathon bombings on Darwin — although he came close by claiming that Darwin has made it impossible to properly mourn such events (see Klinghoffer: Darwin Has Stolen Our Grief). We’ve been expecting him to get around to Gosnell (see Vomit Opportunity: Creationism & Abortion), and now he’s come through. You heard it from Klinghoffer — Gosnell’s abortion mill is Darwin’s fault!

Hey — hold on a second. We just thought of something: It could be argued that intentionally interfering with the natural process of reproduction is an example of — gasp! — intelligent design. Why not? Doesn’t the Discoveroids’ designer — blessed be he! — run around and tinker with our DNA to change what would have otherwise been born? So maybe Gosnell is inspired by the Discoveroids. Anyway, Klinghoffer’s article continues:

However the good news is that the latest science demonstrates that for hundreds of millions of years a purpose, an intelligent design, has been working itself out through the history of complex life.

The latest science demonstrates that? Really? Wow — we want to hear more. Here it comes:

Very far from being galactic garbage, life was intended from the start, with human life as the peak expression of the designer’s creative intention.

Well, come on, Klinghoffer. You’ve got our attention. Where’s the data? There’s only one more paragraph, so it’s got to be a good one. This is it:

That’s the bottom-line takeaway of Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design, by Discovery Institute senior fellow Stephen Meyer. As ENV readers will know well, you can and should go here and get your 43% discount when you pre-order NOW!

Aaaargh!! We were really expecting something good, but all we got was a crude plug for a Discoveroid book. Ah well, this was time well spent nevertheless — we got the Gosnell-Darwin claim, and that was amusing.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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16 responses to “Klinghoffer: Scientific Anti-Humanism

  1. I’m sure Klinghitler is simply summarizing what Neil Degrasse Tyson is saying here.

  2. If I follow this correctly, the science the Discoveroids don’t accept has provided results that aren’t mentioned which refute a philosophy no one believes so I should buy Meyer’s book.

    Can I get it at a weird discount price, like maybe, 29%? 43%, you say? Done.

  3. Pete Moulton

    SC: “…and yes, when we observe their work product, we’re sometimes tempted to think of some people as cosmic refuse.”

    I think of Klinghoffer and Casey as “comic refuse.”

  4. Brilliant move on their part. By putting it into a book they can tell us three different ways what they’re going to tell us, tell us something three times, then tell us what they told us three more times.
    That will tell us that what they want to tell us, tells us they have nothing to tell us.
    I tell you, all things told, this is very telling of their intentions.

  5. Doc Bill says: “I’m sure Klinghitler is simply summarizing what Neil Degrasse Tyson is saying here.”

    Yes. Same message.

  6. anevilmeme

    Darwin’s work says nothing of the sort. The windmill they are attempting to tilt is their interpretation of the implications of Darwin’s work. If evolution is true, therefore life has no meaning is faulty reasoning. The premise no more proves the conclusion than biology is complex, therefore goddidit or my law mover is broken therefore I should adopt a kitten.

  7. anevilmeme says: “If evolution is true, therefore life has no meaning is faulty reasoning.”

    It’s really splendid reasoning, but they forgot to give you their vital premise: “Acceptance of our beliefs is the only thing that gives life meaning.”

  8. Scientific anti-humanism refers to the cheapening of human dignity and of the value of human life in the name of science.

    Actually, no. It is a more complex and nuanced concept. It refers to the philosophical idea that science reduces what was a qualitative object in nature to a quantitative object. For example, stars were once gods, but since the invention of the telescope they have become objects that can be measured and analyzed. While we have gained much knowledge, we also lost a little of the spirit of the thing – in C.S. Lewis’ view, it is in a way less than what it was before.

    Lewis and others applied this idea to humans as well, in the sense that the more we learn about ourselves, the more we are reduced to elements and measurements and natural processes, the less we see each other as autonomous spiritual beings. The word “humanism” in the old philosophical sense meant the following of a kind of natural law, or universally held sense of right and wrong. So “scientific anti-humanism” is a philosophical view that as we transition to seeing ourselves purely as biological creatures, which we will eventually be able to modify, selectively breed, or otherwise design, we will also be able to invent and program into our designed progeny the moral code that we might want them to have, whatever the designers might fancy. This is anti-humanism in that it disregards the natural moral code (for C.S. Lewis it was the christian god’s code imbedded in the universe). It is scientific because the knowledge gained through science enables it.

    Unlike Klinghoffer’s understanding, “scientific anti-humanism” has nothing to do evolution. In fact, had the theory of evolution not been proposed yet, the idea that science will eventually result in such a complete understanding of human psychology and biology that we will be able to recreate subsequent generations to our liking, and program them with an alternate sense of morals, would be unchanged. There is no connection with Darwin, much less an idea that humans are cosmic refuse. In fact, the idea postulates that through science humans may become much more powerful – thus the problem.

    No, in the Darwinian worldview, humans are highly improbable and very special, possibly unique. They are not, as in the ID creationist worldview, merely the product of a designer with spare time on his hands, who may at any time decide to reboot and start over.

  9. As ENV readers will know well, you can and should go here and get your 43% discount when you pre-order NOW!

    Wow! If I order now do I get a FREE GIFT? Like say, a melon baller?

    ‘Cause with this book and a melon baller, I could ball melons.

  10. Diogenes asks: “If I order now do I get a FREE GIFT? Like say, a melon baller?”

    I’ll wait until I can get a free Veg-o-matic.

  11. Ed says: “For example, stars were once gods, but since the invention of the telescope they have become objects that can be measured and analyzed.”

    Yes, we are no longer children. For some people that’s a difficult transition.

  12. A 43% discount already, even before it hits the stands (fiction/religion section please). They’re already anticipating poor sales, but what can they expect when they publish pulp fiction. And is this coming from the DI’s own vanity press?

  13. David asks: “And is this coming from the DI’s own vanity press?”

    No, they found a real publisher.

  14. “However the good news is that the latest science demonstrates that for hundreds of millions of years a purpose, an intelligent design, has been working itself out through the history of complex life.”

    So let me get this straight – did Klinghoffer really just lay the Boston bombing, Sandyhook, 9/1, and every other evil in the world on “an intelligent design”?

  15. slp “So let me get this straight – did Klinghoffer really just lay the Boston bombing, Sandyhook, 9/1, and every other evil in the world on “an intelligent design”?”

    Yep — Goddidit (or Allahdidit, or [intelligent designer of your choice]didit). Of course, the creationists at the DI would say, “Satandidit”, but they can’t have it both ways. If their god is all-powerful, the buck stops there.

  16. Mark Joseph

    So, One Klingy-Dingy starts with an appeal to consequences (“Darwin persuasively taught that life is the product of blind, meaningless, purposeless churning, making all life, not just human, hardly anything more special or dignified than cosmic refuse”), meanders on to an unsupported assertion (“life was intended from the start, with human life as the peak expression of the designer’s creative intention”), and ends with advertising. Along the way he sets up a straw man, indulges in anthropocentrism, and does not go to the trouble of telling us who the designer is (since, as we have been assured, ID is science, not religion, there doesn’t seem to be any reason why he would withhold that information).

    Meh.