The [Discovery] institute is an anti-evolution, pro-creationism intelligent design think tank in Seattle that maintains supernatural forces shaped the universe.
(All the background information leading up to that can be found here: Ball State Imbroglio Update — 03 Oct 2013.)
Today we have a response from the Discoveroids in that same newspaper. It comes from none other than John West (whom we affectionately call “Westie”). He’s Associate Director of the Discoveroids’ creationist “think tank,” which makes him one of the chief Keepers of their wedge strategy. He was also an early winner of the Curmudgeon’s Buffoon Award, thus the jolly logo above this post.
Westie’s latest is in the form of a letter-to-the-editor. It’s titled Intelligent design and creationism, in which he claims the Discoveroids aren’t creationists.
It’s the usual blather the Discoveroids sling around. We wrote about a recent example of the same thing here: Casey Luskin: Intelligent Design Isn’t Creationism. They’ve made such denials before — see Discovery Institute: “Stop Calling Us Creationists!”, and also “Don’t Call Us Creationists!”.
One of the most amusing things about the Discoveroids is watching them deny what is so obvious to everyone. If you like that sort of thing, we have some other examples: Discoveroids: “We’re Not Crazy!”, and also “We’re Not Science Deniers!”
Now they’re at it again. Let’s take a look at Westie’s denial. The bold font was added by us for emphasis:
The article, “BSU reviewing alleged ‘atheism’ class” (Oct. 1), falsely claims that Discovery Institute is a “pro-creationism … think tank.” Creationism is commonly understood as a belief that the earth was created by God a few thousand years ago during seven 24-hour days based on a literal reading of the Bible. Discovery Institute does not advocate creationism, and we oppose its introduction in public schools.
Note the ellipsis in Westie’s quote, and also Westie’s carefully-chosen starting and ending points. The Star Press had said the Discoveroids were “an anti-evolution, pro-creationism intelligent design think tank in Seattle that maintains supernatural forces shaped the universe.”
We’re not sure what Westie’s omissions are supposed to accomplish. He seems to have no objection to the Star Press statement that the Discoveroids are anti-evolution, or their mentioning intelligent design’s claim that supernatural forces shaped the universe. Despite those tacit admissions, Westie denies that he and his gang are creationists.
According to the Discoveroids, the only true creationists are the young-Earth creationists like Ken Ham. The modern, up-to-date types are old-Earth creationists. The Discoveroids are mostly old-Earthers, and they’re careful not to mention the bible or to identify their magic designer as Yahweh. But they’re still evolution deniers, and that requires them to be science deniers in general. Nevertheless, they insist that we shouldn’t call them creationists. Sorry, Westie. You are what you are.
On with his letter:
Discovery Institute does support scientists who think there is evidence of intelligent design in nature. Intelligent design is not based on an interpretation of the Bible, but on the clear evidence of nature itself, such as the fine-tuning of the laws of physics, the digital information encoded in DNA, and the thousands of exquisitely-functional molecular machines operating inside our cells.
Nothing new here. It all goes back to William Paley’s watchmaker analogy — if something looks designed, then by golly it is designed. It’s the Discoveroids’ main argument in support of their “theory” of intelligent design. Let’s read on:
Critics of intelligent design who mislabel it “creationism” are trying to avoid genuine debate by stereotyping intelligent design proponents rather than engaging their actual arguments. This tactic is unbefitting a free and open society.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Westie continues:
So is Ball State University’s new speech code that prohibits faculty from expressing support for intelligent design in the classroom, but apparently does not restrict them from attacking intelligent design.
It’s probably never come up before, but we imagine Ball State would have exactly the same policy for topics like astrology, magic crystals, ancient aliens, crop circles, haunted houses, astral projection, and moon-landing denial. None of that junk belongs in a science class. Here’s the rest of Westie’s letter:
Censoring one side of a debate is not a good way to find the truth. As Darwin himself advised: “A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.”
Yeah, yeah. The Discoveroids have used that before. It’s from the Introduction of Origin of Species. What the quote-miners fail to point out is that Darwin did present the objections to his theory. See, for example, Chapter 6 – Difficulties on Theory, in which he fairly described (and clearly rebutted) the creationist arguments of his day, all of which are still commonly used by evolution deniers.
How long must we continue to entertain the same, endlessly repeated and decisively rebutted arguments? Consider what Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence about the limits of patience:
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
[Long list of abuses.]
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
The creationists — and that includes the Discoveroids — have been engaged in “a long train of abuses and usurpations.” We have patiently and politely endured their behavior. The facts have been “submitted to a candid world” for generations. It’s time for this silly game to end.
Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.