Clickable index to this blog’s purpose and features
What’s this blog all about?
Site Map and Navigation Guide
Glossary of commonly used terms
Cast of Characters
Disclaimer of All Liability
Our grandiose purpose is: “Conserving the Enlightenment values of reason, liberty, science, and free enterprise.” When we first started this blog, we explained our position here: Discovery Institute: Enemies of the Enlightenment. That’s still our position.
We don’t promote atheism and we don’t oppose religion. We do, however, oppose any malevolent perversion of religion that actively promotes either theocracy (which is unconstitutional) or anti-science political policy (which is both authoritarian snd irrational). Otherwise we don’t care what anyone believes — only what he does. As Jefferson said in Notes on the State of Virginia, at Query 17:
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
We’re mostly concerned about science, and we focus on the “evolution vs. creationism” controversy because that’s where the domestic enemies of freedom and reason are currently active. Creationism (including its inbred love child, Intelligent Design) isn’t science and it shouldn’t be taught in government-run schools. Scientists must be free to pursue their work and to teach their subjects without political or ecclesiastical censorship. That’s the deal.
We regard creationism as an optional, stand-alone belief that can exist within or apart from any denomination, as can be seen here, so when we criticize creationism we’re speaking of it alone, and not the religion in which it may lurk. To avoid denigrating any specific denomination, we always use generic terms like “creationist” and “theocrat.”
The links listed below are navigation aids to help you find your way around here. Most are also displayed (but without description) in the two horizontal rows below the title of this blog, which are always present at the top of every page. You can’t get lost. Duplicate links for special collections of articles can also be found in the always-visible right margin of every page.
Front Page: Home page, with all posts in chronological order, newest first. To get there from anywhere else, just click on the blog name — The Sensuous Curmudgeon. It’s at the top of every page.
Intro: This blog’s purpose and features — including this site map. (Yes, that’s where you are now.)
Table-Of-Contents: Links to most of the articles we’ve written for this blog, grouped by topic, and beginning with a clickable topic index. Some posts are listed under more than one topic. For each topic, articles are in chronological order, newest at the top.
These are sub-pages of the main Table of Contents, which was growing too large. They’re accessible by clickable topic links in the main Table of Contents, so they’re not separately displayed below the blog’s title:
Religion and Science: just what it says.
Opinion Polls and Science: just what it says.
Creationism and Global Warming: When issues collide.
Sarah Palin: Links to our articles about Sarah Palin & Creationism.
Creation — the Movie: Links to our articles about the movie.
Olivia Judson: Links to our articles about her writing.
Creationist Foolishness: Links to our articles about craziness.
Self-Published Geniuses: Links to our articles about vanity-published idiots issuing press releases.
WorldNetDaily: Links to our articles about their writing.
Answers in Genesis: Links to our articles about their writing.
Institute for Creation Research: Our articles about their writing.
Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis, & Creation Museum: Links to those articles.
Off Topic: Links to our articles that don’t fit any other topics.
In addition to the main Table of Contents we have supplementary tables of links to special subjects that are listed separately, described below.
The Controversy: Links to our articles on The Controversy between evolution and creationism (legislative, bureaucratic, and judicial), general, state-by-state, and foreign, and also about specific court cases. For links to articles about US and foreign anti-science activity, year by year, see these sub-pages, which are accessible by topic links in the parent page:
Discoveroids: Links to our articles about the Discovery Institute. This has one sub-page, accessible by a link in the parent page:
Expelled: Links to our articles about Expelled, Ben Stein’s anti-evolution documentary. For each month, articles are listed chronologically, newest at the top of the list.
Creationist Wisdom: Links to our series of articles on Creationist Wisdom.
Politics: Links to our articles on Politics.
List-O-Links: External links to reliable, off-site information about evolution and creationism, so each new debate doesn’t have to start at ground zero.
Hurricane Links: Off-site links for weather information, an off-topic resource provided for convenience, not discussion.
Indenial Jones — the series: Links to these guest-authored articles are located in their own box in the always-visible right margin of every page. Just scroll down and you’ll find them.
These expressions are either unique to this blog or are familiar words that we use in a specialized way:
[Aaaargh!!]: The subtle signal we sometimes politely insert after each of several howlers in a creationist’s essay or letter-to-the-editor, so that we don’t interrupt his learned discourse.
[BozoGuard]: Another signal we sometimes place in the middle of a creationist quote to indicate the presence of a self-evident error or misstatement in the material, which may or may not be expounded upon later in Curmudgeonly commentary.
BozoProbe™: A revolutionary, super-secret device that can literally tap into the brains of creationists to read their thoughts. It was first used here: The Brain of Ronda Storms.
Buffoon Award: The Curmudgeon’s most coveted honor, given in recognition of extra-ordinary Buffoonery in the service of creationism. The award is accompanied by [drum roll, flourish of trumpets] and the presence of our jolly Buffoon logo.
C&C: An abbreviation for creationism and chastity, our latest term for the religious and personal issues promoted by “family values” advocates who seem obsessed with talking about Noah’s Ark and sex in political campaigns. [Update: Most recently we've called it the Noah’s Ark, Missionary Position wing of the GOP.]
CITADEL: The fabled Curmudgeonly Institute for Tactics, Advocacy, and Defense of the Enlightenment Legacy — the secret global nerve center for monitoring events throughout the Creosphere which threaten the values of Western Civilization. It’s where your Curmudgeon is headquartered in his luxurious underground control room.
Controversy: The Controversy is a religious and cultural movement opposed to the theory of evolution and — although they deny this — opposed to the methods of science in general. By means of legislation, litigation, administrative action, and intimidation, the movement attempts to force their allegedly “scientific” doctrines into schools. Additionally, the movement often seeks to suppress teaching about and research into areas they regard as blasphemous or spiritually offensive. Although most followers of the movement are oblivious to it, their educational goals are only the first step. The Controversy’s ultimate goal is establishing a theocracy.
Creationism: An optional, stand-alone belief that can exist within or apart from any denomination. When we criticize creationism we’re speaking of it alone, and not the religion in which it may lurk. The term includes creationism’s inbred love-child, Intelligent Design.
Creationist: When we speak of creationists, we recognize a big difference between: (a) someone who believes in a creator; and (b) someone who also believes in creationism. The former is likely to be a gentle soul and doesn’t concern us. The latter is a “creationist,” who not only believes things for which there is no evidence, but who insists on beliefs that are contradicted by readily observable evidence, and who denies tested, well-supported scientific theories. Creationists are reality-deniers.
Creosphere: The Creosphere is our term for the entirety of creationist activity, worldwide, about which we first reported here: The State of the Creosphere.
Dumpster diving: Creationist “research” which consists of visiting creationist websites (a/k/a dumpster-sties) and copying whatever pseudo-scientific trash is found there. Also, the term refers to our own expeditions to such websites in search of amusing material for this blog.
Encolonization: The condition of having one’s head inconveniently located so as to cause creationist thinking. The term was first used here Creationist Wisdom #155.
Fellow travelers and useful idiots: Expressions for describing the Discoveroids’ faith-based network of accomplices. The Discoveroids themselves are “card-carrying” creationists; their obedient followers are the fellow travelers and useful idiots who occupy posts in various school boards, legislatures, and advocacy groups around the country. Cold War terminology is extremely useful when discussing any ideology that adopts the organizational methods and propaganda techniques of the political left.
Florida Ark: The Florida Ark is that concave stretch of coast — an arc, get it? — starting at the Alabama border and then sweeping down the shore of the Gulf of Mexico all the way to Tampa, and a bit beyond. This blessed region is home to a great number of creationists.
InterStall™: Our recently perfected, top secret bathroom listening device, first used here: Traditional Americans, Texas Style.
Kitzmas, our annual festival in honor of the decision on 20 December 2005 by Judge John E. Jones III in the case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.
Newspeak: George Orwell’s term from 1984, which we use to describe the Discoveroids’ anti-science terminology. For several good examples, see: Their Own Version of Newspeak.
Oogity Boogity!: Our all-purpose expression to describe both the creationist logic for and the nature of any unobservable, untestable (i.e., supernatural) agency implied by a creationist’s “scientific” theory. In its most general form: “I’m totally stupefied by this (DNA, the flagellum, etc.). Therefore … Oogity Boogity!“
Retard-o-tron: The automated scanner that alerts us, with blaring sirens, flashing lights, and blinking letters on a wall display, when it locates a creationist news article we can write about. First used: here.
Revival meeting: Any meeting or gathering at which there are pseudo-scientific presentations and speeches by Discoveroids or other creationists.
Slime-O-Meter™: A precise, highly advanced scientific instrument capable of giving exact readings for specific creationist claims. The readings are on an exquisitely calibrated scale starting at Ankle Deep and gradually increasing in magnitude through the grades of Knee Deep, Hip Deep, Chest Deep, Neck Deep, all the way to the maximum reading of Deluge, indicating that the flood of creationist slime is cataclysmic. Described here.
Speed of Light: The Curmudgeon once commented: “Where I come from it’s 69 Aaaargh per Zowie.”
The Truth™: Sometimes respectfully written in the classic manner: “The TRVTH.” It’s any dogma which is part of creationism — e.g., Noah’s Ark.
VD: Our abbreviation for “viewpoint discrimination,” the allegedly unconstitutional practice that discriminates against creationism and intelligent design. First used here.
We frequently write about the ongoing activities of a tireless group of creationist institutions and individuals, who are described here:
Answers in Genesis and Ken Ham: Answers in Genesis (AIG) is one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom. AIG is the online creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia.. AIG also created and operates the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum — the North American Mecca for the mindless. Hambo is also trying to raise funds for his proposed replica of Noah’s Ark — a bizarre project that has its own website: Ark Encounter.
The Institute for Creation Research and the Morris clan: The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) is the granddaddy of all creationist outfits. They’re the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom.
ICR was founded by Henry Morris (1918-2006), about whom we wrote Henry Morris: the Ultimate Creationist. Together with John Whitcomb, he wrote The Genesis Flood, published in 1961. Morris is regarded as the father of the modern creation science movement. Not only that, but he founded a creationist dynasty.
The founder’s eldest son, Henry Morris III, is carrying on the family business as ICR’s Chief Executive Officer. His son, Henry IV (the grandson of ICR’s founder), is “Director of Donor Relations at the Institute for Creation Research.” He has a degree in Business from Liberty University. Another son of ICR’s founder, John D. Morris, is now president of ICR and is “best known for leading expeditions to Mt. Ararat in search of Noah’s Ark.”
WorldNetDaily: WorldNetDaily (WND) is the flamingly creationist, absolutely execrable, moronic, and incurably crazed journalistic organ that believes in and enthusiastically promotes every conspiracy theory that ever existed. WND was an early winner of the Curmudgeon’s Buffoon Award, thus the jolly logo displayed above our posts about their articles.
Discovery Institute (the Discoveroids): They’re the neo-Luddite, 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), a/k/a the Evangelical Church of the Unnamed Designer, a creationist ministry.
Discoveroid David Klinghoffer, whose creationist oeuvre we last described here, is a Discoveroid “senior fellow” — i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist. His name has some of the resonance of Red Skelton’s Clem Kadiddlehopper. Neither a lawyer nor a fallen scientist, Klinghoffer plays the role of house mystic — a convenient guise for a retained essayist whose principal job is to enthusiastically function as an unrestrained journalistic slasher whenever his creationist masters assign him to the task. When they have a dirty job to do, the Discoveroids know that David Klinghoffer is the man they want. Klinghoffer is very experienced at whipping out his “Darwin = Hitler–Marx-Stalin-Mao-Mengele-Manson-etc.” rhetorical device and waiving it around with merry abandon at any provocation.
Discoveroid Casey Luskin is our favorite creationist. He seems to be the only Discoveroid who isn’t a “fellow,” so a couple of years ago your Curmudgeon compassionately remedied that cruel insult (see: Casey Luskin Is Named a Curmudgeon Fellow). He’s also a follower of the Knights of Uranus.
Discoveroid John West: John West, whom we affectionately call “Westie” is Associate Director of the Discoveroids’ creationist “think tank,” which consumes almost half of the Discovery Institute’s’ $4 million budget (see Their 2007 Tax Return). That makes him one of the chief Keepers of their wedge strategy. He’s a winner of the Curmudgeon’s Buffoon Award, and therefore posts about him are adorned with our jolly Buffoon logo.
Discoveroid Bruce Chapman: Bruce Chapman, whom we affectionately call “Chappy,” is the founder and president of the Discovery Institute. Chapman’s Seattle organization devotes about half of its resources to supporting and promoting 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). Chapman’s position makes him Lord High Keeper of the Discoveroids’ Wedge strategy.
As a reader of this blog, it’s fair that you should know about the Curmudgeon’s politics. Our British and Canadian friends are often mystified by American politics, as is the rest of the world, but that’s okay — a large number of Americans are even more confused. Fortunately, the Curmudgeon isn’t confused, and we’re here to help, so here are the Curmudgeon’s political principles:
We don’t fit neatly into the traditional — but ever-shifting — American dichotomies of left-right, or liberal-conservative, or Democrat-Republican; nor are we strictly libertarian. We certainly have preferences among those contemporary movements (strongly leaning toward the shrinking libertarian wing of the Republican party), but we always find objectionable elements in the positions of every candidate and party.
Why is that? It’s because no one in the last century or two — probably not since the generation of the Founders — thinks about politics the way we do. Yes, we’re old-fashioned, but that’s a Curmudgeonly prerogative.
We are an ardent supporter of all that came out of the Enlightenment. No, we’re not talking about (nor to we personally know about) spiritual enlightenment, that blessed but elusive condition experienced by mystics such as the Buddha. Rather, we refer to something unique to Western Civilization — the Scottish Enlightenment, which strongly advocated reason, liberty, science, and free enterprise, and which directly inspired the American Revolution, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.
Please, don’t contact us to argue that these uniquely American achievements were derived from scripture. They wouldn’t exist had there been no Enlightenment. That may surprise you, because most people living in post-Enlightenment America are unaware of how vastly different our thoughts are from those of people in pre-Enlightenment times. For an example of pre-Enlightenment, scripture-inspired life in America, check out the Salem witch trials. Compared to us, those people might as well be Martians. The difference was caused by the Enlightenment. If you’re confused about this, we have an optional sidebar for you:
Fact one: Religion and tyranny flourished together, quite comfortably, in the centuries before the Enlightenment. They still do in those parts of the world where the Enlightenment hasn’t penetrated. Fact two: The bible tells only about kingdoms, on earth and in heaven. It couldn’t have been a political handbook for the American Revolution. Fact three: Clergymen were not in the vanguard of the Revolution, nor were they influential at the Constitutional Convention. Fact four: Hamilton and Madison, who explained the Constitution clause-by-clause in the Federalist Papers, did so totally without scriptural references. It would have been good politics for them to argue that the Constitution was based on scripture, but there was no scriptural basis for concepts like a decentralized federal republic, a two-house legislature, limited government with enumerated powers, representation based on population, checks and balances, prohibiting religious qualifications for holding office, allowing secular oaths, and providing that a man-made Constitution was the supreme law of the land.
It’s true that our religion provided the moral background for the society of the Founders, but does anyone doubt that they could have done their work in classical Greece or in the Roman republic? Those societies worshiped the Olympian gods, but to the Athenians or Romans, that wouldn’t have been an impediment to an American style of government. What they lacked was what the Founders learned from the Enlightenment.
Those who praise the accomplishments of the American Revolution, yet somehow ignore the Enlightenment and assign all the credit to their religion remind us of Rosie Ruiz. You can’t just claim the prize; you have to run the race.
What do we oppose? That’s simple — we’re opposed to every political system, ideology, or program that interferes with reason, liberty, science, and free enterprise. That includes, but certainly isn’t limited to, Marxism, socialism, fascism, and theocracy.
Because we’re dedicated to reason and science, we’re definitely opposed to the way creationism (including intelligent design “theory”) is trying to undermine the scientific method — another product of the Enlightenment — and cheat its way into public school science classes. Despite the false claims of its advocates, creationism is a religious doctrine; and religion (which we don’t oppose unless it becomes aggressive) belongs in church and any other non-governmental venue where it is voluntarily practiced.
Context is always important, so now you know that our appreciation of the Enlightenment is the background against which we evaluate all political issues, especially the positions taken by candidates running for President of the United States. It is, as they say, where we’re coming from.
We’ve expounded further on the Enlightenment theme in an earlier essay, and you can read that if you like, but it’s not necessary; by now you’ve got the general idea.
As you can imagine, being a Curmudgeon won’t win us any popularity contests. But — as befits a Curmudgeon — we don’t care; it’s sufficient to be correct.
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After considerable experience debating with creationists, I’ve concluded that it’s unwise to reveal one’s identity to them. I’m not worried about the leading creationists and Intelligent Design promoters. Those people aren’t likely to be a physical threat. I am worried about their followers, however. Anonymity seems the prudent course in dealing with them.
If you’re a scientist or a science-literate person, you can judge the merits of what I’ve written without knowing my identity. If you’ve ever dealt with creationists you’ll understand our precautions.
You can contact me at:
sc @ SensuousCurmudgeon . com [close up the spaces].
I can’t promise a reply, and I probably won’t look at unrequested attachments. Remarks about articles should be posted as comments.
The SensuousCurmudgeon: an Equal Opportunity blogger, defending the Enlightenment values of reason, liberty, science, and free enterprise against the ever-present evils of socialism, theocracy, all other irrational belief systems, and plain old ignorance, regardless of your age, race, religion, national origin, physical handicap, marital status, lifestyle preference, economic achievement, intellectual capacity, or the configuration of your genitalia.
How did we come up with “The Sensuous Curmudgeon”? It has nothing to do with the contents of this blog. The name was inspired by one of Isaac Asimov’s book titles, about which this Wikipedia article says:
In 1971, as a response to the popularity of sexual guidebooks such as The Sensuous Woman (by “J”) and The Sensuous Man (by “M”), Asimov published The Sensuous Dirty Old Man under the byline “Dr. ‘A'”, but with his full name prominently displayed on the cover.
Well, I thought it was funny.
In mid-September 2009 we changed the header to a series of pictures representing our Enlightenment theme: Aristotle, Galileo, Isaac Newton, Adam Smith, Benjamin Franklin, and Charles Darwin. The portraits are cropped from banknotes on which their likenesses appear:
Aristotle: 10,000 Greek Drachmas
Galileo Galilei: 2,000 Italian Lire
Isaac Newton: British 1 Pound note
Adam Smith: British 20 Pound note
Benjamin Franklin: US $100
Charles Darwin: British 10 Pound note
The blog’s original header picture was from The School of Athens.
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