Orwellian Doublethink and Discoveroid Creationism

This is the most astonishing post we’ve ever seen at the creationist blog of the Discovery Institute. It’s titled Doublethink: Censor of the Year Calls for Free Speech, and it was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

It’s been decades since I first read 1984, but it clearly is a book for our current cultural and political moment. I bought a copy at a used book store the other day and the tattooed and purple-haired young lady at the register gave me a curious glance. She commented, “Oh, I’ve had other people asking about this book. Why are you reading it now?” I wasn’t going to get into a discussion about current events, but I couldn’t entirely stop myself. I said, “Well, it just seemed timely.” [Skipping unimportant stuff.] It was almost, but not quite, a conversation from Orwell’s dystopian novel, where truth can barely be hinted at, and then carefully covered over, never stated outright.

After that nonsensical introduction, says:

Even more Orwellian was a comment in a New York Times article that a colleague passed around last night with some amusement. The Times reports, “ M.I.T.’s Choice of Lecturer Ignited Criticism. So Did Its Decision to Cancel”. The lecturer is Dorian Abbot, “a scientist who has opposed aspects of affirmative action.” Well, that’s enough to get you canceled.

What’s so Orwellian about that article? Klinghoffer tells us:

Among those weighing in on the topic was, of all people, our Censor of the Year from 2014, atheist and evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne at the University of Chicago.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Everyone around here knows about Jerry Coyne. That’s a link to his Wikipedia write-up. We recently discussed the controversy that made him such a popular subject around here — see A Book about the Ball State Imbroglio. The Discoveroids were — and still are — furious that Coyne was able to snuff out a course that taught creationism. Klinghoffer continues:

A pioneer of cancel culture [Hee hee!], Coyne earned that distinction by using his own clout to squash a young physicist, Eric Hedin, who was then teaching at Ball State University. Hedin’s thoughtcrime (Orwell’s term) was to introduce his students to intelligent design. Acting in concert with the bullies at the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Coyne got Hedin canceled.

Well, he got Hedin’s course cancelled. Let’s read on:

The idea was to put the less powerful scientist down the memory hole (Orwell again), but they didn’t entirely succeed. Hedin is still teaching [at Biola. a bible college], though no longer at Ball State, and he tells his story in a recent book, Canceled Science: What Some Atheists Don’t Want You to See. [Link omitted!]

We wrote about that book a few months ago — see Eric Hedin’s Book Explains the Whole Universe. Back to Klinghoffer:

Cut to 2021 and here is the same Jerry Coyne, now presented without irony as a free speech advocate! From the Times story:

[Klinghoffer quotes Heden:] “I thought scientists would not get on board with the denial-of-free-speech movement,” said Jerry Coyne, an emeritus professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Chicago. “I was absolutely wrong, 100 percent so.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Preventing a creationist from teaching Oogity Boogity in a state university’s science class is a denial of free speech! Then Klinghoffer goes really wild:

Coyne, who punched down, canceled Eric Hedin, and never apologized, deplores what he calls the “denial-of-free-speech movement.” Try to wrap your mind around that one. George Orwell had the perfect word. In 1984, he called it “doublethink”:

Verily, the mind boggles! Klinghoffer babbles on for a bit, but we’re skipping most of it. Here’s our last excerpt:

Doublethink is one tool by which the prestige of science is used to hypnotize the public on behalf of a materialist picture of reality. Another is intimidation and bullying.

Okay, that’s enough. We can’t think of any witty way to end this post, because Klinghoffer has temporarily scrambled our brains. If you, dear reader, can read his post and still keep your wits intact, then let us hear from you.

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

Fine-Tuning, Therefore Oogity Boogity

This one at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog will absolutely persuade you to abandon your sinful Darwinism. The title of the Discoveroids’ post is Life: Fearfully and Wonderfully Fine-Tuned, and it has no author’s by-line. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

A new ID the Future episode [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!] spotlights the incredible fine-tuning of life.

What the flaming *BLEEP* is the fine-tuning of life? Yes, we live on this planet, but that doesn’t mean that some deity tweaked us so that we could live here; nor does it mean that the deity tweaked the Earth so it would accommodate us. We evolved to live here. Those organisms that couldn’t survive didn’t pass their inadequate characteristics to the next generation. This isn’t complicated, folks! Ah well, let’s continue with the Discoveroid post. They say:

Robert J. Marks hosts Stockholm University professor of mathematical statistics Ola Hössjer and University of Miami population geneticist Daniel Díaz. The three discuss strategies for extending the concept of fine-tuning to biological systems [Great idea!], and along the way touch on population genetics, entropy, and probability theory.

It sounds like an absolutely thrilling conversation. After that the Discoveroids tell us:

Download the podcast or listen to it here. [Yeah, sure. Link omitted!]

The Discoveroid post continues:

At the center of the discussion are three technical papers — here, here, and here [All three links omitted!] — each co-authored by one or more of the three members of the podcast discussion.

Isn’t this fun? Let’s read on:

This episode is reposted from Mind Matters News, a website of Discovery Institute’s Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence.

Wowie — the Discoveroids are re-posting their own stuff! Hey — we’ve arrived at the end of their post. Here’s the last of it:

Head over to their podcast page [Link omitted!] to find the other episodes in this interview series.

Would ya believe it, that’s all there is to their post. It wasn’t very long, but you gotta admit, the thing was jam-packed with important information. There’s no doubt about it — Darwinism is doomed!

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

Is It Time for the Discoveroids To Get Nasty?

This one at the creationist blog of the Discovery institute may signal a whole new era in their war against Darwin’s theory of evolution, and maybe science in general. It’s titled Stephen Meyer, Eric Metaxas: Are Atheists Gaslighting Us?, and it was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Stephen Meyer and Eric Metaxas talked about their respective new books — Return of the God Hypothesis and Is Atheism Dead? [Links omitted!] The two are in agreement about a great deal, and in fact Eric in his book employs arguments for intelligent design developed by Meyer and other ID theorists, with full credit.

Thrilling news — two creationist authors talked about their new creationist books, and they agree with each other. Whoopie! Also, for those not familiar with his name, according to Wikipedia, Eric Metaxas “is an American Christian author, speaker, and conservative radio host.” Then everything gets strange. Klinghoffer says:

But one interesting question where they don’t quite overlap emerges in the conversation. [What could it be?] Metaxas gently chides Dr. Meyer for his graciousness to opponents in the world of scientific atheism.

Meyer is too gracious? What behavior does Metaxas want? Klinghoffer tells us:

Eric raises the question of whether the atheists [Scientist = atheist?] are gaslighting us — given how absurd their defenses against theism seem to be. He notes directed panspermia and the multiverse as illustrations.

There’s an ark-load of stuff in that. Aside from the claim that “evolution = atheism,” there’s the delightful word gaslighting. It means “to cause a person to doubt his or her sanity through the use of psychological manipulation.” And how do we get creationists to doubt their sanity? Metaxas says we’re always ranting about directed panspermia and the multiverse. BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Frankly, your Curmudgeon has never known anyone on the evolution side who seriously cared about those things, but Metaxas thinks they’re bedrock concepts. Klinghoffer continues:

This suggests to Metaxas that the proper response, even to distinguished scientists like the late Steven Weinberg or Stephen Hawking, is laughter and ridicule, not respectful engagement.

Metaxas is a really classy guy! Let’s read on. Klinghoffer says:

It’s an idea…but I come down more on Steve Meyer’s side on this one. Not because I’m persuaded that there is an obligation always to be winsome. There’s a time for peace and a time for war, after all.

That’s what he said — in the great debate between evolution and creationism, there’s a time for peace and a time for war. Klinghoffer finishes with this:

But if the objective is to persuade and enlighten, then you have to take opponents’ ideas seriously, present them in their strongest and most sophisticated form, and then dismantle them, as Meyer does in his book. [Hee hee!] That aside, it’s an entertaining and illuminating episode of The Eric Metaxas Radio Show. Metaxas is a great host and interlocutor, as always. You’ll find it here. [Link omitted!]

It’s a good thing the Discoveroids are still in a peaceful mode. We shudder to think what would happen to us if they were unleashed.

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

Casey Ain’t No Kin to No Monkey

This one is really going to shake your confidence in Darwinism. We found it at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog, and it’s titled Human-Chimp Similarity: What Is It and What Does It Mean? Good question, isn’t it? Well, what does it mean? You’re about to find out.

The Discoveroid post was written by Casey Luskin, everyone’s favorite creationist. If you don’t know who he is, see Guess Who’s Returning to the Discovery Institute, followed shortly thereafter by Casey Is Back — O the Joy! Okay, let’s get started. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

For years we’ve been told that human and chimp DNA is some 99 percent identical. The genetic similarity statistic is then used to make an argument for human-ape common ancestry, and human-ape common ancestry is then employed in service of the larger philosophical point that humans are just modified apes, and nothing special. It all amounts to an argument against human exceptionalism. This sort of thinking is embodied by Bill Nye (“The Science Guy”) in his 2014 book Undeniable:

[Casey quotes Bill Nye:] As our understanding of DNA has increased, we have come to understand that we share around 98.8 percent of our gene sequence with chimpanzees. This is striking evidence for chimps and chumps to have a common ancestor.

Casey is horrified and says:

But is this really true? In response to the newly released episode of Science Uprising on human origins [Link omitted!], we have recently received questions [from drooling idiots] about the true degree of human-chimp similarity. With that in mind, let’s review some past coverage on the issue.

He then quotes several articles that give different figures for the similarity of human and chimp DNA, after which he tells us:

Whatever the exact percentage of human-chimp genetic similarity (however you want to measure it) turns out to be, let’s grant that it will be fairly high, probably 84 percent or greater. Does this necessarily require the conclusion of common ancestry? [It doesn’t?] Is the case for common ancestry, based upon the degree of similarity, an objective or rigorous argument that’s capable of being falsified? For example, if a 1 percent genetic difference implies common ancestry, but then that statistic turns out to be wrong, then does a 4 percent genetic difference mean common ancestry is false? How about 7 percent or 10 percent genetic difference? 25 percent? At what point does the comparison cease to support common ancestry? Why does the percent genetic similarity even matter? [Is that a serious question?] It’s not clear that there is an objective standard for falsification here, any identifiable reason why a particular percentage of genetic similarity should be taken to indicate common ancestry.

Clever, huh? If there’s no specific number that will clinch the deal, then numbers don’t matter! He continues:

The case for human-chimp common ancestry is rendered significantly weaker once one realizes that there are other potential explanations for functional similarities: notably, design based upon a common blueprint. [Gasp!] Intelligent agents often re-use parts and components that perform common functions in different designs. It’s a good engineering design principle to follow! Everyday examples of this include wheels used on both cars and airplanes, or touchscreen keyboards used on both phones and tablets.

Casey is so brilliant! Then he spends several paragraphs quoting other Discoveroids. If you want to read that stuff, go right ahead, but we’re moving on. He says:

Of course some will cite shared NON-functional (as opposed to functional) genetic similarities between humans and chimps as better evidence for common ancestry. I agree that non-functional shared DNA could be a potential argument for common ancestry, but I’m skeptical that many of the DNA elements cited in these arguments are actually non-functional.

He cites a few instances where some DNA elements once thought to be non-functional were later found to have a function, so he dismisses that whole line of argument. Clever, huh? Then he makes a very strange argument:

Since many of the building blocks used by humans and chimps are similar, it’s no wonder that our protein-coding DNA is also so similar. Common design can explain these similarities. [Hee hee!] But it’s important to bear in mind that one can use identical building blocks — bricks, mortar, wood, and nails — to build very different houses. So it’s not just about having similar building blocks, but how you use them. This is where genetic similarities between humans and chimps probably aren’t so meaningful, when you consider how the building blocks being used can be very different.

Did you follow that? Good — you can explain it to us. Next, he quotes some of his Discoveroid colleagues about about human-chimp genetic differences. Obviously, there are differences, because humans aren’t chimps. We’re skipping that stuff. Ah, how about this:

And this leaves aside the vast cognitive and behavioral gulf between humans and chimpanzees. We are the only species that uses fire and technology. We are the only species that composes music, writes poetry, and practices religion. We are also the only species that seeks to investigate the natural world through science. We write papers about chimps; not the other way around. All of this is possible because we humans are the only species that uses complex language.

Wow — Casey’s right! We’re not chimps! Then he brings the whole thing to a thundering climax. Here it is:

The human race has unique and unparalleled moral, intellectual, and creative abilities. Regardless of the level of similarity of human protein-coding DNA to chimps, clearly that similarity is only a small part of the story. [Well, it’s obviously not the whole story!] If anything, it testifies that protein-coding DNA sequences are only one of multiple crucial interacting factors that determine an organism’s biology and behavior.

So there you are. Casey ain’t no kin to no monkey, and neither are you — unless, of course, you’re a Darwinist!

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.