Discovery Institute — Blithering Pettifoggery

WE WROTE ABOUT an article in the New York Times in which they described what was said to be a new creationist strategy for sneaking creationism into public school science classes. The Times article is here, Opponents of Evolution Are Adopting New Strategy, and our Curmudgeonly article about it is here: Texas: Debating “Strengths and Weaknesses” of Reality.

As you might imagine, the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids) couldn’t let a Times article stand without making an effort to deny its message about that was going on in Texas. So they’ve written this in their blog: New York Times Gets It Wrong: Teaching Strengths and Weaknesses Is Nothing New. Here are some excerpts, with bold added for Curmudgeonly emphasis:

The central premise that teaching “strengths and weaknesses” of Darwin’s theory (and chemical origin of life theories) is a new, post-Dover innovation is flagrantly false.

That this is false can be proven with only a minimal amount of research …

Actually, the claim that the “strengths and weaknesses” tactic is new wasn’t the central premise of the Times article. Rather, the Times was describing the tactic itself, and its likely effect on education in Texas, and elsewhere. And we don’t know if the older examples of “strengths and weaknesses” cited by the Discoveroids are accurate or not. We tend not to take their word for anything, but in this case it’s not worth the bother to check them out. It doesn’t really matter if the tactic in Texas is new. The point is that the tactic is being deployed by creationists.

By writing a blog article devoted entirely to the trivial issue of whether the tactic is new, the Discoveroids engaged in pettifoggery — bickering or quibbling over trifles or unimportant matters.

The Discoveroid blog article ends with this:

The story that critically examining the strengths and weaknesses of Darwin’s theory in the classroom is some newfangled idea is absurd. This is just another attempt of Darwinists to ignore the facts—which is certainly something they have a lot of practice doing.

The cdesign proponentsists have succeeded in writing a refutation of absolutely nothing. Way to go!

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One response to “Discovery Institute — Blithering Pettifoggery

  1. Pingback: Food Fight: Discovery Institute and NY Times « The Sensuous Curmudgeon