THE SECOND WINNER of the Curmudgeon’s coveted Buffoon Award is the entire staff of WorldNetDaily, an institution which is becoming one of our favorite sources of amusement. In that spectacularly strange publication, we read this amazing bit of writing: Judge says creationism for the birds.
It’s essentially a creationist-oriented rant against the excellently written and superbly reasoned opinion, issued on 20 December 2005, by Judge John E. Jones III in the case of Kitzmiller et al. v Dover Area School District et al., followed by an explosion of exultation over the creationist victory represented by the passage of the Louisiana Science Education Act and its signing by governor Bobby Jindal.
Louisiana’s law is payback for Dover. Creationists were defeated in a Dover court room, but now they’ve come back swinging in the Louisiana legislature. Take that, Darwinists!
The tone of the WorldNetDaily piece is evident in this excerpt (we’re using bold for emphasis):
In delivering his opinion in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, Jones became a hero to beleaguered Darwinists who, unable to hold off scientific criticism much longer …
That’s the author’s understanding of things. Evolution is mindless dogma, which is unable to “hold off scientific criticism much longer” unless aided by judicial tyranny. Clearly, the author never read the Dover opinion, and knows nothing about science.
Here’s another excerpt:
Threatening more million-dollar lawsuits to “keep religion out of the classroom,” Darwinists derail every effort to show the growing scientific evidence against Darwinism. Cash-strapped school boards, unable to challenge the supreme apostolic authority Galileo-style, have no option but to succumb.
Ah yes, the much-heralded but never seen “growing scientific evidence against Darwinism.” No doubt it will be revealed to us, sooner or later. We’ve only been waiting for 150 years. Until they have something to show — so far they don’t — all of creationism is an exercise in argumentum ex ano.
The article continues:
But, thankfully, there is a Galileo in the house. Louisiana’s Gov. Bobby Jindal ignored the pleas of would-be inquisitors and recently signed into law legislation allowing teachers to freely teach scientific criticisms of evolution …
There it is — the Galileo maneuver! Every kook, every maniac, every unwashed freak with a website — those who scream into the night that Newton was wrong, or Darwin was wrong, or Einstein was wrong, or that everyone is wrong (as is the case here: The ONLY Official Site for Gene Ray/TimeCube) — sooner or later, they all imagine themselves in the role of Galileo.
We were going to say something clever, like: “Oh yeah, well if Jindal is a Galileo, then …” but we couldn’t think of anything even remotely analogous. It may well be that the author of that article has come up with the ultimate — the world’s most ridiculous statement. This is why we’ve honored WorldNetDaily with the Buffoon Award.
If you’re not yet up to speed on the Galileo affair, then you must stop all other activities and read about it. Do it now. You’re not truly educated unless you know about this, because it ranks right up there with the American Revolution in its significance for Western Civilization. Here’s an essential site: Trial of Galileo Galilei.
Far too many people grow to adulthood knowing nothing about Galileo except maybe some vague, half-digested recollections about the pendulum, and dropping weights from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and something about the telescope. Yet the trial of Galileo was one of the most important events in history. When you read up on it, you’ll understand what we mean.
Galileo’s clash with the Inquisition is rarely taught in Sunday school, because it’s still an enormous embarrassment — even after almost 400 years; and it’s rarely taught in secular schools because it’s so intertwined with the subject of religion.
Galileo was not only a splendid scientist, but his confrontation with the Inquisition is the all-time classic example of reason vs theocratic tyranny. We think it even outranks the trial of Socrates, who was executed for “corrupting the youth of Athens and impiety” by encouraging his students to question authority.
Anyway, because WorldNetDaily has resorted to the Galileo ploy, let’s see how many different ways can we distinguish the “suffering” of creationists caused by “Darwinists” from the plight of Galileo at the hands of the Inquisition:
1. Galileo was a private citizen, totally powerless. (Jindal is a governor, signing on to the almost unanimous act of his creationist legislature.)
2. The Inquisition arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and executed people. (Biologists are not quite so “advanced” in their methods.)
3. Galileo was concerned with science, and he had evidence. (Creationists hate science and have no evidence.)
4. The Inquisition was concerned with heresy, and they had scripture. (Scientists use reason, not authority, and have nothing comparable to heresy.)
5. Galileo’s book describing evidence for the solar system contradicted scripture, thus he was guilty. (Scientists who successfully overturn old theories are rewarded, not punished.)
6. Galileo was compelled to confess heresy and to renounce the solar system. See: Indictment and Abjuration of 1633. (Creationists never renounce any of their arguments.)
7. Galileo’s book was banned and placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. (Creationists get rich selling their books.)
8. Galileo was kept under house arrest for the remaining seven years of his life. (Creationists run free.)
Do you, gentle reader, begin to grasp that it’s utterly crazed for the creationists to claim the role of Galileo? (We might add that Galileo’s evidence contradicted a literal reading of scripture, but if the creationists actually understood that they’d be horrified.)
In the United States, no one has ever suffered any penalty (whether execution, imprisonment, or even a fine) for being a creationist. No one has been required to renounce his creationism. No one has been prosecuted or even arrested for being a creationist. (Contrast that to the plight of John Scopes: the Scopes Trial.) Creationists freely write, lecture, sell their totally uncensored books, organize and preach at churches, build and operate amusement parks, maintain websites and “think tanks,” home-school their children, and find employment in any institution that appreciates their talents. And as we’ve seen, they also serve as legislators. Evidence of creationist martyrdom is rather difficult to find.
It’s true that creationists are routinely found unfit to teach science at universities (just as we would all be found unfit for some occupations); and like everyone else, a creationist can be fired for incompetence. But tenured creationists like Michael Behe retain their positions. Comparing: (a) a creationist’s failure to qualify for a position he doesn’t deserve; with (b) the fate of Galileo, is literally beyond stupidity. It is, in the words of Wolfgang Pauli, “not even wrong.”
You may, if you can stand it, read the entire article in the WorldNetDaily. It’s a veritable catalog of creationist — shall we say — misconceptions. But whether you choose to suffer through the article, or whether you wisely decline, please join with us in celebrating the Curmudgeon’s second Buffoon Award.
In closing, we must add this: Please don’t post comments here to debate about Galileo and the solar system. Just don’t. They’ll probably be deleted. There are many websites that welcome such material, but this isn’t one of them. Instead, send your comments to WorldNetDaily. They may even offer you a job.
Addendum: The first Buffoon Award was announced here: Buffoon Award Winner — John West.
Copyright © 2008. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.
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I agree with your thesis, but in the matter of “global warming” I fear that your statement “…Scientists… have nothing comparable to heresy” may no longer apply.
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