LAST YEAR we saw a well-coordinated assault on reason carried out by the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids) and some of their allies. It was a two-pronged operation: (1) Ben Stein’s “Expelled” — A Canadian Conspiracy; and (2) the Discoveroids’ Academic Freedom Act.
The film flopped, but it provided considerable background buzz and emotional support for the Discoveroids’ faith-based network of fellow travelers in various state legislatures. As we said in the “Canadian Conspiracy” article linked above:
At an April 15 press conference for bloggers held at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., the movie’s producers said that they plan to use the movie as part of a campaign to roll out legislation in states — so-called “freedom bills”— that would forbid anyone from “punishing” teachers and professors who question “Darwinism.” Walt Ruloff [who bankrolled the film] noted that the science standards of about 26 states are currently in play and that Florida was likely to pass such a “freedom bill.”
That was last year’s campaign. All they have to show for it — so far — is the passage of one of their “Academic Freedom” bills in Louisiana — a minor achievement which is not expected to survive a court challenge.
What do they have planned for 2009? Presumably they will continue their efforts: (1) to get “Academic Freedom” bills passed; (2) to elect creationists to school boards; and (3) to push for “strengths and weaknesses” language in state educational standards to confuse the teaching of scientific theories. But that’s old stuff. Are they planning anything new?
We think so. In this Discoveroid blog article, Turning Darwin Day Into Academic Freedom Day, we see what may be the outline of a new campaign. As most of you know, 2009 is the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth, and it’s also the 150th anniversary of the publication of Origin of Species. Many universities are planning celebrations, exhibits, speeches, lecture programs, and other worthy commemorative events.
It’s possible — although we make no accusations — that the Discoveroids are encouraging the creation of creationist cells on campus, each one a locus of ignorance and irrationality, whose function will be to disrupt these celebratory events.
Why do we think this? We’ll give you the evidence and let you decide for yourselves. Here are some excerpts from the Discoveroid article, with bold added by us:
As you can imagine, Darwinists have a full year of celebrations planned, and February 12th, Darwin’s birthday, is likely to be the high water mark for most of those celebrations. Every year Darwin Day celebrations get more and more elaborate and outrageous. Celebrants decorate evolution trees, sign Darwin carols and odes to natural selection, and eat from the tree of life.
Yeah, “more and more elaborate and outrageous.” They’re talking like it’s some kind of “gay pride” event. Continuing:
Naturally, we don’t want you to miss out on the fun. On Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday (Feb. 12, 2009), we want students everywhere to speak out against censorship and stand up for free speech by defending the right to debate the evidence for and against evolution and turn “Darwin Day” into Academic Freedom Day.
That link takes you somewhere, but it’s not worth the effort of a click.
Are we over-reacting to the Discoveroids’ telling their creationist campus cadres that “we don’t want you to miss out on the fun”? We don’t think so. Creationists see Darwin as the devil himself — the author of all evil in the world. To them, Darwin Day activities are the same thing as a gathering of Satan-worshiping witches. What “fun” are they talking about? Disrupting peaceful Darwin Day activities? Shouting down speakers? Burning books? Bashing heads? We don’t know, but we’re curious.
When dealing with creationists, it’s prudent to exercise healthy suspicion. We know their motives. Read about their Wedge strategy and you’ll be suspicious too.
Here’s more from the Discoveroid article:
Our plan is to get student groups and clubs, as well as individual students, to organize Academic Freedom Day events, on or about Feb. 12th. These events can be as simple as having a table on campus where people can sign the Academic Freedom Petition and find out more about academic freedom on evolution. Or the events can be more elaborate, including screening Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, or Icons of Evolution on campus.
Maybe they’re planning on just good, clean, harmless creationist fun — whatever that is. Maybe. But if we were responsible for campus security, we wouldn’t take any chances.
Copyright © 2008. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.