Creationist Wisdom #96: Alan Keyes

Buffoon Award

Our jolly buffoon logo adorns this post because the article we’re writing about appears in WorldNetDaily. That journalistic organ won our Buffoon Award, after which they went on to defend Kent Hovind, to argue for Theocracy, and to praise the brilliance of Ray Comfort.

Today we present some excerpts from The evolutionist’s comical dogma. The author is Alan Keyes, a Republican candidate for US President every election since 1992, and a candidate for the US Senate from even before then. Most famously, he ran against — and lost to — Barack Obama in the Illinois Senate election of 2004.

Our last comprehensive discussion of creationism and presidential politics was here: Which 2012 Presidential Challengers Are Creationists? After that we wrote about Rick Santorum . Now it’s Keyes’ turn.

In case you were wondering whether Keys is mentally competent, his appearance in WorldNetDaily and the content of his article should clarify the situation. Keyes’ writing, like his speaking, seems to be thesaurus-driven. He invariably selects the synonym with the maximum number of syllables, thus his prose is all but impenetrable. Therefore we’ll give you only a few snippets, but this won’t be any fun. The bold font was added by us. Here we go:

I am continually impressed with the incongruity of our situation as Americans. We live in a country where the form of government (a constitutional republic framed to secure unalienable rights by implementing the principle that the just powers of government are derived from the consent of the people) logically and historically depends upon an idea of human justice that appeals to the authority of the Creator.

Sorry, but we don’t see the logical connection. Let’s read on:

But it is also a country where the most widely accepted and enforced paradigm for human knowledge (empirical science) is held to require the exclusion of creation as a rational explanation for the existence of human life.

Poor Alan. Science isn’t scriptural and neither was the American Revolution. He can’t deal with it. We continue:

I again experienced this impression recently as I read an article about the controversy in which Stephen Meyer’s book “The Signature in the Cell” continues to simmer.

Ah. Keyes is following the line of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids). He’s not one of those brain-dead young-earth creationists. Oh no, he’s one of those clever creationists — the stealthy kind who pretend that there’s some science behind their Oogity Boogity.

As for Meyer and his book, we’ve mentioned them before, and here, and here, so we won’t trouble you further with our views. But Keyes is impressed, so let’s hear from him:

In his book, Meyer gives an account of the path of rational inquiry along which he encountered the questions he explores. … According to Meyer’s account, it was not his faith in the existence of a Creator that gave rise to the questions. Rather, it is the rational cogency of the questions that impels him and others like him toward the hypothesis of a “master programmer” whose intelligent predispositions would account for the complex encoding of material substances now identified as the key to explaining the activities of even the simplest living organisms.

Right. It’s not faith, it’s “rational cogency” that leads to Oogity Boogity. Here’s more:

At the very least, the deep encoding of matter that appears to underlie the mechanisms of life appears to cast a shadow over the significance of the supposedly wonderful achievement represented by Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Hey, Keyes isn’t talking about your everyday code. Oh no — this is about “deep encoding.” Deep! Moving along:

According to the evolutionists, this achievement involved empirically accounting for the panoply of life, the crowning glory of the intelligently ordered and consummately coordinated phenomena of the natural world, without positing the existence and will of a consummately intelligent being as the source of that order.

That’s a classic Alan Keys sentence. Translation: Evolutionists don’t start with a presumption of supernatural causation. Another excerpt:

But a dogmatic emotionalism seems to drive those who ridicule and seek to ban any consideration of the “intelligent design” hypothesis

We’re starting to suffer from creationism fatigue, also known as flaming fool exposure syndrome, so we can’t go on much longer. But we’ll try:

The general theory of evolution purports to explain the causal origin of life.

Presumably that’s in contrast to Darwin’s earlier special theory of evolution, which … uh … well … you know. On with the article:

But it does so ironically, as it denies both the external ordering essential to the concept of causality and the inward causality essential to the concept of life. The very idea of evolution implies arrangement toward a goal. Why, then, do evolutionists insist that in order to be scientific, one must deny that, as such, the goal exists?

That’s it. We’re done. Can’t take any more. If you can, then click over to WorldNetDaily and go for it.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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10 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #96: Alan Keyes

  1. I really wish people would stop telling me that magical sky beings poofing things into existence is the rational explanation. A few braincells threaten suicide every time I hear it.

  2. Albanaeon, they all say that. Have you ever heard of a crazy person who admitted that he was irrational?

  3. Well, Keyes has one minor point that’s worth noticing: the political theory implemented in the Constitution rests on the rights of the people to “ordain and establish this Constitution.” Such rights cannot be, it seems to me, rights granted by the government, as the right to marry or drive would be. The right to establish a government cannot itself be granted by any government. Locke, of course, is happy to regard such rights as granted to each and every individual by the Creator. And this raise to my mind an interesting question: can an atheist be a classical (Lockean) liberal?

    Granted, this question really has nothing to do with the Controversy, and it’s disingenuous in the extreme for Keyes to pretend otherwise. (Though more likely he’s simply massively confused.) He’s making at least three separate but connected arguments here:

    1) Evolution implies atheism.
    2) Atheism is inconsistent with liberalism.
    3) Evolution is inconsistent with liberalism.


    1a) Evolution is held dogmatically.
    2a) No true science is held dogmatically.
    3a) Evolution is not a true science.


    1b) All true science is consistent with theism.
    2b) Evolution is inconsistent with theism.
    3b) Therefore, evolution is not true science.

  4. Curdge, very true. I just hope that continued exposure isn’t dangerous to my sanity and intelligence…

  5. retiredsciguy

    I really like Carl Sachs’s analysis of Keyes’s inscrutable writing — “He’s (Keyes) making at least three separate but connected arguments here …”

    The problem with Keyes’s writing is as you said, Curmy — “He invariably selects the synonym with the maximum number of syllables…”, thus making his writing difficult to interpret. I suspect he does this to impress, to make the reader think, “Gee, this guy uses really big words. He must really be intelligent.”

    In fact, the opposite is true. It takes a great deal of intelligence to state a complex idea simply.

  6. I doubt his poor style is calculated, though it could be. More likely he’s never had clear, crisp style modeled for him, and so he believes that tortured, obscurantist prose is simply the appropriate style for such ruminations. I see the same thing among my students all the time. But I don’t deny that for the less critical readers, his prose has the effect of sounding intellectual when the ideas behind it don’t have the substance to back it up.

  7. Carl Sachs says: “More likely he’s never had clear, crisp style modeled for him …”

    Two words: Winston Churchill.

  8. More Churchill:

    “Broadly speaking, short words are the best, and old words are the best of all.”

  9. Carl Sachs: ” … for the less critical readers, his prose has the effect of sounding intellectual when the ideas behind it don’t have the substance to back it up.”


  10. Not that it justifies his misrepresentations of evolution in any way, but “Discoveroid” Michael Medved is no fan of Keyes or WorldNetDaily.

    This is just another opportunity for us to make it a little less comfortable in the big tent.