Discovery Institute: Creationist Gibberish

EVERY group that rejects the outside world will eventually develop unique folkways and linguistic peculiarities. It’s the inevitable consequence of their self-imposed isolation. The neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids) are no exception — indeed, they’re typical.

Almost two years ago we wrote about some of the Discoveroids’ odd expressions: Discovery Institute: Their Own Version of Newspeak. Now it’s time to revisit this issue.

At the Discoveroid blog we find Back to School: Do You Know What Your Child Is Learning? The substance is pure creationist nonsense, of course, so we won’t bother with it; but the article is an excellent vehicle for exploring how odd and ingrown their terminology has become. Things have almost degenerated to the stage where we need a translator to understand their quirky communications.

As we’ve done before, we’ll excerpt some good examples from their latest article to illustrate the situation, with bold added for emphasis. Here’s how it starts:

Another school year is set to begin at high schools and colleges where the next round of biology students will be filled with evolutionary misinformation. At the center of this propaganda campaign are the many biology textbooks used to indoctrinate young minds with old dogma. These textbooks contain the latest evolutionary newspeak, but the underlying lies are no different.

That opening paragraph is a treasury of twaddle! It’s loaded with cultish eccentricities. “Evolutionary misinformation” is their term for teaching the theory of evolution as part of a sound science education. “Propaganda campaign” means science education. “Indoctrinate young minds with old dogma” means teach students good science.

“Evolutionary newspeak” means the theory of evolution. Interestingly, we used “newspeak” when we wrote our earlier post about the Discoveroids’ strange linguistic ways; now they’re using it against us. The “underlying lies” are the hard-won, objectively verifiable conclusions from generations of scientific observation and testing.

See how it goes? That was only their first paragraph. Let’s read on:

The apologists make a pathetic attempt to enlist the fossil record as powerful evidence for evolution, and end up with only the usual religious dogma.

The “apologists” are scientists. The Discoveroids, like all creationists, are in the grip of a delusion that science is a religion — one that competes with theirs. The “usual religious dogma” is a scientifically valid conclusion, based on observation of the evidence.

This sort of thing quickly gets boring, so we’ll skip to the end:

Only evolutionists can make fools of themselves with a straight face and then repeat the process ad nauseam.

Strictly speaking, that’s not an example of cult-speak. It’s a rather primitive rhetorical device with a fine Latin name: tu quoque, which means “you too!” It’s commonly encountered on the school playground, where young children respond to insults by saying: I’m not a poop-head; you’re a poop-head! That’s usually followed up with Nyaaa, nyaaaa, nyaaaaaaaaa!

There are times when tu quoque is entirely proper, such as when both sides of a debate are equally at fault for something. But when only one side of a debate is represented by fools, it’s rather pathetic when that side — as if to emphasize its own foolishness — defends itself by accusing the opposition of being fools.

In today’s Discoveroid example, the tu quoque tactic seems to have been deployed preemptively, but that’s not really the case. After long observation, we assure you that it’s now used habitually among Discoveroids as part of their everyday discourse — as if in response to years of playground taunts.

It’s going to be a wonderful world when science is controlled by people like the Discoveroids, and everyone is trained in their form of — ahem! — critical thinking.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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10 responses to “Discovery Institute: Creationist Gibberish

  1. “indoctrinate young minds with old dogma”

    Had to laugh at this one, the very definition of their campaign, to force creationism on young children. This is so also falls under the tu quoque

  2. “Only evolutionists can make fools of themselves with a straight face and then repeat the process ad nauseam.”

    Ah! I get it, it’s backwards day at the DI.

  3. at long last, the scientific methodology employed at the “Discovery” Institute has been identified:

    “argumentum tu quoque”

  4. Gabriel Hanna

    Does Michael Behe know that the DI line is now that fossils don’t indicate common descent?

    Just wondering, because we all know that he accepts the common descent of life. That’s what he SAYS he accepts.

  5. Gabriel Hanna says: “That’s what he SAYS he accepts.”

    Surely, you can believe Behe. I mean, if he says something, why would you doubt it?

  6. Gabriel Hanna


    One of your cousins, SC!

  7. Gabriel Hanna

    Anyway, it looks as though DI is at last dropping the pretense that they are anything but creationists. They can now confine their lying to lying about science, instead of lying about themselves.

  8. Gabriel Hanna says: “One of your cousins, SC!”

    Right. I’ve known about that one for a long time. It’s a very well-written blog, but it’s not the subject matter I’m drawn to every day. Way down on his right margin he’s got a “Curmudgeons” blogrroll with a list of other curmudgeons, and he’s got me there.

  9. The DI goes back and forth on this, or should I say manic depressive. After about 6 weeks of abject creationism (Corny Hunter anybody?) they’ll drag out little Casey Lusqoito to squeak about Conflation and Misrepresentation.

    Regular as clockwork.

  10. If the Discoveroids un-closeted and came out as full-blown creationists, the only one who would be shocked is Casey. He really thinks they’re a science outfit.