Klinghoffer in the LA Times

OUR last post about this persistent creationist was Klinghoffer Disgorges a Creationist Gusher. For those who don’t know who Klinghoffer is, here’s some background information, which most of you can skip:

David Klinghoffer, is a “Senior Fellow” (i.e., full-blown creationist) among the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids). David has his own blog, where his posts often duplicate what he says at the Discoveroids’ blog, or which are often praised by his comrades at the Discoveroid blog.

He has written a series of essays attempting to link Charles Darwin to: Hitler, and communism, and Stalin, and the Columbine shootings, and Charles Manson, and Holocaust Museum shooter, James von Brunn, and the Ft. Hood Massacre, and Mao Tse-tung, and Dr. Josef Mengele, and the Occult, and most recently The Dark Side of Darwinism.

What has this Discoveroid creature done now? He’s complaining about the political party that he and his creationist pals have been doing their best to destroy. In the Los Angeles Times we read From neocons to crazy-cons.

We’re fairly certain that Klinghoffer doesn’t regard himself and his fellow creationists as among the “crazy-cons.” Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

Once the conservative movement was about finding meaning in private life and public service. But it has undergone a shift toward demagoguery and hucksterism.

We stumble at the threshold. Conservatism was about “finding meaning”? Really? We always thought it was about defending the country and keeping government limited to its constitutional role, so that individuals could be free to conduct their peaceful and productive lives. “Finding meaning” is for gurus; it’s not the business of government or political movements. Let’s read on:

Conservatism wasn’t just a policy agenda, a set of partisan gripes or a football team seeking victory on the electoral field. Above all, it was a satisfying, sophisticated critique of modern, materialist culture, pointing a way out and up from liberalism.

What? We’re told that conservatism was “a satisfying, sophisticated critique of modern, materialist culture.” That sounds like Buddhism or some kind of mysticism. We continue:

Defining conservatism is notoriously difficult. But no one did it better than philosopher Richard M. Weaver in a book that, more than any other, launched the modern conservative movement. Published in 1948, the book was “Ideas Have Consequences.”

Weaver? Not Friedrich A. Hayek or Milton Friedman? Not Barry Goldwater? Not even Ayn Rand? Well, Rand’s debatable. All of them influenced our own conservatism, as did the great Enlightenment thinkers, but Klinghoffer doesn’t mention them. Here’s more:

Weaver describes the course of the revolution in thought that led from a seemingly obscure philosophical debate in the Middle Ages through Darwinian evolutionary theory to class-based determinist theories in economics and onward to contemporary liberal relativism.

That’s Klinghoffer! Now we’re told that the conservative movement — in its good old days — was a counter-revolution against the theory of evolution. It’s amazing what one can learn by reading Klinghoffer. Moving along:

Weaver observed: “If we feel that creation does not express purpose, it is impossible to find an authorization for purpose in our lives.” A life without real purpose is likely to be anxious, restless, prone to bitterness and suspicion. The goal of conservatism was to restore to men and women a metaphysical dream that allows for ultimate meaning in our existence.

This keeps getting better. It’s creationism that gives purpose to our lives!

There’s more in Klinghoffer’s article, but it’s more of the same. Click over the the L.A. Times to read it all — if you’re a Klinghoffer fan. We’ll skip a lot and give you the final paragraph:

When I became a conservative, that is what I signed up for: a profound vision granting transcendent significance to public life and hope in private life. The goal wasn’t to defeat Democratic officeholders or humiliate left-wing activists. It was, and still is, with those who remember, to save civilization.

So there you have it — in Klinghoffer’s Discoveroid brain, his kind of conservatism — creationism — is going to save civilization. Frankly, dear reader, your Curmudgeon has never encountered anyone with whom we disagree more.

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

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14 responses to “Klinghoffer in the LA Times

  1. Klingon is getting pounded in the LA Times comments like he did at the Huff Po. He is truly, shockingly ignorant about history and politics. And he’s being called out on it. Who taught the little twerp, Ben Stein?

  2. The Discovery Institute: Saving civilization, whether civilization likes it or not.

  3. Now I’m even more confused about what ‘real’ conservatism is. “…a profound vision granting transcendent significance…”? Is that anything like finding an image of Jesus in a potato chip?

  4. Discovery Institute = Dishonesty Institute.

  5. Sounds like he’s describing so-called “social conservatism,” the neo-theocratic ideology that really has nothing to do with political conservatism.

  6. James F says:

    Sounds like he’s describing so-called “social conservatism,” the neo-theocratic ideology that really has nothing to do with political conservatism.

    I think it’s worse than that. He’s a mystic, pure and simple, and he’s seeking transcendence in a fairy tale he calls conservatism. But I suspect that Barry Goldwater wouldn’t have any points in common with him.

  7. Gabriel Hanna

    The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.–Robert Heinlein

    HT: one of your cousins.


  8. Gabriel Hanna

    David Klinghoffer is on record as saying that in the perfect kingdom that will exist when the Messiah comes, sabbath-breaking will be a capital offense. This puts him firmly in the camp of those wish to control others.

  9. 10 credit-hours of symbolic logic, and I still can’t parse Klinghoffer’s crap. Kudos to those who try. I ain’t Hari Seldon, but I’ll try to give it another whack. Seriously.

  10. Gabriel Hanna

    The LA Times printed him because he’s a conservative bashing conservatives, ostensibly.

    In the second half of the editorial, he goes right back to Darwin = Hitler.

  11. Self-described “conservatives” who peddle creationism/ID, and either peddle or approve of Klinghoffer’s Darwin-to-Hitler-To-Columbine-etc. paranoia, are authoritarians.

    http://www.theadvocates.org/ graphically shows the difference between conservative, authoritarian, libertarian, liberal, etc.

  12. Creationism (especially including ID) is nothing but a source of nihilism, the denial of even the ability of anyone to find meaning from “mere evidence.” It was not always so, of course, as it tried to match up a very limited number of causes with bewildering effects.

    Now it’s the absolute denial of our capacity to differentiate between designed entities and those which are not designed. Here’s a gem from Meyer’s book of how not to comprehend evolution:

    According to classical Darwinism, and now modern neo-Darwinism, the mechanism of natural selection acting on random variations (or mutations) can mimic the effects of intelligence, even though the mechanism is, of course, entirely blind, impersonal, and undirected.

    Signature in the Cell p. 18

    If true, science would be the most stupid enterprise on earth. Of course any real scientist is well aware of the important ways in which evolution falls short of intelligence, from lacking any sort of foresight, to being unable to use solutions if their precursors (at least) are not transmitted vertically or horizontally, to the total extinction of many entire phyla.

    But never mind that clear differences between what intelligence and evolution can produce, and the abundant evidence that the former is not seen in non-engineered life while the latter is exclusively seen, Meyer’s prejudices simply won’t allow that the evidence tells against his claims. Hence all of the evidence for evolution is actually evidence for design, no matter that nothing has ever been seen to design entities like life (the closest we can get to it is by mimicking evolution via genetic algorithms).

    Worse is that ID can mean nothing, since we aren’t supposed to expect anything like goodness or actually intelligent designs in organisms. It’s god did it, and nothing more, with all of the stupidity and cruelty being an absolutely incomprehensible “purpose” which is supposed to satisfy humanity’s desires and prejudices in favor of purpose. That is to say, nothing in life means anything, which is no doubt better than matching up cause and effect as we do in evolution.

    And Klinghoffer is perhaps the most ignorant dolt in the DI who is actively pushing this colossally anti-sophisticated anti-reasoning denial of meaning. He pushes conservatism to the depth of uncomprehending ignorance, and pretends that this is a return to the intelligence of people who could actually discuss ideas and evidence.

  13. techreseller

    I wonder how someone like Klinghoffer is able to balance a checkbook or add up a column of numbers. His random connecting of facts with little or no logical relationship suggests an inability to understand logic at all. If one cannot understand logic and the accurate relationship of one thing to another, it would seem that anytime he added a column of numbers or balanced his checkbook the answer would come a different way each time.

    But of course. God adds it up for him. Being omniscient he knew what Klingoffer needs and “poof” the correct answer just appears. Gosh, glad that is settled.

  14. Gabriel Hanna

    No, he understands numbers and logic perfectly well. To one person he’ll say that 2+2 = 5 and to another that 2 + 2 = 3. He’s inconsistent and dishonest in his application and exposition of logic.

    It’s the difference between being a flake and being a charlatan, like if Shirley Maclaine had been charging for psychic readings or expositions of past lives.