THE sad little Louisiana creationism imbroglio continues, and on the part of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids) it’s descending into farce.
Whenever the Discoveroids get caught being creationists, their catalog of defensive moves is very limited. In some cases they use a technique we described a couple of years ago: Discovery Institute — Deny, Deny, Deny! Klinghoffer used that one again recently, and we wrote about it here: “What, me worry?”
They have one last desperate play they sometimes make, but they save it for their most extreme crises. They briefly stop their denials, address their opponents, and in an uncharacteristic moment of honesty they say: “So what?”
The only time we know of that they deployed this one was when their monstrously evil Wedge Document was exposed. Their reaction is posted at their website: The “Wedge Document”: “So What?”, and of course we posted about it here. We called that technique a “primitive attempt at new-age apologetics.”
You’re probably familiar with the Discoveroids’ latest crisis. A creationist school board in Louisiana’s Livingston Parish openly declared that they wanted to use the new law in their state — which had been hustled through the legislature with Discoveroid help — to teach creationism. This exposed to all the world what Louisiana’s “academic freedom” bill was really all about. The resulting chaos has been glorious to behold.
We wrote about the school board’s embarrassing indiscretion here: World-Class Idiocy. The National Center for Science Education did here: The latest from Livingston Parish; Barbara Forrest did here Livingston Parish School Board Wants to Implement Discovery Institute’s “Academic Freedom” Law; and Lauri Lebo did here: “Taking a Stand for Jesus” in the Public Schools.
It got so bad that the overlord of the Discoveroids had to throw the Livingston Parish school board under the bus. But that only made things worse. We wrote about it here: Bruce Chapman’s Louisiana Damage Control. Lauri Lebo wrote Don’t Use the “C-Word”.
That’s when David Klinghoffer — the Discoveroid who seems to get all the dirty jobs — wrote Dear Lauri Lebo, Please Help Me Understand Your Conspiracy Theory. It was a spectacularly lame example of their “denial” technique, as we wrote here: “What, me worry?” Lauri actually took him up on it, writing Still Trying to Get Creationism into Science Classes — an absolutely devastating history of Discoveroid blunders, which she began by saying:
So, I figured since I’m being called out and all, this would be as good an opportunity as any for a nice retrospective piece on the Discovery Institute. (And, well, Mr. Klinghoffer did ask me to help him understand.)
As an indication of how disastrous the Discoveroids’ situation in Louisiana has now become, Klinghoffer is using the Discoveroids’ ultimate weapon — he’s saying: “Yeah, but so what?” At the Discoveroid blog we read: The Phantom Menace of Creationism. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
Conspiracy theorist Lauri Lebo, writing at Religion Dispatches, seeks to defend once more her cloudy thesis that by criticizing a move in Louisiana to teach creationism in public schools, Bruce Chapman revealed Discovery Institute’s secret plot to support teaching creationism in public schools. Even as conspiracy theories go, this one lacks plausibility.
Klinghoffer — a creationist Discoveroid — says Lauri’s thesis “lacks plausibility”? We are reminded of the immortal words of Bert Lance: “That’s like being called ugly by a frog.” Skipping over some really nonsensical material we come to this:
But as a thought experiment, imagine that ID really did identify the “intelligent cause” as a deity, a creator. Would that make it “creationism”?
What do you think, dear reader? Here’s how Klinghoffer handles that:
No, not unless you are in the habit of buying lame arguments based on tenuous verbal comparisons. Words have meanings. “Creationism” is a useful word to designate the claim of scientific evidence for a literal reading of Genesis, from the creation story to Noah’s flood. ID not only does not provide proof for a literalist Biblical theology. It goes head-on against such a theology on major points.
Right. The Discoveroids are old-earth creationists, not the more unsophisticated young-earth types. But they’re still creationists! Let’s read on:
Ms. Lebo thinks she has another smoking gun in the obvious sociological reality that arguments for ID are more popular among religious believers than among atheists.
But so what? If many people care about the Darwin debate more than about other disputes in science because it has implications for religion, that doesn’t make intelligent design an expression of “religion” or “Christianity,” much less of “creationism,” any more than the fact that Darwinism stirs enthusiasm among many atheists makes Darwinism a species of “atheism.” It isn’t that, is it, Ms. Lebo?
That’s how it ends. Amazing, isn’t it? Despite numerous examples to the contrary — e.g., The Clergy Letter Project — the Discoveroids endlessly bash evolution as being a surrogate for atheism. Now Klinghoffer is saying: “Hey, we know that’s not true, so why is it true that our movement is religious?”
There’s a very simple answer to Klinghoffer’s concluding toughie: Evolution truly isn’t congruent with atheism; but the rubbish pushed by Discoveroids really is creationism. Hey, Klinghoffer — is that the best you’ve got?
Actually, Klinghoffer’s impudent “So what?” is rather appropriate. The Discoveroids’ followers don’t care about the Louisiana affair — they know they’re all creationists and they’re happy with it. The behavior of the Livingston Parish school board doesn’t embarrass them — it probably thrills them. Meanwhile, the Discoveroids’ opponents already know that the Discoveroids are creationists — we’ve always known. So really, what difference does the mess in Louisiana make? Nothing will change.
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