We often encounter the sad phenomenon of a creationist who imagines that science — especially “Darwinism” — is some kind of wicked religion that competes with his own.
A good example is given to us today by the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).
The author of the latest Discoveroid rant is David Klinghoffer — a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist). We won’t bother to repeat our description of his creationist oeuvre here, but you can check it out in this recent post. Suffice it to say that Klinghoffer is very experienced at whipping out his “Darwin = Hitler–Marx-Stalin-Mao-Mengele-Manson-etc.” rhetorical device and waiving it around with merry abandon at any provocation.
We continue to be amazed that Klinghoffer gets paid to write his little essays. Is he just playing with his readers or does he really believe what he writes? It’s difficult to know. It doesn’t really matter, does it? He does what he does, and he seems to enjoy it.
Having observed Klinghoffer’s intellectual output, it’s an easy prediction that yesterday’s Tuscon killer will soon be added to the growing list of murderers he claims were inspired by Darwin.
Klinghoffer’s latest is Of Darwinism and Islamism. The title alone is sufficient to alert us to what lies within. Nevertheless, although the rational mind recoils at the threshold, your Curmudgeon proceeds. But why?
Because we must know the adversary. The Discoveroids want their degenerate, pre-Enlightenment, anti-rational, anti-scientific, theocratic beliefs to dominate our society. That’s why we care. Now then, here are some excerpts, with links omitted and bold added by us:
This is not a blog about foreign affairs, but I came across a refreshing and illuminating piece on the New Republic website that, in the context of talking about Islam and terrorism, suggested to me a reason for hope in the Darwin debate.
You see, dear reader? That’s what we’re dealing with. Let’s read on:
In the current culture of science, where the 19th-century materialist Church of Science rules and the congregation bows obediently, what’s needed is a modernizing reformation. Doubts about Darwinism are part of that. We can draw a parallel to past reformations in the religious sphere, and future ones.
When playing chess, it’s wise to understand the opponent’s mind to figure out his strategy. Here, however, all we can see is writhing snakes, wiggling worms, and exploding pustules. But let us continue, at least as long as we’re able:
Most of us in the West agree, for example, that Islam urgently requires a reformation.
The next portion of Klinghoffer’s little essay discusses that subject. We’ll skip it, because we know nothing about Islam or its potential to reform. Klinghoffer mentions some alleged expert on Islam who thinks things will eventually get better in the Islamic world because the Islamic inner circles are eager to reform. We have no idea whether that is so, or even if Klinghoffer is accurately presenting the man’s views. What’s important is Klinghoffer’s use of that potential for reform as an analogy to “Darwinism.” That brings us to his final paragraph, which we’ll take a little bit at a time:
In the world of science, oddly, it’s much the same way. Reading professional scientific journals, you come across far franker talk of holes in Darwinism than you’ll ever find in the general-interest media, or on screechy, sarcastic Darwinist blogs aimed at angry laymen and the unemployed (judging from the amount of time commenters seem to have on their hands).
We have no problem brushing aside Klinghoffer’s remarks about “screechy, sarcastic Darwinist blogs” aimed at unemployed commenters. That is of supreme insignificance. But we’re amused by his hints of a conspiracy among the inner circle of “Darwinists” to suppress information about the “holes in Darwinism.” Is anyone (except perhaps Klinghoffer) surprised that presently-unresolved technical questions are discussed by professionals in specialized journals and not in high school textbooks?
To use a non-biological example, a high school science class will be taught the general principles that explain how aircraft fly, but the texts they use are virtually certain to omit mention of the technological problems that currently challenge aeronautical engineers who labor at the cutting edge of aircraft design. Despite such omissions, airplanes still fly, the Wright Brothers were splendid lads, and there’s no conspiracy to mislead the kiddies about anything.
Now we come to Klinghoffer’s final sentence:
Perhaps the same will prove to be true of scientists — the real ones, I mean, not the furious bloggers.
Ah, Klinghoffer has hopes that (as it may be with Islam) the “Darwinist” inner circle — those who are now suppressing knowledge of the problems with their theory — will bring about the Reformation. Okay, David. Keep the faith.
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