We are seeing increasing evidence of what we discussed more than a year ago — a weird convergence of creationism and global-warming opponents. Only this time it also involves a Presidential candidate.
When we speak of global warming opponents we mean not only those who deny the evidence of climate change, but also those with a more nuanced position — they may accept that the climate is changing, but they deny so-called Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). [For the record, your Curmudgeon has never been a denier of global warming in general or even AGW. We don’t know that science; it is what it is. Our skepticism is entirely political. We don’t like the totalitarian politics that underlie many of the proposed solutions.]
When last we wrote about global warming it was in the context of some really bizarre propaganda coming from 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 Discoveroids had a strange “climategate proves creationism” argument. We thought the thing had played itself out back in 2009, along with the climategate conspiracy. While it lasted it was not only fun, it was also very revealing. Our last post about it was ClimateGate Crescendo! Back then we said:
[The Discoveroids] are now so far out of that “science closet” they’ve been hiding in that they can never go back again. It began here: Thrilled About ClimateGate, but the Discoveroids couldn’t control themselves. Matters swiftly escalated to this: The Mask Falls Away. [Hey, that post got almost 10,000 hits.] That’s where we identified the “Vindication of All Kooks” doctrine — which holds that if the legitimate views of global warming skeptics had been wrongly suppressed, then all science dissent has been similarly mistreated, and therefore the science-denial of creationism is now respectable.
The Discoveroids got so worked up over climategate that they totally uncloseted themselves and called for a “massive defunding of organized science” which they described as “organized crime,” and they even suggested “criminal prosecution of scientists.” It doesn’t get any plainer than that.
Well, lunacy never really dies, and things have continued to bubble under the surface. Now it’s coming out again — in the context of the 2012 Presidential election. We see bits and pieces of this, as the Discoveroids — and their comrades in other anti-science endeavors — all seem to be coalescing around the candidacy of Michelle Bachmann, about whom we last posted this: Michele Bachmann in New Orleans: Insanity!
You already know Bachmann is crazy. You probably also know what Bachmann thinks about global warming. Check this out, it’s only 4 minutes long:
Okay, but where’s the Discoveroid connection? It’s all in the bits and pieces we’ve been seeing, and for that reason this has been a difficult post to put together. Bear with us, here it comes:
First, most of you know about the Discoveroids’ connection to what we’ve been calling the Darwin’s Dilemma Exhibition Case. That’s a lawsuit filed by the American Freedom Alliance (AFA) which charges that the California Science Center (CSC or “Science Center”) violated both the First Amendment and a contract to rent its theater when it canceled a screening of Darwin’s Dilemma. The film includes appearances by Richard von Sternberg, Jonathan Wells, and Stephen Meyer, all “senior fellows” with the Discovery Institute, claiming that the Cambrian “explosion” is evidence of intelligent design. See “Darwin’s Dilemma” Case: Update 29 May ’11
Recently, the Guardian wrote about another AFA crusade: Climate sceptics flirt with intelligent design and Islamophobic group, and in describing the AFA’s odd interests they mentioned their litigation against the California Science Center — linking to us in the process (someone at the Guardian likes us). So now we have another connection between the Discoveroids (via their ally, the AFA) and the global warming denial camp.
But that’s not all. The ABC Online website has this article: The environmental Nazi hunter. It’s about the well-known climate-change denialist, Lord Christopher Monckton, who appeared at a conference earlier this month in Los Angeles. The ABC article points out, as does the Guardian piece, that:
The conference was organised by the American Freedom Alliance, a think-tank which is currently involved in a long-running legal battle with a California science education centre. The AFA wanted to screen a documentary which featured scientists attacking Darwin’s theory of evolution in favour of intelligent design, but the education centre cancelled the screening.
Okay, AFA is pushing a Discoveroid-supported creationist film, and they’re also with Lord Monckton in the climate-change denial camp. Then ABC mentions this:
One of Lord Monckton’s fellow speakers at the Los Angeles conference was Wesley J. Smith, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute – a think-tank and major promoter of the theory of intelligent design. One of the Discovery Institute’s projects aims to support research “developing the scientific theory known as intelligent design” (Lord Monckton even shared transport with Mr Smith during the conference).
Monckton and the Discoveroids! Isn’t that sweet? But that’s not all. Today at the Discoveroids’ blog they’ve posted this: Steven Novella on Michelle Bachmann and Teaching Evolution. It’s a bunch of creationist apologetics defending Bachmann’s embrace of intelligent design. The details don’t interest us, but near the end they wrap it up with this:
Rep. Bachmann is no scientist, but she clearly has a healthy respect for academic freedom and understands that the essence of real science is honest debate.
Okay, we’ve given you the bits and pieces. Here’s what we’re seeing: The Discoveroids are creationists (no surprise there) and they’ve enthusiastically leaped on the climategate issue to vindicate their anti-science worldview (again, no surprise). Now they’re hanging out with Christopher Monckton. One of their allies, AFA, is not only creationist but also opposes climate-change science. And now the Discoveroids have come out in favor of Michelle Bachmann — perhaps the most openly anti-science Presidential candidate since William Jennings Bryan. She could be even worse than Bryan.
Here’s how it looks to us: All the anti-science, anti Enlightenment, theocratic elements are gathering and assembling themselves into some kind of crazy conga line, and they’ve chosen Bachmann to be their leader — or at least their figurehead. She could be replaced if Texas Governor Rick Perry jumps into the race, but for the moment it’s Bachmann. They’ve chosen well.
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