Guess who is offering advice to the 2012 GOP Presidential candidates. Give up? It’s 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 first thing you should know about this is that at the Discoveroid blog there’s a post by Bruce Chapman, whom we affectionately call “Chappy.” He’s the founder and president of the Discovery Institute. Chappy’s position makes him Lord High Keeper of the Discoveroids’ Wedge strategy, and the ultimate leader of all Discoveroids.
Chappy’s article is Evolution as a Political Speed Trap. It’s only a few sentences and then a link to an article in the American Spectator that was written by Discoveroid “senior fellows” (i.e., full-blown creationists), Jay Richards and David Klinghoffer. We’ll spend some time with their article today because we’re told by Chappy that it’s very important.
Okay, Chappy has sent us to Answering the Dreaded ‘Evolution’ Question in the American Spectator. We don’t know much about that publication, but because they publish Discoveroid authors, we assign them to the same category as journals that publish lurid but “true” tales about UFO abductions.
Now you know who supports this article and where it’s published. If you need background on the two Discoveroid authors, you can go here for information on Klinghoffer. As for Richards, he’s the Discoveroids’ “research director” — whatever that means. This is his Discoveroid biography. Wikipedia’s entry on Jay Richards says that he once had some kind of faculty status at Biola University, a California bible college. Richards was a co-author, along with Expelled! star Guillermo Gonzalez, of a classic creationist book, The Privileged Planet, a “fine tuning” argument applied to Earth.
Everybody ready? Fine, let’s get into the article, which is Discoveroid dogma endorsed by Chappy himself. We’ll give you some excerpts, with bold font added by us. It starts with this:
It’s a question every presidential candidate must dread, one that promises to come up repeatedly as the political season advances: “Do you believe in evolution?”
That’s an insane opening paragraph. To begin with, evolution is not a matter of “belief.” What would you say, dear reader, if you were asked you if you believe in gravity? You would look at the questioner as if he were an idiot. Gravity is not a matter of belief. Neither is evolution — it’s a fact, and the theory of evolution explains it.
Why would a candidate “dread” the question? All the candidate needs to do is respond: “Evolution is good science. Next question please!” You see, dear reader, the “dreaded evolution question” is no problem for a sane candidate. Let’s read on:
Evolution is the speed trap of presidential campaigns. Though a president doesn’t have much influence over state and local science education policy, reporters lie in wait for the unwary candidate, ready to pounce with a question he’s poorly prepared to answer yet that is important to millions of voters. Fortunately, there’s a reply that not only avoids the trap but helps advance public understanding.
This is maddeningly stupid, but we need to read this in order to recognize Discoveroid propaganda when a candidate spouts it. We continue:
Rep. Michele Bachmann is the latest to get pulled to the side of the road, lights flashing in her rear-view mirror. Talking with reporters in New Orleans following last week’s Republican Leadership Conference, she said “I support intelligent design,” referring to the theory that nature gives scientific evidence of purpose and design.
She continued: “What I support is putting all science on the table and then letting students decide. I don’t think it’s a good idea for government to come down on one side of a scientific issue or another, when there is reasonable doubt on both sides.”
Yes, she said that, once again confirming that she’s an ignoramus — or perhaps worse. We posted about that a week ago: Michele Bachmann in New Orleans: Insanity! Here’s more:
Government neutrality would be welcome, as Bachmann rightly notes. But unfortunately the candidate’s statement generated headlines … that made her sound like she was ready to go a lot further than the intelligent design (ID) movement, which merely advocates that Darwinian theory’s weaknesses be taught along with its strengths. Allowing teachers to discuss ID in class would be much more appropriate and advisable than requiring them to do so.
Those Discoveroids are ever-so-reasonable — they just want evolution’s “weaknesses” taught. You know what those are: Evolution is a bunch of godless, materialistic Darwinist, Hitlerian lies that ignore the infinite greatness of the magical designer. That’s all they want to be added to science texts. Similarly, flat-earthers don’t want anything more than teaching not only the supposed strengths but also the often suppressed weaknesses of the Diabolical Sphere Theory. Let the children decide!
Moving along with the Discoveroid article:
In the Republican debate last month in South Carolina, Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, “Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution, as the basis for what should be taught in our nation’s schools?”
That’s a fair question, but at this point it’s unnecessary. See: Tim Pawlenty: Full-Blown Creationist. Here’s what the Discoveroids say about the question that was put to Pawlenty:
Creationism usually refers to the belief that God created the universe in six, twenty-four hour days just a few thousand years ago — often called young earth creationism. Governor Pawlenty answered by confusing the term with intelligent design: [Pawlenty’s babbling response omitted].
We’ve seen this before. It’s bedrock Discoveroid doctrine. They try to escape being labeled creationists by redefining “creationism.” In Disco-speak, a degenerate dialect of Newspeak, “creationist” applies only to six-day young-earth creationists. No one else uses the Discoveroids’ definition, which is so stupid that not even William Jennings Bryan would be a creationist according to their definition.
This is the Discoveroids’ advice to Pawlenty so he can try to hide his mental disorder in future interviews:
In not challenging Williams’s use of the scare word “creationism,” Pawlenty seemed to accept the media’s misleading equation of young earth creationism with intelligent design, a much more modest and defensible claim.
Hey, that’s great advice! By edging away from that six-day creation stuff and identifying himself with the Discoveroids’ peculiar “theory,” no one will ever suspect that Pawlenty is a creationist. Good plan! It’s like saying: “No, I’m not crazy. Crazy people think they’re talking to Martians. I’m in contact with Uranus!”
What other advice do the Discoveroids have? How about this:
At another recent press conference, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, dream candidate for many conservatives, fielded a question about whether he believes in evolution. He responded indignantly — “That’s none of your business!” — as if someone had inquired about his intimate relations with Mrs. Christie.
If a candidate isn’t a creationist, then he should say so! We don’t like it when candidates play games with us. If a candidate conceals his position and babbles all kinds of focus-group tested slogans because he’s pandering for creationist votes, then he has a flawed character. Such people are unfit for high office (or any office).
What do the Discoveroids say? They too thought he flubbed it. Here’s their advice:
It falls, in general, to a candidate’s staff to prepare him to answer any question so that he neither embarrasses himself nor needlessly alienates any constituency. Yet evolution lies outside the expertise of most political professionals, including those behind the scenes. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to answer that takes account of the dilemma. Asked about evolution, here’s what Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, or Chris Christie could have said:
Here it comes — the Discoveroids’ official advice on how a creationist candidate can try to slime out of being seen as a creationist when the press asks the “dreaded” evolution question. This is what they think Bachmann, Pawlenty, and Christie should have said:
“Life has a very long history and things change over time. However, I don’t think living creatures are nothing but the product of a purposeless Darwinian process. I support teaching all about evolution, including the scientific evidence offered against it.”
Oh yeah — that’ll work just fine! No one would ever dream that such a wucked-up answer is closeted creationism. Brilliant job, Discoveroids.
At the end, the Discoveroid authors are so pleased with themselves that they praise their own advice:
Such a formulation, true to the scientific evidence and to the Constitution, would also be devilishly hard for rival candidates to disagree with. Campaign staff and advisors would do well to commit something like it to memory.
Well, there you are, dear reader — political advice from Discoveroids Jay Richards and David Klinghoffer about how creationist candidates can lie about being creationists. It’s strikingly similar to their litigation posture, in which they claim their own weird brand of creationism has no First Amendment problems because it’s really a scientific “theory.” That hasn’t succeeded in court, but maybe — just maybe — it could succeed in a political campaign.
[See also: Discovery Institute’s Advice to Republicans.]
Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.