Klinghoffer: Better Things To Do Than Science

We often wonder what motivates 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).

For some of their low-level functionaries, it’s probably just a job that pays the bills. For those at the top, we suspect it’s a raging fury driving them toward changing the world to a Dark Ages theocracy. But what about their mid-level people? What about those whose writings we see at their blog? It can’t be that they’re just earning a paycheck. Some may be genuinely confused and think they’re working for a cutting-edge science outfit, while others seem to be committed ideologues.

We certainly can’t figure out David Klinghoffer, whose creationist oeuvre we last described here, and upon whom the Discoveroids have bestowed the exalted title of “senior fellow” — i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist.

See what you can make of Klinghoffer’s newest article. It’s titled Wikipedia and the Sociology of Darwinian Belief. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and his links omitted:

I wish I worked as efficiently as Wikipedia’s editors. Last week I noted here [link omitted] that notwithstanding the impressive volume of pro-ID peer-reviewed publications, by researchers within and outside the intelligent-design movement, Wikipedia’s article on ID carries the ridiculously false statement that “The intelligent design movement has not published a properly peer-reviewed article in a scientific journal,” with a footnote to the six-years-old Kitzmiller v. Dover decision.

The “impressive volume of pro-ID peer-reviewed publications”? We assume he means the undistinguished survey-type articles in mediocre trade journals or creationist-run publications recently mentioned by the Discoveroids in posts like this: Our New List of Pro-ID Peer-Reviewed Scientific Papers; 50th Paper Published in 2011.

If Klinghoffer is worried about Wikipedia being out of date by referring to Kitzmiller, what about his creationist colleagues who, by dismissing Darwin, are at least 150 years behind the times? Well, they’ve updated a bit by referring to the fantasies resulting from Alfred Wallace’s late-life dementia. Let’s see what else Klinghoffer says:

Writing us at ENV [the Discoveroids’ blog], a reader in South Africa promptly took it on himself to try to correct the Wiki article and report back about the results. A worthy gesture, but I could have told him he was probably wasting his time.

Correcting Wikipedia is a waste of time? Probably so, for “corrections” attempted by creationists. Let’s read on:

As anyone knows who’s followed the popular Darwinist blogging sites, Darwinism is an ideological movement seemingly rich in believers unhindered by responsibilities to family or work or both, with little better to do day and night than engage in (usually anonymous) skirmishes on the Internet.

Anonymous bloggers with no responsibilities? We wonder to whom he’s referring. Let’s continue:

Editing the Wiki article, our South African friend inserted references to the 50-plus peer-reviewed articles from our updated list of pro-ID scientific literature. Sure enough, within just 30 minutes, someone had erased his additions and substituted snide and again false language to the effect that:

[Klinghoffer’s alleged quote from Wikipedia:] The Discovery Institute insists that a number of intelligent design articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals…. Critics, largely members of the scientific community, reject this claim, stating that no established scientific journal has yet published an intelligent design article. Rather, intelligent design proponents have set up their own journals with peer review that lacks impartiality and rigor, consisting entirely of intelligent design supporters.

That seems accurate. By the way, this amusing drama is apparently occurring in this Wikipedia article: Intelligent design. Here’s more from Klinghoffer:

This is preposterous, as anyone who has looked at the list of papers would have to honestly admit. Our South African friend went a few rounds with the Wikipedia editors but, last time I checked, without ultimate success. They kept erasing or editing his edits.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Moving along:

It’s pathetic, but also revealing. As I noted at the American Spectator the other day, Darwinists and other liberals are very big on seeking sociological or medical explanations for the persistent tendency of most Americans to “deny science” by doubting Darwinism, politically correct climate science, and the rest. It tells you something that, in defending their doctrine at Wikipedia, the Darwinian cause can draw on such an impressive body of apparently unemployed and socially isolated devotees.

“Darwinists and other liberals”? Well, he’s not speaking about your Curmudgeon. Another excerpt:

Intelligent design can’t do that. If I had to estimate, based on ample experience, I would say that the sociology of ID leans far, far more in the direction of people tied in with other people — work, family, friends — in other words, with reality.

ID creationists are tied to reality? BWAHAHAHAHA! On with the article:

We don’t live just virtually on the Internet.

But the Discoveroids’ “theory” of intelligent design does live solely on the internet. One last excerpt:

And so, despite the fact that Darwin-doubting represents a majority view in American culture as a whole, we can’t muster the needed forces among the unemployed and isolated to monitor Wikipedia for falsehoods around the clock. We just don’t have the time. We have other things to do.

Whatever else the Discoveroids may have to do, it doesn’t include turning up evidence for their magical designer. If they ever did that kind of research, it would show up in the respected journals — and in Wikipedia.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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22 responses to “Klinghoffer: Better Things To Do Than Science

  1. If they ever did that kind of research, it would show up in the respected journals — and in Wikipedia.

    Almost 5 years ago I made a recommendation that would once-and-for-all end the complaint of ID promoters that their “research” is not taken seriously. I asked them to submit their proposals – including any that were rejected or not submitted for fear of rejection – to Talk.Origins. There, people with both pro- and anti-ID viewpoints could provide constructive criticism. Not all ID promoters read TO, but surely enough of their fans do to pass the opportunity to them. To keep it simple, I limited the topic to human origins.

    Noting that outspoken believers of design in the general sense have had no problem publishing original research and being accepted in the mainstream science community, I advised them, that, if they truly have an alternate equivalent explanation, the only cause for rejection would be a poor choice of wording, for which the correction is very simple. References to “design” are simply unnecessary, as a scientific explanation is all about what the designer did, when and how. Also, I warned that mere arguments from incredulity were also unacceptable – and unnecessary if they truly have an alternate explanation, and expect to obtain evidence to support it on its own merits.

    As you surely figured, not one proposal was submitted to date.

  2. Frank J says: “As you surely figured, not one proposal was submitted to date.”

    That’s because all their “research” consists of pointing at things and saying: “Look, that’s impossible!”

  3. Tell don’t sell.
    All that the advocates of ID – that great number of people, working over all those years – have to do is to tell us about the positive, substantial content of ID. They could embarrass all of us simply by announcing, for example, what happens when an “intelligent design” takes place. Or when. Or where, etc. Or even what, where, when, etc. it does not happen.
    They choose, rather, to sell the notion that there is such content.
    Or, to refer to another advertising technique, what they offer is the sizzle, not the steak.

  4. Klinghoffer makes several wild assumptions with zero evidence and publishes them on his blog, in the manner of ID research in general.

    Two points
    (1) The population of science-literate individuals who accept evolution, and understand that ID is not science, is overwhelmingly larger than the few fringe promoters of ID on the internet. In such a large population, there will be a significant number of scientists, students, and interested science-literate individuals who will step up and accept the responsibility of ensuring that Wiki information on ID is accurate. It should be expected that misleading information, such as the lists of so-called “peer reviewed” articles, posted by ID shills are quickly detected and removed.

    (2) Most blogs that I have seen which address evolution and touch on the activities of ID acolytes are by college professors, students and other professionals. Read the “Carnival of Evolution” for some of the better ones. These are not unemployed people who live virtual lives on the internet. Also, many of the regular commenters, such as myself, are retired and very plugged into their real lives, but with some time to contribute to topics that interest them.

    Resorting to name-calling is a clear sign that one is losing an argument.

  5. One more point – the fact that something happens on the internet “within 30 minutes” does not mean that there is an army of unemployed hacks waiting to pounce on an ID claim. The world actually rotates, and has time zones, so perhaps the correction is input by someone who is sitting down after dinner for a few minutes in their timezone. It’s possible that it only appears that people are commenting during the day. Our English friends are almost certainly posting in their evenings.

    That’s probably a bit too sciency for Klingo.

  6. Anonymous says:

    One more point – the fact that something happens on the internet “within 30 minutes” does not mean that there is an army of unemployed hacks waiting to pounce on an ID claim.

    I don’t know how Wikipedia editors operate. It’s possible some of the regulars can sign up so they get notified by email if an article they’re interested in gets edited. That could account for the swift corrections.

  7. …the impressive volume of pro-ID peer-reviewed publications, by researchers within and outside the intelligent-design movement…

    Dear Mr. Klinghoffer,

    If Witch Doctors start peer reviewing each others’ potions, spells, incantations, and spirit dances, and in doing so generate an “impressive volume” of such publications, will that help make them more credible?

    Yours Truly,

    Dr. Oogity-Boogity
    WD — University of Walla Walla Bing Bang

  8. “I don’t know how Wikipedia editors operate. It’s possible some of the regulars can sign up so they get notified by email if an article they’re interested in gets edited. That could account for the swift corrections.”

    There is that method, also a fair amount of editors go through the recent addition section, looking for vandal attacks so they can be corrected. As some one pointed out above, Wiki is not just an American institution now, most of the English speaking world now uses it as a starting point in on line research, so any major changes are usually spotted fairly rapidly no mater what the time is in your time zone.

  9. As a sociopath, Klingers thinks the entire world is sitting in their Mom’s basement (like him) waiting for the next ID update so they can go out and destroy it!

    Fact is, I went out to the DI’s website and went through all their “peer-reviewed” publications. First of all, they include reviews as research.

    Second, all of the “journals” they cite are either their own, like BIO-Complexity, or “open source” journals where you provide your own list of peer reviewers (yes, incredible!) and a fee of 250 CHF. When I’m in Zurich this summer I will DEFINITELY look into setting up my own “peer-review” website and associated Swiss bank account. Perhaps the Romney campaign could give me a reference …

    I digress.

    What is totally lacking in the ID world, pathetic as it is, is a single article published in either Science or Nature, the two premier general science journals, on “The Origin of Species (or Phyla) by Intelligent Design.” As DI attack gerbil, part-time legal beagle and tire puncture specialist Luskin is fond of writing, there are no direct ID articles, books, reviews or references anywhere; rather they are ID-friendly or ID-sympathetic. Sort of makes me want to hug an ID. I wonder if Build-A-Bear could come out with a Behe Bear?

    So, in summary here’s what we have for the Sum Total of “Intelligent Design” Creationism publications: some reviews that don’t review ID research, as strange as that sounds, but true (don’t count as research), obtuse articles from the DI’s own lab published in the DI’s own lab journal, articles in open-source, pay-to-publish on-line websites, popular books which could be classified as fiction or non-fiction (go figure, but don’t count as research), Christian apologetics and philosophy (don’t count as research) and miscellaneous, crackpot rantings by people running “institutes” out of their homes, *cough* David Abel *cough*.

    When I say Sum Total, I mean this is it. All of it. The total ID output FOREVER. Pile of dross.

    Yeah, the Wiki editors are doing a great job. We should send their collective moms a card in May.

    As for Klingers, my advice to him is to take his meds. Srsly.

  10. If Klinghoffer and the rest of the Discoveroids are so concerned about the free flow of information, how come they’ve never allowed comments to their blog?

  11. Klinghoffer said:

    but I could have told him he was probably wasting his time.

    It dawned on me that this is correct on so many levels.

  12. Doc, you never cease to impress!

  13. Curmy observes, “Anonymous bloggers with no responsibilities? We wonder to whom he’s referring.”

    Sounds like you have seriously gotten under Klingy’s skin, Curmy. Nice going and keep up the good work!

    As to Klinghoffer’s complaint about this passage from Wikipedia:
    “…intelligent design proponents have set up their own journals with peer review that lacks impartiality and rigor, consisting entirely of intelligent design supporters.”

    Now, how can he possibly complain about that? In his own words, the “journals” in which ID papers appear are NOT impartial — “…the impressive volume of pro-ID peer-reviewed publications…”

    If they are “pro-ID”, they are not impartial. Hey, Klinghoffer — I know you’re reading this. You complain about “Anonymous bloggers with no responsibilities”. I don’t know this for a fact, but I’d bet that the Curmudgeon doesn’t get paid for writing this very “intelligently designed” blog. So, who’s paying you, and how much, and for what purpose?

    And as for remaining anonymous — SC explained the reason for that some time ago. There are a lot of religious fanatics out there capable of doing some very bad things if they think they are “doing God’s will.” For the same reason, I write under a pseudonym.

  14. Excellent comments so far from all!

  15. Curmnudgeon: “That’s because all their ‘research’ consists of pointing at things and saying: ‘Look, that’s impossible’!”

    They can’t even do that. Try to pin them down on exactly what is impossible and what is not, and they either backpedal into bogus “improbablity” calculations, or whine that it’s not their job to connect dots. Despite that they have, via the spreading of misleading sound bites and exploiting of common misconceptions of the nature of science, fooled ~75% of the public, most of whom are not irreversibly in denial of evolution, and ~1/3 of whom accept evolution, that their “science” is just as good as any, and worth teaching in science class.

  16. As if he heard the Gerbil whistle, here is Luskin this morning:

    The lab got off to a rough start in 2007 when Baylor administrators learned that Robert Marks was doing ID-friendly research on the campus.

    “ID-friendly” research. Oh, sorry, “research.” What is that? What is “ID-friendly?” Srsly, inquiring minds want to know! That means there must be “ID-unfriendly research” which I suppose is ALL THE REST OF SCIENCE RESEARCH.

    Also, Luskin’s not telling the truth in that single quote, to nobody’s surprise. It wasn’t Baylor’s administrators, it was the head of Marks’ department who told Marks to move his oogity-boogity website elsewhere. And, it wasn’t because Marks was doing “ID-friendly research,” rather, it was because he brought Dembski on campus. Dembski is totally radioactive at Baylor. Marks’ department head saw Dembski’s name on a door, asked a few questions and not only got rid of Dembski, but returned the grant money that was Dembski’s salary. Once Dembski and the grant were gone Marks was told he could continue researching oogity-boogity on his own dime, but he had to move his junk off the Baylor web servers so there would be no insinuation that Baylor supported Marks voodoo “science.”

    It was Dembski, or as Luskin later writes “a leading light” who screwed Marks’ pooch on that deal.

    Finally, in another letter to Marks leaked to the Intertubes, his department head tells Marks that physics holds up bridges, not Jesus, and to cut the eesus-jay out of his ecture-leys or he was going to get ired-fay. Marks is only marginally not as stupid as Dembski and chose paycheck over ideology.

  17. The DI may be on to something with this strategy of creating your own peer-reviewed journals and publications — “We don’t need your stinkin’ peer-reviewed journals. We’ll just start our own!”

    Maybe it’s time for UFO abductees to start their own peer-reviewed journals and publications. Same with Abominable Snow-Man and Big Foot devotees. And Lock-Ness monster researchers. And vampire investigators. And proponents of the “sciences” of faith healing, astrology, voodoo, tarot card reading, fortune telling, mind reading, and magic. Imagine the possibilities! Think of the new frontiers of human knowledge this could open up! It could start a second “scientific” revolution. Think of the potential benefits for all mankind!

    Sure, there’s already a TV channel devoted to these topics, The History Channel, but the pioneers and intellectual trail blazers in the quest for greater knowledge in these “scientific” fields need their own peer-reviewed journals and publications, just like the DI.

  18. I like to think that I inspired this:

    “Darwinism is an ideological movement seemingly rich in believers unhindered by responsibilities to family or work or both, with little better to do day and night than engage in (usually anonymous) skirmishes on the Internet.”

    You may find the embryo of this sentiment here, where Klinghoffer tells me to stop being such an Internet fatty:

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/kingdomofpriests/2009/08/darwin-faithful-indirectly-affirm-darwin-hitler-link.html

    “Gabriel Hanna, I’ve written about that banned books list, made famous by the Internet: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/02/the_strange_case_of_little_gre.html
    More to the point, I’m concerned about you. My advice is that rather than spending your apparently very ample free time monitoring my blog around the clock, ready to cry “Liar liar pants on fire” and unleash your quote collection over and over, you should spend your hours more fruitfully. Get away from sitting in front of that computer, get a little exercise, some fresh air, maybe try to meet a woman, develop a hobby, take up tai chi, I don’t know — interact with live people rather than words on a screen! Reading a book wouldn’t be a bad alternative either.”

  19. We certainly can’t figure out David Klinghoffer,

    He’s a Sophist, in the pejorative ancient Greek sense. He will defend creationism and attack evolution with any sort of argument he thinks will appeal to an audience, whether he knows it to be fallacious or not. He is not at all interested in actually using argument to sift evidence and arrive at a valid conclusion.

    No scientific theory is scientifically discredited by the number of Internet fatties who embrace it, but argument ad hominem is persuasive to many people, so he uses it. He wants to convince people emotionally since he can’t do it intellectually.

  20. Gabriel Hanna quotes Klinghoffer’s advice:

    Get away from sitting in front of that computer, get a little exercise, some fresh air, maybe try to meet a woman … I don’t know — interact with live people rather than words on a screen! Reading a book wouldn’t be a bad alternative either.

    Great advice, Gabe. Give it a try.

  21. Gabe, I followed your link and read Klinghoffer’s article and the replies. Great job! You handed him his butt on every single point you made, and he ended up whining like a baby. I mean, seriously…”more to the point”? How could everything he said after that have been any more OFF the point of the discussion that preceded it? That kind of oblivious irony takes my breath away.
    (BTW- I’ve bookmarked that page for future reference, your quotes and links. Great stuff.)