Discoveroids Spin Tennessee Creationism Law

By now you know all about 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).

They exist to promote their wedge strategy, which specifically says:

Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.

It also says:

Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies. … [T]he Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature.

That’s the not-so-hidden purpose behind everything the Discoveroids do, especially the promotion of their Academic Freedom Act, which is the model for creationism-friendly laws in Louisiana and now Tennessee. Yet they maintain that they’re not creationists. No one believes them, but that’s their story and they’re sticking to it.

The latest post at the Discoveroids’ blog is Reuters (Probably) Going to Falsely Link Academic Freedom Bill to “Intelligent Design” and “Creationism”. It’s by Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist. Casey says, with bold font added by us:

I just got off the phone with a Reuters reporter who wanted to discuss the recently passed Academic Freedom Law in Tennessee. She asked many normal, standard questions reporters ask about the bill but then got curiously interested in asking about intelligent design (ID). I explained to her that the Tennessee law only protects topics that are already part of the curriculum, and since intelligent design is not part of the curriculum in Tennessee (or anywhere else in the country), it doesn’t come into the classroom under this law.

Casey goes on and on about his version of the conversation, telling at length how he kept trying to convince the reporter that the Tennessee bill — which all the world knows was drafted by the Discoveroids — somehow isn’t about getting intelligent design into the classroom. He also kept maintaining that intelligent design isn’t creationism. As you read his description of the conversation, you get the strong impression that the reporter wasn’t convinced.

Near the end, Casey says:

It seemed that Reuters already had their article written before we spoke, and they weren’t going to let the facts get in the way of their story. Reuters just wanted to find some way to plug in a quote and falsely link the Tennessee law to intelligent design and creationism.

It seems to us that Reuters had already done their homework before talking to Casey. Perhaps they know about Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, which exposed the creationist roots of intelligent design to all the world.

Here’s how Casey ends his article:

We’ll see if Reuters decides to tell the truth about the issue, or if they’re just fishing for an irrelevant point to link the bill to “intelligent design” and “creationism” in order to promote their own partisan pro-Darwin-only agenda.

Alas, poor Casey. The Darwinists are everywhere. It appears that he won’t be able to spin Reuters to spew the Discoveroids’ line of propaganda.

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

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8 responses to “Discoveroids Spin Tennessee Creationism Law

  1. Kinda hard not to make the connection when all the creationists local citizens are bringing up creationism when discussing this law. If you read through the comments, they don’t stick to the DI talking points (“It’s not creationism or ID”, “It’s about improving science”, blah, blah, blah). They come right out with the standard nonsense of “You atheists” or “If you disavow God, this country is doomed”. In other words, the DI might try to spin this as a secular argument; the people for whom they claim to be speaking, however, make it a sectarian one from the get-go.

  2. Statement from the American Society of Human Genetics:

    The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) is disappointed with Tennessee’s enactment of a bill that will weaken science instruction in Tennessee’s public schools and possibly serve as a model for other states. The law claims to support the development of critical-thinking skills, but the effect of the “strengths and weaknesses” argument used in the law will be to weaken students’ already poor understanding of evolution – the foundation of modern biology.
    The language of U.S. House Bill 368, which became law on April 10, 2012, without Governor Haslam’s signature, specifically mentions the topics of “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning” as examples of issues that should be subject to scrutiny. ASHG shares with its colleagues in the scientific community a growing concern over low levels of public scientific literacy, which are magnified by publicity over “controversial theories” that are, in fact, not controversial at all. A century of genetics research, much of it by ASHG members, has substantially strengthened the already robust evidence for evolution that has emerged from many other sciences.
    House Bill 368 became law over the objections of the Tennessee Science Teachers Association, the Tennessee Education Association, the National Center for Science Education, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and many other scientific and professional organizations.

  3. This is so rich. Casey has already updated his post a couple times. I’d be laughing if I wasn’t puking. (Damn “the designer” for not making it possible for me to laugh and puke at the same time.)

  4. Do not underestimate the wiles of creationists. The last thing they want is creationism and ID’ism being taught in the science classroom. Even Ken Ham knows this. [Note that there is no such thing as an ID’ismist – they are all creationists]

    Their plan is more subtle. Creation Science is science in the sense that, if you took the science out of it, it reverts to a Sunday School story. Creation Science was invented to undermine the credibility of real science. It is a pseudo-science, that is it mimics real science. Its object is to convince those exposed to real science (a thing that has been happening increasingly in classrooms, on TV, and from other popular sources) that there is real scientific evidence opposing what they would consider to be the evolutionary world view.

    Creationism relies on ignorance. They cannot truly undermine science because creationism is based on such a crazy collection of myths, that if they were historic, every scientific theory would collapse and every invention that was based on them would cease to exist. From a pedagogical viewpoint, you cannot teach creationism as a positive theory; for a start there is no one creationist model, every creationist wants to tear the heart out of some different well-established physical law to establish his own particular version of the truth. [You will look in vain trying to find a biblical basis for most of these anyway] Meanwhile other creationists are using the same discarded laws to uphold their own particular delusions.

    They cannot teach ‘unlearning’ evolution inside the classroom. Their best hope is to undermine it from without. In the US, they are kept out of public schools by law. [If they do have any agents in the science classroom, they can use them to undermine science and hint at creationism – real creationist teaching can take place elsewhere] They turn the legal restrictions to their own advantage, just by demanding ‘teach the controversy’ they can imply that there is a controversy.

    The fatal thing would be if ‘teaching both sides’ and ‘teaching strengths and weaknesses’ were mandated by law. An official curriculum would require textbooks and worst still would be taught by real science teachers. How do you train someone with a science degree to teach creationism? When the ‘strengths and weaknesses’ test is applied to creationism, it will be seen to be very flimsy. If the creationist could agree on a creationist textbook, every one of their arguments would be torn to shreds by the other side. This would not be due to any unfairness in the system, it is just that creationism happens to be wrong.

  5. Alan(UK) says: “Do not underestimate the wiles of creationists.”

    They’re certainly sneaky, but their greatest assets are persistence and the incredible number of people who are willing to believe them.

  6. Shorter Casey: ignore the first prong of Lemon! Don’t look at legislator’s intent at all! Its entirely irrelevant what the people who passed the bill, the Governer, school administrators, and the citizens of Tennessee think the bill says and does!

  7. retiredsciguy

    Douglas E, are you sure the statement from ASHG said “U.S. House Bill 368”? Shouldn’t that be “Tennessee House Bill 368”?

  8. I copied it straight from their email, and noted that same thing – I think they made a mistake……