There’s some good weekend entertainment at the blog of 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’ article is Personal Attacks Against ID Proponents Say More About the Attackers than the Abused, and it’s by Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist. He’s a Curmudgeon fellow and a follower of the Knights of Uranus. Casey says, with bold font added by us and his links omitted:
Recently an e-mail correspondent asked whether I recommend Phillip Johnson’s book Darwin on Trial, which had a seminal influence in the early days of the intelligent-design movement.
For some reason we always find Casey’s tales of his email correspondence to be utterly unbelievable. Who would ask him for an objective opinion about Johnson’s book? Last year Casey wrote gushingly about Johnson and his work (see Discovery Institute Praises Phillip Johnson). Anyway, let’s continue with what Casey says is an email he received:
The e-mailer said he had heard people saying that Johnson is “dishonest and deceiving,” and wanted to know if that was true. Here was my reply:
Casey then quotes extensively from his “reply,” but there’s way too much of it for us to copy here. A sampling will be sufficient. First, as expected, he recommends Johnson’s book. Then he says:
Here’s a fact you might ponder: Virtually every single major person who has criticized the Darwinian viewpoint has faced personal attacks on his or her character. It happens to everyone, myself included.
Gasp! Even Casey has faced personal attacks. If you doubt that, just Google on this, using our exact wording and punctuation: “Casey Luskin” + idiot. We get 14,400 hits. Let’s read on:
So one of two things are true: Either (1) virtually every single critic of Darwinism (of which there are many) is “dishonest” and “deceiving,” or (2) evolutionists habitually respond to scientific challenges with personal attacks.
We like #1 and Casey likes #2. There are numerous other possibilities, but we won’t bother with that. Casey continues:
Even scholars with no sympathy for ID have been amazed to observe the nasty and uncivil treatment to which evolutionists subject their critics.… So the fact that Phillip Johnson’s character and integrity have been impugned by critics says more about how evolutionists behave than it does about the man Johnson himself.
Yes, it’s amazing — especially considering how sweet the Discoveroids always are when criticizing Darwin. Then Casey gets to the next part of his possibly imaginary email:
The e-mailer also asked if it was true that intelligent design is “losing credibility in the scientific community and the media.” Here was my reply:
Losing credibility? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What credibility? Anyway here’s a bit of Casey’s rather long reply to that:
First, how do you measure an idea’s “credibility?” I judge scientific “credibility” based mainly upon whether a claim is supported by the evidence. I don’t gauge “credibility” by how many people have signed up for a particular position. That said, there are plenty of highly credible scientists, with PhDs, and at credible institutions, who support ID.
Casey doesn’t mention any evidence. Instead he links to the Discoveroids’ sad little list who signed their Scientific Dissent From Darwinism.. We’ve discussed it here: NCSE’s “Project Steve” Now Has 1,200 Steves. He goes on:
When there’s a credible mass of scientific dissent you can’t just dismiss because it represents a minority in the scientific field. What we see here is a genuine scientific debate — a debate whose existence many evolutionists would like to deny. But it does exist, and you have to look at the evidence to decide who is right. Science is decided by the evidence, not by vote-counts.
We agree with Casey’s last sentence. Too bad the evidence cuts against his position, but maybe that’s why he never gets around to mentioning any.
This has gone on long enough, so we’ll just pluck a few more sentences from the remainder of Casey’s alleged email reply:
So there is a credible mass of ID-friendly scientists, and they are doing and publishing credible research supporting their views. In reply, ID critics rarely engage ID arguments directly, but prefer to attack ID proponents in personal terms. … Meanwhile the scientific debate goes on — and just by observing how people behave, you can get a sense of which side is more confident about the evidence.
That’s it, dear reader. If you’re a fan of Casey’s prose, you can click over there to read the whole thing. It’s possible that you might find it persuasive. Anything’s possible, right?
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