They’ve grabbed yet another carcass. Who? Who else? It’s the neo-Luddite, 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).
We’ve previously reported on the Discoveroids’ intellectual necrophilia. See Discovery Institute Snatches Another Corpse, in which we discuss their appropriation of Jean-Jacques Rousseau for their intelligent design movement. That post links to some of their earlier grave-plundering activity — in their imagination they’ve absorbed the essence of poor old Thomas Jefferson. They also grabbed Alfred Wallace, but they can have him.
They recently tried to shanghai Charles Darwin himself (see Charles Darwin Joins the Discovery Institute) but no one took that pathetic effort seriously.
The Discoveroids’ Hall of Ancestral Carcasses must be like the underground lair of some mythical monster, with the bodies of victims piled high. Today they’ve dragged in another — James Clerk Maxwell. He wasn’t a biologist, and he died in 1879, but he’s famous and dead, so he qualifies for the Discoveroids’ cadaver collection.
Their new post is How James Clerk Maxwell Rescued the Humanities in Verse. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Few may realize that James Clerk Maxwell, the 19th-century physicist on par with Newton and Einstein who gave us electromagnetic theory, was a poet. One of his best takes materialists to task in playful yet incisive wit.
Maxwell was a poet? That’s nice. And he took materialists to task? Ah, so the Discoveroids hope to claim him as a fellow mystic. Their post continues:
The occasion was the meeting of the British Association of 1874. John Tyndall, president, was a strong supporter of Darwin and Huxley. In an epochal speech, he advocated extending what Darwin had done to all of science: seeking to rid science of all theological explanations.
… Tyndall’s main point was that materialism should henceforth be the philosophy of science. While theists viewed the address as an attack on religion, rationalists and skeptics have since considered this meeting a tipping point toward the metaphysical naturalism that continues to this day.
Egad! Tyndall proposed removing Oogity Boogity! from science. How beastly! Had the Discoveroids been there, they would have all collapsed on the fainting couch. Let’s read on:
Sitting in the audience was 43-year-old James Clerk Maxwell, the eminent physicist. He knew what Tyndall was up to. A committed and informed Christian and supporter of intelligent design, Maxwell perceived what would be the outcome of Tyndall’s program if unrestrained materialism took root: it would sweep away the humanities, and reduce all that is good and noble, including the human mind, to meaningless clashes of atoms.
They link to this earlier Discoveroid article claiming Maxwell to be an ID supporter. We have our doubts about that, and also about whether the triumph of science “would sweep away the humanities.” Anyway, the Discoveroid post continues:
Rather than respond with debate or a written treatise, Maxwell used the humanities to rescue the humanities. Employing his rapier wit and knowledge of history and philosophy, he wrote a poem.
The rest of the Discoveroid post is what they claim to be Maxwell’s poem. It’s a bit long, but here are a few interesting lines:
We’re not very good at interpreting poetry, so we’ll leave it to you to read Maxwell’s work — if it is his work. Is that enough to make him an honorary Discoveroid? If so, it doesn’t take much. But before we abandon Darwin’s theory, we’d like just a little more evidence.
Anyway, that’s the news — they’ve got a new stiff in the Discoveroid Hall of Carcasses. If you find their collection persuasive, please explain it to us.
See also: Discoveroids Denounce Their Own Tactics.
Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.