Klinghoffer Defends Photo Trickery

Isaac Newton

The image above will be explained in due course. Meanwhile, over at Panda’s Thumb, Richard B. Hoppe has a great article: The Disco ‘Tute’s fake laboratory. You probably already know the story. Richard says:

Yesterday I pointed to a post at Larry Moran’s Sandwalk about a Discovery Institute video showing Ann Gauger, a “researcher” at the Disco ‘Tute’s BioLogic Institute, in which she mangles phylogenetics and population genetics. Commenters on Youtube and both Sandwalk and here have identified the laboratory in which Gauger was supposedly speaking. It is a stock photograph from a commercial photo site. It’s a green screen job, which is a peculiarly appropriate method by which to present the DI’s pseudoscience. Fake lab, fake science.

Can we say “pathetic”?

It’s a great story, but we were content to leave it to Richard. He’s done a fine job of exposing the Discoveroids’ deception. But now we have to jump in, because a new angle has appeared, and this one is for us.

At the blog of the Discoveroids there’s a new post by David Klinghoffer. He and they are described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. Klinghoffer’s post is Scandal! Gauger Filmed in Front of Green Screen. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and David’s links omitted:

Here’s the most ludicrous criticism of intelligent design that I’ve come across so far this week. Richard B. Hoppe at Panda’s Thumb is echoed by Casey Johnston at Ars Technica in jeering that a video I highlighted — Biologic Institute’s Ann Gauger speaking about population genetics — was filmed in front of a green screen. In a post-production effect Ann was given a more relevant backdrop, a stock photo of a lab.

Yes, we know all that. The question now is: How will the Discoveroids handle this embarrassing disclosure? Typically they just deny that they’ve done wrong. But that won’t work here because it’s undisputed that they faked the photo. So what will they do to salvage the situation? As you’ll soon see, they have their ways. This isn’t the first time they’ve been known to soil themselves in public. Let’s read on:

Shock! Horror! Yes, it’s true. I confess.


Yes, it is obviously green screened. And what’s wrong with that?

Neat, huh? Allow us to remind you of a few other occasions when they’ve reacted like this. The first time we know of that they deployed this technique was when their monstrously evil Wedge Document was exposed. Their reaction is posted at their website: The “Wedge Document”: “So What?”, and of course we posted about it here.

We wrote about the only other time in Klinghoffer: “You Caught Us. So What?”, in which we described their reaction when a creationist school board in Louisiana’s Livingston Parish openly declared that they wanted to use the new law in their state — which had been hustled through the legislature with Discoveroid help — to teach creationism. This exposed to all the world what Louisiana’s “academic freedom” bill was really all about.

The way Klinghoffer handled the situation (after the Discoveroids had clumsily tried to throw Livingston Parish under the bus) was simply to admit it and shrug it off as unimportant. We concluded by saying:

Actually, Klinghoffer’s impudent “So what?” is rather appropriate. The Discoveroids’ followers don’t care about the Louisiana affair — they know they’re all creationists and they’re happy with it. The behavior of the Livingston Parish school board doesn’t embarrass them — it probably thrills them. Meanwhile, the Discoveroids’ opponents already know that the Discoveroids are creationists — we’ve always known. So really, what difference does the mess in Louisiana make? Nothing will change.

And so it is with the Discoveroids’ fake lab photo. It doesn’t really matter. Yes, it’s a fake. So what? Everybody knows they don’t have an intelligent design research program. What’s the big deal?

Okay, now that we know what’s going on, let’s return to Klinghoffer’s article:

Typically, filming in a genuine location like this would be troublesome for us and bothersome for others who work there — a distraction for all involved, including viewers, when the intent is to focus on the argument. Many other times, in other contexts, we have similarly used backdrops where, to get to an actual locale, it would require travel not to mention complicated, time-consuming setup and many other headaches. Going with a green screen makes sense for an organization that operates under a constrained budget.

Uh huh. Sure. There’s so much sensitive work going on in their lab that the presence of a photographer would set them back for months. He continues:

Using a green screen is a totally standard technique that you’ve seen countless times on TV and in videos, especially documentary filmmaking. It’s a convention. You want to protest the convention and make a fuss? Be my guest, knock yourself out.

Then, as if it were an equivalent example, Klinghoffer shows a picture of Richard Dawkins with the Thames River superimposed in the background during an interview. See? The Discoveroids are no more phoney than Dawkins!

We should note that Klinghoffer’s defense of the fake lab photo involves not only their “Yeah, but so what?” defense, they also used the Tu quoque technique. That’s two silly defenses. Nice try, David!

Oh, what about that photo above this post? That’s your Curmudgeon in his lab, working on our faster-than-light starship drive. If the Discoveroids can fake it, then so can we!

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

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25 responses to “Klinghoffer Defends Photo Trickery

  1. Personally, I think it entirely reasonable that fake science be done in a fake laboratory.

  2. Well, at least they provide us with non stop entertainment. They have contributed some value to the world at least.

  3. “Yeah, we’re a buch of liars, got a problem with that?”

    Just like sleazy used car salesmen. Actually sleazy used car salesmen, to their credit, don’t claim to be mechanics. The DI is WORSE than a bunch of sleazy used car sale men.

  4. Was Dawkins misinforming the public, passing along failed and refuted “science” to anyone when the Thames backdrop was put in his photo? Sounds alot like the staff “picture” fake from last month from DI.
    Klinglebingle at least has the part about not showing ones face in public when involved with the asteroids at the ‘Tute. Someone buy Gauger a bunsen burner!

  5. Klinghoffer: “… when the intent is to focus on the argument.”

    So why the need to insert a green screen backdrop? If your argument sucks, throwing in a fake background to try and give it an authoritative feel really doesn’t help. That’s like ads for quack miracle cures that feature actors dressed up in lab coats with stethoscopes around their neck to give the impression they are real doctors who know what they are talking about. It’s unfortunate that some people fall for that kind of BS.

  6. They are not even embarrassed to be caught acting like scumbags? Speaks volumes.

  7. And further to Klinkleklankle’s ire is the Fact ™ that NONE of Gauger’s “arguments” were addressed but he only points to the sources who mocked the fake lab.

    Over at Larry Moran’s Sandwalk, Gauger’s “arguments” were systematically destroyed and mocked and ridiculed; both the lab and the so-called arguments.

    Also, the Luskin-Axe-Gauger book has also been trashed on several sites including Carl Zimmer’s, Pharyngula the PT and by Paul McBride.

    And, finally, what Ann says is completely wrong. I don’t see why a creationist can blab out any nonsense then claim that their “arguments” were not refuted. How do you refute a brick?

    It’s not for scientists to refute every stupid, IDiotic proclamation that comes out of a creationist’s pie hole, rather it’s up to the creationists to demonstrate and support their contentions which, of course, they are unable to do.

  8. SC said:

    Oh, what about that photo above this post? That’s your Curmudgeon in his lab, working on our faster-then-light starship drive.

    Better hurry. NASA might beat you to it.
    Oh, and shouldn’t you have a peruke on for that image?

  9. Gary asks: “Oh, and shouldn’t you have a peruke on for that image?”

    I never wear a wig in the lab. It might be ignited by a phlogiston leakage.

  10. SC said: “I never wear a wig in the lab. It might be ignited by a phlogiston leakage.”
    Or knock over your alchemy beakers. Good point.

  11. Ceteris Paribus

    I have never been inside a lab longer than it takes to mop the floor, but easily spotted the blatant fakery right off. Any real lab worth the name will have the sash of the flow hood permanently all the way up, in order to make it easier to access the coffee pot which is the most important piece of apparatus in the room. And the table tops will be littered with empty pizza boxes and book bags.

    When it comes to using green screens for creationist videos, no Disco Tute hack is ever going to lay a finger on that gregarious giant of green screens, David Rives.

  12. Yeah, another thing KlooperPooper slid by was that the Disco Tute is only a few minutes away from their “laboratory” in Redmond. Ooooohh, I’m sure it’s a Major Expense ™ for them to drive up the highway to see Axe and Gauger. Hmmmm, and let’s see, who works in the lab who could be “disturbed?” Oh, yeah, Axe and Gauger! So, yeah, I’m sure it’s quite less disruptive for their “research” to have Ann get all gussied up, drive down to Seattle, find a place to park, walk up to the DI office, get her video made in front of the Mean Joe Green Screen then go ALL THE WAY BACK to Redmond to examine her Petri dishes or whatever she does.

    I wonder if they drive in the HOM* lane for that drive.

    * High Occupancy Moron

  13. Curmudgeon, does your faster-then-light space drive accelerate, then lose mass? You won’t get very far using a conventional rocket; perhaps you should research faster-THAN-light technology?
    This has been your 15 seconds of pedantry. Carry on.

  14. The Curmudgeon’s photo here, I am very sorry to report, is a fake and a fraud!!

    That’s not his laboratory, it’s his lavatory, and the photo captures the moment he was installing a Creationist ‘Can-Cam’ therein for some unspecified purpose.

    I understand now why Olivia says his place really gave her the creeps, and why she fled from it in such terror, never to return!

  15. And let Olivia and I be the first to wish all the readers of this excellent blog:


  16. Artor says: “perhaps you should research faster-THAN-light technology?”

    I can travel the galaxy, but I can’t spell. Anyway, it’s fixed now. Thanks.

  17. That reminds me, Megalonyx — during Olivia’s tearful description of the one brief evening of terror that she spent with you, she referred to your home as a crypt, and after a brief peek into your, ah … bedchamber, she says you sleep in a sarcophagus.

  18. a crypt…is that where one finds cryptonite?

  19. Our Curmudgeon claims:

    you sleep in a sarcophagus

    In fact, that’s our Armageddon-Proof Ark, constructed from battle-hardened stainless steel and a thick layer of asteroid-repelling Curmudgeonite, in which we shall safely weather the apocalyptic devastation due to befall our world tomorrow.

    When the rest of you have been consigned for your sinful ways to the Eternal Lake of Fire, Olivia and I shall emerge unscathed from our Ark to rebuild, restore, and repopulate the planet.

    …Mostly, the repopulating part, to be honest.

  20. Oops, another slip with HTML tags in above post.

    The light is crap down here in the crypt–apart from the warm and loving glow from Olivia, of course.

  21. Using a green screen is a totally standard technique…

    Yeah, that doesn’t sound paranoid defensive at all. As opposed to all those other techniques that are only rarely or occasionally standard?

  22. Oh yeah. When you are accused of doing fake science in a fake lab, why not validate that with a fake picture? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

  23. “Typically, filming in a genuine location like this would be troublesome for us and bothersome for others who work there — ”

    This they knew from the disastrous results of their last foray into that “lab”:

  24. I did not read Klinghoffer’s BS and don’t plan to (I get angry whenever I read anything over there), but it appears that he ignored the very real, very valid scientific criticisms of Gauger’s claims and instead focused on the snarky side-criticism of their fakery (is that correct?). Standard creationist tactic. Dembski’s “responses to critics” were of the same sort – his response to Richard Wein’s criticisms of his design inference nonsense consisted entirely of mocking Wein’s lowly BS in math and he did not even mention his actual criticisms (except to dismiss them).

  25. David Williams

    Sham photo, with a presentation of sham science by a Discoveroid shamster.