We recently dared the Discovery Institute’s David Klinghoffer to do what he does so well — blame the Boston bombings on Charles Darwin. See Darwin, Evolution, & the Boston Bombing.
Well, he hasn’t done that — not yet anyway, but he’s approached the subject. He just posted this at the Discoveroid blog: If Darwinists Won, What Would They Say to Impart Comfort, Meaning to Those in Grief? It’s ghastly, even for the Discoveroids’ blog, but David is doing his best. He begins by claiming that:
“Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature” (as Nagel puts it) would, if triumphant, deprive us a whole tradition of seeking meaning, comfort and consolation in pain.
That’s the theme of his essay — if Darwin were to triumph, we’d be wandering around in a materialist fog, unable to deal with the grief of what happened in Boston. So although Klinghoffer hasn’t yet blamed the event on Darwin, he’s accusing the evil Victorian naturalist of stealing our humanity. It’s quite a claim! Then he adds a personal touch, attempting to involve you at an emotional level:
As I was driving kids to school today we listened to the interfaith service in memory of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. President Obama spoke well, beginning with an apt citation from the Bible, and several clergy of a variety of faiths were very moving.
That’s very touching. Now that Klinghoffer thinks you’re sucked in, he starts to really shovel it. Here it comes, with bold font added by us:
So imagine if Darwinists won the day. Jerry Coyne writes at Why Evolution Is True about how he’s studying up on theology in order to knock it down. The man’s immaturity as a writer and thinker is so evident that I can’t see any genuine threat on that front.
Klinghoffer really dislikes Jerry Coyne. He doesn’t provide a link, but he’s probably referring to this at Coyne’s blog, A (formerly) reputable publisher sells out to creationists, which attacks Stephen Meyer’s new book. None of that is relevant to our post about Darwin and Boston, but we thought we’d provide the link — because it bothers Klinghoffer.
Okay, let’s see what Klinghoffer means by asking: “So imagine if Darwinists won the day.” What’s he talking about? It’s hard to believe, but this is his way of connecting Darwin to the Boston bombings. Get this:
Imagine how impoverished we would be not least in a time of crisis. Take away the language and themes of spiritual counselors like the ones who spoke in Boston today. What have you got now?
Are you still with us? Are you shaking your head in wonderment? Is Klinghoffer literally saying that if Darwin’s theory is universally accepted, we’d be unable to conduct an appropriate funeral? Yes, that’s really what he’s saying. He continues:
Put in their place some midget of a Darwinian — what? Would would you call him? Not a minister. I don’t know. Sort of a social worker I guess — I mean no disrespect to MSWs, my mother is one, but that is about the best you could expect in a world where Darwinian materialism was triumphant.
MSW probably refers to “Master of Social Work.” We didn’t realize there was such a degree. Anyway, in Klinghoffer’s peculiar view of things, if Darwin’s theory prevails (and intelligent design “theory” collapses in a foul puddle of goo), then life would have no meaning and only “some midget of a Darwinian” — a sort of social worker — would be available to preside at a memorial service.
We’re deeply troubled, dear reader. As a blogger, we’ve slogged through a lot of nonsense in your service, but this Klinghoffer essay is so strange that we have doubts about our comprehension. Is Klinghoffer really saying what we think he’s saying? If he is, then things are worse at Discoveroid headquarters than we ever imagined. Anyway, here’s more:
A tragedy occurs and this Darwinian social worker gets up to advise and conciliate an anguished city and a grieving country. What in the world does he say?
Who knows what such a person would say? Perhaps Klinghoffer should ask his mother — she’s got the MSW degree. Moving along:
Does he show them a PowerPoint presentation of videos of cute cats?
That’s yet another swipe at Jerry Coyne. This is a really a weird Discoveroid essay! The good news is that we’re getting to the end now:
What then? Man needs meaning. We crave it, especially when faced with adversity. I challenge any Darwinist readers to write some comments down that would be suitable, not laughable, in the context of speaking to people who have lived through an event like Monday’s bombing. By all means, let me know what you come up with.
Amazing. That’s how it ends. We were expecting Klinghoffer to blame the Boston bombings on Darwin, but so far he hasn’t been able to do that. Instead, the best he can do is claim that Darwin’s theory takes away our ability to properly grieve after such an event. In a world without creationists, all he can think of to officiate at a public ceremony is either a biologist or a social worker. The scientific worldview eliminates all other options. And those people would have nothing to say, because without creationism to give meaning to our lives, what else is there?
Klinghoffer seems unaware that the literature of Western Civilization is loaded with superb funeral oratory — without creationism. But there’s much about patriotism, tradition, honor, bravery, character — you know, trivial things like that — and such orations have been delivered by statesmen like Pericles, or by generals (see Funeral Oration for George Washington by Major-General Henry Lee). And although it may shock Klinghoffer, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address somehow didn’t mention creationism, and it was written and delivered without the assistance of either a biologist or a social worker.
So don’t worry, David. When creationism vanishes like so many other failed ideas — the miasma theory of disease, vitalism, phlogiston theory, the luminiferous aether, the geocentric universe, the flat Earth, the four bodily humours, alchemy, astrology, etc. — we’ll still be able to handle the situation. In fact, without creationism we’ll be more human, not less.
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