Klinghoffer: Meyer’s Book is a Symbol

This is the big launch day that we wrote about here: Meyer’s book, Darwin’s Doubt, Debuts Tomorrow. In the context of science, this is as memorable an event as the release of a new book on astrology. So what are the Discoveroids saying?

At their creationist blog, David Klinghoffer has just posted this: Forbidden Science: Stephen Meyer and Darwin’s Doubt in the Context of Academic Freedom. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

… Dr. Meyer first raised some (but far from all) of the scientific challenges that you’ll find in the new book in a 2004 technical article published in a peer-reviewed biology journal, the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, edited by a Smithsonian Institution evolutionary biologist, Richard Sternberg, affiliated with the National Museum of Natural History.

Ah yes, he’s referring to Meyer’s paper that was approved by Richard von Sternberg, resulting in the infamous Sternberg peer review controversy. The journal retracted Meyer’s paper and issued this STATEMENT FROM THE COUNCIL OF THE BIOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF WASHINGTON, which said, in part:

The paper by Stephen C. Meyer [citation omitted], was published at the discretion of the former editor, Richard v. Sternberg. Contrary to typical editorial practices, the paper was published without review by any associate editor; Sternberg handled the entire review process. … [T]he journal will not publish a rebuttal to the thesis of the paper, the superiority of intelligent design (ID) over evolution as an explanation of the emergence of Cambrian body-plan diversity. The Council endorses a resolution on ID published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS Board Resolution on Intelligent Design Theory ], which observes that there is no credible scientific evidence supporting ID as a testable hypothesis to explain the origin of organic diversity. Accordingly, the Meyer paper does not meet the scientific standards of the Proceedings.

Why did Klinghoffer remind everyone of that disgraceful episode? Stick around. He continues:

Sternberg, merely for editing the article by Steve Meyer, was ruthlessly punished by his colleagues and supervisors, who investigated his scientific, religious, and political views and basically tried to make his life as a researcher as difficult as possible. He was finally forced out of the Smithsonian but not before the federal Office of Special Counsel concluded that Sternberg had indeed been the victim of retaliation.

Not quite. Wikipedia discusses that and says:

He [von Sternberg] continues to cite a letter by the United States Office of Special Counsel as supporting his version of events, despite the fact that the Office of Special Counsel did not proceed beyond its initial investigation. … In August, 2005 the Office of Special Counsel dropped Sternberg’s religious discrimination complaint against the Smithsonian Institution.

Okay, back to Klinghoffer. Next he discusses the current controversy at Ball State University, which doesn’t interest us, but it fits the Discoveroids’ fantasy of a vast global conspiracy that ceaselessly works to suppress their glorious scientific insights. Then he says:

I bring up the history regarding the Sternberg/Smithsonian story, and the current scandal at BSU, to remind you that the significance of Darwin’s Doubt extends beyond its immediate subject: the mainstream scientific search for a replacement theory for Darwinism and the evidence for intelligent design in a variety of relevant fields.

The “mainstream scientific search for a replacement theory for Darwinism”? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Let’s read on:

The importance of [Meyer’s new] book is also not exhausted by the existential question that lies behind the evolution debate. If Darwin were ever shown to be right, then what psychologist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl called (in his famous book) Man’s Search for Meaning would automatically be rendered null and void. In a Darwinian universe, where life’s origin and evolution reflect no design or intention, there can be no ultimate meaning to our existence, as candid Darwinists admit.

Aaaargh!! Our existence has no meaning! That’s an old theme of Klinghoffer’s — see Knowledge is Emptiness. Meyer’s book will save us from that empty, cruel, scientific universe, so we can be happy believing that the magic designer — blessed be he! — is the answer to all questions. He continues:

However, apart from the scientific, philosophical and spiritual meanings, the context of the book in the debate about academic freedom must also not be forgotten.

Yeah, yeah — they want the “academic freedom” to teach their version of Oogity Boogity in science class. But somehow, despite the imaginary Darwinist police state in which Klinghoffer thinks we live, Meyer has managed to publish his book, and we’re not aware of anyone’s attempting to stop him. Then Klinghoffer mentions academic criticism of someone else, which he describes as “a Darwinian lynch mob,” after which he says:

This is how the scientific “consensus” on Darwinian evolution is maintained: by fear. By bullying. And I cannot tell you how much I despise bullies. Do you agree?

This is getting tedious, and we haven’t heard yet of any scientific breakthroughs described in Meyer’s book. Here’s more:

Arguably, no ID theorist has aroused more persecutory rage than Stephen Meyer. What can we do, though, we who believe in the freedom to think and publish and research, free of fear? I mean practically speaking. How can we make our voices and feelings heard, so that they count?

Oh tell us, David — what can we do? He gives us three suggestions:

We can support appropriate legislation … . We can let our elected representatives know that we are outraged … . More immediately, but also most easily and much more enjoyably, we can buy, read and distribute Darwin’s Doubt.

And here’s the thrilling conclusion:

This week is not just launch week for a book, but also an opportunity to send a message in favor of the freedom of scholars to write and teach, and our right as informed citizens to evaluate their ideas for ourselves.

So there you are. If you want meaning in your life, if you want to stop the Darwinist bullying, if you want creationism — or the intelligent design version thereof — taught in public schools, then buy the book. It doesn’t matter what’s in it. Just buy the thing and send them a message!

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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33 responses to “Klinghoffer: Meyer’s Book is a Symbol

  1. Yes, today is a great day. I have been waiting for this day.

    It is the day where I could choose to not buy that book and to not read that book.

    Thank you for the reminder.

  2. If I buy two copies will my life have double meaning?

  3. Ah, now I understand why the “Discoveroids” have been sending all this spam to my inbox: http://wp.me/p3nc5d-h7. Their only hope of overcoming the vast global conspiracy against them is money and multi-platform advertising.

  4. docbill1351

    First of all, nobody is stopping the Tooters from publishing ANYTHING about ID. They’ve never tried. They don’t have a single research paper, not a single one, they’ve submitted for review by Nature or Science or any refereed journal that’s been rejected. Not a single one.

    Second, they can do all the research they want. Jolly old Darwin funded his own research, did it all himself, in his house! The Tooters have Axe and Gauger and a lab and they have money to fund research. Nobody is stopping them, blocking the door, towing their cars.

    On Sternberg. Sternberg and Meyer met at a closed ID conference in 2002 where, apparently, they hatched a scheme to get Meyer’s paper published. Sternberg had already been reprimanded by the Wash. Bio. Soc. for publishing a creationist paper some years before and they tightened their editorial board review processes. Sternberg knew this, and he also knew his term was up and that they couldn’t fire him because he was already done. Meyer’s paper was the only one in that issue without an abstract and, surprise surprise, the galley proofs of Meyer’s article were “missing” from the publisher. Sternberg made sure that no other editor at the journal saw anything about Meyer’s paper until the printed copies hit the news stand. The Bio. Soc. pulled the Meyer paper ON THE DAY OF PUBLICATION!

    More Sternberg. Sternberg did not work for the Smithsonian any more than a library patron works for the library. He was a research patron. He didn’t get kicked out, rather his sponsor DIED. Literally, died. You can’t be a research associate without a sponsor, so his status was changed to colleague, or something like that. He still had his office, access to the collections and all other privileges. He wasn’t fired nor demoted because he didn’t fricking work for the Smithsonian! He eventually quit his job at the NIH and signed on with – well, guess who! Can you say Seattle?

    Yes, his fellow members at the Wash. Bio. Soc. and at the Smithsonian were mean to him because he was a jerk, intellectually dishonest and untrustworthy. He made them look bad and broke their trust. He was not invited to play any more reindeer games. Poor Sternie!

  5. docbill1351

    Although Amazon has “Look Inside” blocked by the Tute, you can read a few pages on the B&N site and it’s not a pretty sight.

    Quote mines, two of them, on page 1!! These are discussed in the comments on Amazon where one apologist whines that a Preface doesn’t have to be “complete.” Oh, yeah, I didn’t know that a Preface could contain lies, sorry, incomplete truths. Great start for the rest of the book.

    The Index is available and it reads like a Who’s Who of Creationism. Yep, science all the way, Meyer! Who are you trying to fool?

  6. Back when the Meyer-Sternberg affair was news, Sternberg was known as Richard von Sternberg. He has since dropped that honorific, as it’s so much more “American” to be good ol’ Dick Sternberg. But at the time of the scandal his online resume had the “von” in it, and the statement retracting the Meyer paper refers to him as “former editor, Richard v. Sternberg.”

  7. Doc Bill asks: “Yep, science all the way, Meyer! Who are you trying to fool?”

    My guess is that Meyer is trying to fool… Meyer.

  8. anevilmeme

    Sorry, I’m tired of the the false premise: if evolution is true then life has no meaning. Really creationists? Prove it. And while your at it prove how evolution, the big bang or any other branch of science proves or disproves the existence of a Supreme Being(s).

  9. Again and again, over and over the same old BS that evilution is wrong and we are persecuted!!
    Where oh where is the proof, the better science, the better predictors, where is there anything other than bitchin’ & moanin’.????

  10. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    docbill said …
    First of all, nobody is stopping the Tooters from publishing ANYTHING about ID. They’ve never tried. They don’t have a single research paper, not a single one, they’ve submitted for review by Nature or Science or any refereed journal that’s been rejected. Not a single one.

    Second, they can do all the research they want. Jolly old Darwin funded his own research, did it all himself, in his house! The Tooters have Axe and Gauger and a lab and they have money to fund research. Nobody is stopping them, blocking the door, towing their cars.

    That’s because http://cenlamar.com/2013/06/07/the-discovery-institute-is-a-con-profit-scam. Doing any actual science would leave less money for the scammers to pocket. Yeah, I know, preachin’ to the choir and all.

    von Klinghoffer writes …

    This is how the scientific “consensus” on Darwinian evolution is maintained: by fear. By bullying. And I cannot tell you how much I despise bullies. Do you agree?

    I agree that bullies are contemptible but that has nothing to do with the dishonest tactics of the DI or those that criticize them. Sorry Klingster, but holding your feet to fire when you make consistently twisted half truth statements, outright intentional distortions, assertions that have no basis in reality or sans verifiable evidence is nothing more than criticism and dismissal of intellectual dishonesty. These tactics are how the Discovery Institute advances it’s idelogical “wedge” strategy and as far as I am concerned makes them all liars.

    And I cannot tell you how much I despise liars. Do you agree?

    Here’s another recent example … Creationist Lobbyist Deceives Louisiana Senate Committee, Claims Creationism Law Is Actually Anti-Bullying, Pro-Evolution Legislation.

  11. DocBill, this is OT, but, in the Superman thread you wrote:

    “The Gerb his own self got mixed up in a science thread discussion about Orgel’s work on cyclic reactions and tried to throw in a little Behe horse apple nonsense and got his head and ass handed to him such that his final comment was that he’d love to discuss it more, but he had more pressing work to attend to. “Pressing work,” he meant ironing.”

    Could you get me a reference please, if you can dig it up? I am compiling an index of Luskin’s bonehead errors. It’s, um, long.

    — Diogenes

  12. New rule: From now on, we insert “von” in the names of all Discovernaughts. e.g. William von Dembski, Casey von Luskin, etc.

    Curm, make it so.

    — Diogenes

  13. Von Klinghoffer is correct in his assessment that this book is a symbol! That is, it’s a symbol of a dishonest work masquerading as science, a symbol of bad philosophy of science, a symbol of quote mining, a symbol of lack of knowledge by the author on his subject matter, and a symbol of failure to provide any supporting evidence for the thesis of the book. But that’s typical of creationist books, particularly those coming from the dishonesty institute.

  14. Diogenes says: “Casey von Luskin, etc. Curm, make it so.”

    You can follow any rules you like, but I only do it for von Sternberg — as a show of, ah … respect. Yeah, that’s it — respect. I assume he’s entitled to it, but most Europeans of noble descent who move to the US drop such things — unless they’re pompous buffoons. If he’s not entitled to it, then my continued use is a reminder that he was a poseur. Either way — pompous or poseur — I’m gonna stick with it. I give most of the other Discoveroids first name treatment, or nicknames.

  15. @anevilmeme:the false premise: if evolution is true then life has no meaning. Really creationists?
    (1) The same arguments which are used against evolution often have as much (if not more) relevance to reproduction. For example, my own ancestry has many random events in it – which particular male and female germ cells, or how my great-grandfather happened to meet my great-grandmother, … “If reproduction is true then life has no meaning.”
    (2) It is obviously true that our bodies are very similar to the bodies of chimps and other apes. Why is that so?
    (a) It’s a massive coincidence, that living things fall in a nested hierarchy of taxonomy.
    (b) It is a result of common descent
    (c) The intelligent designer(s) were constrained by the laws of nature – they couldn’t do it any other way
    (d)The intelligent designer(s) wanted us to be typical primates
    ID is telling us that (2d) is the meaning of life?

  16. docbill1351

    I will try to find the thread where Luskin got banged up. It was around the time he claimed “copyright infringement” on someone using his picture, then he used a graphic from a website without attribution and they called him on it. Several years ago. Issa look.

  17. docbill1351

    von Klinghitler is correct, von Meyer’s book is a symbol – a symbol of creationism cloaked in claptrap and a monument to ignorance.

    One day in and the only non-reviews of von Meyer’s Hopeless Monster 2 are on Christian websites and blogs where they, of course, present no detailed analysis of the book, having not read it themselves, but merely reprints of the dust jacket blurb and information and PTL!

  18. docbill1351

    Diogenes – here is a start, the Gerbil Squeaks where von Luskin dances around his own stupidity and hypocrisy and only digs himself deeper. The von Tuters can never be wrong, don’t you see, or the gravy train will derail. No more noms for the Gerb!

    I’ll pursue deeper.

  19. docbill1351

    OK, looks like the original site from 2008 is kaput and Luskin’s smackdown is in the bit bucket. I’ll still tell the story on a park bench to the pigeons and anyone else who will listen.

  20. docbill1351

    More kerfluffle here but, again, links to old stuff and the original comment thread are dead.

    The thing about that comment thread was that Luskin was getting beat up on all sides. Misrepresenting Orgel, using the ResearchBlogging graphic without permission, complaining that he was not disregarding the rules (wittingly) and that life was unfair and he hated being a gerbil.

    Hoever, through the whole thing he never once simply said, “Sorry, my bad.” and let it go at that. That’s all he had to do, but, no, he went all von Klinghitler on everybody, then he started crying and ran home to Mommy Westie. Poor widdle Gerb!

  21. docbill1351

    Nice quote mine, Meyer, you lying skunk! Yes, I have limited access to Meyer’s book and it’s stinky, page after page.

    In Chapter 3 Meyer builds up a case that fossil precursors to the Cambrian Critters have not been found BECAUSE THEY DON’T EXIST rather than because they haven’t been found. How so? By demonstrating that the conditions were JUST FINE for fossilization in the Pre-Cambrian and he uses Valentine to support him, but leaving off the part where Valentine says “Finally, many of the changes in preservation are a consequence of the biotic innovations.”

    Meyer’s thesis is pure God of the Gaps. Fossils don’t exist because they never existed!

  22. There have been several cases of predictions from the anti-evolutionists about the non-existence of fossils because they couldn’t exist. Think of the prediction of the non-existence of intermediates for flatfish (the eyes only partially migrated to the same side of the head), the middle ear ossicles of mammals (the doubly-articulated jaw); … After a number of failures for this methodology, isn’t there a bit of doubt abour the reliability of it?

  23. Doc Bill,
    thanks for the link. As for the original thread, I’m trying now to dig it up from the Wayback machine or google cache.

  24. docbill1351

    You’ll notice on the link that does work how von Luskin whines point by point, post by post to no avail.

  25. Doc Bill,
    your “kerfuffle here” link does not work.

    The link to ENV does provide a fascinating glimpse into the Attack von Gerbil.

    von Luskin: Only 3 of the 30 posts here actually quoted my article, or discussed it in any meaningful way, to allege, using direct evidence, that I made any errors or misunderstood anything.

    Luskin told ONLY three lies! Oh, what a martyr he is– they’re attacking him for telling only three lies!

    What is REALLY interesting about that post is that Luskin says metabolic pathways are irreducibly complex! What a genius. Michael von Behe’s writing on metabolic pathways in “Darwin’s Black Box” was ambiguous (deliberately or not) so a lot of scientists pointed out evidence that there are obvious pathways by which metabolic cycles can evolve. This of course proves that IC structures can be produced by evolution, so Behe clarified: metabolic pathways are not irreducibly complex.

    [Behe]: ‘Finally [Ken] Miller discusses a paper which works out a scheme for how the organic-chemical components of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, a central metabolic pathway, may have arisen gradually. (Melendez-Hevia et al. 1996) …The… more important point is that, while the paper is very interesting, it doesn’t address irreducible complexity. Either [Ken] Miller hasn’t read what I said in my book about metabolic pathways, or he is deliberately ignoring it. I clearly stated in Darwin’s Black Box metabolic pathways are not irreducibly complex (Behe 1996) (pp. 141-142; 150-151), because components can be gradually added to a previous pathway. Thus metabolic pathways simply aren’t in the same category as the blood clotting cascade or the bacterial flagellum. Although Miller somehow misses the distinction, other scientists do not. In a recent paper Thornhill and Ussery write that something they call serial-direct-Darwinian-evolution “cannot generate irreducibly complex structures.” But they think it may be able to generate a reducible structure, “such as the TCA cycle (Behe, 1996 a, b).” (Thornhill and Ussery 2000) In other words Thornhill and Ussery acknowledge the TCA cycle is not irreducibly complex, as I wrote in my book. Miller seems unable or unwilling to grasp that point.’ [Michael Behe]

    Behe’s cheating in equivocating on the meaning of “Irreducible Complexity” is skewered by biochemist Larry Moran here.

    Note that Behe accuses evolutionist Ken Miller of lying or else being too stupid to understand that metabolic pathways aren’t considered irreducibly complex by Behe (even though they do, obviously, satisfy Behe’s definition of IC, he makes arbitrary ad hoc exceptions.)

    However, *most* ID creationists agree with Miller and contradict von Behe: most ID creationists, unlike Behe, say that metabolic pathways ARE irreducibly complex.

    Above we saw Casey von Luskin says metabolic pathways ARE irreducibly complex: [“Leslie Orgel: Metabolic Origin of Life ‘Unlikely’ (Part 1).” Casey Luskin. ENV. February 3, 2008.] Did Behe accuse von Luskin of lying or being stupid?

    William von Dembski has said metabolic pathways ARE irreducibly complex [William von Dembski, The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design (2004), p. 113] Did Behe accuse von Dembski of lying or being stupid?

    Ann von Gauger, who works for the Biologic Institute, said at an ID conference that metabolic pathways ARE irreducibly complex
    [Daniel R. Brooks, Report on the 2007 Wistar Retrospective Symposium, Panda’s Thumb, February 6, 2008]. Did Behe accuse von Gauger of lying or being stupid?

  26. docbill1351

    Maybe sc can fix what I broke with my tiny url kerfluffle, or not. I’ll repost otherwise. Help, Mr. Wizard!

  27. docbill1351 says: “Maybe sc can fix what I broke with my tiny url kerfluffle, or not.”

    There’s no URL there at all. Just the link title. There’s nothing I can work with.

  28. Anonymous: There have been several cases of predictions from the anti-evolutionists about the non-existence of fossils because they couldn’t exist. Think of the prediction of the non-existence of intermediates for flatfish (the eyes only partially migrated to the same side of the head), the middle ear ossicles of mammals (the doubly-articulated jaw); … After a number of failures for this methodology, isn’t there a bit of doubt abour the reliability of it?

    Exactly. I’ve compiled many examples of just that for the book I’m writing.

    For Flatfish: the classic quote is from St. George Jackson Mivart, Darwin’s friend turned opponent, who cited the impossibility of a transition between fish and flatfish because the intermediate would die. Of course, Amphistium and Heteronectes have exactly the properties that creationists had said would kill any fish: eyes halfway migrated around their heads (in addition modern flatfish have half-way migrated eyes in the juvenile state.) Discussed by Ed Yong here.

    There are many others. I’m writing a whole chapter, very funny, on it.

  29. docbill writes: “In Chapter 3 Meyer builds up a case that fossil precursors to the Cambrian Critters have not been found BECAUSE THEY DON’T EXIST rather than because they haven’t been found.”

    It’s nice to see the DI has dropped their search for the smallest hints of design, like signatures in the cell, irreducible complexity, and CSI. Now, they just stand all squinty-eyed over some fossils, point, and say “Yup, designed.”

    So, now we are left to wonder who this omnipotent – and quite prolific – animal generator was. I mean it could have been just about anyone, am I right? Even aliens! You know, aliens that zip around the galaxy with a cargohold chock full of trilobites, waiting to drop them off into the first ocean they see. Makes sense

  30. It’s a sign alright: “Going Out Of Business”

    Cardinal von Gary … nevermind … I just wanted to say von Gary.

  31. Tomato Addict says: “I just wanted to say von Gary.”

    And I just want to say … von Addict.

  32. docbill1351

    I’ll use my wand this time – vonLuskinus Kerflufflea!

  33. Curmie von Sensuous!