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!
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