Discovery Institute: Hey Casey! (Number 9)


The last time we explained our use of that graphic was Hey Casey! (Number 7). It’s the only thing we could think of to introduce Casey Luskin’s latest entry at the Discoveroids’ blog: What Science Education “Journalism” Looks Like at Nature.

But before we examine what Casey has written, we must remind you of something we wrote two days ago — Will Kentucky Have a Lucid Moment?, about an article in Nature discussing the progress of the evolution-friendly Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) proposed by the National Research Council and intended to be voluntary guidelines to be adopted by all states for use in their public schools.

A state that adopts those standards is inoculated against the toxic effect of the Discoveroids’ anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act, about which see the Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws.

Because of the clear conflict between the NGSS and the Discoveroids’ anti-science goals (see wedge strategy), it’s not surprising that Casey’s new post is about that same topic — and specifically it’s about the article in Nature. Here are some excerpts from what Casey says, with bold font added by us:

Last month, a reporter for Nature got in contact with me about an article she was researching about the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), an initiative seeking, among other things, to nationalize Darwin-only K-12 science education. She also wanted to ask about academic freedom laws that Discovery Institute has supported.

That makes about as much sense as contacting the Flat Earth Society to get their opinion about NASA’s activities — but okay, the reporter was covering all bases. What happened? Casey tells us:

Nature is a highly respected journal. It’s the New York Times of the science world, and then some. The reporter, Lauren Morello, seemed intelligent and curious, and I got the impression that she was tracking what I told her. We spent about 45 minutes on the phone and then I followed up by email.

And no doubt Casey was dreaming of being quoted in Nature. Are you beginning to understand, dear reader, why we deployed our “Hey Casey” graphic for this? Let’s read on:

Imagine my surprise when her article appeared and reflected nothing — I mean nothing — of my comments to her. Instead, Ms. Morello simply reproduced the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) talking point — a false one — that academic freedom laws enshrine the teaching of “creationism.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, in case you missed it, here’s a link to the Nature article Evolution makes the grade.

Casey goes on and on about the wonders he explained to the Nature reporter, and how terribly wrong her article is to say that the Discoveroids’ “academic freedom” laws would allow creationism to be taught alongside evolution. Casey is shocked — shocked! He wails:

Ms. Morello never quoted me in her story, nor did she mention any arguments from other proponents of academic freedom bills. It’s as if we never spoke. … In the article, she only permitted critics of academic freedom bills to speak. On science education, this is evidently the sort of “journalism” practiced at Nature.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Although we find it to be grand entertainment, and you will too, we’ll skip most of Casey’s rant, including a copy of the email he sent to the reporter. Here’s the end of his post:

Nature seems determined to maintain the NCSE’s false storyline, the simplistic and grossly inaccurate claim that there are only two sides to this discussion: those who want to teach evolution, and those who want to replace it with religious “creationism.” Nature‘s readers, and students, surely deserve better.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Hey, Casey — we know you Discoveroids are desperate to get your “theory” mentioned in quality science journals like Nature. We respectfully suggest that your tantrum isn’t going to help you in that effort. But please, just keep doing what you’re doing. Even if Nature doesn’t appreciate you, your Curmudgeon certainly does.

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

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31 responses to “Discovery Institute: Hey Casey! (Number 9)

  1. Casey whines:

    It’s as if we never spoke.

    No, it’s precisely as if you did speak–but without saying anything of any substance whatsoever, comme d’habitude.

  2. docbill1351

    I think the reporter was familiar with comme de merde, too.

    Casey’s whine has a familiar ring to it …

    Oh, yeah, Kitzmiller 2005! Judge Jones didn’t include any “ID-friendly” comments in his decision. Earth to Gerbil, there’s a pattern here!

  3. waldteufel

    You gotta love Casey’s whiny screeds . . . . . . .As you read along, you can just “hear” his whiney squeaks. What fun!
    I remember a few years ago Casey wrote a letter to the editors of Nature, and that little missive was never published . . . . well, except at the Discoveroid website. He wrote at least one post decrying that “snub” from the “Darwinist” Nature.
    The guy brings us oodles of entertainment. Keep posting, Casey!

  4. docbill1351

    Inquiring minds want to know, Attack Gerbil or Sympathy Troll?

    Until Gerbie threw his pitiful temper tantrum it was all private communication. Why tell?

    Oh, yeah, Gerbie wants a hug.

    Awwwwwww, don’t haz a sad poor widdle Gerbie! Unkle Bill give you a big hug.

  5. anevilmeme

    The fellow seems to have a rather high opinion of himself.

  6. Perhaps Ms. Morello does, in fact, intend to use his comments in a future story. Given that she appears to be a thinking person, if she does write a piece about the DI and it’s academic freedom bills, it will be critical in nature. (pun intended) However, Casey should have learned by now that being courteous to reporters doesn’t hurt, and might in fact make them more likely to include his comments in future stories. It pays to be nice to the press.

    On the other hand, identifying her and questioning her objectivity in a public forum will almost guarantee that any future coverage she might give to the DI and it’s activities will be, ah, most unpleasant.

    Keep it up, Casey.

  7. @ anevilmeme: Indeed. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it….

  8. I’m overjoyed that at least one journalist does not buy in to the false “balance” concept that is really just journalistic laziness.

  9. A youtubes in which Casey does not talk about God, because, you know, intelligent design is not about God, ummmkay?

    So, move along folks. Nothing to see here, just move along.

  10. docbill1351

    Ha, Mark, Casey’s first lie is at the 1:25 minute mark when he claims there’s an “Evolution Lobby!” What a lunatic. Back in 2005 the same Luskin was claiming there was a Darwinian Pressure Group which I lampooned as Delta Pi Gamma. Then he goes on to expound that the NCSE is an “anti-ID” organization when the NCSE was incorporated in 1983! Luskin’s outfit, the Center for Renewal of Science and Culture, wasn’t created until 1996.

    But, what do you expect but lies if you’re going to lecture at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. Pitiful little Gerbil.

  11. Until Gerbie threw his pitiful temper tantrum it was all private communication. Why tell?”

    Simply because it’s more more fodder for Luskin and the dishonesty institute martyrs to claim they’re the underdogs that noone will listen to, that their views are being suppressed, that Nature is suppressing their freedom of speech, i.e., they have a god, excuse me, intelligent designer, given right to appear in any article in which they’ve been solicited for input, and omission of their creationist side of the story is an assault on them.

  12. A relevant story:

    5 Sneaky Ways Fundamentalists Are Trying To Slip Christian Creationism Into America’s Public Schools

  13. waldteufel

    I wasted a few minutes watching the video that Mark gave a link for.
    Poor Casey is really a poster gerbil for Dunning-Kruger Syndrome.

  14. docbill1351

    Luskin, like all the denizens of the Disco Tute is a total coward. All those guys speak ONLY to church groups or in closed sessions. Genie Scott, on the other hand, is always out in the public. I heard her speak in Houston at the Museum of Natural History and she took questions from rational people and wingnuts alike and handled each respectfully and thoroughly.

    I have never seen Genie put up a list of Disco Tute villains and say “Get ’em.” On the contrary, she doesn’t ever say “get ’em” rather she just presents the facts and lets the audience decide. It’s obvious and the wingnuts simply fade away.

  15. Charles Deetz ;)

    It is the natural American thing to do when you get contacted by the press: “When will I be on TV/in the paper???” If the DI got regular calls like this, they would know that not everything gets published and not get their god-given panties in a bunch.

  16. Casey quotes the following from a 2010 Nature article to support the DI’s claim that NGSS fails to address the weaknesses of evolutionary theory:

    “Despite its intuitive appeal, the principle of early embryonic conservation has not been supported by morphological studies. Counter to the expectations of early embryonic conservation, many studies have shown that there is often remarkable divergence between related species both early and late in development, often with little apparent influence on adult morphology.”

    But the funny thing is that he leaves out the very next sentences in that paper:

    “The extensive variation that is seen in early and late development is contrasted by a period of conserved morphology occurring in mid-embryogenesis. This is known as the phylotypic period because it coincides with a period of maximal similarity between the species within each animal phylum. The morphological conservation evident in the phylotypic period
    motivated a proposal of the hourglass model1,2 as a revised formulation
    of von Baer’s third law. The hourglass model predicts that early and
    late divergence is separated by a ‘waist’ corresponding to the phylotypic

    In short, the hourglass model of development was previously known from morphological data and this paper lends genetic support to that model. This emphatically augments the embryological evidence for evolution. And Casey is trying to quote mine from this paper to oppose evolution!

    I’m happy that Ms. Morello turned a deaf ear to Casey’s nonsense.

  17. Isn’t it ironic (read pathetic) to see Casey Luskin, and Stephen Meyers rag on about evolution and all it’s ‘weaknesses,” yet none of them have ever done any research in the fields in which they presume to be “experts!” That’s why Luskin tries to emulate his hero, Phillip Johnson, and wants to try evolution in the court of public opinion where he can fool many, but not in the science lab where he fools no one, save for himself.

  18. David says:

    Isn’t it ironic (read pathetic) to see Casey Luskin, and Stephen Meyers rag on about evolution and all it’s ‘weaknesses,” yet none of them have ever done any research in the fields in which they presume to be “experts!”

    Credentials aren’t the problem. At least in principle, a major shift in our thinking could come from a non-expert — if he understood the subject and knew how to think properly. Someone could, for example, propose a test (of any scientific theory) along these classic lines:

    If the theory of X were true, then we should see A, and if it were not true then we should see B. We have the technology to detect A and B, and we can run a test and search for the results, so let the test be done.

    Alas for the creationists, they have no comprehension of anything, so their arguments against evolution are never more sophisticated than pointing out the absence of crock-o-ducks.

  19. Nature seems determined to maintain …there are only two sides to this discussion: those who want to teach evolution, and those who want to replace it with religious “creationism.” Nature‘s readers, and students, surely deserve better.”

    Well, Casey, here’s the “better” you are whining for:

    Casey’s right, he and his gang are not promoting “religious creationism” as they define it, namely Ken Ham’s young earth, Ark, etc. They know that’s nonsense, and would not be promoting it even if the Supreme Court had allowed it to be taught in public schools. No, they run the “big tent” scam, which means “don’t ask, don’t tell what happened when, just recycle long-refuted ‘weaknesses’ of evolution, and censor the refutations.” But Casey is free to prove “Nature” wrong, and devote equal time to refuting “creationism” as he defines instead of just whining about “Darwinists.”

  20. Luskin is a great gift for our side– he’s the best possible leader for the DI. He’s increasingly egomaniacal, self-centered, and detached from normal human interactions. He thinks he’s going to score points by writing a letter to Nature and bad-mouthing Nature because… because… they didn’t quote him. What an egotist. He’s so far outside normal reality that the average American can’t possibly identify with him.

    I don’t think Zack Kopplin is an effective debater, but the average American can identify with Zack, while Casey— Casey ALWAYS appeared to be a lying, sneaky little weasel, but now he’s turned into a gargantuan egomaniac.

    It’s like that show “America’s Worst Cook” where 20 bad cooks prepare their “best” dishes, then Chef #1 chooses the bad cook whom Chef #2 must train, and Chef #2 chooses the bad cook whom Chef #1 must train.

    If we evolutionists could vote on who should be the leader of the DI, we would’ve voted for Luskin.

    In Curm’s last “Hey Casey” post, Number 8 I think, Casey went off into a rant about how Jerry Coyne believed in “materialism-of-the-gaps” and how atheism was a “faith” and blah blah blah. Like someone with a strange form of retardation, he’s invented his own vocabulary, it has not caught on, but it does isolate him from the rest of society. Casey is like Jody Foster in that movie “Nell.”

  21. BTW, Doc Bill, thanks for that link to the Research thread where Casey got pounded over quote-mining Leslie Orgel on the topic of metabolic pathways. Although it was a dead link, I dug it up from the Wayback Machine. Delicious.

    That stuff is like crack for me. We should call you Doctor Feelgood.

  22. Diogenes writes: “I don’t think Zack Kopplin is an effective debater, …”

    If all of our kids debated half as well as Zack does, there wouldn’t be any problem.

  23. docbill1351

    Hail to Kopplin! He’s only 19. When I was 19, well, let’s not talk about that. Not a pretty sight. I was even more arrogant then than I am today if that’s believable. Kopplin has nerves of steel. He’s hobnobbed with Bill Maher and even took on the Disco Tute who double-teamed him. Unflappable. He could be the next Genie Scott or Barbara Forrest. Time will tell.

    You’re welcome, cynic, for the Luskin link. The little twerp got pounded for a couple of things. Stealing the logo and using it without permission not a week after he claimed that a b/w 180 x 180 pixel jpeg of his ugly puss was “copyright protected” and used without his permission. Little weasel. He tried to duck and weave out of it but he was caught dead to rights and hypocritical as well.

    Luskin had to inflate his ego to make up for his lack of education and credentials. No way around it, he has a general earth science degree and is an unemployed lawyer, that is, never actually worked as a lawyer. Never actually worked as an earth scientist, for that matter. He likes to call himself a “research director” but he’s really only an office boy working in a drab, moldy, run down, unremarkable building in Seattle. And if that isn’t bad enough his office mate is Klinghitler. Imagine the hijinks those two get up to! I’ll bet money that Klinghitler has a Whoopie Cushion in his desk drawer.

  24. docbill1351

    Luskin has his own pathetic “book” on Amazon: Discovering Intelligent Design – for the homeschool market.

    Think back on what Luskin has written about, then think of the worst, drop down about 100 levels and you will land on this pile of pulp.

    The only reason I bring it up is that on the Amazon site one of the 5-star reviews is by a “Loretta Luskin.” Coincidence? Luskin isn’t that common a name; I’ve only heard of one. I mean, what are the odds that the Gerb would get a family member to publish a “review” using their real name? Inquiring minds want to know!

  25. Diogenes said:

    I don’t think Zack Kopplin is an effective debater

    I disagree. But even if you’re right, he’s still young and will always be learning. That’s a lot more than can be said for those he opposes.

  26. @docbill – Loretta Luskin is Casey’s mom. True fact.

    Who else would give him a 5-star review?

  27. Zack keeps his cool and doesn’t get angry like I would. But.

    Zack’s whole argument is to trust the authority of scientists. That line has an Achilles heel: Luskin can make it appear that scientists don’t believe in evolution, by means of quote mines or outright lying. Zack has not formed a counter-strategy to Luskin’s quote mine strategy.

    At that “debate” at Medved’s radio show, when Zack said there was no controversy among scientists, Luskin called Zack a liar– “I’m calling your bluff”– and then Luskin dropped some quote mines in which scientists allegedly “question” natural selection. Zack had no comeback to being called a liar– and this coming from one of the biggest liars on the planet!

    Zack simply does not have experience debating implacably dishonest opponents who lie through their teeth. For that, you need special preparation, you must study your opponent’s past lies, and you must have a counter-argument prepared for his most common lies.

    Granted, it must be admitted that even the best evolutionist debaters struggle to answer so many quote-mines. There are so many hundreds or thousands of creationist quote-mines that it’s difficult, even for the experienced, to have a come-back.

    I think in the future we need a team of two, one to do the talking, and the other with a laptop to google the quote mines on the fly.

  28. docbill1351

    The Marshal McLuhan moment for the DI came ON VIDEO when Mark Ryland (formerly of the Tute) bald-faced lied and said the “DI never promoted teaching ID in school” whereupon Richard Thomas (who defended the school district in Kitzmiller) reached into his briefcase and pulled out a pamphlet and said, “That’s not true. I’ve got a copy right here!”

    This was wingnut on wingnut crime but delicious to watch. Ryland melted away and shortly later left the Tute to “pursue other interests.”

    Pure. Comedy. Gold.

  29. Zack did fine, but I suspect he has loftier goals than to become an expert at debating the likes of Luskin.

  30. retiredsciguy

    Nailed it, TA. Zack’s going far.

  31. “DiogenesThere are so many hundreds or thousands of creationist quote-mines that it’s difficult, even for the experienced, to have a come-back.”

    I have read devastating comebacks for every anti-evolution quote-mine, logical fallacy or other misleading sound bite. But I’m one of a tiny minority, fascinated by science for 50+ years and intensely following this “debate” for almost 20. But the ones we most need to reach, at least half of the population, rarely give it 5 minutes’ thought, and forget 90+% of what little science they learn within a few years. Because the scam artists’ sound bites are so catchy, and appeal to wishful thinking, we simply can’t compete with long, techy refutations. That’s why I’m convinced we must devote more effort to asking the scam artists about their “theories” and showing how they evade even the simplest questions. Even if it means resisting the opportunity to answer a PRATT (point refuted 1000x). Most people are not hopeless Biblical literalists, and they will not tolerate the blatant double-standard like the scam artists have been getting away with.

    When people react to the scam artists with “what’s the harm, let them believe?” they give them a free pass. They need to be saying instead: “if they really believe that stuff why can’t they answer simple questions about it?”