Discoveroids Demand: End All Science Funding

The Discovery Institute may have actually discovered something — a shortcut to their goal of ending science and returning humanity to the darkness. (For more on that goal, see Discovery Institute: Enemies of the Enlightenment.)

Their latest post, in which this new discovery is announced, was written by Michael Egnor (that’s his entry in the Encyclopedia of American Loons), and the title of his article is No Controversy? No Funding.

After starting with a rant about Ohio State evolutionary biologist Steve Rissing, who dared to say that “There are no valid scientific data challenging macroevolution,” Egnor announces his solution to this heretical problem. No, his solution isn’t to produce the data that will shut Rissing up. Nor does he mention the embarrassing fact that he has no such data. Instead, he’s found a way to work around that problem. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Rissing insists that “there are no valid scientific data challenging macroevolution.” Since we’ve been studying macroevolution since 1859, it is reasonable to infer that Dr. Rissing believes that no such valid data will be forthcoming. Why then are we wasting public money on macroevolution research?

Stunning, isn’t it? Was the anti-science mentality of the Discoveroids ever expressed more clearly? But Egnor pretends to be fair. He imagines an objection to his “no more research” mandate:

“Oh,” you may say, “there is no data challenging macroevolution, but there is much to learn about the details.”

Fair enough. Here’s his response to that objection:

“But,” I reply, “if macroevolution is a fact, like heliocentrism or Newtonian gravitation, we shouldn’t fund research in it at all. The National Science Foundation doesn’t fund heliocentrism research, not even about the details of heliocentrism (is the sun in the exact center, or are the orbits ellipses?), nor does it fund Newtonian gravity research (are we sure it’s an inverse square law, not an inverse cube?). The government funds no research on any of the “unchallenged” facts taught in high school science classes — the gross anatomy of the heart, Newton’s Second Law, the charge on the electron, the chemical formula of methane, etc.

In effect, Egnor is saying: “You people already know enough. It’s time you quit doing research. Shut down your labs!” Next, he states that explicitly:

Research funding is in short supply. The government doesn’t fund any research on any topic that is uncontroversial — any topic for which there are no valid data that challenge it. Funding should be directed at controversies, open questions, not settled facts.

Isn’t that great? Unless we’re willing to acknowledge (and teach) that there’s a scientific controversy about Oogity Boogity — oops, that wasn’t precise, we mean the “theory” of the intelligent designer (blessed be he!) — then there should be no more scientific research. Egnor finishes by jumping up and down and beating his chest triumphantly, like one of our ape-like ancestors:

A straightforward remedy for these Darwinist true believers is to defund research on their “unchallenged” theories. Lets fund research about topics that we can debate. If there isn’t any controversy, why is there any funding?

So there you are. Egnor thinks he has found a way to swiftly bring an end to science, thus ushering in a new Dark Age in which the Discoveroids will feel right at home. All he needs to do now is convince people like the National Science Foundation to take him seriously.

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

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24 responses to “Discoveroids Demand: End All Science Funding

  1. Flamen Portunalis

    NSF does in fact fund Newtonian gravitation research to see if the power of the distance is really -2.

    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2008/mar/05/gravity-test-constrains-new-forces

  2. I like how he goes into Newtonian gravity and not just gravity, since he full well knows there is a large amount of ongoing research into gravity at the moment.

  3. I’m starting to see his point. There’s nothing controversial about aerodynamics. Why is the military testing airplanes? Just slap a wing on a tube and be done with it.

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    I’m sure Hambo would chime in and suggest that all ‘historical science’ research be defunded as well, as isn’t really science anyway.

  5. Not surprisingly, Dr. Egnor clearly hasn’t thought this one through: the very first casualty of such a (deliberately) idiotic policy would be the Discoveroids’ own ‘Evolution News and Views’ blog, which (when not whining about persecution from the International Godless Darwinist Conspiracy) often consists of an extended quote-mining of legitimate scientific research from peer-reviewed publications, such as their recent piece, More Irreducible Complexity Is Found in Flagellar Assembly (24 Sept 2013). Which, predicatably,is yet another of deeply dishonest filleting:

    When mainstream science journals corroborate claims we’ve made in support of the theory of intelligent design, we like to point it out. It shows that the case for ID grows stronger, not weaker, with time.
    [snip]
    …a new paper in PNAS, with dazzling illustrations, opens Darwin’s black box a little more, showing the amazing sequential assembly of this icon of ID.
    The 12 authors from 5 American universities don’t seem to have much use for evolutionary theory. They never mention it. Instead, they call the flagellum a “sophisticated self-assembling molecular machine” and, twice, “an intricate molecular machine.”

    [snip]

    The organism they studied is the multi-flagellated spirochete that causes Lyme disease — but that’s a side issue for philosophers or theologians, not for intelligent design. ID looks for products that imply intelligent causes, not for the reasons they exist.

    [snip]

    research into the precision assembly of flagella is provoking more investigation of the assembly of other molecular machines. It’s a measure of the robustness of a scientific theory when increasing data strengthen its tenets over time and motivate further research. Irreducible complexity lives!

    What would the DiscoTute do without articles from PNAS to so grotesquely misrepresent in this way? Ann Gauger ain’t gonna come up with the goods in her green-screen ‘lab’.

    I’d say here “Think again, Dr. Egnor” if it weren’t so apparent he doesn’t think at all…

  6. At least this time Smegnor is only demanding that scientific research funds be cut. Let’s recall the time that he demanded that all climate scientists and many non-climate scientists should be put in prison for the Climategate “fraud.” You will recall that multiple investigations showed that no fraud at the U. of East Anglia had ever occurred, and no climate scientist had to retract any paper or change even a single data point; but Egnor wants them and a bunch of other scientists imprisoned because they must have known about the “fraud” he invented in his mind.

    Smegnor: “…there will be an accounting for this fraud. People are very very angry, and while the [GW] skeptics whose darkest doubts have been vindicated don’t pull the levers of organized science (the frauds do that), there are some financial and political resources available to the skeptics who have been demanding integrity in science, and they understand now that this is war.

    A cabal of leading scientists, politicians, and media concubines have conspired to lie about global warming. The reasons are obvious: power and money… The fraudulent scientists who suckle off the 7 billion dollars spent this year alone on the global warming scam… are merely using science, rather than hedge funds, to enrich themselves. …As those who are reasonably acquainted with peer review and the “inside” perspective of a particular discipline of science will (privately) attest, even scientists who abjure from outright fraud often produce work that is at best insipid, and is more often than not aimed at securing funding irrespective of genuine scientific merit…
    …The ID-Darwinism debate clearly demonstrates that venality and shameless self-interest, as well as a toxic leftist-atheist ideology, runs very deep in the scientific community.

    …we may need to pursue scientific truth with a different set of scientists than the ones we have now. Surely many many scientists knew of the frauds so clearly documented in the ClimateGate scandal; where were the august scientific organizations–the Royal Academy, the UN’s IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science–while this fraud was growing and gaining power. The obvious truth is that these citadels of organized science were part of the fraud, or at least acquiescent in it. Several of the admitted ClimateGate fraudsters were in senior positions in these organizations.

    We are on the verge of reorganizing our lives, our governments, and our economies on the basis of massive transparent scientific fraud. …The bad guys here have all the influence and most of the money, and they are not hindered by ethics.

    What can we do? Criminal prosecution of scientists who manipulate data would be a good start. Scientists who fake data and manipulate peer review to advance their agenda are no different than corporate executives who manipulate stock prices or lawyers who tamper with juries.

    Um, the rich people who do that kind of thing never actually go to jail, so if his analogy were valid, you’d have to keep scientists OUT OF jail, not in it.

    “Ultimately, perhaps massive defunding of organized science, and a new system of support for research that demands utter transparency and maximal accommodation of debate, may be the only way to defend ourselves from an utterly corrupt scientific elite.

    It may well be that the public will be forced to protect itself from organized science, as we now protect ourselves from organized crime.”

    — [Michael Egnor, “Climategate: a Word of Advice to the Scientists”, UD, Nov. 28, 2009]

  7. The DI suggests that funding be discontinued for evolution since, scientists agree, it is settled fact. (Never mind that there is much unknown in the details) On the other hand, the DI continually claims that evolution is controversial, and that many scientists disagree with the consensus.

    Which is it? If they truly wish to advocate doing no more research, then they must accept that evolution is true, ID is therefore false, and close shop. If they instead claim evolution is not true, and that there is a scientific controversy, then they should support further research into evolution.

    What a strange argument to make.

  8. If you enjoy comedy, and if, like me, you enjoy watching the pompous and fanatical Dr. Smegnor exposed as the Egnoramus he is, you may enjoy perusing the following threads where he and I have tangled. In each case, he has run off with his tail between his legs.

    Sandwalk, Feb 11, 2013: Egnor says Nazis were atheists. I copy in many quotes at great length to refute this. He has no come-back. He tells Piotr Gasiorowski, a Pole, that American Christians saved Poland. He runs off.

    Recursivity, Feb 28, 2013: Here Engor tries to pass himself off as an expert on information theory. by copying some jargon words he doesn’t understand from a Wiki page. Prof. Jeff Shallit, an expert in information theory, points out that Egnor doesn’t understand the jargon he is using. I ask Egnor to copy and paste his equation for “information.” He runs off.

    Sandwalk, March 22, 2013: I demand that Egnor answer the question he dodged a month before at Recusivity. He runs off.

    Sandwalk, July 2, 2013: Egnor accuses Prof. Larry Moran of discriminating against Christian students, then Egnor hypocritically claims no great scientist can ever be non-Christian—“Essentially all great scientists were Christians, half were exceptionally devout” —insults all atheists in the most vile terms, then adds “My opinions are not vile”—then when confronted with evidence of his fraud, he runs off.

    Sandwalk, July 7, 2013: This one is particularly funny. Egnor says atheists are stupid and have never refuted such-and-such logical proofs of God’s existence, because atheists are not smart enough to understand them. He invokes Aquinas’ proof of God, Leibniz’ and other “proofs.” Here he misspells Leibniz eleven [11] times. His opponents on the website easily refute these and other “proofs”—then they lay logical traps that Egnor comically falls into.

  9. Curm: I wrote a comment with many links, now in moderation.

  10. Ed: “If they truly wish to advocate doing no more research, then they must accept that evolution is true, ID is therefore false, and close shop. If they instead claim evolution is not true, and that there is a scientific controversy, then they should support further research into evolution.”

    It’s typical of their desperate sophistry and grandstanding– it’s the same logic that they used in their ultimatum to Ball State University: “You say that ID is religion not science; therefore ID cannot be criticized by any professor because that would show hostility toward religion.”

    Of course, the IDiots themselves insist that ID is not religion, so logically criticizing ID is not showing hostility to religion. This kind of “gotcha” logic is popular with pompous college sophomores BSing in dorm rooms at night, but this kind of logic– “YOU say that ID is religion, that’s what YOU say not ME”– this kind of logic doesn’t fly with judges.

    Judges would crush that in court. In order to prevail in court, they would have to argue that ID really is religion– not just hypothetical. “That’s what YOU say not what I say” works in a college dorm room, but judges demand actual facts, not gotcha.

  11. Christine Janis

    Hey — if the Germ Theory of Disease is now settled, can we shut down NIH?

  12. @ Diogenes Thanks for links, v. entertaining.

    And there’s always Egnor’s own blog for amusement, Egnorance–which reads pretty much like Rush Limbaugh…

  13. Oooohhh, I love it when IDiots dare to get factual. They almost always get their facts wrong. No research on heliocentrism?

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/JA081i007p01436/abstract;jsessionid=B84A97A7588526912D8BB5678FB90138.d01t04?

    No research on Newtonian gravity?

    http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=G7wZtGHPiCEC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=research+on+newtonian+gravity&ots=xvqzslIv9C&sig=fb8Fq1EN4QphOdjD0KXeiP_rocs#v=onepage&q=research%20on%20newtonian%20gravity&f=false

    “Lets fund research about topics that we can debate.”
    Great idea. I’m sure the Discovery Institute has more than enough money to grant Egnor all the funds he needs for his research on ID. What is he waiting for?
    Oh wait – that means Egnor actually has to work iso writing silly articles. So what means is: “I’m too lazy to do serious work, so evolutionary biologists shouldn’t work either.”
    You’ve got to admire his guts.

  14. Can we mark this as the day DI officially jumped the shark into collective insanity and irrelevance?

    They have just demanded nothing less than the total halt of human progress.

  15. ‘“there are no valid scientific data challenging macroevolution.” … Why then are we wasting public money on macroevolution research?’

    And these words were uttered by someone working for the DI? A body that spends vast sums of publicly donated money on researching ways to challenge macroevolution? Hmmm…

  16. Diogenes demands SC drop important tasks and take his comments out of moderation.

    At the risk of sounding, well, a tad sarcastic, Diogenes, you do have your own blog. End sarcasm.

    Your blog is quite enjoyable. I look forward to your next post.

  17. Calm down, Mark Germano. I don’t mind taking care of such things.

  18. Stephen Kennedy

    Well, this is embarrassing but not surprising, another medical doctor taken in by the pseudo-science of creationism, with their only major competition coming from electrical engineers.

    You can not imagine what it was like as a medical student and resident physician having to train under some of these psychopaths.

  19. We know that viruses cause illness. No need for further research.

    We know that batteries can store electrical energy. No need for further research.
    We know that plants will grow if you place seeds in the ground. No need for further research.

    We know that the Discovery Institute touts intelligent(?) design. No need for them to write any more; they have nothing new to say. Unlike the first three statements, this one is true.

  20. “… if macroevolution is a fact, like heliocentrism or Newtonian gravitation, we shouldn’t fund research in it at all. The National Science Foundation doesn’t fund heliocentrism research, not even about the details of heliocentrism …”

    Well, if the chronically confused Egnor means we we don’t fund research into the details of the Solar System, just why have we kept funding the Voyager mission for the last 35+ years?

    Egnor may be a highly skilled meat cutter but that doesn’t, apparently, keep him from being a moron.

  21. Kennedy: “You can not imagine what it was like as a medical student and resident physician having to train under some of these psychopaths.”

    Ignor is 100 times worse than the old guy on “Scrubs.”

    I imagine being trained by these sociopaths as like being in shop class with that a-hole shop teacher that terrorized me… except the “shop teacher” can now open your chest with a rib spreader.

  22. John Pieret rhetorically quizzes:

    “[W]hy have we kept funding the Voyager mission for the last 35+ years?”

    Why, it’s quite simple, really: for no other reasons than for us to keep proving to ourselves that (1) navigational calculations using a heliocentric model are far simpler than the geocentric view with all its complications (cycles, epicycles, deferents, evolutes and so on), and (2) that this great simplification continues to be valid, i.e. no deus ex machina meddling in the affairs or regularity of the solar system. It’s thus merely another prong of the Grand Evolutionist Rationalist Materialist Strategy (a.k.a. GERMS), the sole and urgent purpose of which is to thwart any possibility of supernaturalism seizing idle gaps in our knowledge.

    At least that’s possibly how Eggnog and his ovum-countenanced cohorts would interpret the situation.

  23. For seekers after hidden and arcane knowledge, I feel obliged to point out that Discovery Institute is an anagram for the following worrying concepts:

    Deistic Voyeur Stint
    Ye Visit Destruction!
    Idiot in curvy testes

    Just sayin…

  24. You may have to check my work, Megalonyx, but I’ve always considered their website as Very Idiotic eStunts.