This is about a very strange entry at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog. It’s another in a huge series attempting to promote Darwin’s Doubt, the new book by Stephen Meyer. We haven’t read the book and we never will. That’s why we haven’t critiqued it.
However, we know who the Discoveroids are. We know what they do and why they do it — see What is the “Wedge Document”? Because we monitor the postings at their blog, it’s obvious that they think Meyer’s book is one of their biggest accomplishments for the year. Therefore, we don’t need to read the book in order to be certain that it’s pure creationist trash — albeit old-Earth creationism with specific references to Yahweh carefully redacted.
As we’ve mentioned before, the book hasn’t been praised by scientists. All its favorable reviews have been from creationist sources, and there have been some confused academics (who weren’t scientists) who thought it had merit. But now the Discoveroids are attempting to take the overwhelmingly negative reaction and turn it into a positive feature. In effect, they’re saying “Keep criticizing the book, you’re helping us!”
Their latest post is Unintended Consequences: How Hostile Responses to Darwin’s Doubt Turned a Thoughtful Reader Against Darwinian Evolution . It’s by Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist. We’re still proud of our announcement from three years ago: Casey Luskin Is Named a Curmudgeon Fellow. Casey says, with bold font added by us:
Any strategy that focuses too much on attacking people, and not enough on making reasoned arguments, is doomed to fail in winning hearts and minds.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That explains why the Discoveroids have polluted the blogosphere with ceaseless smears about Darwin, evolution and science in general. We don’t need to give you any examples — all right, but just one. See Discovery Institute: Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Part VI. Then Casey says:
For an illustration, take a look at a post by Reverend James Miller, of Glenkirk Church in Glendora, CA. He recently explained that he became a Darwin skeptic not just after reading Darwin’s Doubt, but also after considering responses from critics of the book.
Here’s a link to the rev’s post: Changing My Mind on Darwin. We haven’t bothered to read it all. Casey provides enough quotes. But we did look for a link to his church’s website. This is it: Glenkirk Church.
We’re supposed to believe that the rev was a committed “Darwinist” before he read Meyer’s book and all the criticism it received. Right, we believe it — especially because the rev’s blog post starts out telling us:
I’ve never invested much study in evolution because I was neither threatened by it theologically nor enchanted by it philosophically. The biology teachers taught it to me. I can explain it. As a follower of Jesus, I can see a viable explanation for how God could do it that way. I’m also not overly confident that science is fueled by objective curiosity rather than passionate self-interest and ideology, money and power. Science is motivated reasoning on its best days.
Clearly, the rev was a hard-core Darwinist. Let’s read some more from Casey’s post:
Pastor Miller explains that when he enters a complex debate, he seeks to read arguments from different views. He looks at the evidence and the arguments, but he also tries to determine who is sincere and credible.
Great method! The rev looks into their hearts. Casey then quotes this from the rev:
See, this is how I know who to trust in academic communities. The charlatans have no character. You read the grad student’s defenses [he’s referring to Nick Matzke] of his review (and they sound a little panicked), and you realize that he has been following Christians around and arguing with them for years with an inquisitor’s zeal. There’s a personal agenda here, and his approach to new information on the subject is anything but scientific.
Superb analytical technique! Casey continues:
In any case, you might expect that if your own incivility was the cause of someone’s turning away from a viewpoint you want to advance, then you’d try to win them back by being civil and making a respectful, strictly fact-based appeal. If so, then you’re not Nick Matzke. That’s not how Darwin-defenders think. When confronted with the reality that their style of argument is actually turning people off, Darwin lobbyists often double-down on the nasty rhetoric, evidently thinking the problem was that they weren’t harsh enough to begin with. Thus Matzke wrote in response to Miller: [we’ll skip that].
After quoting Matzke’s exasperated response (which we haven’t checked for accuracy), Casey says:
Nick Matzke must think that the best way to bring people over to your side is by demonizing and bullying them — the more, the better.
Yes, those Darwinists are such bullies. The Discoveroids are always complaining about it — see David Klinghoffer: “Darwinists Are Uncivil!”, and also Discovery Institute’s Uncivil Critics. Casey wraps it up with this:
This recalls the old saying, “When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the facts aren’t on your side, pound the table.” People know this intuitively. Pastor Miller was discerning enough to see how Nick Matzke’s disrespect and table-pounding showed that Matzke’s viewpoint has a problem with the facts.
So there you are. The more we complain about the pseudo-science and sleazy tactics of the Discoveroids, the more we help them. It would appear that the Discoveroids are literally inviting more ridicule. No problem. We’ll be happy to oblige.
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