Discoveroids’ Recommended Christmas Gifts

The absence of recent news relevant to our humble blog will not hold your Curmudgeon back from his duties. We’ll take advantage of this lull to inform you about some Christmas gift ideas from the Dark Side (i.e., the pre-Enlightenment era).

Over at the creationist blog of the Discoveroids they have a post about Twenty Intelligent Design Resources: A Christmas Shopping List. We know you’ve been waiting for us to explore that cesspool. It starts with this:

It’s never too early to start shopping. What do you get for the person who has everything — everything, that is, except for a complete library of intelligent design-related resources in various media? Behold, the answer to your question, grouped by categories:

Grouped by categories? We hadn’t realized that the library category of “Pseudo-scientific Hogwash” had sub-categories. The Discoveroids seem to think so. Their first group is — brace yourself — it’s labeled “Science.” The leading item listed in that group is Stephen Meyer’s latest book (about which see Stephen Meyer: “I Don’t Use God of the Gaps”).

That’s immediately followed by two — yes, two! — books co-authored by Casey. Regarding Casey’s second tome, see Casey’s New Book!

There’s more in the “Science” category, which you can explore at your leisure. Then they have groupings for “Faith and Worldview,” followed by “History, Culture, and Philosophy,” and their last cluster of offerings is “Films.” Leading that group of items is Ben Stein’s trash documentary, Expelled.

We always like to take note of what isn’t there, because that can be revealing. There’s one book the Discoveroids used to promote, but which hasn’t been seen on their website for the past few years. It’s been “expelled,” so to speak. What book is that? Surely you remember Of Pandas and People. In Orwellian Newspeak, it’s now an unperson.

Although they never talk about Pandas any more, except when criticizing the landmark opinion of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, references to it can still be found in some of their older articles. See, for example: Banned Book of the Year: Of Pandas and People, a 2006 post by John West (Westie). Here’s a 1997 article by Jonathan Wells they haven’t yet scrubbed: Evolution and intelligent design. Pandas is mentioned in footnote #8, which elaborates on this statement: “So some aspects of living things are plausibly explained as the result of design, and inferences to design can be as scientific as other kinds of inferences.” Wells’ footnote says:

For a more extensive treatment of design in biological origins, see Of Pandas and People

This visit to the Discoveroids’ shopping sinkhole is not merely an exercise in entertainment, dear reader. There’s a serious side to this information. We suggest that you print out their article, because one day it might be useful. Useful? Yes, there are two possibilities. First, when one of their other titles suffers the fate of Pandas, you’ll have evidence of how they once embraced it. And second, it’s a handy checklist to consult when reviewing the texts used or recommended by your local school system. If any of those books are also on the Discoveroids’ list … well, you’ll know what to do.

There’s also the possibility of using the Discoveroids’ list as a source of gifts for your crazy uncle, but you’ll have to decide if you want to encourage him and at the same time reward the publishers who offer such material. We suggest that instead of a Discoveroid book you should give your uncle a fruitcake. It’s seasonal, edible, and he’ll never understand the irony.

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

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31 responses to “Discoveroids’ Recommended Christmas Gifts

  1. “except for a complete library of intelligent design-related resources in various media?”
    The wet dream of every single evolutionary biologist.

  2. The phrase “I’d rather gnaw off my own foot” comes to mind.

  3. How about a “Theory of Intelligent Design”? There are lots of us who would like to see one of those.

  4. Intellectual honesty? Something every ID proponent needs.

  5. If they are looking to recruit acolytes, they really should be offering a Do-it-Yourself Home Lobotomy Kit.

    Actually, taking a second look at their list of gift items, in a way they actually are…

  6. Good grief, and leapin’ blennies! It appears there actually is a book entitled The Do It Yourself Lobotomy: Open Your Mind to Greater Creative Thinking.

    But this vid on Youtube is promoting a different product altogether: DIY Lobotomy!

  7. Megalonyx suggests: “If they are looking to recruit acolytes, they really should be offering a Do-it-Yourself Home Lobotomy Kit.”

    There’s no need for that. Their audience is those who have pre-existing brain damage.

  8. It’s sort of amazing to see in one place a record of all the time and energy and money wasted by these people over the years. Just imagine if that effort had been put to a useful purpose.

    Well, they do at least provide a steady stream of amusement.

  9. I think we should buy some gifts for the Discoveroids. What else do they get from us all year but grief? Time for a little charity. I’ll start:

    For Casey Luskin: a combination lawnmower and eyebrow trimmer

    For John West: a new gullible billionaire

    For Klinghitler: a personalty. OK, another personality (we gave him one last year and you can’t have too many)

    For Dembski: a job that lasts more than 6 months.

    For Meyer: the bestseller, “How To Cook Data”

  10. To docbill1351’s commendable gift list for Discoveroids, may I add

    For Ann Gauger: a Gilbert Chemistry Set (and there is one going on eBay at the moment!

  11. And what better to place under Ray Comfort’s Christmas tree than
    a Banana Phone and some scintillating Banana Fashions?

  12. I’m struggling to find a suitable Yuletide gift for the illustrious Rev. David Rives; any suggestions?

    Best I can think of so far is gift voucher redeemable at a Tijuana brothel…

  13. @TomS:

    Sorry to pick on you, but you’re the one other person I hoped would jump on it.

    The DI promotes “critical analysis” correct? (yes I know it’s not a real critical analysis, but as long as they think it is my point is valid).

    So what’s infinitely more notable than the absence of a “theory” of ID or the presence of the expected anti-science propaganda is the lack of a critical analysis of ID.

    @SC:

    As a fellow right winger, please help me out. Is the DI’s blatant double standard the most pathetic demand for handouts you have ever seen?

  14. Frank J says: “As a fellow right winger …”

    Just because I’m not a Dem, don’t assume I’m a right winger. I’m attempting to be a product of the Enlightenment — a rational, constitutional (and therefore limited government), free-enterprise kind of conservative.

  15. In the back of each book/publication there is a convenient Barf Bag for each unwary reader, no extra charge, complements of the Dishonesty Institute Press. For a slight extra fee, you can have your BB personalized with the author’s autograph.

  16. Rives keep tying himself into knots, send more rope?

  17. I’m thinking Rives could use some more appropriate pictures for his green screen. I can imagine a few.

  18. @SC.

    I should have just said conservative. I’m not a stereotypical “right winger” either. I’m no fan of the Tea Party, because they sell out to the paranoid authoritarians, in order to maintain a “big tent.” Much like the Discoveroids. On that note, do you disagree that the DI outdoes the stereotypical “bleeding hearts” with their demands for what they haven’t earned?

  19. Megalonyx: “For Ann Gauger: a Gilbert Chemistry Set.”

    Thanks for reminding me that the safety nazis are doing as much to undermine science education as the Discoveroids. 😦

  20. I’m struggling to find a suitable Yuletide gift for the illustrious Rev. David Rives; any suggestions?

    Best I can think of so far is gift voucher redeemable at a Tijuana brothel…

    I’m down with that! That dude needs to have some hands laid on him.

  21. Frank J asks:

    do you disagree that the DI outdoes the stereotypical “bleeding hearts” with their demands for what they haven’t earned?

    I’ve always said that creationists (that includes the Discoveroids) want “affirmative action” for their creation science, which it hasn’t earned.

  22. Ceteris Paribus

    @docbill Don’t be too concerned about that Davy. Check out the trips to the “Holy Land” that he sponsors. I’m sure he schedules a few stops in Greece to partake of the “ancient culture” of, oh, Piraeus for example.

  23. I’ve always said that creationists (that includes the Discoveroids) want “affirmative action” for their creation science, which it hasn’t earned.

    ID proponent Steve Fuller, who appeared in Expelled, explicitly stated at Dover and elsewhere that ID deserved “affirmative action”– he used that very phrase– and he admitted they needed it because their accomplishments were meager.

    — Diogenes

  24. Pete Moulton

    @docbill: “For Klinghitler: a personalty. OK, another personality (we gave him one last year and you can’t have too many).”

    He hasn’t used that one yet.

  25. ID proponent Steve Fuller, who appeared in Expelled, explicitly stated at Dover and elsewhere that ID deserved “affirmative action”– he used that very phrase– and he admitted they needed it because their accomplishments were meager.

    Some years ago a friend and I visited Down House and Fuller’s book was in the gift shop. We turned it around on the shelf so you couldn’t see the title. Later we went through the gift shop as we were about to leave and noticed the book had been turned back around. So, we turned t around again. The shop assistant caught us in the act and asked us why “you people” turn that book around. Apparently we weren’t the first! I said that the book didn’t deserve to be on a shelf here with Darwin, Dawkins, Coyne, Shubin and others. She asked where should the book be and my friend asked,

    “Do you have a compost heap out back?”

    My only Fuller story.

  26. Pete Moulton

    “Meager?” Is that a new synonym for nonexistent?

  27. Battling the curator of Down House over an appropriate venue for Creationist literature, docbill1351‘s friend enquired

    “Do you have a compost heap out back?”

    They do–right next to the cucumber frames one passes on the way to the Sandwalk.

    I’ve only been to Down House twice since English Heritage (a charitable body) took over its maintenance, about 15 years ago. Prior to that, it had (somewhat oddly) been administered for some years by the Royal College of Surgeons. It was more fun to visit in those days, though not nearly as well looked after, with a very eccentric but charming curator who lived on the premises.

    Pity about the Fuller volume in the bookshop–but at least (as far as I know) no plans to put in zip lines in the garden…

  28. “I should have just said conservative”
    Don’t worry. According to European standards the Democrats are also right wing. If SC is serious about his attempt to be a product of Enlightenment he might wonder how comes that several European countries get by just fine despite – or because of? – all those socialist governments. France, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and Norway aren’t exactly poor.

  29. Megalonyx asks, “I’m struggling to find a suitable Yuletide gift for the illustrious Rev. David Rives; any suggestions?”

    Two full cases of maxi-hold hair spray.

  30. And this from the ENV Christmas shopping list:

    True U: Does God Exist?, featuring Stephen Meyer. Dr. Meyer uses design arguments to make a case for the existence of God. It’s aimed at training high school students for the rigorous challenges to their faith that will come on the college campus, particularly in the biology classroom. [Twenty Intelligent Design Resources: A Christmas Shopping List. Janine Dixon ENV. November 27, 2013. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/11/twenty_intellig079631.html%5D

    Just keep saying it: nothing religious about Intelligent Design.

  31. Diogenes says: “Dr. Meyer uses design arguments to make a case for the existence of God.”

    Wondrous reasoning! There wouldn’t be any Discoveroids (or any other creationists) if they didn’t already believe in God as the creator. So now they use their “theory” that the magic designer did everything to make a case for their premise.