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.
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