Discoveroids Suffer a Crushing Defeat

The Discoveroids have lost another round in their endless struggle to gain academic acceptance. The events seem to have been going on for some time, but the first we’ve heard of it is this very one-sided account at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog: Bullies-R-Us: How “Freethought Oasis” Threatened “Disruption” and Pressured College into Cancelling Intelligent Design Course.

It’s by Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist. His article is a long one, so all we can do is give you a few excerpts. You’ll have to read the whole thing to get the full flavor. He starts like this, with some bold font added by us for emphasis:

The outline of the story is now, sadly, a familiar one. Professor wants to discuss intelligent design (ID). Intolerant atheists throw a fit. College quickly capitulates to the demands of the atheists. Professor is censored.

The scenario played out again this past semester in Amarillo, Texas. I’ll give the identities of the parties involved in just a moment, but for now, let’s note some twists unique to the situation. According to internal communications, campus administrators feared that disgruntled atheists would stage a “disruption” if the ID class went forward. The atheist leader got so “intense” in arguing for Darwinian evolution over intelligent design that college staff called the police on him, apparently potentially concerned over their own safety. And get this: the intolerant atheists call themselves the “Freethought Oasis.” You can’t make this stuff up.

As you’ll see when you read the full article, at no time was there any violence, or any threats of violence. The “disruptions” were all verbal. The call to the police wasn’t one in which any crime was alleged, nor were there allegations of any threatened crime. As even Casey discloses later in his long account, a college administrator called the police when he learned that the teacher of the proposed course, professor Stanley Wilson, was confronted in his office by another college staffer with “verbal aggression” — whatever that is. The reason for the call to the police was only to “document” the event.

As we understand the events from Casey’s article (which means our understanding is undoubtedly far from complete), the drama occurred at Amarillo College, a state-run, two-year community college in Amarillo, Texas. The professor was going to teach a course titled “Evolution vs. Intelligent Design,” using this text: Explore Evolution: The Arguments For and Against Neo-Darwinism (Amazon listing). That book was written by Discoveroid Stephen Meyer and others. Nothing controversial about that, right? According to Casey:

This wasn’t a science course. It was not a required course. It wasn’t even a for-credit course. In fact, this course was not even for normal students. [BWAHAHAHAHAHA!] It was offered through the adult continuing education program.

What happened, according to Casey, was this: “Jamie Farren, a staff member at Amarillo College and the leader of Amarillo’s local atheist group, the Freethought Oasis” was the troublemaker. He learned about the proposed course and — this is unmistakable — he protested through academic channels. Then, Casey says:

[H]e joined forces with the main Darwin lobby group in Texas, the Texas Freedom Network (TFN), another euphemistically named outfit that regularly fights against academic freedom in evolution-education, to file a public records request about the course. TFN, you may recall, was in the news recently after successfully partnering with the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), the national Darwin-only lobbying group, to keep textbooks in Texas from following Texas state law by acknowledging the scientific debate about Darwinian theory.

Ooooooooh! Farren joined up with a “Darwin lobby group.” But that’s not all he did. Let’s read on:

Farren continued pursuing AC administrators, sending them links to various rebuttals to the course’s textbook, Explore Evolution.

What was the result of this horrendous behavior? Casey says:

In any case, Farren’s campaign worked. With the help of the TFN and the NCSE, whose deputy director Glenn Branch he would later thank for assistance, Farren and his group aggressively intimidated AC administrators. And the university caved.

They were “aggressively intimidated.” BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We’re only about one-third of the way through Casey’s article. It seems that Farren posted on Facebook about his accomplishment. Casey is appalled! He says:

That’s right: For these folks, cancelling classes and depriving students of the opportunity to learn about intelligent design is something to celebrate. Their version of “academic integrity” is an Orwellian concept that bears no resemblance to true academic freedom.

Casey’s article goes on at considerable length, but we’re quitting here. These are terrible times for the Discoveroids. They can’t even get one of their books used in a creationist non-credit class in a two year community college — in Texas!

See also: Discoveroids’ Crazed Reaction to Amarillo College.

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

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23 responses to “Discoveroids Suffer a Crushing Defeat

  1. In fact, this course was not even for normal students.

    More like abie-normal! Who writes this stuff? Oh I forgot, Casey.

  2. Discoveroid to English: We loves our Christian IDest scientific martyrdom!

  3. I wonder if the Ball State kerfuffle put other administrators on notice. I hope so. I would hate to think that there are more ID courses masquerading as education out there at the college level.

  4. You know, a community college course on the strengths and weaknesses of ID as well as of evolutionary theory could be a good thing. It would open a lot of eyes to the fact that evolution has both evidence and a coherent framework, whereas ID has nothing much except incredulity about reality and gullibility about fantasy. Maybe some college could hire Frank J to teach it.

  5. Retired Prof, I agree that in principle such a course at college level may add considerable value. However, where would one find a lecturer to present the course, a lecturer who wouldn’t be accused of bias by at least one side? I suggest that the answer is to have the course split between two presenters, one from each camp having equal involvement, and with an upfront rigorously defined curriculum and coursework, so that the format of the course becomes a Socratic dialogue of sorts extending over the duration of the course.

    I think such a process, if done right, would successfully and convincingly expose the intellectual and factual bankruptcy of creationism/ID in fairly short order.

  6. The inimitable Casey Luskin asserts

    You can’t make this stuff up

    And, for once, he is absolutely correct. We can’t make this stuff up. But the Discoveroids, with their voluptuous persecution complex and fecund paranoia, sure can!

  7. Con-Tester proposes

    I suggest that the answer is to have the course split between two presenters, one from each camp having equal involvement, and with an upfront rigorously defined curriculum and coursework, so that the format of the course becomes a Socratic dialogue of sorts extending over the duration of the course.

    No Creationist would ever submit him/herself to such a process, or any other process, that actually put the ‘tenants’ of cdesign proponentsism to any sort of rigorous examination, for the simple reason that such would do nothing to further their actual agenda, viz., the enthronement of Oogity-Boogity and its priesthood as the legislators of human affairs. They don’t actually give a fig about anything else, least of all any empirical understanding of the natural world.

  8. You’re probably right, Megalonyx, but wouldn’t their refusal to fall in line with such an even-handed scheme itself be very revealing? Surely it would publicly illustrate their shifty disingenuousness and intellectual poltroonery quite convincingly.

  9. “You can’t make this stuff up”

    I won’t question that. Being a Discoveroid makes him an authority on the subject of making stuff up. So if he says it can’t be done, I believe him!

  10. Having read your post, Curmy, I’ll now turn to my breakfast of fried eggs, sausage, and schadenfreude. Yummy!
    Our Curmudgeon once again reminds us how much we enjoy our favorite Dean of Drivel from the Disco ‘Tute, Casey the Attack Gerbil.

  11. lanceleuven says: “So if he says it can’t be done, I believe him!”

    But if it can’t be done, yet it exists, then it must contain a vast amount of complex specified whatever-it-is, and that means it’s the product of intelligent design.

  12. Alrighty, then, let’s look into this a little more.

    First, Stanley Wilson isn’t a “professor” as Luskin clearly writes that lie in his report. I won’t pick out all of the lies and distortions that Luskin fabricates because that fisking would be longer than his bloviated article.

    Wilson “was” an honorary instructor and, apparently, is no longer associated with the college. Amarillo College is a 2-year community college with facilities open to the public for all kinds of courses. As the president of AC said: “We really try at Amarillo College to work hard to create a positive experience. We do that whether it is algebra or poodle grooming,”

    That’s right. Poodle grooming. Instructors with business experience or hobby interests can offer courses to the public ranging from aerobics to zumba.

    Stanley Wilson is on record as “having taught” biology for non-scientists, but he is no longer listed in staff records.

    As for the “textbook” cited, Exploring Evolution, one reviewer summed up this post-Dover version of Pandas and People thusly: 159 glossy pages of color-illustrated creationist nostalgia

    EE says nothing about ID, so how one could conduct a course about the manufactured controversy between ID and evolution when the textbook is simply a collection of hoary old creationist chestnuts is a mystery. Of course, we know it’s never about ID, rather it’s all about anti-evolution.

    I found it interesting that the Discovery Institute has nothing better to do than spend time and money (Freedom of information requests for emails? Come on!) on this but it does demonstrate how pitiful ID has become that the “premier ID institute” is concerned about a public, pay-as-you-go, no credit, continuing education anti-science course presented by an uncredentialed instructor at a community college in the panhandle of Texas.

  13. I am a little loathe to suggest this–for I don’t really want to encourage Discoveroids to visit the UK–but we do have available a perfect venue which is well-suited to their variety of “teaching the controversary”. It’s in the West End of London, at Marble Arch (in former times it was the site of the public gallows at Tyburn), and known as Speakers’ Corner.

    The intro video at the above link gives a good flavour of the standard of rhetoric and debate to be found therein…

  14. Stephen Kennedy

    Megalonyx, that was an interesting video. It seems like the lunatics from DI, AiG and ICR would fit in very well with the level of discourse at Speakers’ Corner. In fact, we should establish one here in America so that assorted creationists would not have to go all the way to London to spout their nonsense to anyone willing to listen.

  15. “Maybe some college could hire Frank J to teach it.”

    Thanks. As Con-Tester hinted, but stopped short of noting the incredible irony in uncertain terms, the Discoveroids would object more to a real critical analysis of evolution than they do to their perceived bias against their unearned nonsense. Not to mention the tantrums that they would throw if anyone even threatened to teach a critical analysis of ID – a real one, or like their phony one that’s just a scam to promote unreasonable doubt. I can understand why no one proposes either for public school – it’s just as illegal to teach the weaknesses (real or fabricated) of ID as it is to teach the “strengths” inferred from the misrepresentations of evolution. But for a private college course, one has nothing to lose by proposing it – even if not seriously intending to teach it – just to expose the DI’s blatant double standard.

  16. @Con-Tester: “Surely it would publicly illustrate their shifty disingenuousness and intellectual poltroonery quite convincingly.”
    Yes, but do you think this can be done more convincingly than has happened the last say ten years?

    @Doc-bill: “the Discovery Institute has nothing better to do than spend time and money”
    Well, they have a lot of time and money to spend – it has to go somewhere.

  17. MNb ponders—

    “Yes, but do you think [publicly illustrating their shifty disingenuousness and intellectual poltroonery] can be done more convincingly than has happened the last say ten years?”

    My focus was less on the persuasive strength aspect than on reaching a larger audience for longer. Ideas normally go through residence/digestion/reinforcement phases before they are properly appreciated. That is, no, I don’t think it could be done more convincingly but it could certainly be done more widely over an extended period in the proposed form of continuing education. Public debates on the issue are almost always fairly sketchy affairs that are over within an hour or two where everybody goes home having been entertained but not actually having absorbed very much.

  18. Explore Evolution as a text? It’s nothing of the kind; it’s a specimen of a pathology. See e.g.

  19. Oh…my…god… I’ve been converted! I can see the light! Darwin is a tool of satan!

  20. 2005wsoxfan pleads

    I want to live in a society where I can hear both sides of a debate, weigh the evidence and make a decision for myself.

    You do live in such a society, and are right to value it. Absolutely no one is preventing the publication and public discussion of Intelligent Design–or, for that matter, of Astrology, Voodoo, Flat-Earthism, or the like.

    But the issue here is public education. Do you want to live in a society in which publicly-funded schools have to reduce the already limited time in which to teach genuine science in order to also teach pupils how to cast horoscopes, read tea leaves, and work a Ouija board? That, essentially, is the kind of society which the advocates of Intelligent Design are seeking to bring about: an American Theocracy. If you don’t believe me, have a read of their Wedge strategy, where this is spelled out in their own words.

    There isn’t a genuine controversy about Intelligent Design: it’s junk ‘science’ created for political ends, and those political ends are the very antithesis of the kind of free society you and I value.

  21. 2005wsoxfan is gone, and he won’t be back.

  22. Apologies, Curmy, I responded to the troll; feel free to delete my post above if its just clutter!