Discovery Institute’s Triumph #1, 2, & 3 for 2013

When we started to write about the Discoveroids’ Top Ten items for the year, we didn’t begin as they did, with Number Ten. We judged their items 10 through 7 to be such low-grade material that we ignored their series until they had worked their way up to Number Six. That’s when we wrote Discovery Institute Embraces Martyrdom.

From then on, our posts mirrored theirs, as the creationist glory list climbed from Triumph Six to Triumph Three. But we were mystified by their third-highest item.

Everyone had assumed that the final entry in their series — their world-shaking Number One — would be about the publication of Darwin’s Doubt (Amazon listing), the latest creationist book by Stephen Meyer — Discovery Institute Vice President and Senior Fellow.

We were all shocked — shocked! — to see that Meyer’s book ranked only as their Number Three. What, we wondered, could possibly be ranked above it? Then they published their Number Two. We didn’t bother to write about it because it was also about Meyer’s book, which we had already discussed when it was their Number Three. Event Number Two celebrated the only review that Meyer’s book received (from a knowledgeable reviewer) that wasn’t harshly condemnatory. It wasn’t laudatory, by any means, but the Discoveroids were thrilled that it didn’t describe the book as garbage.

So we skipped that and waited to see what would be at the top of the Discoveroids’ list. What creationist accomplishment would be featured as their Triumph Number One? Today, dear reader, we have the answer you’ve all been seeking. We present to you what has been freshly posted at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog: Here Is #1 of Our Top-Ten Evolution Stories of 2013: Responding to Charles Marshall’s Review of Darwin’s Doubt.

Amazing, isn’t it? Meyer’s book occupies the top three positions on the Discoveroids’ Top Ten list. Never in the history of the galaxy has anything been so honored.

Marshall’s review was published in Science — a very high profile journal. Here’s a link to it — When Prior Belief Trumps Scholarship — but you’ll need a subscription to read it. The review was so devastating that Meyer responded by posting four different times about it at the Discoveroids’ blog. Those rebuttals were worse than ineffective — they were boring. We only wrote about one of them — Stephen Meyer: “I Don’t Use God of the Gaps”.

Now that we’ve had an opportunity to contemplate the entire Top Ten, we must confess a deep feeling of remorse that we were so hasty in posting our own list of Discovery Institute Catastrophes in 2013. We published our list when there were still nine days remaining in the year — and that was much too soon. If we had exercised some restraint, we would have included the publication of the Discoveroids’ Top Ten, an event that surely deserves mention in any catalog of Discoveroid catastrophes.

So there you are, dear reader. If that was the Discovery Institute’s Top Ten, then 2013 was a very good year.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

14 responses to “Discovery Institute’s Triumph #1, 2, & 3 for 2013

  1. Ah, ha, we were right, he reposted from the other thread.

    Disco Tute Number One “evolution” story was Meyer’s Hopeless Monster 2, only they had to break it into three pieces.

    How pathetic! An entire year and the Tooters had to repeat their “top” stories to make ten.

    Notice what the Tooters consider “civil debate:”

    1. Scientist points out deficiencies, omissions and mistakes and calls Meyer’s book a “systematic failure of scholarship,” i.e. a pack of lies.

    2. Tooters ignore all that, throw down the Pee Wee Herman Defense (I know you are but what am I?) and declare victory. All behind their firewall, of course, not so much a debate as a case of excessive drooling.

    Tooters: Woo, hoo! We got a mention in Science! Woo, hoo!

    Rational person: Yeah, they called you a bunch of liars and mendacious intellectual pornographers, scammers and propagandists.

    Tooters: Woo, hoo! We got a mention in Science! Woo, hoo!

    I can tell it’s going to be a banner year for the Tooters. My prediction is that this time next year their number one story will still be this story. Can’t wait!

  2. Richard Olson

    Copied from Yves Smith’s Naked Capitalism site:

    Bill Black: They’re Back: The Poltergeists in the Kansas Senate Renew their Attack on Education
    Posted: 31 Dec 2013 09:18 PM PST
    Lambert here: Oh brave new year, that hath such weasels in it…

  3. Richard Olson

    I see no link embedded to the Black article above, so it will be necessary to google Naked Capitalism and locate the piece on the 1/1/14 page.

  4. Alex Shuffell

    Why did none of their discoveries make the list? Is the Discovery Institute just an office with about six people in it bothering the internet all day? This year one of them got bored enough to reword one of the older ID books.

  5. “It wasn’t laudatory, by any means, but the Discoveroids were thrilled that it didn’t describe the book as garbage. ”

    Would that be praising with faint damn?

  6. Charles Deetz ;)

    @Alex Maybe they just ‘discover’ people who don’t believe in oogity boogity and try to set them straight. That’s what it looks like to me.

  7. lady atheist “Would that be praising with faint damn?”

    Oh, very good! Besides our Curmudgeon’s insightful commentary, it’s little nuggets like this that make this blog so interesting to read.

  8. We have to grant it, the IDiots from Seattle never fail to exceed our worst expectations. They do always worse than we can imagine.

  9. If you listen to the Meyer-Charles Marshall debate, it’s the same lies Meyer has been pushing for a decade.

    But the one interesting part was a quote mine of Henry Quastler, a real information theorist: “information is habitually associated with conscious activity.” Quastler (d. 1963) was not creationist. I think it’s a particularly outrageous quote mine, since Quastler’s theory was about accidents creating information. Dishonest son of a gun, that Meyer.

    I’m trying to track down the original 1964 book. Difficult.

    Any of you have access to Quastler’s “Emergence of Biological Organization”? Try google books and WorldCat. I’m hunting…

  10. Diogenes usefully highlights

    a quote mine of Henry Quastler, a real information theorist: “information is habitually associated with conscious activity.”

    I have a strong impression that the field of Information Theory is particularly vulnerable to such raiding by Creationists, as so much of it turns (as does Theology) on semantics and uses some vocabulary which, used carelessly, can have a ring of Oogity-Boogity. Absent a rigorous definition or context for a term like ‘information’, a concept such as “encoded Information” can readily be used by a DI quote-miner to imply an Intelligent Encoder. But that’s sloppy at best, if not flat out dishonest. For example, the growth rings of some species of trees ‘encode information’ about seasonal variations of rainfall over past years–but this arises neither by accident nor through the actions of an agent of Oogity-Boogity.

  11. Megs, information theory is a very real and important branch of statistics. It is no friend to creationism, in any form, because it quantifies how natural processes create information. The creationists just lie. They borrow a little jargon from information theory, words whose meaning they don’t understand, and then lard it with philosophical jargon that has nothing to do with info theory, and then they just make up their assertions about information only originating from a mind.

    Don’t be cynical about info theory. We have to defend the real thing.

  12. @ Diogenes: Don’t worry, I’m in raging agreement with you re: info theory. And yes, the creationists do indeed just quote-mine away and lie outrageously, comme d’habitude.