We are gradually refining the way we deal with posts by David Klinghoffer, the Discoveroids’ journalistic slasher and poo flinger. His latest at their creationist blog is Dennis Prager: “Every Natural and Physical Law Is Exquisitely Tuned to Produce Life, and Ultimately Man, on Earth”.
We’ll start our analysis by examining who and what he’s writing about. According to Wikipedia, Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, who “is noted for his conservative political and social views grounded in ‘Judeo-Christian’ values.” We’re also told that: “He majored in Middle Eastern Studies and History at Brooklyn College,” and that he “went on to study at the Russian Institute (now Harriman Institute) at Columbia University.” There’s no doubt that Prager has an impressive academic record, but it should be noted that he is not a scientist.
Fine. Now we’ll consider what Klinghoffer is discussing. His title already revealed that — it’s the “fine tuning” argument, which we’ve discussed (and dismissed) in Common Creationist Claims Confuted — it’s under the heading “Anthropic Principle.”
Okay, we know what we’re getting into, so we can be selective in our choice of excerpts, and we’ll ignore a lot of links and irrelevancies. Klinghoffer says, with bold font added by us:
There’s someone called Keith Dalton, aka “Mr. Deity,” who appears in a series of self-made videos mocking religion. I was not previously familiar with him, but one example of his work comes in for praise today by Jerry Coyne at Why Evolution Is True.
“Mr. Deity” has upset Klinghoffer because he:
… spends that time going after radio host Dennis Prager, a good friend of ours, for a typically smart column Mr. Prager wrote back in March about the Bible’s Noah story, in anticipation of the misanthropic recent film. Coyne agrees with Dalton in disapproving of Prager: “Have a look, but only if your stomach is strong!”
That stuff is expected. It’s nothing new that Klinghoffer hates everything said or praised by Coyne, so we’ll ignore it. But in lashing out at Coyne he tells us:
Isn’t it interesting, by the way, how we’re supposed to be the ones animated by religion, yet if you’re looking for multiple daily fulminations on religious (or anti-religious) themes you can pretty much rely on Darwinian evolutionist Dr. Coyne?
That’s a current theme of the Discoveroids. Being creationists, it’s inevitable that their “theory” of intelligent design is seen for what it is — a theological attack on science. They don’t have any verifiable evidence, and their “theory” isn’t testable, so it’s only natural that the Discoveroids’ critics treat their claims as what they are — theological proclamations. When that happens, as it must, the Discoveroids respond by saying: “Hey, you’re the ones bringing religion into the argument.” Silly tactic. It’s like a dockside harlot complaining that her customers are only interested in her for one thing. Well, what else is there?
Then, after complaining that the Discoveroids’ critics are always bringing up theology, Klinghoffer gives us this quote from Prager:
All of creation, in the biblical view, was to ultimately prepare the way for the creation of man. But one does not need the Bible alone to hold this view. A purely scientific reading of the universe is in keeping with this view. Everything — every natural and physical law — is exquisitely tuned to produce life, and ultimately man, on earth.
Klinghoffer praises Prager’s words of wisdom by saying:
And that, surely, is exactly right. The fine-tuning of the cosmos specifically for human life is the theme of work by Discovery Institute’s Jay Richards and Guillermo Gonzalez in The Privileged Planet [and several similar works by other Discoveroids].
Yet Klinghoffer is shocked — shocked! — that critics of intelligent design dare to bring religion into the discussion. Here’s one more excerpt from the final paragraph, just before he offers a creationist video we haven’t looked at:
Anyone writing sincerely and thoughtfully about the Bible, as Dennis Prager does, opens himself up to mindless mockery by the likes of Keith Dalton [“Mr. Deity”]. That’s a given. I would love to hear Dalton, or Coyne, address the scientific point that Mr. Prager, Dr. Richards, Dr. Gonzalez and Dr. Denton make. Don’t hold your breath.
Did Prager make a “scientific point”? We must have missed it.
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