This is typical of creationists. They don’t attack their critics on scientific grounds, but by saying that their critics are — gasp! — atheists. That’s nothing new, but this time it’s noteworthy because the targets are two of the most respected conservatives in the US — George Will and Charles Krauthammer.
Both Will and Krauthammer are regular contributors and panelists on Fox News, and they both regard the Discovery Institute’s “theory” of intelligent to be junk science, as we documented several years ago — see Conservatives and Intelligent Design. That’s gotta drive the Discoveroids crazy! How do we know? Keep reading, and it’ll be obvious.
The Discoveroids’ new post was written by David Klinghoffer, their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. It’s titled The Varieties of “Atheism”; plus on Kindle Now, Here’s Our New Book The Unofficial Guide to Cosmos.
Klinghoffer begins by promoting the Discoveroids’ “book” criticizing the Cosmos series, calling it “Tyson-style atheism.” It doesn’t matter that Neil deGrasse Tyson says he’s an agnostic. Klinghoffer claims he’s an atheist — as if that affected the scientific validity of Cosmos. He says, with our bold font:
It’s true that Tyson rejects the self-description “atheist,” with its connotation of braying, in-your-face activists like Jerry Coyne. Tyson is a more sophisticated type, smarter and more effective in his cause. If I held his picture of reality, one that clearly admits no place for God, and if I wanted to influence and communicate that picture to a broad audience, especially including young people, I too would prefer to be called an “agnostic” rather than an atheist.
It’s a silly argument, but Klinghoffer knows what the Discoveroids’ fans want to hear. (He doesn’t say: “If I were a creationist and wanted to influence young people, I’d prefer to be called an intelligent design theorist.”) Then he tells us:
For the [atheist] evangelist and apologist [like Tyson], nothing is gained from using a know-it-all sounding descriptor like “atheist.” It’s much wilier to call yourself an agnostic, or merely a humble “scientist.” That is Tyson’s way.
Having deftly demolished Tyson — or so he thinks — Klinghoffer then uses his poison pen to attack George Will, who has nothing whatsoever to do with the Cosmos series:
I’ve toyed with the idea that it may be fair to distinguish between a lower-case atheist and an upper-case Atheist. The latter might refer to activists like Coyne or Dawkins, who make no bones about their mission to see faith wiped off the map. A lower-case version might be someone like columnist George Will who identifies as an “amiable, low-voltage atheist.”
He purports to quote something Will said:
I’m an atheist. An agnostic is someone who is not sure; I’m pretty sure. I see no evidence of God. The basic question in life is not, “Is there a God,” but “Why does anything exist?” St. Thomas Aquinas said that there must be a first cause for everything, and we call the first cause God. Fine, but it just has no hold on me.
Then he purports to quote what Will said about Krauthammer, who also has nothing to do with Cosmos:
I think he’s an atheist. He flinches from saying it. I saw what he said: “I don’t believe in God, but I fear him greatly.” Oh, please!
What’s the point of this? Does it have anything to do with science, or with Cosmos? No, but Klinghoffer’s dislike of Will and Krauthammer goes way back, and it seems that he can’t control himself. Why are they enjoying the spotlight on Fox News while he’s languishing in some dingy Discoveroid cubicle in Seattle? The attack continues:
In the past, George Will has had some uninformed things to say about the evidence for design in nature (e.g., that intelligent design is “not a scientific but a creedal tenet”). But certainly, Will is not on any kind of atheist jihad.
See? If you disagree with the Discoveroids, it’s not about science, but because you’re on an “atheist jihad.” That’s an impressive defense of intelligent design. Klinghoffer goes on:
Now take a guy like George Will, who is not animated by a strong desire to convince everyone that science edges faith out of the picture. You’re going to tell me that someone like that is an atheist but that — after watching Cosmos with its clear materialist agenda, aimed now at kids in public schools — someone like Neil Tyson’s isn’t? As George Will says of his friend Charles Krauthammer’s self-reported agnosticism, “Oh, please!”
Okay, that’s it. Now ask yourself, dear reader: Considering that Klinghoffer’s post was supposed to be an attack on Cosmos, or Tyson, or maybe a defense of intelligent design, what in the world did he actually say? What was he trying to say? Or was he just lashing out, Hambo style, at a couple of influential conservatives who not only aren’t creationists, but who probably think the Discoveroids are a bunch of kooks?
Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.
Personally, I don’t give a rat’s hindquarters whether people believe in God or not. What I care about is whether they allow their beliefs to lead them into a hallucinatory view of reality.
Mr. Klinghoffer may think believing in evolution means you can’t believe in God. He may believe, further, that if you don’t believe in God–his God–you can’t be a decent person. Believing doesn’t make it so.
What such beliefs do enable are crusades to shut up, or even to lock up or kill, unbelievers. It doesn’t matter whether the beliefs in question are religious or not, but often, as apparently in Klinghoffer’s case, they are.
The part that Kling hates if that what Tyson says makes a total mockery of Kling’s Gawd not gawd in a deist sense.
Such a sad little man.
Has anyone seen Mike Fair and David Klinghoffer in the same room at the same time?
So what’s next? Will the Discoveroids attack Rush Limbaugh for not being creationist enough?
Klinghoffer continues to make a strong case for the close linkage of ID and religion. If ID were in any way scientific, the religious belief or non-belief of its practitioners wouldn’t matter at all.
Klinghoffer hopes to diminish the influence of Will and Krauthammer among the mostly Christian audience of Fox News. (Of course, to be accurate I should say “self-professed Christian” audience, because their label is based on what they say they are, not on their actions — but that’s an argument for another blog.)
You’re right, Curmy — this little rant of Klinghoffer shows that Will’s and Krauthammer’s dismissal of ID creationism bothers Klinghoffer greatly.
Klinghitler forgot to go after Gingrich? Newtie says ID is not science, but since he got outed as a serial adulterer, of course he has to be all into Jeebus.
Diogenes Lamp: “Gingrich … serial adulterer…”
Must go with the territory of high-profile politics. Clinton, Kennedy, Roosevelt… and for every one we know about, there must be 50 others.
Evolutionary psychology. Alpha male.
@TomS: I wonder if women in politics have the same inclinations?
Gingrich was a flagrant adulterer before he was elected to office, back when he was a professor at UGA banging the wives of other professors in his department.
That the Discoveroids routinely employ Klinklepooper and his puerile writings on their blog is continuing evidence that they have given up trying to peddle their magical nonsense as science. Now, they have become an openly god-bothering propaganda mill, and I think they see themselves aiming for AiG’s and ICR’s market share of the drooling creationist herd.
Here is Klinghitler’s write-up in the Encyclopedia of American Loons.
The summary is certainly apt:
Klinkletinkle undoubtedly suffers from several, maybe many and quite possibly a whole lot of personality disorders that have excluded him from working with normal people. Thus, he finds safe haven with the rest of the inmates at the Disco Mental Institution. I am also quite certain, nay, clairvoyant that Kankerstanker’s desk is filled with whoopie cushions, fake vomit, dog poop (real and fake), the little rubber boy that pees on you when you squeeze the bulb and a veritable Pandora’s box of infantile novelty items.
Talking of Klinghoffer – did you guys notice that wackjob Klingenschmitt was elected in Colorado – near me. Aaaaargh.
I have known of Will’s and Krauthammer’s rejection of IC/creationism for years, but only learned recently that Will was a self-described atheist. What makes that ironic on so many levels is that it was on Medved’s radio show. And in stark contrast to his fellow Discoveroid, Medved was 100% respectful towards Will, and made no mention of his rejection of ID/creationism, despite being certainly aware. But as Will detailed his thoughts on “ultimate causes” it became clear that he and I agree on a lot, even though I call myself a theist.
It makes sense when one considers that the God (or “God” if you “Will”) of Darwin, Einstein, and most other “Darwinists” is not the cartoon of the ID/creationists. That He is “not needed” in scientific explanations is just as likely to be that He’s too smart to be detected by mere H. sapiens as it is to be “evidence of absence.” Someone like Tyson can’t decide which (in a way, neither can I) so he prefers the label “agnostic.
Let’s fix this …