Klinghoffer: Metaxas Column Based on Science

You remember our recent post, More Creationism in the Wall Street Journal, about that venerable newspaper’s sickening slide into the slime of creationism. We’re told that the Journal had so many hits they had to block access to the column. Even our humble post received almost 6,000 hits.

The attention the Journal column received wasn’t, of course, because it described scientific evidence of God — it didn’t, and there isn’t any. But it claimed otherwise because — and this is laughably absurd — because there are zero (or less!) chances for any life-supporting worlds in the universe. By coincidence, we saw this a couple of days ago at PhysOrg: Eight new planets found in ‘Goldilocks’ zone.

The reason that column in the Journal attracted so much attention wasn’t because of the non-existent science news, but because it clearly signaled the intellectual collapse of the Wall Street Journal‘s once splendid editorial standards. If they now feature creationism in their op-ed pages, one wonders how it it will be possible to rely on anything else they have to say.

The Discovery Institute is thrilled by the Journal‘s cognitive suicide because, as we described in our earlier post, the creationist author of that catastrophic column, Eric Metaxas, is a Discoveroid fellow-traveler. But the most important reason why they’re thrilled is because the Journal was a giant, and the intellectual collapse of the West is their highest goal — see Discovery Institute: Enemies of the Enlightenment.

Today the Discoveroids have a new post which gloats about the fall of the Journal. It’s titled A Christmas Gift that Keeps Giving: Lawrence Krauss on Eric Metaxas on Science, on God, written by David Klinghoffer, their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Truly a gift that keeps giving, that Christmas Day article by Eric Metaxas in the Wall Street Journal continues to stir discussion and denunciation (“Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God”). The appetite for debate isn’t surprising, given that it’s reportedly the most popular article ever published by the online WSJ, with 361,467 Facebook “likes” when I looked.

Yes, the article got a lot of hits, but Klinghoffer confuses morbid curiosity and enthusiastic delight. A lot of people watched the funeral of John Kennedy, but that doesn’t mean his assassination was a popular event. Then he says:

Well, much of the critical “discussion” so far has been irrelevant, it seems to me: either atheist and other censors saying the newspaper should never have published the piece, or, from more thoughtful quarters, theological and philosophical beefs that don’t seem to understand Metaxas was fundamentally drawing a scientific design inference. To that, whether he’s right or wrong, theology and philosophy really have nothing to say. The science shows what it shows.

[*Curmudgeon takes a few minutes off to run around with the dogs and clear his mind.*] Okay, we’re back. Let’s read on:

Nor is it germane to point out that Metaxas isn’t a scientist. He’s a layman presenting an argument based on science, to which a scientist or a non-scientist can respond as his own reason prompts.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes — an argument based on science. Which reminds us of what Mark Antony said in Act III, Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar:

Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest–
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men–
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.

In the same sense that Antony spoke at Caesar’s funeral, we say at the Journal‘s funeral that Metaxas is a man of science. So are they all — all the Discoveroids — men of science.

Klinghoffer goes on a bit, “refuting” some criticism of the Metaxas column. Click over there and read it, if you like. We’re done here.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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18 responses to “Klinghoffer: Metaxas Column Based on Science

  1. I am in awe of the Curmudgeon’s eloquence. It’s occasions like this one that make me just want to throw and break things and fight back the tears. Thank you, Curmudgeon, for being the Curmudgeon, the Sensuous Curmudgeon.

  2. Michael Fugate

    The first response is always to reply snarkily to an intelligent design proponent, but a “run around with the dogs to clear one’s mind” can make for a better response. I recently encountered one who claimed ID was both science and beyond science (whatever that means) and ID didn’t look for evidence, but just used evidence that comes upon one spontaneously? Which amounts to that “looks designed to me, so it must be intelligently designed.” So much for intelligence designing that argument.

  3. The same way that a creationist can create an MRI machine, I suspect the WSJ still gives reliable investment advice. The human eye works quite well even though there is a blind spot. Of course that same blind spot is a really good indication that life was not intelligently designed.

  4. Perhaps creationists at the dishonesty institute and others might take a hint from this:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150108130047.htm

  5. Charles Deetz ;)

    @DavidK, you mean the monkeys at DI can learn some self-recognition? Like the monkeys probably did, they would spend all day staring and touching their [redacted].

  6. Have you seen this blog?:
    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/the-science-of-god/
    When I read it I was unclear whether Metaxas was using any duplicitous creationist arguments – or simply invoking the anthropic principle viz a privileged Earth in a universe suitable for life in rare instances (and a universe existing as a physical entity at all) ‘must’ be by divine design rather than chance or ‘necessity’. But I have not paid to read the original Wall Street Journal article. He IS a Christian and he IS being imprecise and IS exaggerating. But he does not appear to be a Ken Ham type science denier? Though Ham would approve of this “The odds of life existing on another planet grow ever longer”. That’s news to me.

  7. I’m also alluding to your earlier blog post of 26 Dec re the Wall Street Journal.

  8. Ashley Haworth-roberts says: “I was unclear whether Metaxas was using any duplicitous creationist arguments – or simply invoking the anthropic principle viz a privileged Earth …”

    In the Wall Street Journal column, he invoked both. They are “duplicitous creationist arguments.”

  9. Creationists will blow down that article about ‘”Goldilocks zone” planets by pointing out that merely being in that orbit proves nothing about whether a planet actually has life, let alone intelligent life. (Personally, I’m not sure Earth has the latter.) And for once, they’d actually be right.

    That said, I await an explanation from–well, anyone, creationist or otherwise–as to how the chances of–well, anything–can be “less than zero.”

  10. @Eric Lipps: Right, apparently the creationists (well, at least Metaxas and the Klingon) understand as little about probability as they do about biology.

  11. The fine folks at the WSJ will abandon creationism if a belief in it gets in the the way of making money,

  12. On a website a long time ago and far, far away we were assured by a creationist that the odds against evolution were 1^720.

    If this amazing feat was so, why can’t the odds be “less than zero?”

    Creation “science” at work, eh?

  13. That 1720 should have been 1 superscript 720.

  14. @Coyote: Shouldn’t that be 10 superscript 720 (10^720)?

    Isn’t 1^720 still just 1?

  15. With creationists you never know, rsg.

  16. Coyote says: “That 1720 should have been 1 superscript 720.”

    Yes, but we can’t do superscripts or subscripts in the comments. There ain’t no H20 here, and the best we can do is 1^720.

  17. retiredsciguy asks: “Isn’t 1^720 still just 1?”

    Yes, but as Coyote and I remember on a website long long ago and far far away, the creationist didn’t know that.

  18. More evidence that creationists know as little about maths as they do about biology!