Klinghoffer: Inner-City Blight Is Darwin’s Fault

The Discovery Institute has developed yet another scientific argument showing why their so-called theory of intelligent design is infinitely preferable to what they call “Darwinism.” As you might expect, the author of their latest post, Science and Culture, and a Tale of Two Cities, is David Klinghoffer, their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

New York Times columnist David Brooks is getting to be more and more interesting. … [H]e acknowledged that his writing of late has been increasingly focused on spiritual and moral matters. … [H]e worries about evidence of a pervasive relativism that is wreaking havoc on a segment of the culture identifiable by several key social markers, including their chaotic family and sexual lives.

This segment, he observes, mostly never made it past high school. Their college-educated counterparts enjoy, again for the most part, a much more orderly existence. It’s not a college degree, per se, that gives the other half a leg up. Brooks doesn’t say exactly this, but no doubt the kind of self-discipline needed to get that far as a student is also what makes it more likely that these folks live more productive lives. College is just an outward sign of that.

This isn’t terribly profound. Obviously, those who have no self-discipline are unlikely to succeed in life. What does Klinghoffer make of it? He says it’s all about Darwin. Watch and learn:

Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture is called that for a good reason. Revealing the nexus between science and culture — that there exists no “firewall” (in John West’s apt expression) between the two — is one of our central insights. If life arose and evolved through no design whatsoever but only by a meaningless, thoroughly materialist process of chaos and winnowing (mutation/selection), then humanity bears no special seal of dignity, no divine image. A human being under Darwinism is just another animal. It’s a notion bound to deeply influence a culture that embraces it.

See? Before Darwin and his pernicious influence, society had no problems. Klinghoffer gives us an example:

Sometimes, though, it helps to get out in the street. We are located in downtown Seattle, which can be a scary place. You’re surprised? You think of Seattle as home to Starbucks, Microsoft, Boeing, the Seahawks football franchise — symbols of an orderly, disciplined business culture. Those are all enterprises outside the downtown core which, more than any other city I’ve lived in, is a magnet for dysfunctional lives of exactly the kind that David Brooks writes about. I reviewed this social reality yesterday after work, when I took a slightly longer route through the streets to the underground bus tunnel.

As we’ve long suspected, the Discoveroids are located in in what Klinghoffer describes as “a scary place.” Let’s read on, as he describes his adventurous journey through downtown Seattle:

This is no skid row but the heart of the downtown shopping and business district. Yet at 5:30 pm, the sidewalks were filled with people who were neither on business nor doing any shopping. Aimless youths and aged panhandlers, of all races, they were loafing, and in a pervasively threatening way. Shouts, arguments, insults, vulgarities mixed with noxious, sickly clouds of pot smoke every few feet.

We know — it’s tempting to blame those conditions on the malignant vapors emitted by Discoveroid headquarters, but we shouldn’t jump to any conclusions. Klinghoffer sees things very differently:

A couple was slouching ahead of me, a young man with his hand prominently grasping his young lady’s rear end. They passed the entrance to a parking garage where a traffic cop was directing cars out onto the street. The youth turned to the officer and did a sort of obscene dance step in the cop’s face, then kept walking. The cop looked at him and gave a half-grimace. The open disrespect, right in front of a crowd of people, made me feel ashamed for the policeman. The powerlessness of that facial expression … there was not a thing he could do about it.

Gasp! How could such a vulgar atrocity occur within walking distance of Discoveroid headquarters? Klinghoffer continues:

The predominant picture of man we carry around in our head — whether a beast with an attitude problem, or the cherished product of intelligent design — matters deeply to any society. It would have to do so. But different groups of people can assimilate the evolutionary picture better, more safely, than others.

Huh? Surely the abominable teachings of evolution should have a universally degrading effect. How can some groups handle it better than others? Here’s more:

[Evolutionary biologist] David Barash’s students were admitted to the University of Washington in the first place because they had a successful, which is to say disciplined, high school experience. It’s a safe bet they have the habits needed to live productively despite the corrosive message from their teacher.

How is that possible? Surely, in Klinghoffer’s words, those students believe that they evolved due to “a meaningless, thoroughly materialist process of chaos” and that “humanity bears no special seal of dignity, no divine image.” What accounts for their successful behavior? Klinghoffer says:

As that same message filters out to other parts of population, through media and other channels, the effect could not help but be otherwise. Some segments of the culture digest the toxin without visible ill effects. Others are far more vulnerable to it. The successful demographic is the one responsible for distributing the toxin to the more vulnerable cohort. That’s exactly what many college students will grow up to do.

We still don’t understand. Is Klinghoffer subtly suggesting that there’s a — gasp! — racial component to this phenomenon? No, that can’t be it. Then why are the college students immune to the pernicious influence of Darwinism? To our great disappointment, Klinghoffer doesn’t offer an explanation. He concludes with this:

It’s a tale of two cities, two Seattles, very different from each other. David Barash [the evolutionary biologist] should take a walk through the streets of that other Seattle sometime to see the effects of demoralizing materialism outside his own classroom. David Brooks [the New York Times columnist] might take a look as well. To have his impressions, as a chronicler of moral crisis, would be fascinating.

Well! This certainly is a moral dilemma. It seems to us that if Klinghoffer is correct about the degrading effect of Darwinism, all of you evolutionists should be behaving like that “young man with his hand prominently grasping his young lady’s rear end.” Maybe that’s exactly what you’re doing. Klinghoffer says it’s the Darwinian thing to do.

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

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24 responses to “Klinghoffer: Inner-City Blight Is Darwin’s Fault

  1. Good ole Klingy! He has also explained here why US prisons are stuffed to the rafters with atheistical Darwinists, with nary a devout religious believer behind bars…

  2. According to Intelligent Design, animals are intelligently designed.

    Indeed, humans are intelligently designed to have bodies like chimps and other apes. If the kids are being told that, no wonder that they decide that they are *supposed* to act like them.

    One does not learn “All Things Bright and Beautiful” in biology class:

    “The rich man in his castle,
    “The poor man at his gate,
    “God made them high and lowly,
    “And ordered their estate.”

  3. Frankly, I thought the Dishonesty Institute might use the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s theory to complain that his “relativity” had brought “moral relativism” to our society—just as “Darwinism brought us Social Darwinism.”

    I’ve seen that kind of blame against “relativity theory” by some YECists over the years so one would surely expect to see that sort of re-play on the centennial, but haven’t noticed anything yet.

    I do wonder if even some Discovery Institute website readers will be baffled by the “two Seattles” nonsense. Klinghoffer must have had a slow news day….or perhaps a colleague challenged him to come up with new kinds of accusations for blaming Darwin.

    I would be tempted to say that the Discovery Institute has finally hit bottom but the only “discoveries” the Discovery Institute has ever made are the discoveries of new ways to go ever lower.

  4. So what is his point? He states that some people are sufficiently organized to make it in his version of society and some don’t. What does this have to do with the truth or falsity of evolution. He has observed that there are some marginalized people. Unfortunately that’s true but it has no bearing on his thesis.

  5. Klinghoffer: “A human being under Darwinism is just another animal.”

    Well, that is what the Good Book says as well, actually.

    Ecclesiastes 3:18, KJV: “I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.”

  6. “Aimless youths and aged panhandlers, of all races, they were loafing, and in a pervasively threatening way.”

    First, unless SC copied it wrong, that is a terribly constructed sentence. Second, how, exactly, does one loaf threateningly?

    With the addition of this essay, my “Top Ten List of the Dumbest Things Ever Written” now has 23 entries by Discovery Institute writers.

  7. Megalonyx says: “Good ole Klingy!”

    I wonder what he would think of you. There’s a rumor (or rumour) that you wander the streets of London with your hand on your own behind, murmuring: “Olivia, my dear.”

  8. I’ve seen Klinghoffer’s essay before in graphic form. It’s that tree of evolution fruiting all of the creationist’s perceived society’s ills. The axe of “scientific creationism” is chopping it down.

    Maybe Klinghoffer can replace “scientific creationism” with “intelligent design” and use the graphic himself?

  9. Finally! I agree with the D’oids about something. Klinghoffer says that “Their college-educated counterparts enjoy, again for the most part, a much more orderly existence.” I agree. Now, Klinghoffer seems to think that some people lack the “self-discipline” to go to college. How can that be if we are all created in God’s image? If he has self-discipline, we all must, it is designed into us! So “those” people must have lacked the opportunity to go to college, not the intelligence or other attributes which god gives us all.. Now, I will bet that most, if not all of those people have been to church, probably many times. So, those people that Klinghoffer looks so far down upon, are, pretty much, living out “god’s design.” It just ain’t going so well. At least according to Klinghoffer.

    Klinghoffer himself admits that those “materialistic” college students live a more orderly existence. And the difference can’t be within the people since we are all “created” the same, “in god’s image.” So college must make all the difference. I agree 100%. So what we need is much more materialistic college graduates and less people living on just god’s “design.” Plain as the nose on your face, Klinghoffer has certainly proved his point and I agree with him wholeheartedly.

    Does anybody ever even edit their crap?

  10. Charles Deetz ;)

    So the DI is about “nexus between science and culture”? The Hof has now proven that he should stick to flinging poo about science, as he doesn’t do well talking about culture.

  11. What I think Klunklehuffer is trying to intimate here is that Seattle has fallen into a rut of social Darwinism, something that would never have happened had its citizens been educated into IDiotology.

    Of course, I’m only guessing and would never presume to gibber on his behalf.

  12. @Paine in the Butt
    Which of the cohorts is more likely to have learned something about evolutionary biology, and which is more likely to boast “Don’t know much about biology/Don’t know much about a science book”?

  13. A very sick person, Klinghoffer is, and his discoveroid comrades as well. Why surely all those people he frowns upon can take a job at McDonalds for a paltry pay, or maybe two burger joint jobs to try to eke out a living. And his “work place” is not in a shabby part of town by any means.

  14. Klinglepoo may have swiped a title from Dickens, but he surely never understood much of Dickens’ writing if he thinks Darwin is responsible for human misery. On the other hand, I’ve never seen any evidence that Klingles has understood anything he’s ever read.

  15. Klinghoffer: “We are located in downtown Seattle, …which, more than any other city I’ve lived in, is a magnet for dysfunctional lives …”

    Well! Now we know why the DI chose downtown Seattle as their HQ.

  16. It would be interesting to watch Klinghoffer walk unaccompanied through the downtown core of medieval London or Paris, long before the world was defiled by the Enlightenment or Darwinian theories. Those pious god-fearing folks would have had his butt for lunch, methinks.

  17. @skmarshall
    Indeed they would have. Maybe literally in some of the more extreme hunger cases. Or even Revolutionary Philadelphia: to see Ben Franklin cavorting naked on his balcony in the summer heat. That alone would be worth the price of the trip to the past I think. Or the contact high from “hemp” smoke at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Ah the good ol’ days.

  18. Self discipline my butt!

  19. Another Tom

    I live in Seattle and I’ve found it not that bad compared to the other cities I’ve visited. I’ve never had a problem downtown. Some places can get sketchy at night though, but it’s a city.

    Although the DI isn’t far from this McDonalds. As a counterpoint this Jack in the Box is next to the University of Washington. The drug dealers seem to come out at night and 3rd Ave is known for gangs selling drugs.

  20. 1. Shouldn’t those college educated folks be the ones with no values thinking their lives have no meaning since they overwhelmingly accept that evil godless Darwinism, where to poor, uneducated masses who loaf in a threatening ways do not?

    2. The DI is now an openly relgious organization.

    3. They also sound a bit racist.

  21. It smells like he is trying to make a plea to under represented minorities since the American WASP demographic isn’t going to be enough to keep the conservatives afloat. Sort of like how the Koch brothers lately have been trying to reach out to Latino children.

  22. I’m sure all those threatening loafers are doing so because they’ve read up on Darwin and have decided that they’re just beasts. They’re sitting around thinking “we’re not designed, so we can do what we want. I want to grab that girl’s butt.”

    Klinghoffer is living in the monkey house. He cannot imagine that most people never think of evolution OR intelligent design, and live their lives completely independent of such ideas.

  23. Frankly, I thought the Dishonesty Institute might use the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s theory to complain that his “relativity” had brought “moral relativism” to our society—just as “Darwinism brought us Social Darwinism.”

    Why not? After all, the Nazis did exactly that, and even recruited a handful of actual scientists, men with extreme right-wing political views, to develop an “German” or “Aryan” alternative physics.