Discoveroids: Gimme That Old-Time Theocracy

Because they can’t challenge the theory of evolution on scientific grounds, creationists are always claiming that evolution is bad because it’s inherently immoral — unlike their glorious religion about a deity who cursed the whole universe because of what Adam & Eve did, and who then destroyed virtually all animal life on the planet — sparing only Noah’s family and their floating menagerie.

We’ve written about this several times, most recently Creationism and Morality, Part 4, and that links to several earlier posts on the same topic. The Discovery Institute, allegedly a science think tank, promotes the same theme — see, e.g., Discoveroids: The Designer Gives Us Morality.

Now the Discoveroids are at it again. Their latest post is by Nancy Pearcey, a new Discoveroid “fellow” who teaches at a bible college. We present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from For Its Moral Ideals, Evolutionary Materialism “Freeloads” on Christianity. The bold font was added by us for emphasis:

Westerners pride themselves on holding noble ideals such as equality and universal human rights. Yet the dominant worldview of our day — evolutionary materialism — denies the reality of human freedom and gives no basis for moral ideals such as human rights.

Wow — she’s right. But then, the same is true of physics, chemistry, and astronomy. Maybe that’s because science doesn’t pretend to be a system of human morality. Then she says:

So where did the idea of equal rights come from? The 19th-century political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville said it came from Christianity.

Tocqueville said that? Maybe he did. But as is generally recognized, the American Revolution was based on the ideas of the Enlightenment — particularly the Scottish Enlightenment, which (quoting from the linked article) “… asserted the fundamental importance of human reason combined with a rejection of any authority which could not be justified by reason.”

Let’s read on:

The 19th-century atheist Friedrich Nietzsche agreed …

Nancy goes on for several paragraphs, name-dropping and quote-mining all over the place, simulating the appearance of great erudition. We’ll skip most of that. Ah, then she tells us this:

At the birth of our nation, the American founders deemed it self-evident that human rights must be grounded in God. The Declaration of Independence leads off with those bright, blazing words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident — that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”

Lordy, lordy. Now she’s quote-mining Jefferson. But she gives us only the Declaration’s second sentence. Like so many other creationists, Nancy conveniently leaves out the one before it. You know, the one that says the American people were assuming “the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” entitle them. Who or what is “Nature’s God”? Does it sound like Yahweh? No, it doesn’t, and that’s why creationist quote-miners always skip Jefferson’s first sentence. See also Is America a “Christian Nation”? Here’s more from Nancy:

Atheists often denounce the Bible as harsh and negative. But in reality it offers a much more positive view of the human person than any competing religion or worldview. It is so appealing that adherents of other worldviews keep freeloading the parts they like best.

Skipping a massive ark-load of similar material, which you can read for yourself, we come to the end of Nancy’s post:

What drives religious variants of evolution is a sense that there must be more to reality than the flat, one-dimensional vision offered by materialism. Evolutionists reach out for higher dimensions to answer the human longing for greater meaning to life. Those longings are one more expression of general revelation. They are signposts to the biblical God.

So there you are. Evolution is not only godless, it’s immoral. So it must be abandoned. Everything good and moral is religious, and even those evil evolutionists know that and freeload on religion.

Okay, what can we say about Nancy’s essay? First, it’s beyond question that the bible endorses slavery — starting with the Ten Commandments (“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”) Servant is “slave” in many translations. Pro-slavery passages are also in the New Testament. In Colossians 3:22 (and other places) it says: “Servants [i.e., slaves], obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.” And by the way, Darwin was an outspoken opponent of slavery, but Nancy ignores that.

Nancy also doesn’t mention the fact that the bible is — from beginning to end — a book about monarchy and theocracy, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Also, nowhere in the bible is there any mention of democracy. That’s why — despite the claims of theocrats and revisionists — the bible wasn’t a blueprint for the American Revolution. Nor was it a blueprint for the Constitution, which explains why the bible isn’t cited in the Federalist Papers, where Madison and Hamilton describe the Constitution clause by clause.

Oh, wait — we’ve figured out something else that’s disturbing about Nancy’s essay. Her quasi-intellectual romp has a startling omission — there’s no mention of the Enlightenment, nor do we see the names of any Enlightenment thinkers — the ones who inspired the Founding Fathers and the American Revolution. That’s not surprising. We’ve always known that the Discoveroids are Enemies of the Enlightenment.

Hey, Nancy: You’re a great Discoveroid. Welcome to The Controversy.

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

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20 responses to “Discoveroids: Gimme That Old-Time Theocracy

  1. Looking for a post to bang my head on!
    But it must have a sign on, or it just not the right one.

  2. Nancy claims that “…adherents of other worldviews keep freeloading the parts [of religion] they like best.” Anyone who’s paying attention knows that religionists, for example dear Nancy herself, certainly do that all the time.

  3. Diogenes' Lamp

    Nancy Pearcey is a Dominionist, aka Reconstructionist, who believes in a Christian totalitarian state in which all law is based on Leviticus (kill the gays, women not virgins on their wedding night, disobedient children, those who work on the Sabbath), a totalitarian system in which all authority is held by true Christians (Orthodox Protestants), there is no freedom of religion except for Christians, democracy is blasphemy and blasphemy is punishable by death– so of course the Discovery Institute tapped *her* to lecture us on how the American secular government and Constitutional freedoms are really, deep down, based on her slavery-promoting, inquisitorial, infanticidal, queer-executing, heretic-torturing religion. (In spite of the total absence of documentary or historical evidence for that claim.)

    The Discovery Institute’s next blog post will be by Adolf Hitler, who will lecture us on how racial equality is really, deep down, based on National Socialism.

  4. waldteufel

    Nancy is a great example of Discoveroid “thinking”: much adoodoo about nothing.

  5. waldteufel

    Diogenes, as he often does, hits the nail on the head.

  6. Diogenes' Lamp

    I’ve read due Tocqueville and I call BS on Pearcey’s quote of AdT. Conservative Christians have a shameful history of my inventing fake due Tocqueville quotes to make him sound more religious than he was. If you Google that quote, I’ll bet all the hits are totalitarian Christian nation websites with no reference to the original source.

    What de Tocqueville actually wrote in “Democracy in America” is that people could figure out morals by thinking very long and hard, or by just accepting what the Church tells them. Since most people don’t have the time or leisure to think long and hard about philosophy, most people, to be moral, mist just accept what the Church tells them on its authority. On this basis AdT predicted that America in the future would divide into two groups– infidels, and those returning to the Church of Rome. If you substitute “social conservativism” for “Church of Rome”, AdT was basically right.

    But that passage contradicts what Pearce quoted him saying, so I call BS on that quote. I trust Reconstructionists like Nancy Pearcey about as much as I trust Nigerian prince emails. Lying little Discovery Institute fascists.

  7. Diogenes' Lamp

    I also call BS on Pearcey’s quote of Nietzsche. Nietzsche believed that doctrines of the form “if there is no God, life can have no meaning and there are no morals” were a kind of religious brainwashing, so any atheist who says “Since there’s no God, there is no meaning of life” was an inauthentic atheist, one who’d absorbed religious brainwashing. (Like the odious S. E. Cupp.)

    But religious conservatives cite Nietzsche as their authority to prove *the opposite of what he believed*, that without religion there is no meaning. Thus all citations of Nietzsche are probably BS and should not be trusted until we see the original quote in context.

  8. “For Its Moral Ideals, Evolutionary Materialism “Freeloads” on Christianity.”

    Now it’s called Evolutionary Materialism? What is it with these guys and making up other people’s “worldviews?”

    Anyway, Nancy: If we cede that point, can we then agree that for everything else, the freeloading goes in the opposite direction?

  9. michaelfugate

    I am curious (but as DL points out I am not prepared to think long and hard about it), to know if one just accepted the exact opposite of every thing the DI proposed, one wouldn’t be closer to the truth.

  10. Aren’t the Discoveroids usually more subtle in using their “scientific” enterprise to promote their God?

  11. Justin asks:

    Aren’t the Discoveroids usually more subtle in using their “scientific” enterprise to promote their God?

    They’ve largely given up on that, although they still make an occasional show of keeping up that pretense. They’re mostly focused on keeping their generous patrons happy so the cash will keep flowing.

  12. michaelfugate

    Given that Nancy was a Francis A. Schaeffer Scholar of Apologetics at the World Journalism Institute, it is a wonder that she missed this part of the mission statement:

    3. We believe in a personal God who is sovereign over the affairs of this world: The Christian journalist therefore should be fearless in presenting truth even when it reflects negatively on some Christian organizations or individuals. Factual accuracy in news reporting is the bedrock of journalism. When reporters and editors tell the truth, they serve the public honorably and well.

  13. Like Mark Germano, I too was taken aback by the DI’s new buzzphrase “Evolutionary Materialism”. After all, evolution is simply a description of what we see in biology; nothing more, nothing less. It has nothing at all to do with “worldviews”, morality, ethics, or tiddly-winks, for that matter. What Nancy writes is just so much pseudo-philosophical clap-trap.

    Well, two can play that name-calling, poo-flinging game. The Discovery Institute is just a bunch of spirit-worshippers prostituting their writing talents for a buck or two.

  14. anevilmeme

    Of all the “not even wrong” things Nancy blathered about the two that leap of the page are 1. Her inability to understand science is not a form of theology and 2. Her historical ignorance about the U.S. Founding Documents.

    Either way the DI faithful will lap this stupidity up.

  15. michaelfugate

    Nancy at UC Davis from the Panda’s Thumb archive…..

  16. The whole point of religions, such as christianity, is to satisfy human fear of death. What lies ahead after I die? But christians did not originate the idea. Every ancient society had after-death fantasies. Egyptians even went to extremes with pyramids. Same concept, life in an afterlife. Promises, promises. But religions are just cluttered up with theological nonsense and imaginary stories, all added as they “evolved” over time.

  17. One might point out that for all the pious talk from the creationists about how the Founders said freedom and human equality came from God, most of those eighteenth-century worthies had a rather restricted view of both. Thomas Jefferson, whose preamble to the Declaration of Independence these people love to quote, kept slaves, refusing to free them even in his will; fathered at least one child on a woman he literally owned; sand in his old age savagely opposed abolitionism on the ground that blacks were innately inferior to whites and uniquely fitted for servitude.

  18. I’d be curious what De Tocqueville would have said about Nancy and the other IDiots from Seattle. See, these quotes aren’t exactly in line:

    and especially the remarks on liberty ….

  19. David Williams The region of the USA with the highest rate of evangelical church membership was also the home of Jim Crow.

  20. Diogenes' Lamp

    mnb0, I think at leady some of the de Tocqueville quotes in your source are fake. We have to double check a source named “Minister’s Best Friend.” As Abraham Lincoln presciently observed, “The thing about quotes on the internet is that you never know if they’re real.”