Klinghoffer Makes a Plea for Modesty

There are very rare occasions when creationists attempt to be humorous. Such efforts always fail, but from our perspective, there’s nothing funnier than when a creationist — oblivious to the ridiculousness of his own position — consciously tries to be funny.

We found another creationist attempt at humor at the Discovery Institute’s blog. They just posted The Modesty Chronicles. It was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

They’ve got a humor-impaired satirist at The New Yorker called Andy Borowitz. This week he offers the following headline, Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans. You can pretty much write the rest yourself, though I was surprised that he leaves out any direct mention of the obvious targets — skeptics on climate change and Darwinian evolution. I suppose the reader is expected to fill those in for himself:

Klinghoffer then gives a big excerpt from what he finds to be “humor-impaired.” Here’s a sample:

The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.

The truly funny part of this is that The New Yorker is obviously describing creationists, but Klinghoffer pretends he doesn’t get it. Then he says:

Groan. But notice the irony. Most of the folks who condemn skeptics like us are, in fact, the ones that are unable to assimilate, process, or even just accurately restate counterarguments or counterevidence.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It’s a classic example of Tu quoque (you too): “You’re calling me a poop head? Well I’m calling you a poop head! Nya, nya, nyaaaaah!” But that’s it for the attempt at humor. Then Klinghoffer gets serious — and that’s when he really gets funny. Let’s read on:

In principle, there’s no reason you couldn’t have a thoughtful person who rejects the case made by ID advocates or Darwin skeptics but nevertheless can explain in detail what that case is and why he thinks it fails. Yet critics like that are exceedingly rare.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We’re supposed to explain why “the case made by ID advocates” fails? What case? The Discoveroids have no evidence for the existence of their designer, and no hope of explaining the designer’s methods. They have no data, no theory, and no hope of ever testing their ideas. They have nothing that requires disproving. All they have is their dislike of evolution — and science in general. It’s not our job to disprove their mystical babbling. It’s their job to disprove evolution. Klinghoffer should see our Advice for Creationists. He continues:

The opposite perspective is one of modesty, and something I’ve noticed in our science coverage here lately has been an appeal to evolution advocates to exercise a little of that overlooked virtue.

Yes, we should be more modest. When faced with a vast ocean of creationist drool, we should only say: “It looks like it may be a bit damp over there.”

Then Klinghoffer links to over a dozen Discoveroid “science” articles that he thinks point out problems that are “likely unsolvable in a materialist paradigm.” But it’s all God of the gaps stuff, claiming that their magical designer — blessed be he! — lurks in the gaps. After that he says:

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if an evolutionist came along and admitted:

[Recommended response from scientists, bracketed material in Klinghoffer’s original:] Look, I don’t buy the argument for intelligent design because [SUPPLY HERE A REASONABLE EVALUATION OF THE CASE FOR ID, REFLECTING A CAREFUL READING OF THE PRIMARY SOURCES]. But yeah, our account of how life arose without guidance or purpose faces considerable scientific challenges. We’re working on those and hope to get back to you within a certain, not unlimited time period.

Why — oh why? — don’t we behave the way Klinghoffer wants us to behave? All he’s asking is that we take the Discoveroids seriously. Here’s how he ends his essay [ellipsis in the original]:

Man, the humility to concede that matters are more complicated than your preferred position in a given debate would lead you to wish … What a concept!

So there you are, dear reader. Klinghoffer started out trying to be funny, and ended by reaching out to you. He’s extending the hand of friendship. All he asks is that you give the Discoveroids the respect he thinks they deserve. And while you’re at it, how about showing some respect for The Time Cube?

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

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18 responses to “Klinghoffer Makes a Plea for Modesty

  1. The Andy Borowitz piece is one of his funniest and most perceptive yet — which is saying something. I love it that Klinghoffer describes him as “humor-impaired”!

    BTW, should “Klinghoffer then gives a big excerpt from what he finds amusing” be “Klinghoffer then gives a big excerpt from what he finds unamusing”?

  2. MODESTY?? Do you know what you get for being modest? Ignored and someone else gets the credit and the promotion. Modesty is highly over rated usually by those who want the credit.
    So yes I am brilliant compared to most fundies or Texans, but I aint psychotic enough to be a Klinghoffer.

  3. Charles Deetz ;)

    Okay Klingy, I’ll give you my reasonable and researched objection to DI. My research is the Dover case, and the judge found ID as religious and without scientific merit. So it seems that if I trust the judge and all the evidence he listened to, ID is a sham and Behe a liar for God. Care to clarify what the judge got wrong and why I shouldn’t trust his decision?

  4. Okay, realthog, I tweaked it a bit.

  5. Actually, a rather common response from those scientists who care to respond at all is

    Look, I don’t buy the argument for intelligent design because [ANY OF A MULTITUDE OF REASONS BASED ON A THOROUGH UNDERSTANDING OF THE SIMPLE ARGUMENT OF ID.]

    To which Kling and the other Discoveroids put their fingers in their ears and pretend not to hear.

    That Kling expects scientists to then lie and claim that evolution faces “considerable scientific challenges” is absurd.

  6. waldteufel

    Andy Borowitz carefully builds a shoe, then Klingklepooper plants his foot in it and announces that it fits. . . .

  7. docbill1351

    “A careful reading of the PRIMARY SOURCES.”

    What “primary sources?” Does Klinkletinkle think that self-published books by a handful of crackpots comprises the “primary sources?” For a start, there is no book simply titled, “The Theory of Intelligent Design.” It seems like such a simple and obvious thing for the Braniacs of Tooterville to do. [ha! I wrote “braniacs.” I’m going to leave it that way, ’cause they’re more bran than brain.]

    Of course, there is no book describing the “Theory of Intelligent Design” for the simple reason there is no “theory of intelligent design.” Duh!

    The best attempt at doing this was a pathetic bait-and-switch from Meyer when he posed the question, “What is intelligent design?” and then started with the following, “First, let me tell you what intelligent design isn’t.” He then listed all the things “ID creationism” wasn’t. It wasn’t a breadbox. It wasn’t a cat. It wasn’t purple. It wasn’t a triangle. And so on and so forth. Finally, after much hemming and hawing he abruptly ended the chapter with the reader no wiser than at the start. Typical Meyer con. He’s done this many times.

  8. @DocBill1351

    there is no book simply titled, “The Theory of Intelligent Design.”

    Surely it should be called On the Divine Origin of Species?

  9. They’ve got a humor-impaired satirist at The New Yorker called Andy Borowitz. This week he offers the following headline, Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans. You can pretty much write the rest yourself, though I was surprised that he leaves out any direct mention of the obvious targets — skeptics on climate change and Darwinian evolution. I suppose the reader is expected to fill those in for himself

    I just finished reading that myself, and my comment was “If only it were a new strain . . . !”

    In principle, there’s no reason you couldn’t have a thoughtful person who rejects the case made by ID advocates or Darwin skeptics but nevertheless can explain in detail what that case is and why he thinks it fails. Yet critics like that are exceedingly rare.

    If Klinghoffer admits they exist at all, isn’t he shooting his own argument in the foot, if not in the head?

  10. @docbill1351:
    There is a book “The Creation Hypothesis”.
    Needless to say, it does not describe a creation hypothesis.

  11. Wow, Klinghoffer is satirizing satire. That’s so meta.

  12. If I hadn’t known in advance I’m not sure if I had recognized the Borowitz piece as satire. It’s a very accurate description of my multiple internet encounters with IDiots and other creationists.

  13. Klinghoofer fantasizes, “Wouldn’t it be refreshing if an evolutionist came along and admitted:

    But yeah, our account of how life arose without guidance or purpose faces considerable scientific challenges.”

    Oh, Klingy. You’re still mischaracterizing evolution this way? You dam well know evolution doesn’t address the origin of life; just the origin of SPECIES!!

    Time to go to Maaco, fella. Your true colors are showing.

  14. There is an entire cottage industry devoted to exactly the kind of reasoned exposition of ID and other varieties of creationism that Klinghoffer is asking for, leading in every case to well-reasoned rejection.

    For example, the catalogue of creationist claims at http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html, Pennock’s compilation of key papers expounding and criticising ID (http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/intelligent-design-creationism-and-its-critics), and Isaak’s Counter-Creationism Handbook (free download at http://www.worldlibrariez.com/the-counter-creationism-handbook.pdf).

    Klinghoffer can hardly be unaware of the existence of these and many others of their kind, and I can only speculate about the processes that lead him to write such nonsense.

  15. docbill1351

    Andy Borowitz is right up there in my Comedy Hall of Fame with Charles Pierce, Bill Bryson and the most erudite Sarah Vowell. Andy writes for the New Yorker, the apex of literary excellence.

    Klinkletinkle, on the other hand, was fired from his college newspaper (how bad do you have to be?), and fired from the National Review (again, how bad do you have to be to get fired from the National [edited out] Review?), and has literally bottomed out in a dishonorable Right Wing Skank Tank located above a gym on the seedy side of Seattle. Golf clap.

  16. Several times I have seen Borowitz’s column taken seriously, which ought to be a mark of the skill of the satire.

  17. Hasn’t Borowitz’s position already been proven by science? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bias_blind_spot

    Is it still satire if it’s true?

  18. I propose the exclamation “nannie nannie nu nu” as an accurate description when referring to Tu quoque.