Klinghoffer Attacks the NCSE


We’ve had a terrible time the last few days finding news of The Controversy. The only “reliable” source has been the Discovery Institute, and the pickings have been slim over there too. Their latest isn’t much, but we’re going with what we’ve got.

The Discoveroids have this at their creationist blog: Going to the Heart of National Center for Science Education’s Strategy. 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. The graphic above this post is in his honor.

It’s the latest in a recent string of Discoveroid attack posts. First it was Discovery Institute Attacks John Glenn, and then Discovery Institute Attacks Zack Kopplin. Now it’s the turn of our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). We’ll give you some excerpts, with bold font added by us.

Klinghoffer purports to quote something at Slate written by Alex Berezow, claiming that:

… the National Center for Science Education makes a specialty of the “purposeful conflation of creationism and ID” that is indeed “clichéd and tiresome.”

Klinghoffer likes that, but thinks it doesn’t go far enough. He says:

But it’s more than that. It’s deceptive — and “purposefully” so? We give them the benefit of the doubt and say they are misled themselves, by their own agitprop, but they make that charitable reading something of a challenge to sustain.

Klinghoffer charitably assumes that NCSE, although they’re “deceptive,” are beinig misled by their own propaganda. Let’s read on:

“ID is not creationism,” writes Berezow, and “it is patently unfair” to call it that. I noted this to NCSE’s Josh Rosenau [of NCSE], who brushed the point aside, advising me that he was too “busy” to comment.

ID isn’t creationism? In fairness to the Discoveroids, we know that they don’t promote the old fashioned, down-home, foot-stompin’, psalm-singin’, floor-rollin’, rafter-shakin’, bible-based version of creationism which is spouted by people like Kent Hovind and Ken Ham. The Discoveroids have intentionally purged scripture from their dogma — not because they don’t like it, but because they know a scripture-based argument would doom their efforts in any courtroom. That doesn’t fool anyone — see Intelligent Design, the Great Incongruity, and their flimsy charade has been a spectacular failure in court — see Kitzmiller v. Dover: Is ID Science?

Nevertheless, the Discoveroids continue to claim that their campaign is scientific. Klinghoffer continues:

NCSE’s website insists that the equation of ID with creationism is valid (see [at the NCSE website] What is ‘Intelligent Design’ Creationism?). Their “Friend of Darwin” Zack Kopplin hammers away at the equation and Slate gives him a prominent public forum to do so.

Those durned Darwinists! Here’s more:

Why do I emphasize this? Because so much of the Darwin Lobby’s contribution to discussions of evolution and academic freedom consists of misleading the public, that is why.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It’s the science advocates — the so-called “Darwin Lobby” — that are misleading the public! And now we come to the end:

Meanwhile the media, with rare exceptions, fails to take them to task for these untruths. On the contrary, NCSE is the go-to source for complacent journalists. So the job falls to us.

Despite sufferinig the slings and arrows of the “Darwin lobby,” Klinghoffer and the rest of the Discoveroids are determined to bravely soldier on, fighting the evils of materialism, naturalism, science, and reason — all those nasty things that comprise reality and our hard-won ability to understand it. As they do so, we shall continue to chronicle their efforts.

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

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28 responses to “Klinghoffer Attacks the NCSE

  1. It’s rather telling that Klinghoffer titles his latest piece Going to the Heart of National Center for Science Education’s Strategy. The parasitic blood-suckers of the DI themselves are in constant dread of a wooden stake so placed.

  2. The DI’s tactic of relabeling ideas with their own loaded terminology, such as “Darwinists” and “Darwin Lobby” usually strikes me as cheesy propaganda.

  3. Garnetstar

    ID is creationism, identical to the bible-thumping kind in that neither has produced one single shred of credible evidence for their assertions, which thus remain solely faith-based.

    Both types of creationists claim that science justifies their conclusions, but the Discoveroids’ “science” is on the same level as hydraulic sorting and bananas. It’s cloaked in molecular biology and mathematics, but the reasoning is the same.

    Because the Discoveroids don’t explicitly point to an ancient text and say “Science proves this right!” doesn’t mean that they don’t use exactly the same approach as other creationists do. They are not distinguishable from Hambo in any other respect.

  4. Since the ID’ers can’t seem to come up with any new science on their own, it seems they want to hitch a ride on the coattails of the NCSE for a little free momentum.

  5. Would they rather it be identified as a variety of nihilism, obscurantism, vacuity, solipsism, denialism, snake oil, …?

  6. michaelfugate

    Wouldn’t “engineering” be the likely combining form of “design” + “creation”?
    Perhaps a relabeling as DE – divine engineering or SE – supernatural engineering or NME – non-material engineering…..

  7. If ID isn’t creationism (or religious, for that matter), you’d think these guys wouldn’t spend so much time worrying about atheism and materialism, nor the supposed awful effects each have on society.

  8. Design by itself doesn’t result in much.
    The shmoos were designed. The “Penrose triangle” is designed. The Superconducting Supercollider was designed.
    Therefore, design, by itself, is not enough to account for the existence of anything.
    Non-naturalistic (non-material, transcedental, etc.) design needs, at least, some implementation (production, creation etc.) to result in something in the world of nature.

  9. @michaelfugate & TomS: Exactly — the DI’s “Intelligent Designer” is also their “Intelligent Creator”. Ergo, “Intelligent Design” = Creationism.

    It is undeniable, and they make fools of themselves trying to deny it.

  10. michaelfugate

    Here is the Berezow article http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2015/05/slates_science_page_has_gone_crazy.html
    Which Berezow claims to be a Christian theistic evolutionist and thinks ID is theologically wrong, but is not creationism. Why? No answer.
    He also goes on to claim how objective and superior he is to everyone else – it is so smug, I had to step outside and throw up afterward.

  11. Which Berezow claims to be a Christian theistic evolutionist and thinks ID is theologically wrong, but is not creationism.

    If the term “Intelligent Design” were honestly applied–as a philosophical consideration, at least initially–it certainly does not have to be creationism under-cover. But the ID Movement we hear about today certainly is exactly what the Wedge Document shows it to be: a religious viewpoint pretending to be science. It need not be that way.

    In terms of actual science, “intelligent design” is a legitimate area of inquiry which scientists in many disciplines have to consider on a daily basis. However, that has nothing to do with deities or religious agendas.

    For example, an archaeologist finds object X during an excavation. The archaeologist must determine if X is a product of intelligence (e.g., an ancient civilization) or is it a natural product of geology? …or is it a product of some other organism? Another example: in the SETI Project, a data sequence must be analyzed to determine whether it is a product of some intelligence. If yes, they try to determine if that was an earth-based intelligence or an extra-terrestrial source. Neither of these examples involves “creationism” nor deities, but they do involve the determination of whether the find or phenomenon under study is a product of intelligent design (i.e., produced by an intelligent mind.)

    I will start to respect that the Dishonesty Institute and other members of the ID movement can about science when they start publishing heuristic rules which can be applied in a wide variety of scientific disciplines in determining what constitutes “intelligent design” and how one can make that determination with high sigma reliability.

    Another example: On a remote Pacific island beach, a scientist finds a large number of crystalline spheres of high purity. Are they the product of an intelligent mind? Or are they the product of some geologic process not yet studied by geologists?

    Would your answer be impacted in any way if the spheres were of various sizes but always simple integer multiples of the smallest spheres you found on the beach? What if each size category of sphere compares to the next smaller size category at a ratio of e to 1? What if the ratios reflect the ratios of successive prime numbers? What if they are of successive power of 10?)

    If the ID movement truly wants to convince anyone that they are motivated by good science (or even philosophy), let them demonstrate it in what they publish and where.

  12. michaelfugate

    The only intelligence we know to design and create is natural – whether it be humans or some other animal making tools, homes, displays, etc. We have no idea how a non-natural agent would design and create.

  13. ***whistle*** “wedge document” ***whistle***

    In case someone doesn’t get it: that wedge document rejects methodological naturalism, alsa called the scientific method. IDiots do that because they want to use empirical evidence (ie derived from nature) to demonstrate some supernatural agent. That supernatural agent is supposed to design natural stuff. Another word for “designing natural stuff” is “to create”. We can perfectly replace “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” with “at several points some unspecific Intelligent Designer (blessed be Him/Her/It) interfered with natural process to design stuff.” The difference is merely theological.

    Creationism can be summarized with

    dualism –> supernatural agent –> Evolution Theory is wrong.

    See? No theology involved.
    So according to his very own wedge document Klinkleklapper is a full blown creationist. That there are many varieties nobody will dispute.

  14. Every single person in the ID lobby (and it actually IS a lobby, seeking to pass legislation – as opposed to the nonexistent “Darwin Lobby”) believes that life is created. What do they think “Intelligent Design” is, if not a belief in an intelligent designer who creates life? It’s the name of their freaking “theory” Calling it Intelligent Design Creationism is actually redundant.

    So it’s another day in the propaganda mill for Kling. Grinding out the lies. Must get old after a while, especially with so little success.

  15. anevilmeme

    It sounds like the Discoveroids are realizing that they’ve ran out of Bullstuff.

  16. waldteufel

    The Discoveroids have never, as far as I can tell, floated an original hypothesis and then tested it. They have a high level of science envy, but not enough to actually do any science. Discovery Institute is in every way a Christian apologetics and lobbying group.

    Their last act of a scientific nature was when one of them flushed a protesting toilet — and ran.

    (Apologies to Lawrence Ferlinghetti.)

  17. To the Dishonesty Institute:

    Have you forgotten that no one has forgotten that creationism and intelligent design are synonymous terms?

    Barbara Forrest proved it using your own anti-science literature (“Of Pandas and People”):
    One edition: “Creation means that various forms of life began abruptly, through the agency of an intelligent creator, with their distinctive features already intact: fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks and wings, et cetera.”
    A later edition: “Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact: fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, et cetera.”

    Identical definitions.

    Liars liars liars – you’re well qualified to be good congressmen or senators or White House residents.

  18. @James St. John: Home run!!

  19. ID is a legal fiction, created to get around prior Supreme Court rulings against the teaching of creationism as science in taxpayer-supported public schools. Despite its dressing up as “science,” it is at bottom indistinguishable from the creationism made infamous ninety years ago in the Scopes trial.

    While its propagandists, er, I mean proponents pretend merely to want “equal time” for their “theory,” that claim is an insult to everyone’s intelligence. Considering that they run around constantly screaming that “Darwinism” is both wrong and evil, how can anyone seriously believe they don’t want to ban it? They know, however, that they don’t have the power to do that. Yet. So they try to force a “compromise” which would put them a big step toward that goal.

  20. SC: “The Discoveroids have intentionally purged scripture from their dogma — not because they don’t like it, but because they know a scripture-based argument would doom their efforts in any courtroom.”

    Much more importantly, they, and their immediate pre-cdesign proponentsists “ancestors,” have also purged all testable “what happened when” claims of their alternate “theory.” Not only would that be perfectly legal to teach even if it reeked of one of the common mutually-contradictory literal interpretations of Genesis, it would demolish our criticism that ID is not science.

    So why would they, consistently for 30 years, purge the one thing that would help them more than everything else combined? Simple. They know we’re right.

  21. IMHO Frank J & Eric Lipps are both right.
    YEC was getting itself in deep trouble with some of the things, like the “Vapor Canopy”, that no one could take seriously. Yet YEC represents a constituency that one cannot ignore. The solution is to refuse to take a position on the age of the Earth. And other features of YEC were losing court cases.
    The solution was “Intelligent Design”, which has no substance, but is “dog whistle” creationism. The YECs, OECs, and everyone who can’t abide being related to monkeys recognize that ID is calling to them.
    We have YEC, OEC, and DWC.

  22. docbill1351

    SC: “The Discoveroids have intentionally purged scripture from their dogma — not because they don’t like it, but because they know a scripture-based argument would doom their efforts in any courtroom.”

    Aaaannnnnddddd, it didn’t work: Kitzmiller.

    Behe, a former scientist, sunk ID with his own words; scientifically, as it were.

    The Tooters have never recovered from Kitzmiller no matter how much Krapperflapper, Queen of Projection, tries to misdirect otherwise. Keep on slashing, PooFlinger, you’re comedy gold!

  23. “dog whistle” creationism.

    Once again TomS nails it. Hope you don’t mind if I steal that. All I would add is that DWC predates ID and “cdesign proponentsists.”Scientific” YEC was the point where creationism’s “evolution” crossed the line from belief to strategy. The “speciation event” that gave us DWC was where there was no turning back. And was even when DWC peddlers had some confidence of winning in court! Why would they ever shoot themselves in the foot like that. Simple: They knew there was no hope of ever winning the evidence battle or of forcing a compromise between YEC and OEC (actually several varieties of each).

    And that’s why, for 12+ years I have been cautioning that, whenever we say that ID “is” creationism, we must be 100% clear that we mean “as a strategy.” If not, we give ID way to much slack, because most people still think of “creationism” as an honest, if misguided, belief, not a strategy.

  24. Eric Lipps: “Considering that they run around constantly screaming that “Darwinism” is both wrong and evil, how can anyone seriously believe they don’t want to ban it?”

    Ah, but If students don’t learn evolution at all, how are they going to learn all the bogus “weaknesses” that the DI wants them to learn (at taxpayer expense)?

    After 18 years of monitoring DI antics, here’s what I think: They won’t mind too much if a teacher skips evolution altogether, or even (in the case of those who haven’t “read the memo”) teach all-out Biblical literalism in lieu of evolution. Though they’d prefer that students not learn specific YEC or OEC claims, because it would call attention to the real weaknesses, not to mention hopeless contradictions.

    What they want most is for students to learn – by rote, not “critical analysis” as they pretend – the bogus, long-refuted “weaknesses” of evolution that are the crux of the ID scam. They know that students can already learn all of that during the 99+% of their waking hours that they are not in biology class, but they also know that such students (the minority that is interested enough to do that) will also find the refutations of those “weaknesses,” which would be censored in a captive class. Thus the best way to indoctrinate them is to teach evolution – their way. That would guarantee a supply of evolution deniers who would rarely be aware of disagreements with other deniers (which risks that both might abandon their denial). Also, it prepares some students to join the scam. IOW they will privately realize that evolution is not “weak” but nevertheless join the culture war and pretend otherwise.

  25. Let us remember that for a substantial number of people – teachers, students, parents and public – the prepared methodology of education is rote. It’s easier for everyone.

  26. michaelfugate

    It really comes down to “if you believe in miracles, anything is possible.”
    The creationists’ sneering reply to doubters, “Sure your puny materialistic naturalism/physicalism whatever couldn’t do it, but my God could.”

  27. michaelfugate: “The creationists’ sneering reply to doubters, ‘Sure your puny materialistic naturalism/physicalism whatever couldn’t do it, but my God could.'”

    If it were as simple as that, all “creationists” would be mere theistic evolutionists. But most insist that their God didn’t do “it” but rather “something else.” But they can’t agree among themselves on what their God did, let alone where, when and how. Most rank-and-file evolution-deniers just pick whatever interpretation of scripture they’re comfortable with, usually unaware that other deniers, including in their own family church, have radically different ideas. Anti-evolution activists know better, so they play word games. IDers are the slickest. While their personal beliefs are often indistinguishable from theistic evolution (recall Dembski’s 2001 quote that ID can accommodate all the results of “Darwinism”), their strategy is as far from TE as one can get (Dembski also said that ID is no friend of theistic evolution).

  28. I suggest that all creationists avoid the issue of accounting for the variety of life – “why this, rather than something else”. And that that it is the central issue in evolutionary biology.