The Discovery Institute just posted this at their creationist blog: Seeking to Vilify Doubters, New York Times Now Opts for “Denier” Over “Skeptic.” 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.
As Klinghoffer’s title suggests, his article is all about word-play. But before we discuss it, it’s important to understand why word-play is all they’ve got. We often fail to notice what doesn’t exist, but we shouldn’t overlook the fact that the Discovery Institute has failed to accomplish anything of any substance whatsoever.
The Discoveroids have no evidence for the existence of their supernatural designer, and no hope of examining or explaining the designer’s methods. For all the millions their “think tank” has spent lobbying idiots in state legislatures and conducting revivals at churches and bible colleges, they have no data, no theory, and no hope of ever testing their ideas. All they have is an intense dislike of evolution (and science in general), and the forlorn hope of restoring a supernatural view of the world — see What is the “Wedge Document”?
Despite all the noise they make, the Discoveroids have had no impact on science, industry, agriculture, medicine, academia, or any other rational endeavor. It’s true that they’ve managed to get Academic Freedom bills passed in Louisiana and Tennessee, but those states were already teaching creationism in their public schools, and no other state has followed their example.
Now that it’s clear how empty and dreary the Discoveroids’ record truly is, it’s easy to understand why they’re playing language games — they don’t have anything else. Okay, let’s get to Klinghoffer’s new essay. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
The vaunted New York Times regards it as “progress” that the new standard at the paper is to refer to climate change skeptics as “deniers.”
Ooooooooh — a linguistic shift. That’s important! But we’re not interested in climate change. Neither is Klinghoffer, so he changes the topic to evolution:
Language matters — in part because subtle changes in word choice can serve as a method of intimidating nonconformists. While global warming isn’t our issue, such blatant manipulation techniques are routinely used to cow Darwin skeptics, to dissuade the uncertain from expressing sympathy for skeptics, or from thinking independently themselves. I don’t have any doubt that the Times would regard it as appropriate to call us “evolution deniers.”
Why wouldn’t they? Let’s read on:
The term “denier” is obviously loaded. It intentionally calls to mind Holocaust denial … . Yet I’m confident that most who direct the “science denier” label against Darwin skeptics are not even aware of the scientific issues in the debate about whether blind Darwinian processes can explain the emergence of complex animal life. Nor are they aware of the positive arguments for intelligent design as an alternative theory.
Oh, we’re aware of the “scientific issues.” There aren’t any. Klinghoffer continues:
ID is the subject you can say literally anything about, however grossly ignorant, without worrying that you’ll be corrected on it in the mainstream media. Claiming to know that the science is “settled” is therefore a bluff.
Yeah, we’re bluffing. Here’s more:
It is disturbing to see so highly regarded a newspaper embrace intimidation, calling it “accuracy.” And calling it “progress,” that is “in a good direction.” If using language to squash dissent is progress, then what is it progress toward? If it’s merely “in a good direction,” where does the trajectory end?
One reason we urge high school science teachers to stay away from ID, and why we support academic freedom laws for teaching about evolutionary theory’s strengths and weaknesses, is precisely because we don’t want to see a teacher lose her job over an ambitious lesson plan.
An “ambitious lesson plan”? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Moving along:
From using disgrace and loss of employment as a weapon, it’s only a short step to wielding criminal law. Is that the kind of “progress” that the influential editors at the New York Times consider “in a good direction”?
Uh huh. Soon, the Inquisition will be back, and this time it’s the scientists who will burn the skeptics. Or so Klinghoffer would have us believe. And now we come to the end:
I would hesitate to say yes. But I also would have hesitated to think that, just for wishing to see evolution treated as a normal scientific idea, subject to debate, I would ever have been linked, through guilt by association, with something as vile as Holocaust denial.
That was quite an essay! But what did it say? To us, it’s a cry of despair. The Discoveroids are losing their war against the Enlightenment, and they know it.
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