Discoveroids — The Working Man’s Friend

The Discovery Institute has a Labor Day post at their creationist blog, titled For Your Labor Day Weekend Consideration: Alfred Wallace Russel, Scientist and Working Man. They usually position themselves as enemies of godless, left-wing scientists, but this time they’re moving in the opposite direction. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

We hope you’re enjoying your Labor Day weekend. While you are carefully putting away all your white clothing until next summer, take a moment to consider the impact of labor on the development of evolutionary theory.

The impact of labor? What are they talking about? Stay with us, because it gets strange. They say:

That’s right, the two founders of evolutionary theory, Wallace and Darwin, came from very different backgrounds. Alfred Russel Wallace, who would later become a premature proponent of what we’d now call intelligent design, grew up among the middle class and had to work for a living. This dictated the contours of his life and research.

We’re already familiar with the Discoveroids’ embrace of Wallace — see Discoveroids Adopt Alfred Wallace as Godfather. Then they sneeringly declare:

Charles Darwin came from family money.

Gasp — how horrible! It is indeed curious that despite his wealth and his unblemished life as a Victorian country gentleman, the Discoveroids have never hesitated to blame Darwin for Marxism — see Marx, Stalin, and Darwin. They insist on that in their propaganda, despite the fact that Wallace was was an extreme leftist — see Discovery Institute, Wallace, Socialism, & More. But that’s okay — one can’t be a creationist without being wildly inconsistent when the situation requires it. Let’s read on:

Wallace did his collecting, leading to his own formulation of evolutionary thinking, because his livelihood urgently depended on it. Darwin felt no such pressure.

And that means what? The Discoveroid post includes a video from Michael Flannery, whose biography of Wallace was published by the Discovery Institute Press. Perhaps the video explains everything, but we haven’t looked at it, and we probably never will. The Discoveroid post continues with a large quote from some earlier article of theirs, which says:

Wallace’s massive collecting reflects a man in need of an income — no specimens meant no sales. Darwin’s comparatively smaller scale collecting reflect the interests of hobbyist with the leisure of an independent income. Which do you think represents the more independent adventurous spirit?

Which of the two men had the more adventurous spirit? Obviously Darwin did, because he could have stayed comfortably in England, instead of sailing around the world for five years on the Beagle. But to the Discoveroids, at least on this Labor Day weekend, Wallace’s economic struggle somehow makes his late-life descent into spiritualism and creationism more valid than Darwin’s work.

Anyway, that’s the Discoveroids’ message for Labor Day. Presumably it makes their “theory” of intelligent design the favored nonsense of the working man. Their post suggests the slogan attributed to Marx’s Communist Manifesto: “Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!” Or in this case, your Darwinism.

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

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22 responses to “Discoveroids — The Working Man’s Friend

  1. Derek Freyberg

    This seems to be a semi-rerun of their “A Disney Darwin is coming” of June 26, on which you posted on June 28; just given a Labor Day spin.

  2. Where does that leave the Tooters who don’t work for a living, but instead rely upon the charity of others?

    Seems to me that getting your money for nothing cuts both ways, except for the Tooters I don’t think the chicks are free!

  3. michaelfugate

    Had Wallace worked for a living, but was a non-believer, he would not be on their “good” list. It is only that he was a believer that matters.

  4. [To] the Discoveroids, at least on this Labor Day weekend, Wallace’s economic struggle somehow makes his late-life descent into spiritualism and creationism more valid than Darwin’s work.

    It’s ironic that these people venerate Wallace, a spiritualist late in life, when if they ever gained power they’d be burning such people at the stake (or in its modern-day equivalent, the electric chair).

  5. Charles Deetz ;)

    Having money allowed Darwin to make decisions and publish without outside influence, or in self interest. Unlike the DI that must pander to their sponsors, and protect their money and cognitive dissonance.

  6. One might mention Thomas Henry Huxley, who was a friend of the working man. (Of course, among Victorians, women were nearly universally ignored.)

  7. “You’ve got no Bodie ’til some Bodie loves you—and Daddy gives him a job running the Creation Museum.”

    Yes, the BSF blogsite continues these Labor Day holiday themes with a look at one of the many unsung heroes of YECdom.

    The Bodie Hodge is the fifth pillar of YECism whereby every Young Earth Creationist must resolve to visit the Creation Museum at least once in his/her lifetime. But Bodie Hodge also happens to be Ken Ham’s son-in-law—and the very Bodie-est of Hodges got himself a great job making sure operations at the Creation Museum run as smoothly as they do. It’s his special calling from the Great & Holy One, the Big Daddy himself, Ken Ham, to make sure absolutely no real science contaminates the museum displays. And the highly-trained plainclothes security force under Bodie’s able command can hear, react, and silence any tell-tale renegade words of reason and logic before a visiting homeschooler can smugly repeat, “Were you there?”

    As one of AIG’s many travelling Sunday speakers, Bodie’s mechanical engineering background makes all of that silly creation science look so easy—and sound almost… well… …sound! Moreover, today’s BSF Labor Day weekend tribute to the Bodie Bodhisattva honors yet another tradition of YECdom: the joys of nepotism in “creation science”. Experience it all, as well as holiday balloons for the kiddies, at :

    https://bibleandscienceforum.wordpress.com/2015/09/06/creation-science-terminology-the-bodie-hodge/

    “It’s a hard job—but some Bodie has to do it.”

  8. Which of the two men had the more adventurous spirit? Obviously Darwin did, because he could have stayed comfortably in England, instead of sailing around the world for five years on the Beagle.

    (a) When Darwin signed up for the Beagle, the intention was that the voyage last just two years. Eventually it growed.

    (b) Wallace, too, went adventuring around the globe, and he didn’t do so under the relatively safe auspices of a Royal Navy exploratory mission.

    The Tooters make more than enough errors of their own. There’s no need to jump on those rara-avis moments when their statements veer giddily in the direction of actuality.

  9. The irony of the DI pabulum peddlers being on welfare from a billionaire theocrat while claiming to celebrate “the working man” on Labor Day will always totally escape their cognition. Being anti-reality always does that to anyone who is addicted to a counter factual iron age Ideology.

  10. realthog says: “When Darwin signed up for the Beagle, the intention was that the voyage last just two years. Eventually it growed.”

    Yes, but even two years — of cramped quarters and sea-sickness on a wooden sailing ship — was an unnecessary adventure for someone in Darwin’s position. And he didn’t have to stay the whole five years. He could have left at any convenient port and sailed home. He stuck it out for the whole time. Not adventurous enough?

  11. He didn’t know he was susceptible to seasickness until the Beagle had set sail.

    He could have left at any convenient port and sailed home.

    Puking the whole way home. I’m not sure, to be honest, how much that option was open to him and how long any such putative voyage might have taken.

    Not adventurous enough?

    Straw man stuff. I didn’t say he wasn’t adventurous. I merely pointed out that the claim that he was more adventurous than Wallace is, ahem. pretty dubious.

    It’s at this point that we need Jack to drop by to point out that there’s no way science can claim to make objective measurements of adventurousness and therefore . . .

  12. Did no one else notice the Discotooters called him Alfred Wallace Russel in their headline, and by his correct name, Alfred Russel Wallace, in the article?

  13. retiredsciguy, no, I didn’t notice. Great catch!

  14. Yeah — I was wondering, “Who’s this Alfred Russel guy?” Of course, this egregious error will in no way damage the Discovery Institute’s credibility — they don’t have any to lose.

  15. @retiredsciguy

    Did no one else notice the Discotooters called him Alfred Wallace Russel in their headline

    Oh, that’s wonderful — many thanks! You made me laugh out loud. Next stop Thomas Huxley Henry . . .

  16. Seamingly, they’ve fixed their mistake but it is currently still on display at darwinia.com

  17. “the fact that Wallace was was an extreme leftist”
    In that link you only show that Flannery thinks Wallace was a socialist. That ain’t much evidence. So I googled a bit and found something better:

    http://londonprogressivejournal.com/article/view/1049/alfred-russel-wallace-socialist-and-cofounder-of-evolutionary-theory

    You should read it, because it casts doubt on Wallace being a hero of IDiocy:

    “developing advanced secularist views on society and human nature.”

    Also there is no indication that Wallace was an extreme leftist. Of course in your prejudiced eyes all leftists are extreme, but that only shows your bigotry. Historically there have been two kins of leftists: those who want to pull off some proletarian revolution and those who prefer gradual reform. Wallace’ first influences were Robert Owen and JS Mill. Neither of them belong to the first category; it’s even questionable if Mill was a leftist. I’m not aware of Wallace ever promoting any revolution.
    So what you here postulate as fact simply isn’t – if anything it’s your conservative bias.

    What’s more, it’s irrelevant. See, there is an actual extreme leftist who also was a pioneer of Evolution Theory. I’ve linked to the guy a few times already.

    http://www.nature.com/scitable/blog/watching-the-detectives/peter_kropotkin_and_the_evolution

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_evolution/2012/10/evolution_of_cooperation_russian_anarchist_prince_peter_kropotkin_and_the.html

    Besides his important contribution (that cooperation can contribute to evolution is consensus now) there is another fun fact. Kropotkin was a Russian prince who disputed something the IDiots from Seattle don’t like either: social darwinism. However that Wallace link says that he was influenced by Herbert Spencer too …..
    Btw Spencer argued for the same as you: “programmes to aid the poor did more harm than good.”

    “Which of the two men had the more adventurous spirit?”
    Silly question. Spending five years in the Siberian wilderness also demands an adventurous spirit and so does entering the Amazone and the jungles of Malaysia and Indonesia.

  18. “Neither of them belong to the latter category”
    Ah, another testimony of my sinful nature.
    This must be “neither of them belong to the first category, ie of those leftists advocating a revolution.

  19. mnb0 says: “Also there is no indication that Wallace was an extreme leftist. Of course in your prejudiced eyes all leftists are extreme, but that only shows your bigotry.”

    I don’t claim that Wallace was a revolutionary. But he was much farther to the left than Darwin. In the context of science, Wallace’s economic opinions are a trivial matter, compared to his creationism and mysticism. As for my “bigotry,” if I were a bigot, I would also criticize Einstein for his economic views, but I don’t. I was criticizing the Discoveroids for their inconsistency.

  20. sparc:
    “Seamingly, they’ve fixed their mistake but it is currently still on display at darwinia.com

    They hadn’t corrected it before I wrote my comment at 6-September-2015, 9:13 pm EDT. Maybe I shouldn’t have called attention to it; it might still be there in all its embarrassing glory.

  21. Pope retiresciguy laments

    I shouldn’t have called attention to it; it might still be there in all its embarrassing glory.

    Except: the Discoveroids have absolutely no sense of shame whatsoever and are incapable of embarrassment…

  22. I, however, am embarrassed by screwing up (yet again) my html tag thingies in above post. Which is particularly worrying when The Great Hand of Correction is depending on AT&T his wonders to perform.

    [*Voice from above*] It is amusing to see you trying to use Sapiens technology. AT&T has the same problem.