Klinghoffer Is Afraid

The Discovery Institute isn’t content to merely promote their pseudo-scientific theory of intelligent design. Now they’re ranting about an imaginary assault on courageous thinkers — like themselves — who dare to challenge science.

Look what was just posted by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. It’s titled Prosecute Darwin Skeptics Under RICO Act?

What? Are the Discoveroids worried that they’ll be prosecuted for violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act? We didn’t think that even their imaginations were that far removed from reality. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

As you may have heard, some prominent scientists have called for the criminal investigation, no less, of scientists and other advocates who cast doubt on the global warming “consensus.”

No, we haven’t heard of that. We don’t follow that controversy. Klinghoffer purports to quote from some website, which allegedly says:

The science on global warming is settled, so settled that 20 climate scientists are asking President Barack Obama to prosecute people who disagree with them on the science behind man-made global warming. Scientists from several universities and research centers even asked Obama to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to prosecute groups that “have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change.”

Maybe. We don’t know. But what does that have to do with creationism? Let’s read on:

The list of a signers [of the prosecution request] includes two of our Seattle neighbors over at the University of Washington, Edward Sarachik and Michael Wallace, both in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences. It would interesting to ask them candidly what they think when they cast their eyes across town at us.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Klinghoffer probably knows what the scientific world thinks of the Discoveroids. He continues:

The logic of RICO applied to science outliers is sinister and absurd. That should be obvious, but, frighteningly, it isn’t to some smart, influential people. Beyond the immediate context of the climate controversy and putting climate skeptics in the same basket as the Mafia — it’s hard to see what would prevent extending that logic to include intelligent design advocates and other skeptics of Darwinian theory.

It would be absurd — which is why it isn’t going to happen. There are lots of debates about government figures regarding unemployment, illegal aliens, and other issues. Disputing stuff that comes out of the government is a time-honored and legally protected activity. Well, there may be some who fraudulently misuse government grants and put out falsified data or something. That might be a problem, but Klinghoffer isn’t talking about that. He seems to be concerned only with dissent.

Klinghoffer then explains why he’s worried:

Why would that [prosecution] not be justified, given a couple of relevant (and grossly mistaken) premises? After all, many ID critics would agree with the statement that we “have knowingly deceived the American people about the extent of a non-existent evolution ‘controversy,’ as a means to forestall the advance of science and science education.” A clear falsehood, but that’s what some hardcore Darwin believers think, against all the evidence.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, a “clear falsehood.” But probably far more than 90% of scientists believe it. So Klinghoffer is frightened. Here’s more:

The same folks refuse to confront our documentation showing that Darwinian theory is indeed contested on key points by mainstream scientists.

Who are those “mainstream scientists” — the Discoveroids? Moving along:

Once you embrace the idea of silencing debate, where does it end? What begins as scientific disagreement shades over into social, then employment, then legal pressure, culminating in the threat of imprisonment.

There are historical examples of the consequences that were faced by secular thinkers when religious doctrine was official policy. The examples range from being poisoned, like Socrates, to being burned at the stake like Giordano Bruno, or, like Galileo, to “merely” being threatened with torture, forced to recant his teaching about the solar system, and then being kept under house arrest for the remainder of his life. Then there was John Scopes, who was prosecuted and fined for teaching evolution. But we don’t know of a single case where a creationist has ever been even threatened with any of those punishments.

The only “penalty” facing a creationist could be failure to get the job he wants, or failure to have his contract renewed, or — if he has tenure like Michael Behe — being laughed at by his colleagues. It seems to us that the Discoveroids are perfectly safe.

But Klinghoffer insists that he’s worried. He ends his post with this:

I hesitate to even articulate this, for fear of putting an idea in someone’s mind. On the other hand, Darwinists don’t need me to help them cook up schemes for striking out against dissenters.

Don’t worry, Klinghoffer. You guys provide too much entertainment for anyone to want to stop you. As long as you can find generous patrons for your “think tank,” we’d like you to continue.

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

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18 responses to “Klinghoffer Is Afraid

  1. Klinghoffer managed to break Poe’s Law.

    Pure, unintended, comic gold.

  2. Well, Klinghoffer, since “Intelligent Design” is in reality a religious belief, your writings are constitutionally protected. You have nothing to worry about, old chap. (Except for the fact that you’re exposing yourself to well-deserved ridicule.)

  3. Kankerwhiner bleats

    It would interesting to ask them candidly what they think when they cast their eyes across town at us.

    The first thing that comes to mind is “Absolutely Nothing.”

    Face it, Kinkerbinker, nobody knows you’re there. Oh, sure, a few people in the run down side of Seattle may notice a few shabbily dressed, seedy-looking, washed up old dossers trudging up the stairs to a dingy, moldy office suite above a gym and think no more of it, other than relief that they’re off the streets. But that’s about it.

    The idea that any climate scientist has every heard of Konkerbonker and his fellow clown car of misfits, miscreants and malcontents is really quite laughable. And I mean “ha ha” peculiar.

  4. Klinkletinkle tries a little misdirection:

    After all, many ID critics would agree with the statement that we “have knowingly deceived the American people about the extent of a non-existent evolution ‘controversy,’ as a means to forestall the advance of science and science education.”

    Which, according to the Tooter’s very own Wedge Document is exactly what they’ve been trying to do. Once again, Klooperpooper transforms into Captain Obvious!

    Oh, this is Comedy Gold! But better yet, the IRS should investigate the Tooter’s phony 501-c and throw the entire clown car into the klink for fraud. Then Klinkerdinker could write his dinkers from the klinker.

  5. Normally it is nonscientists trying to politicize science like in
    Franco’s Spain.

  6. Don’t you worry, little Davey. Nobody cares about you or your clownish cargo cult.

  7. “I hesitate to even articulate this, for fear of putting an idea in someone’s mind. On the other hand, Darwinists don’t need me to help them cook up schemes for striking out against dissenters.”

    Don’t worry klingy, no one outside of your little circle of science deniers pays much attention to your ideas. The real scientists working in evolutionary biology have no problem with dissenters. Dissenters working with actual scientist often lead to changes in evolutionary theory (evo-devo, punctuated equilibrium . . .). Dissenters who push pseudo-science, like the Discovery Institute, tend to get ignored. It’s when they impact science education that they get any modicum of attention. Why do you think they target high schools? You would expect they to take aim at science, but for that they have to do science.

  8. Klinghoffer’s rant qualifies as a fuel injected flaming pseudoscience dumpster dive.
    Congratulations kadoopleflinger.

  9. Just out of curiousity, I’ve tried to track down the original source of this story, to wit the “letter to Obama asking that climate change deniers be charged under RICO”. All I’ve found thus far is a blog post on ScienceBlogs written by Greg Laden. The problem that I have with this is that I do not consider this to be an authoritative source. Not saying that it’s not true. Those 20 scientists could have, in fact, written such a letter. But simply posting it on a blog does not mean that it carries any weight. (No offense, SC.) It’s another blog. I’ve found zero evidence of it being posted as a petition on Whitehouse.gov, nor of these guys actually sending something slightly more formal. Why I’m only finding it posted on this one blog is a bit puzzling. Do they think that this blog is so awesome, with such a wide readership, that Obama will sit up and take notice? The only other websites talking about it are all of the kook sites, both left and right-wing.
    So Klinghoffer is responding to essentially a wild rant from another website. Just another day in the office for him, I guess.

  10. Charles Deetz ;)

    Actually, there is a GoFundMe doing just this, they’re halfway to their goal to get a lawyer to sue the DI. This is going to be FUN! Check it out at http://www.gofundme.com/stopthedi

  11. (Slight) Correction: I found the original letter. It was posted on the website of “The Institute of Global Environment and Society”.
    Whatever that is.

  12. Sez Klunkerdunker:

    “Scientists from several universities and research centers even asked Obama to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to prosecute groups that “have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change.”

    That statement is a flat lie. No such request for a prosecution has been made. The most that has been requested is a discovery and investigation of evidence to see if a criminal conspiracy as described under the RICO Act has occurred.

    Fraud is a criminal offence. Collusion and conspiracy to commit a fraud is a criminal offence. Those are commonplaces. The principals and officers of organisations engaged in collusion to defraud might be prosecuted under RICO IF there were evidence that such a collusion and such a purpose were the actual purposes of the organisation.

    Fraud must pass a number of legal definitions to be successfully prosecuted. It must rely on a palpable and unequivocal falsehood, it must be knowing, it must be for-profit, and so on. It is arguable that the DI is engaged in fraud, and it is further arguable from its “Wedge Document” that the fraud is knowing and committed for a nefarious purpose – but “arguable” is NOT the same as “proven in court”, and until it is, this is nothing more than public debate. IF ever it comes to court, it might be possible to argue that RICO applies.

    Klongpopper is only demonstrating that he cares nothing for the values of words, which is evidence of the true nature of what they pay him to do at the DI.

  13. Dave Luckett notes:

    The principals and officers of organisations engaged in collusion to defraud might be prosecuted under RICO IF there were evidence that such a collusion and such a purpose were the actual purposes of the organisation.

    Could that be applied to Volkswagen?

    But as also noted, Klinghoopy is getting his knickers in a twist over nothing. Except that, Creationists love nothing better than thinking they are being persecuted; absent any evidence for their creed, perceived persecution is all they’ve got to validate their beliefs in their own little minds.

  14. “Mother of Mercy! Is this the end of RICO?”

  15. “…Or does it have some other purpose?”

  16. Let me give it a try.

    “have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of educating creacrap to children.”
    Makes some sense.
    So does “pseudoscientists all over the world unite”.

  17. Charles Deetz ;)

    Disclaimer that my go-fund-me post above is there for fun, in hopes Klingy reads this post and panics when he sees my comment. Calling them out for be systematic liars publicly would be fun, of course.

  18. Fifty years from now, quite possibly, there will be a sizable portion of the population wishing that the perpetrators of global warming denial had been lynched – not merely investigated. Kling need not worry though, no one will be wishing that the DI fellows were lynched, because no one will know who or what the DI was.

    The DI seems to accept an old earth, but it is not clear to me whether or not they accept any of the science describing what the conditions were on the earth in the past. If they did, they would know that it is possible for sea levels to be 600 feet higher than they are today. During much of the Triassic, for example, oxygen content in the atmosphere was as low as 10%, and temperatures reached the all time record since animals existed – as high as 145 degrees fahrenheit. The animals that survived this period were small and few in number, but evolved new respiratory systems and body plans to cope with the intense selection pressure.

    If anyone at the DI knew anything about science, they would probably regard the risks of climate change a little more seriously, and not draw their imaginary persecution examples from that field. After all, their designer engineered a world capable of repeatedly destroying life in huge numbers, and there is no reason not to believe he/she/it is at it again.