Discovery Institute Ain’t No Kin to No Lettuce

Once again, dear reader, you are about to travel into another reality, a reality not knowable by evidence and reason because it isn’t bound by the laws of nature, but by the wonders of Oogity Boogity! It’s a journey into the realm of miracles and mysticism, where all you need is faith. Oh look — there’s a signpost up ahead. It says: “Welcome to Seattle, Home of the Discovery Institute.” Your next stop — The Drool Zone!

The Discoveroids’ creationist blog features this new post: We Share Many Genes with Lettuce, but that Doesn’t Make Us Part Salad. It’s written by Wesley J. Smith. We don’t hear much from him, but he’s a Discoveroid “Senior Fellow” and a lawyer. His specialty is “Human Exceptionalism,” Discoveroid code for “In His Image.” The bold font was added by us:

It is fashionable these days to denigrate human beings as mere apes. But is that notion supported by science? No.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We love this guy! Then he says:

Over at First Things, I point out some of the errors, get into some of the scientific retorts to the we-are-apes argument made by evolutionary scientists, and illuminate the actual agenda of those seeking to convince us to think of ourselves as mere chimps or gorillas.

Wow — Wesley got into a food fight at some blog. Isn’t this great? Let’s read on:

For example, we are often told there is only a 2 percent genetic difference between us and chimps.

Then he quotes what he said at that blog:

“But,” would-be apes might protest, “What about the mere 2 percent difference? Doesn’t that mean that we are 98 percent ape or, at least, that apes are 98 percent human?” Absolutely not. We share many genes with lettuce, but that doesn’t make us part salad.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Genetics means nothing in The Drool Zone! Wesley then asks:

So, what’s the “We are apes” meme really about?

He answers by quoting himself again:

Those calling us “apes” are making a moral claim. For varying motives — to subvert religious faith, support “rights” for animals, convince us to tread more lightly on the earth, reject the intrinsic dignity of human life — those asserting our putative apehood want us to define ourselves as merely another animal in the forest.

To that we say: Ooook ooook! Wesley concludes his wondrous post with this:

Time will tell whether society chooses to accept this radical equation. We just shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that the idea is compelled by “the science.” It’s about ideology.

Do you agree with that, dear reader? If so, then you belong in The Drool Zone!

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

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21 responses to “Discovery Institute Ain’t No Kin to No Lettuce

  1. Oh well, who would expect a lawyer to know anything about comparative anatomy, molecular genetics, or evolution. I like the Curmudgeon’s introduction, but I think that the Twilight Zone was far more entertaining and often more informative that anything from the drool zone!

  2. “Even if we came about through purely materialistic and Darwinian means, it is evident that something happened to make us so remarkably distinct from every other known life form—characteristics that the faithful would say suggest our being made in God’s image.”

    Too funny.

    Could that something be evolution? It is odd that we look different than any other species in the same sense that the majority of species also appear to look different from one another. Good thing someone figured that out.

  3. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    Truly, this is the cutting edge of science.

  4. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    Also, I’m pretty sure Wesley J. Smith is part crouton.

  5. Perhaps this has been posted before or readers have seen it before, but I thought it fascinating.

    An excellent post at Jerry Coyne’s “Why Evolution is True” website relaying an article from NBC News about “Kanzi, a great ape renowned for his intelligence”

    “Kanzi, a great ape renowned for his intelligence, demonstrated his fire-building and marshmallow-toasting skills on camera for a new Animal Planet show, “Primates: Clash of Kingdoms.” His deliberation and dexterity may surprise even bonobo lovers”

    “Kanzi the bonobo collects a pile of dry brush, lights it with a match, and roasts a few skewered marshmallows to — well, it’s not quite a golden brown, but he doesn’t seem to mind.”

    Bonobo gathers sticks, builds fire, toasts and eats marshmallows

    I have no problem at all admitting I’m (distantly) related to this fellow.

  6. We just shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that the idea is compelled by “the science.” It’s about ideology.

    Unlike ID, of course.

  7. It is fashionable these days to denigrate human beings as mere apes. But is that notion supported by science? No.

    Over at First Things, I point out some of the errors, get into some of the scientific retorts to the we-are-apes argument made by evolutionary scientists, and illuminate the actual agenda of those seeking to convince us to think of ourselves as mere chimps or gorillas.

    Just to start with, no evolution supporter thinks humans are “mere chimps or gorillas.” (Don’t orangutans get a place in this version of Planet of the apes?) The whole point of evolution is that we are not “just apes,” but have evolved away from apelike ancestors.

    Those calling us “apes” are making a moral claim. For varying motives — to subvert religious faith, support “rights” for animals, convince us to tread more lightly on the earth, reject the intrinsic dignity of human life — those asserting our putative apehood want us to define ourselves as merely another animal in the forest.

    Note the bait-and-switch here. Having told us there are scientific grounds for rejecting evolution, Smith switches to talking about why believing in evolution is morally wrong. And he does it without actually offering any of the scientific arguments he claims are so compelling. You have to go to his website (and buy his books?) for that. Most people who aren’t already creationists have better ways to waste their time.

  8. A scurrilous attack by a DI hack.
    Why is being an ape denigrating (does he even know the root of that word)?
    Is his psyche really so fragile that he can’t handle being related to other animals by common descent? Is his religion? Is his dignity?

  9. It is interesting that the commenters at First Things (of all places!) take him to task for his maundering post…..
    http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2015/11/you-are-not-an-ape

  10. Smith boldly asserts

    those asserting our putative apehood want us to define ourselves as merely another animal in the forest

    Jeepers, he’s right! We are very different indeed! It wasn’t gorillas slaughtering people in Paris last Friday. It wasn’t orangutans who flew airplanes into the WTC. It wasn’t bonobos who set up Nazi Germany and ran the Final Solution. It wasn’t chimpanzees who burned heretics. It wasn’t–…need I go on?

  11. I give up. Screwed up my bloody html tags yet again…

    Maybe I should just stop trying to post here!

    [*Voice from above*] You can’t stop! Fixing your blunders is the reason I hang around this planet.

  12. The whole truth

    “Those calling us “apes” are making a moral claim.”

    What an arrogant, scientifically illiterate moron.

    “For varying motives — to subvert religious faith,”

    Definition of subvert: undermine the power and authority of an established system or institution. Hey wesley, thanks for adding evidence to the fact that the IDiot-creationist agenda is all about you religious thugs having power and authority.

    “support “rights” for animals,”

    Are you still kicking dogs and pulling the wings off of flies, wesley?

    “convince us to tread more lightly on the earth,”

    So then, wesley, you’d make no complaints against the placement of a toxic waste dump in your front yard and a strip mine in your backyard, right?

    “reject the intrinsic dignity of human life”

    Definition of dignity: the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect. Hey wesley, you theocratic/autocratic IDiots are certainly not worthy of any honor or respect.

    “— those asserting our putative apehood want us to define ourselves as merely another animal in the forest.”

    Well, you IDiots are exceptional animals, exceptionally ignorant and pompous that is.

  13. Eddie Janssen

    Rikki_ “Also, I’m pretty sure Wesley J. Smith is part crouton.”
    :))

  14. The whole truth

    Megalonyx said: “Maybe I should just stop trying to post here!”

    No.

  15. Maybe they should just go ahead and change their name to “Discoveries in Genesis”.

  16. How far does this go, I wonder. Are humans primates? Mammals? Tetrapods? Animals?

  17. @Ken Phelps:
    “Inventions in Genesis”?

  18. I ain’t kin to no Wesley J. Smith!

  19. I can’t imagine lettuces are happy at being thought of as related to Wesley J. Smith

  20. What’s funny from the First Things bleat is that WJS seems not to the an issue with being called a mammal or a primate, but does with ape and animal. If I were uncharitable, I suspect a very nasty undercurrent to his opinion.
    Subvert religion? Many indigenous religions have no problem with other living things being our kin – what is different about Smith’s? Even for a creationist, aren’t you part of the same creation? As Megalonyx points out animals aren’t blowing us up or shooting at us. Acting like an animal might be a better aspiration for some of us.

  21. The ever-projecting Wes Smith is absolutely correct on one point.

    The “Intelligent Design” creationism scam perpetrated by the Disco Tute is 100% ideology.

    Thanks, Wes, but we’ve known that for years *cough*Kitzmiller*cough*.