Klinghoffer: “We’re Not Anti-Science”

Slasher

Long ago, in the first year of this humble blog, we wrote Discovery Institute: Their Own Version of Newspeak, in which we said the Discoveroids were using a form of Orwellian Newspeak.

We discussed some of their favorite terms, like “strengths and weaknesses” of the theory of evolution (despite the fact that no verifiable data challenges evolution), referring to the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) as a “pro-Darwin lobby group,” (when it’s the Discoveroids who are promoting legislation), “Darwinists,” when referring to sane, educated people who understand that Oogity Boogity has no place in public school science classes, and “one-sided dogmatic presentation,” for a scientific education that allows no room for mysticism in science classes.

The Discoveroids’ crude linguistic gyrations were obvious then, and their use of such perverted terms has continued unabated to the present day. A good example can be seen in the latest post at their creationist blog: What’s Wrong with the Terms “Anti-Science” and “Anti-Evolution”?

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. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

A colleague forwards to me a confused article dealing with “antievolution state laws,” aka academic freedom legislation. The article [link in the Discoveroid post] features the usual misinformation, including identifying us as “Discovery Institute, a think tank which supports teaching intelligent design.” For the umpteenth time, we do not support teaching ID in public schools, never have, and in fact warn against it.

“The usual misinformation.” Uh huh. Klinghoffer is just getting started. Then he says:

Beyond this, I’m struck by [the author’s] repetition of the catchword “antievolution.” He uses it and the noun form “antievolutionism” 17 times … . It’s a common formulation.

Then there is the cognate “anti-science,” or as the National Center for Science Education consistently styles it “antiscience.” (Which without the hyphen seems to invite mispronunciation — “an-TIS-ee-ence”?) “Antiscience bill in Mississippi,” “Antiscience bill in South Dakota,” “A second antiscience bill in Oklahoma,” etc.

It’s instructive to see how such accuracy upsets the Discoveroids. Let’s read on:

“Anti-evolution” and “anti-science” are terminology intended to win a debate without actually having one.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! There’s nothing to debate! As we’ve said numerous times, debating with creationists makes as much sense as debating with flat-Earthers, astrologers, or alchemists. Klinghoffer continues:

“Anti-evolution” bills in fact protect teachers who teach evolution, including the evidence for it, in an objective manner, while not hiding from students the evidence that runs counter to Darwinian explanations of how evolution works.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Here’s more:

Public school education aside, intelligent design is not “anti-evolution.” It is a theory of evolution, seeking to explain why biological diversity flowers and grows in the manner it does.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, the Discoveroids’ “theory” is that biological diversity is the unseen handiwork of their transcendent designer — blessed be he! — which is a far better “explanation” than understandable, demonstrable natural causes. After referring to some books by Discoveroid authors, including one published by the prestigious Discovery Institute Press, Klinghoffer says:

There are vigorous debates in the study of history, medicine, physics, ethics, religion — but you don’t call your opponents in those fields “anti-history,” “anti-medicine,” “anti-physics,” or “anti-ethics.”

That depends. For example, when dismissing the claims of a faith healer, it’s entirely appropriate to refer to him as being “anti-medicine.” Klinghoffer finishes his rant with this:

In the context of evolution, if anyone is guilty of seeking to silence, harm, or falsely malign anyone, it is Darwin’s most aggressive orthodox enforcers, who routinely intimidate vulnerable scholars. Is suppressing scientific debate and punishing scientific dissenters “anti-science”? I leave that call to you.

There’s no need for Klinghoffer to leave it to us. We’ll leave it to the Discoveroids’ own words in their Wedge Document (sometimes called the Wedge Strategy), drafted in 1998. It’s the founding manifesto of the Discovery Institute. We discussed it in detail in What is the “Wedge Document”?

You can read the whole thing at the NCSE website: The Wedge Document. Here’s a scan of the original: The Wedge. It’s a pdf file which begins with a graphic of Michelangelo’s God creating Adam. One excerpt from the Discoveroids’ founding document should be sufficient:

Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies. … Bringing together leading scholars from the natural sciences and those from the humanities and social sciences, the Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature.

So there you have it, dear reader. Are the Discoveroids anti-science? Their own manifesto says that they are. Case closed.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

25 responses to “Klinghoffer: “We’re Not Anti-Science”

  1. “Their own manifesto says that they are [anti-science].”
    And I disagree with our dear SC on this point – it makes a lot of sense to rub it into their faces as hard as we can.

  2. More projection from the Tooters, let’s just call it projectile vomiting.

    What does “intelligent design” creationism explain? Well, listen to the following:

    **crickets**

  3. I can understand why they don’t want to think too deeply about intelligent design. If one did, he or she would have to come to grips with a designer who engineered genetic changes leading to humans becoming conscious of their own deaths while not engineering fixes for all kinds of diseases and maladies. I just don’t see how introducing an uncaring god designer makes the world more pleasant.

  4. Klinkhoffer doesn’t appear to understand the mindsets of his own people. They have spent their entire lives bending, mangling, and breaking scientific concepts to fit their sectarian dogma. What they end up with is pseudoscience that has absolutely nothing to do with the real universe.

    Along with their mangling of scientific concepts, ID/creationists have convinced themselves that they know all about science when in fact they know only their own pseudoscience and can’t recognize that it has nothing to do with reality.

    Combine this self deception with their arrogant sectarian self righteousness, and you get ID/creationism and its socio/political agenda as articulated in its Wedge Document.

    Yet somewhere deep down in their morbid psyches they know to avoid the crucible of real scientific peer review like vampires avoiding garlic and crosses. Their only attempts to get their pseudoscience into the scientific literature have been to try to game the system by slipping their pseudoscience past busy journal editors. When they get caught, they whine about being persecuted; but it never occurs to them that their notions of the basic concepts of science are dead wrong at even the high school level.

    By their own choices they have made themselves totally blind to real science. But their belief in their own moral superiority lives on in the form of constant whining about how they are being mistreated by “secular, activist courts” and the scientific community.

  5. Kling states:

    For the umpteenth time, we do not support teaching ID in public schools, never have, and in fact warn against it.

    Kling also claims:

    …intelligent design is not “anti-evolution.” It is a theory of evolution, seeking to explain why biological diversity flowers and grows in the manner it does.

    If ID is truly a “theory of evolution”, or any other kind of science, then why warn against teaching it? Why write stealth legislation to enable teachers to present ID arguments while at the same time pretending to be against the presentation of ID arguments?

    Either ID is science, which can already be taught in public schools, or it’s a form of apologetics, which cannot. The DI clearly knows which it is.

  6. michaelfugate

    So the logic is according to Klinghoffer
    ID is science
    Science can be taught in public schools
    The DI warns against teaching ID in public schools

    Either one or more of the premises are wrong or the DI doesn’t want science taught in public schools.

  7. David Williams

    The Discoveroids are still dreaming that their pseudo-science can replace The Theory Of Evolution: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/02/what_graduates_102622.html

  8. For the umpteenth time – we know that you folks at the Dishonesty Institute are lying. We know that you have supported & do support teaching your fairy tales in public schools. We know that you hate science and the scientific method. Yes – repeating a lie often enough can get people to believe it (a tried & true method with many American politicians on both sides). But your lies aren’t going anywhere with folks who are sane and rational.

  9. Interesting? Not the Discovery Institute but rather the lint in my belly button. As to the Discoveroids, new year with the same old creationism festooned with some old nonsensical drivel.

  10. Wow. Just wow. I read the DI’s recent blog post about their upcoming intelligent design summer seminar. Wow.

    Apparently among the presenters are the following: “professors, scientists, teachers, pastors, and other professionals.” Yeah, ID has nothing to do with religion.

    I was floored by the following description of their indoctrinees – sorry – graduates:
    “What follows are necessarily without names attached. If you’ll forgive the analogy — but I can’t think of a better one — some of our graduates are a bit like sleepers in the sciences, waiting quietly, anonymously at prominent universities, learning and thinking deeply, until the time is right and the atmosphere a little more open to direct questioning of Darwinism and the proposal of alternatives to a failing theory. I don’t think that time is too far off.”

    Whoa.

    Who in science does the anonymous thing? Or the sleeper cell thing? Or the stealth thing?

    There’s a reason why they can’t think of a better analogy.

    This is scarier language than their Wedge Manifesto.

  11. The DI’ers say:

    Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies. … Bringing together leading scholars from the natural sciences and those from the humanities and social sciences, the Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature.

    Note the wording. They want to “overthrow . . . materialism and [its] cultural legacies” to “[re-open] the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature.”

    Or to put it another way, they want to replace the modern view that natural phenomena have natural causes with the medieval (and earlier) one that insists everything has supernatural causes.

    Or to put it yet another way, they want twenty-first-century science to be replaced by sixteenth-century science.

  12. Klinghoffer:
    “…while not hiding from students the evidence that runs counter to Darwinian explanations of how evolution works.”

    OK, Klinghoffer. Such as?

    Oh, how you are prostituting your writing talents at the DI, Klings!

  13. “Lying lips are an abomination unto the Lord.”

    Provers 12:22

  14. Derek Freyberg

    Colonel Klink says: “I leave that call to you (but not on our website, which does not allow comments).”
    That’s all you need to know about the ‘Tute: they want a one-way conversation – they talk nonsense, you listen.

  15. Just a comment on this for now:

    SC: “We discussed some of their favorite terms, like “strengths and weaknesses” of the theory of evolution…”

    All critics of anti-evolution scams do, and rightly so. Yet I find it increasingly curious that few if any critics bothers to mention that the scam artists and their trained parrots always “just happen to omit” any explicit demands to teach the weaknesses of creationism or ID. Sure, it’s necessary to explain that the “weaknesses” of evolution are nothing more than long-refuted misrepresentations, designed exclusively to promote unreasonable doubt. But even before one gets to that it ought to be blindingly obvious from the very phrasing of their demands that they have no intention to fairly present “both sides.”

    Of course it’s ironically unconstitutional to teach the weaknesses as well as the (long-refuted) “strengths” of creationism or ID in public schools, but that’s entirely beside the point. The fact that scam artists and their trained parrots don’t even explicitly demand the weaknesses, exposes it as a scam even before the first criticism is made. Oh, the ID gang has a clever loophole, which is to pretend that they don’t want creationism or ID taught at all. Which is technically true in that they discourage teaching long refuted “what happened when” claims, even as “strengths,” because that would alert most students to fatal contradictions, at the very least that “they can’t all be true.” But the IDers’ loophole itself is another giveaway that it’s all a scam. Or at least it ought to be.

  16. Note that Klinghoffer repeats the loophole in this very article:

    For the umpteenth time, we do not support teaching ID in public schools, never have, and in fact warn against it.

    Of course. Why alert students as to where the real weaknesses are.

  17. Imagine a scenario where a teacher were to actually discuss ID in a science class, but rather than touting it as an alternative to evolution, instead pointed out the fallacies of ID arguments and the misinformation spouted by ID apologists. The teacher does not mention religion, but discusses only the so-called scientific arguments of ID.

    Suppose further that a complaint is made by a parent, and the issue comes to the attention of the DI.

    What would the DI do? On the one hand, they could continue their charade that ID is science, which would put them in the position of agreeing that it is perfectly permissible for science teachers to teach their students that ID makes no sense whatsoever. On the other hand, if they support the parents, they will find themselves in the position of arguing that ID is a religion, and the teacher is denigrating a religious belief in her classroom by trashing ID.

    This is bound to happen someday, hopefully in a state with an academic freedom law.

  18. @ Ed:

    And it is easy to do; especially in those AP science classes meant for students wanting to go on to college.

    Dembski’s “math” is nothing more than the taking the logarithm to base 2 of the number of trials multipled by the probability per trial. Dembski is asserting that Np is less than one for complex molecules in biological systems; and he lifted, without comprehension, N = 10^150 from the abstract of a paper by Seth Lloyd in Physical Review Letters.

    Students taking AP statistics or any of the pre-calculus courses in math will get it; especially when they get into AP chemistry and physics.

    ID/creationist’s entropy and the second law are bogus as well. Granville Sewell, after over 12 years of wrangling with physicists, can’t even get units correct when entering his “X-entropies” into his difusion equation. Students in high school physics and chemistry can understand the significance of that error.

    Jason Lisle’s calculations of the rate of orbital recession of the moon are complete nonsense, as is his “theory of relativity.” High school students taking AP physics can understand just how stupid Lisle is.

    And so it goes, concept after concept in science. I really think it would be fun to watch ID/creationists scream when some good, well-prepared science teachers in high school rake them over the coals.

  19. Ed: “This is bound to happen someday, hopefully in a state with an academic freedom law.”

    The probability is nonzero, but I think low enough that the DI is not worried about it. And that’s because, from 20 years of reading comments critical of ID/creationism, I’m the only one I know who would do something like what you mentioned (disclaimer: I’m not a high school teacher, but I have taught college chemistry and tutored on occasion for decades). For every one like me there are 100s or more who do would either omit ID/creationism altogether, or worse, water down evolution for fear of parental objection.

    If I taught evolutionary biology I would never miss an opportunity to mention the geologic eras/periods/epochs, and how many millions of years ago they occurred. That would subtly drive a “wedge” between students whose parents are grooing them to be Biblical literalists – less than half are strict YECs, contrary to the popular sterotype. Plus that would be a subtle criticism of ID’s “big tent” scam, without mentioning designers, creators or religion. If a student objected with some parroted “irreducible complexity” nonsense I’d just say: “That argument was refuted 20 years ago. It’s not appropriate for this class, but you can look it up on your own time. You do know that the popularizer of that argument fully concedes common descent, don’t you?”

  20. Holding The Line In Florida

    @ Frank J In my 7th Grade Science classes I teach EM waves, Plate Tectonics, Geologic Time, Genetics, Evolution, and in that order. You can rest assured that the Adam and Eve-ers are pounded with all the evidence they need to wake up and smell reality. Still after all that, I get the “Why are there still monkeys?” and “We aren’t monkey’s are we?” and “I don’t believe in Evolution”, and “God made us all” I just shake and head and as calmly as I can, smile and simply say “That is alright, Evolution believes in you and you will be tested on the material Monday!”

  21. As far as the observation that God made me.
    Evolutionary biology is not about how I came to be. That is the concern of reproductive biology and sciences like genetics, embryology, developmental biology, etc.

  22. Since these academic freedom bills are the product of the discotute,
    Kilnkledinkle’s post points out the sheer intentional self deceit creationoids are capable of. Truly a retch worthy episode in Klunkledoopers nefarious “journalistic” history. Thanks for pointing out again what a fraudulent propaganda queen you are klunkle.

  23. Klooperpooper is such a [edited out] liar! And, he’s so bad at it; cringworthy!

    The Kloop bleats:

    For the umpteenth time, we do not support teaching ID in public schools, never have, and in fact warn against it.

    Klankerwanker conveniently forgets that the DI wrote this little gem:

    The Theory of Intelligent Design – EDUCATOR’S BRIEFING PACKET

    Which contains these little gems:

    … Discovery Institute urges public school teachers and districts to teach objectively about both the scientific strengths and weaknesses of modern evolutionary theory. Adopted by states and local school districts around the nation, this common-sense approach represents good pedagogy and good science education, and it is clearly constitutional.

    …if you voluntarily choose to raise the issue of intelligent design in your classroom, it is vitally important that any information you present accurately conveys the views of the scientists and scholars who support intelligent design, rather than a caricature of their views. Otherwise you will be engaging in indoctrination, not education.

    No, Kougherslougher, the DI doesn’t support teaching ID in public schools which is why Westie and the former Attack Gerbil wrote an Educator’s Guide to teaching ID in public schools.

  24. @Holding The Line In Florida:

    The “Why are there still monkeys?” argument never arose in my 7th Grade Science classroom, although I did have a student or two ask if I believed in God. Rather than asking them to define “God”, or explain how my beliefs or non-beliefs had any impact whatsoever on the nature of reality, I simply said “Yes.” I didn’t explain that to me, “God” was simply the laws of physics that made the universe possible.

    Back to the “Why are there still monkeys?” argument — I think a good counter to show the inanity of that question would be to ask, “Are you a descendant of your grandparents?”

    When Jimmy answers, “Yes, of course,” ask Jimmy if his grandparents died on the day he was born.

  25. RationalWiki.org has an article “How come there are still monkeys?” which covers most of the ways of dealing with that question.