Klinghoffer: The Spiritual Foundation of Science

The descent of the Discovery Institute is undeniably visible in the latest post at their creationist blog 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 Here’s What Happens When You Eliminate Science’s Spiritual Foundations. Science has spiritual foundations? How fascinating! We’ll give you a few excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis.

John Zmirak at The Stream nails it in comments on our colleague Richard Weikart’s book The Death of Humanity.

We wrote about Weikart’s book a couple of months ago — see Klinghoffer: Evolutionists Hate Humanity. As you know, Richard Weikart is the Discoveroid “fellow” who wrote From Darwin to Hitler, which influenced James Kennedy, the now-deceased televangelist who made the influential “documentary” Darwin’s Deadly Legacy. We consider Weikart to be the intellectual godfather of the Discoveroids’ frequently-repeated malicious mantra: “No Darwin, no Hitler.”

Klinghoffer then discusses that review of Weikart’s new book:

As Zmirak observes, science depends on certain “pre-philosophic” axioms, having to do with the universe and its underlying transcendent “rational structure,” that derive not from science but from elsewhere: [big quote from Zmirak].

Here’s a small sample from that insightful review:

None of these assertions about reality were the fruit of intellectuals brooding about the nature of the universe. Instead, they are the lessons the Jewish people took from God’s revelation to them, spread out through their history and recorded in the Old Testament. … These statements cannot be proven like mathematical theorems. … If you accept them, a whole world of new thought and understanding suddenly becomes possible. Reject one or more of them, and you will end up sooner or later in a hopeless cul-de-sac.

Klinghoffer embraces those remarks about the biblical foundations of science, and quotes some more from that brilliant review:

In his profound new book The Death of Humanity, Richard Weikart documents how self-appointed spokesmen for “Science” such as “New Atheist” Richard Dawkins — and thousands who follow his lead — reject the idea of objective morality, free will, and the meaningfulness of life. Instead they blithely insist that everything — every single thing — in human nature can be traced to natural selection and blind variation.

Good, huh? Let’s read on. Klinghoffer says:

If science can survive such an assault, it’s only by existing in a parasitic relationship with religious ideas, a relationship that, however, is strenuously denied at every step.

Foolish scientists! Why do they deny the spiritual foundations of biology? Klinghoffer quotes again from the review, about governmental activity regarding abortions and the treatment of transgendered people, which concludes:

A few more decades of such irrationalism will undermine completely the foundations of research and truth-seeking in the sciences.

No doubt about it — science is in big trouble! Klinghoffer ends his post by referring to what he thinks is conclusive evidence for the points he’s making:

If this sounds needlessly dire to you, go back and watch the video at the top, which I’ve already brought to your attention (as have others), where University of Washington students insist that a thirty-something 5’9″ white guy may in fact be a seven-year-old 6’5″ Chinese woman.

We haven’t looked at that video, and we don’t intend to do so. If you do, dear reader, let us know what we’re missing. Perhaps it clearly demonstrates that, as the Discoveroids insist, science should be a spiritual endeavor, and the longer we refuse to acknowledge that, the more certain it is that science will fail. When that happens, the Discoveroids will be there to pick up the pieces and lead us to a better tomorrow.

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

22 responses to “Klinghoffer: The Spiritual Foundation of Science

  1. Christine Janis

    “where University of Washington students insist that a thirty-something 5’9″ white guy may in fact be a seven-year-old 6’5″ Chinese woman.”

    It’s all about gender neutral bathrooms. Big surprise.

  2. waldteufel

    As each day passes, Klinklepooper shows himself to be patient number one in that dreaded disease ravaging the Disco Tute: Diarrhea of the Mouth and Constipation of the Brain.

  3. In the hearts and minds of creationists like Klinghoffer, Vitalism never dies.

  4. Klinghoffer claims TRVE science is founded upon

    the lessons the Jewish people took from God’s revelation to them, spread out through their history and recorded in the Old Testament. Their message is so much more hopeful than anything offered by any pagan philosophy

    Alas, he did not have space in his blog dribble to illustrate his point with a few such sample ‘lessons’ from the OT. So let me help out a little by offering just one of the many pearls of wisdom from therein to which we must give thanks for all our modern scientific insights–in this instance, how to tell if the wife is ‘cheating’ on you:

    Numbers 5:11-31 (KJV):11 Then the Lord said to Moses, 12 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him 13 so that another man has sexual relations with her, and this is hidden from her husband and her impurity is undetected (since there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act), 14 and if feelings of jealousy come over her husband and he suspects his wife and she is impure—or if he is jealous and suspects her even though she is not impure— 15 then he is to take his wife to the priest. He must also take an offering of a tenth of an ephah[a] of barley flour on her behalf. He must not pour olive oil on it or put incense on it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy, a reminder-offering to draw attention to wrongdoing.

    16 “‘The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the Lord. 17 Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water. 18 After the priest has had the woman stand before the Lord, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder-offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse. 19 Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. 20 But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband”— 21 here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—“may the Lord cause you to become a curse[b] among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. 22 May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.”

    “‘Then the woman is to say, “Amen. So be it.”

    23 “‘The priest is to write these curses on a scroll and then wash them off into the bitter water. 24 He shall make the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and this water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering will enter her. 25 The priest is to take from her hands the grain offering for jealousy, wave it before the Lord and bring it to the altar. 26 The priest is then to take a handful of the grain offering as a memorial[c] offering and burn it on the altar; after that, he is to have the woman drink the water. 27 If she has made herself impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse. 28 If, however, the woman has not made herself impure, but is clean, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children.

    29 “‘This, then, is the law of jealousy when a woman goes astray and makes herself impure while married to her husband, 30 or when feelings of jealousy come over a man because he suspects his wife. The priest is to have her stand before the Lord and is to apply this entire law to her. 31 The husband will be innocent of any wrongdoing, but the woman will bear the consequences of her sin.’”

    Now that’s science for ya!

  5. Oops! Copied text from NIV rather than KJV as intended!

    Lake o’ Fire for me, I guess…

  6. michaelfugate

    Science in no way depends on Zmirak’s axioms – those beliefs may have paralleled the conditions needed for science to function, but need not be true. The biggest problem with his view is what is his god doing today? Is it intervening and if so where and how?

  7. So, evolutionary biology is a product of the Bible.

  8. “None of these assertions about reality were the fruit of intellectuals brooding about the nature of the universe”
    Yeah, that’s why we these days talk about the Law of Kings and Chronicles (pi = 3) and not about Pythagoras’ Theorem and Archimedes’ Law.

    “they blithely insist that everything — every single thing — in human nature can be traced to natural selection and blind variation.”
    Klinkleclapper never has chocked in any of his filthy lies, so no doubt he will survive this one as well.

  9. michaelfugate

    It is also interesting to note that Zmirak subtitles his post “The New Atheists are sawing off the branch on which science is sitting”. Which could just as easily have been subtitled “The Biblical Literalists are sawing off the branch on which science is sitting”. That some well-known atheists have said stupid things is no more evidence for god’s existence than Zmirak’s side saying inanities is evidence for god’s non-existence.

    Zmirak like his comrades at the DI is trying to claim in the case of science – an idea he deems successful – it was successful because of it origins and because it was successful its origins are true. Nothing but apologetics as usual.

  10. “If this sounds needlessly dire to you, go back and watch the video at the top, which I’ve already brought to your attention (as have others), where University of Washington students insist that a thirty-something 5’9″ white guy may in fact be a seven-year-old 6’5″ Chinese woman.”

    I watched the video. Klinghoffer is of course lying about their responses. First of all, the students aren’t ‘insisting’ on anything. Many of them are shocked to initial speechlessness by the interviewer’s juvenile attempt to conflate gender identity with whatever made-up identity he’s pushing, including the obvious false statements about easily quantifiable metrics, such as age or height; basically because the fundagelicals believe that gender is binary and comes directly from their biological sex as their god intended. Second, the interviewer has placed them in a ‘gotcha’ position where he is abusing their hospitality, politeness, and general unwillingness to assume an antagonistic role in the interview in an attempt to force them to say that because they don’t believe he’s 7 years old, then transgender people don’t exist. The college students are looking to avoid conflict, as most people do. That’s hardly ‘insists’. Third, while many of them are happy to allow this adult his ‘identity’ provided it isn’t hurting anyone, none of them appear eager to encourage it. Some do suggest that maybe he can find like-minded individuals to talk about their identities.

    The irony is that Klinghoffer thinks anyone who doesn’t fit into his boxes is trying to scam people all the while that his professional position is that of a jumped-up scam artist.

  11. @Megalonyx
    Maybe a “curse” of some sort might result, including a miscarriage, etc., if the ink used by the priest was some evil potion of the day that they knew was harmful and he made the woman drink it. These people were nasty.

  12. michaelfugate

    I see stream.org is littered with articles by DI affiliates. Jonathan Witt has a two-parter on scientism (twice the vacuousness of a single article). Douglas Axe has one on the human genome – a genome doesn’t have a soul doncha know. Jay Richards, Michael Denton, Richard Weikart, all there.

  13. waldteufel

    I finally watched the video, and I quickly came to the conclusion that the clown holding the microphone was just a cheap Ray Comfort wannabe in both style and “substance”.

  14. waldteufel

    Also,the film appears to be heavily edited, most likely dishonestly. It would be fun to examine the cutting room floor. On the whole, the film reeks of Disco Tute sleeze.

  15. What baffles me is this: What the heck do transgender bathrooms have to do with evolution?

  16. michaelfugate

    Nature has a new article on the archaeology of loos. Toilets have apparently evolved – so maybe that is why creationist knickers are in such twists.

  17. @michaelfugate

    But if that’s true, how come there are still buckets?

  18. michaelfugate

    To bail out the raft for the monkeys?

  19. How in God’s name did Klunker come up with this much garbage?
    Metaphorically speaking, in the article referenced by SC, Klupperdupper churned up a lot of intellectual bottom sediment, creationism fecal pellets and decaying microsopic superstition exoskeletons, ingested all of it and passed it ithrough his mental alimentary canal. Then, he excreted it and carefully examined the product. In this manner he managed to conclude that good science has to be based on religious dogma. Not just ANY religious dogma, but rather his own favorite brand ! Since you aspire to emulate a soft bodied, bottom dwelling benthic invertebrate Klunker, I must point out to you that often they don’t leave a trace fossil behind when they perish. They DO leave a lot of churned up poop and mud.
    Reminds one of your “work”.:)

  20. Eric Lipps

    As Zmirak observes, science depends on certain “pre-philosophic” axioms, having to do with the universe and its underlying transcendent “rational structure,” that derive not from science but from elsewhere: [big quote from Zmirak]. . . .

    None of these assertions about reality were the fruit of intellectuals brooding about the nature of the universe. Instead, they are the lessons the Jewish people took from God’s revelation to them, spread out through their history and recorded in the Old Testament. … These statements cannot be proven like mathematical theorems. … If you accept them, a whole world of new thought and understanding suddenly becomes possible. Reject one or more of them, and you will end up sooner or later in a hopeless cul-de-sac.

    My God (so to speak)—where to begin?

    Well, let’s go through this verbal slagheap a bit at a time, shall we?

    Paragraph one is practically word salad as written. I sure hope, for Zmirak’s readers’ sake, that the [big quote] made some attempt to express this rationally, but I suspect not.

    Paragraph two implies (1) that science came only from the Jewish people (bye bye, chemistry, independently invented all over the world—the very word comes from Arabic); (2) that the ancient Hebrews learned science from the Torah (few Jews would agree); (3) that scientific ideas must depend on statements which cannot be proven but must not be challenged—the right such statements, of course; and (4) that unless one accepts all of Zmirak’s axioms, one will end up in a “hopeless [intellectual] cul-de-sac.”

    Points (1) and (2) are purest hogwash based on history alone, never mind logic. Point (3) is more subtly wrong, but wrong just the same, for science is ultimately conditional; all scientific ideas—even evolution—are in principle falsifiable, which is what separates them from dogma, which, again, cannot be proven but must not be challenged (the rack and the stake are always waiting . . . ). As for (4), creationism is already in that “cul-de-sac,” while evolutionary science shows no sign of reaching it any time soon.

  21. As the magnificient scientist Richard Feynman once said,

    “I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.”

    Feynman’s ancestry–if anyone cares–was Jewish, but I suppose Klinghoffer would nonetheless dismiss him on the grounds he was not an observant Jew, or some such nonsense…

  22. michaelfugate

    Who’s God when its at home?