A fabulous gem of mind-warping misinformation has appeared at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: Ten Tips for Spotting Fake Science News on 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. We’ll give you a few excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis.
He begins by discussing someone who “offers smart tips on spotting fake science news,” and says:
[W]hen it comes to the ID [intelligent design] debate, these journalists often seem to have done little more than scan the Wikipedia article, a disinformation hatchet job.
The Discoveroids have been frustrated for years because they’ve been unable to convert Wikipedia into a creationist website — see Casey: Wikipedia Is Unfair about Intelligent Design. Then Klinghoffer says:
I’d add a few red flags of my own. Not any journalist who commits one or more of the following is guilty of spreading fake news, but these are things to watch for:
Before we look at Klinghoffer’s list, we’ll remind you of something we wrote back in 2008, the first year of this humble blog: Discovery Institute: Their Own Version of Newspeak, in which we discussed the Discoveroids’ specialized vocabulary for attacking science in general and evolution in particular.
Okay, dear reader, now the fun begins. In accusing journalists of writing fake science news, Klinghoffer is using a primitive rhetorical device with a fine Latin name: tu quoque, which means “you too!” It’s commonly encountered on the school playground, where young children respond to insults by saying: I’m not a poop-head; you’re a poop-head! That’s usually followed up with Nyaaa, nyaaaa, nyaaaaaaaaa! Here’s Klinghoffer’s list:
1. The article discusses “evolution” without defining it.
2. The article discusses “creationism” without defining it.
3. The article discusses “intelligent design” without defining it, or without defining the idea as its own proponents do.
4. The article conflates intelligent design with creationism in a phrase like “Intelligent Design Creationism.”
Obviously, Klinghoffer wants “good” journalists to define “evolution” as some kind of Satanic, materialist, Hitlerian dogma, while defining “intelligent design” as a splendid scientific theory supported by oodles of solid research, which — of course! — has nothing whatsoever to do with bible-based creationism. That is, a “good” journalist is one who accepts the Discoveroids’ upside-down universe as the real one. Here’s more of Klinghoffer’s list:
5. The article uses scare terms like “anti-science” or “science denial” as an excuse for not engaging with ideas the writer doesn’t like or hasn’t bothered to research.
6. The article engages in personal attacks or … “inflammatory language”: “crank, quack, nutty, lies, paranoid, pseudo, and conspiracy.”
It’s difficult to write about creationists’ ongoing war against science without using such terms. The list continues:
7. The article uses instances of trivial microevolution to extrapolate as a freebee to macroevolution, i.e., major innovations in the history of life. A current favorite is antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
8. The article credulously invokes what Jonathan Wells calls icons of evolution, from peppered moths, Miller-Urey, and Darwin’s finches to the myth of how “99 percent of our DNA is identical to that of chimpanzees,” or whales as the “sweetest series of transitional fossils an evolutionist could ever hope to find,” and the like.
In other words, any article that references actual evidence for evolution, and doesn’t do the micro-macro mambo (defined in Common Creationist Claims Confuted) is promoting fake science. Let’s read on:
9. The article presents academic freedom legislation as an attempt to “teach creationism” in the schools.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! And here comes number ten:
The article takes aim at ideas associated with prominent ID proponents without naming them or citing their terminology.
Why should science journalists bother to publicize creationists, or adopt creationists’ Orwellian terminology? Then Klinghoffer babbles that “fake news in defense of Darwinism has pervasive influence,” because of “the power of the prestige media, academia, and U.S. federal funding,” and he finishes with this:
Which is why at Evolution News [the Discoveroids’ creationist blog] we have our work cut out for us.
Yes, the Discoveroids have their work cut out for them. And what, exactly, is their work? We explained that when we started this blog — see Discovery Institute: Enemies of the Enlightenment.
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