Count Klinghoffer’s Creationist Clunkers

Counting the clunkers in Klinghoffer’s latest post at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog is like counting the bedbugs in a creationist’s mattress. There’s no end to it — they just keep coming.

The title is The Curious Romance of Darwinism and Creationism — And Why Intelligent Design Must Be Silenced. It’s the latest in a series of Discoveroid posts that gush over the writing of Tom Bethell, which we previously discussed in Klinghoffer Praises Tom Bethell’s New Book. Here are some excerpts, without bold font added for emphasis. That isn’t necessary here. The cavalcade of clunkers begins:

One of the many smart observations in Tom Bethell’s new book, Darwin’s House of Cards, pertains to the curious relationship of Darwinism and Creationism — and how that bears on efforts to suppress investigation of the theory of intelligent design.

Clunker count: (1) “smart” observations; (2) “efforts to suppress” investigation of (3) the “theory” of intelligent design. Explanation: those things (smart observations, efforts to suppress, and the Discoveroids’ “theory”) don’t exist. Then he says:

Darwinists seem to long for the good old days when their only opposition was from Biblical creationism. This is reflected in efforts to conflate ID with creationism, or to make the former a kind of forbidden science, off limits to discussion.

Clunker count: (1) “efforts to conflate” ID with creationism; (2) efforts to make ID a “forbidden science” which is (3) “off limits to discussion.” Explanation: ID is creationism — see Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District — so it isn’t science. The Discoveroids are free to discuss it — and they obviously do. But because it’s unquestionably a religious concept, like old-fashioned creationism, it can’t be taught in government schools, and (except for bible colleges), it doesn’t belong in university science classes — so in those venues it’s “off limits.”

After that, Klinghoffer tells us:

[F]or all that separates them, Darwinism and creationism have in common that they are both inferences from prior doctrines (respectively, materialism, or a particular way of reading the Bible). ID is different. Says Bethell, “Intelligent design is not a deduction from a philosophy but an inference from observed facts.”

Clunker count: (1) “Darwinism” is a silly term, suggesting that those who accept Darwin’s theory do so because of a mystical devotion to Charles Darwin; (2) evolution is not, like creationism, based on nothing but “inferences from prior doctrines”; (3) ID is, however, “a deduction from a philosophy.”

Isn’t this fun? It’s also tedious, so we’ll do it with only one more excerpt:

That monopoly [of the philosophy of naturalism] was challenged on another campus, Baylor University, by mathematician William Dembski.

[Klinghoffer quotes Bethell:] Dembski formed the Polanyi Institute to debate these issues, with Darwinians and ID opponents included on the board. But the Institute was shut down after vehement protests from Baylor’s biology faculty. They did not want ID to be so much as discussed.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We wrote about that clunker in Intelligent Design’s Brief Shining Moment.

This is the end of Klinghoffer’s post. We’ll leave it to you to find the clunkers:

ID, unlike creationism, challenges Darwinian evolution on its own turf. That is not acceptable. Creationism for the Darwinist is a welcome foil. On the other hand, ID, which practices science where Darwinism is ultimately an exercise in philosophy, must be silenced.

That’s it, dear reader — one of the most amazing posts ever to appear at the Discoveroids’ website, fascinating for the sweep of its audacity. Now we need to take the dogs out for a long walk to clear our mind.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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21 responses to “Count Klinghoffer’s Creationist Clunkers

  1. I beg to differ, I think that you slipped up at one point, that the ID advocates take advantage of their freedom to discuss ID by discussing it.
    The essay in question is an example of their not discussing ID when they obviously have a forum to say what they want.

    Rather than taking advantage of their opportunities to discuss ID, they rather complain about the naughty darwinists.

  2. Michael Fugate

    Klinghoffer can drop by any number of science sites and discuss evolution, but never does. Scientists can’t drop by a certain intelligent design site to discuss anything.

    My favorite is evolution is philosophy without evidence, but ID is evidence without philosophy. Too funny.

  3. Mike Elzinga

    Klinkhoffer says:

    That monopoly [of the philosophy of naturalism] was challenged on another campus, Baylor University, by mathematician William Dembski.

    Let’s look at the basic core of Dembski’s entire life’s work.

    1. Strip away all the pseudo philosophy, the “information” labels given to the logarithms to base two of probabilities, and the logarithms themselves, and we are left with Dembski’s fundamental claim that the expected number of complex biomolecules in the universe is Np less than one.

    2. Dembski lifted from the abstract of a paper “Computation capacity of the universe” by Seth Lloyd in Physical Review Letters the number 10^120, which Dembski thinks is the number of trials N required to get a specified molecular assembly. Note that Dembski didn’t read Lloyd’s paper, and he has no clue what that number means.

    3. All of Dembski’s examples for calculating the probability p of a molecular assembly amount to the reciprocal of the number of arrangements of a string of length L taken from an infinite set of K types of inert objects. He tells us this is K^L; and, guess what, it always turns out to be less than 2^(-500) such that Np always comes out to be less than one. Note further that he even gets that computation wrong because he doesn’t account for the number of permutations of every multiply-repeated character that results in the same string.

    That’s it; everything else in the hundreds of pages of Dembski’s writings is fluff-and-puff covering up a simple assertion that is dead wrong and has nothing to do with the evolution of complex molecular assemblies. Why would a “PhD” not notice that there is no temperature dependence in any of Dembski’s probabilities; a rather big clue that something is seriously wrong with his thinking.

    So all Dembski has done is mislead his followers into thinking that their “opponents” must account for all that “information” in the cell or any other complex assembly. There is no science in any of it; not even at the high school level.

    It’s not even philosophy; it’s just made-up crap attempting to look like something important.

    Why should any of that be taught in schools?

  4. Those pesky creationists that use Evolution in the title of a creationist website in the hope people don’t know any better.

  5. I’d rather seek a needle in a haystack than count Klunkleclapper’s clonkers. My favourite one is “not even discussed”. Klonkleclupper totally neglects Why Evolution is True, Pharyngula, Panda’s Thumb and many other blogs that have written extensively about IDiocy.

  6. [Klinghoffer quotes Bethell:] Dembski formed the Polanyi Institute to debate these issues, with Darwinians and ID opponents included on the board. But the Institute was shut down after vehement protests from Baylor’s biology faculty. They did not want ID to be so much as discussed.

    Who wrote this, Jar Jar Conway?

    This is a complete and total lie. Dembski blew up the institute all by himself.

    Dembski wrote:

    In a subsequent press release, Dembski asserted that the committee had given an “unqualified affirmation of my own work on intelligent design,” that its report “marks the triumph of intelligent design as a legitimate form of academic inquiry” and that “dogmatic opponents of design who demanded the Center be shut down have met their Waterloo. Baylor University is to be commended for remaining strong in the face of intolerant assaults on freedom of thought and expression.”

    Baylor President Sloan, who originally OK’d the institute, asked Dembski to retract the press release. Dembski wouldn’t back down and accused the administration of “intellectual McCarthyism.”

    But, far from “vehement protests by Baylor’s biology faculty” the institute was shuttered from another direction.

    Professor Michael Beaty, director of the Institute for Faith and Learning, said that Dembski’s remarks violated the spirit of cooperation that the committee had advocated and stated that “Dr. Dembski’s actions after the release of the report compromised his ability to serve as director.”

    Yes, the Institute of Faith and Learning was Dembski’s undoing, not the science faculty, although I would argue that Dembski was Dembski’s undoing, as has been the case with the rest of Dembski’s sad, little career.

    Klankerwanker: pants on fire lie.

  7. Michael Fugate

    Must be silenced?

    I want it to explain itself, if only it could. Can it define itself in any way other than trivial – something somewhere somehow might be designed by some other thing or not, maybe – or other than just opposing evolutionary theory – something somehow might not be able to evolve or not, maybe?

  8. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    Why should anyone else care about something the DI themselves can’t so anything with. Dead “journal” after dead “journal” that go back to the time they were at least honest it being about their invisible friend. Of course it was always a lie, apologetics dressed up in a lab coat is still fallacious apologetics and arguments from ignorance aren’t science.

    What’s amazing is the transparent nonsense about Klingy’s complaint. One way to tell if someone if trying to deny or lie about something is to pay attention not to what they say or do, but what they don’t say or do.

    The DI has had amazingly long time now to actually develop an educational or research program to be implemented at an ID friendly university. So what’s the problem then? I can think of at least a dozen universities that if the DI had such a program they would be welcomed with open arms. Probably at the top of the list is Liberty U of Falwell fame. So why aren’t they there? Where’s the ID labs and classes?

    The answer couldn’t be more obvious. Those schools are already openly teaching straight-up uncensored “goddidit” creationism and science denial so bothering with ID is pretty much redundant even if such a program could in theory be developed. So the complaint it isn’t about religion is shown to be BS again because if it wasn’t they’d be itching to get in anywhere as “legitimate” science and build something to work with. Even religious institutions. One may argue about Baylor but that was just Dembski, the retired from ID fig newton of information theory, taking a stab at his place of employment. Why not anywhere else?

    Again, it’s about what they don’t do just as much as it is what they are doing that gives away the BS game they play. As it’s always been, this is about the political assault on good science by getting basic denial and apologetics into secular schools.

    Maybe what needs to be done is to craft a letter to be sent to potentially ID friendly schools telling them that an ID program is in the works as well as a potential research program and ask them if they would be interested in evaluating and adding it to the curriculum once it’s finalized. A list like that would nicely show that the potential is there if only the DI, and therefore ID, had anything of value or substance. A list that demonstrates the DI has nothing and never will in the face of an actual potential and demand for it.

    Either way, the donors I suspect will just have to keep paying Klingy to whine about unfair it all is. Boo-hoo.

  9. The Polanyi Admiral Kuznetsov imbroglo at Baylor, when Dumbski got canned for teaching creationism is VERY old news Klunkledoofus. Bitterness, religious fundamentalism and propaganda create such a toxic soup. Duck Soup actually.
    Which , last time I checked , was a great comedy. Kind of like your “blog’

  10. It wasn’t that long ago that he warned us about the dangers of fake science reporting. But, here Klinghoffer forgot to define evolution, creationism, and intelligent design. I’m sure he’ll fix it soon.

  11. “Darwinism” is a silly term, suggesting that those who accept Darwin’s theory do so because of a mystical devotion to Charles Darwin;

    I agree. However, I have a question: When I was teaching in the UK years ago, the term “Darwinism” seemed to be quite common as a synonym for the Theory of Evolution, and it didn’t seem to involve any negative connotations. I didn’t even pick up any philosophical implications. It was just another way to refer to the Theory of Evolution. Is that still the case there? Or have the Young Earth Creationists poisoned it to where British scientists avoid it?

  12. Probably at the top of the list is Liberty U of Falwell fame. So why aren’t they there? Where’s the ID labs and classes? The answer couldn’t be more obvious. Those schools are already openly teaching straight-up uncensored “goddidit” creationism and science denial so bothering with ID is pretty much redundant even if such a program could in theory be developed.

    And because Ken Ham has basically denounced IDism as creationists-avoiding-the-mention-of-God, any school which starts an “ID Institute” runs the risk of being listed in a Ham & Co. “compromising Christians and Christian schools” Hall of Shame. In fact, I’ve noticed that there are many passionate AIG-fans (i.e., “Hamites”) who even like to go further than Ham and amplify their way to maximum animosity towards any such lesser Christians. (That is, they denounce IDists even more strongly than Ham does.) They chide IDists for giving up the name of God in order to sound “scientifically respectable.” Of course, that’s laughable, but they make that accusation with a straight face because they have no idea what science is.

    True Hamites™ look down on IDists as compromised, second-class creationists. Furthermore, many of them are aware that many IDists are Old Earthers. Yikes! So a school like Liberty University (“Falwell World”) can’t afford to alienate even one out of 20 potential donors. That’s why I wouldn’t expect Liberty University to be willing to host any such ID Institute. I’d say the same of the most fundamentalist types of Christian universities.

    The most likely campus environment for a full-fledged “Intelligent Design Institute” would probably be The Master’s Seminary in California, John Macarthur’s school.

  13. The Curious Romance of Darwinism and Creationism — And Why Intelligent Design Must Be Silenced

    Silly bit of wordplay there, but Kling perhaps hits upon something. Scientists and creationists can debate at length about evidence supporting evolution vs. a young earth, philosophical arguments about literalism vs. symbolism in the bible… any number of things. Creationists have explanations for their beliefs and are open about the religious basis for those beliefs. I can imagine a true believer and a sceptic having an enjoyable evening in a pub somewhere arguing amiably over a few beers. I’ve actually done this with a friend at my workplace off and on for years – we both enjoyed it and continued being friends.

    ID, on the other hand, brings nothing to the table. An ID believer has nothing to offer as support for their position except their belief that evolution is wrong, which is not an argument for anything. In general, ID advocates support an old earth, which means they accept most of the science that also happens to support evolution. Yet they claim life is designed, which could be interesting except that is the end of it – they have no further description about how or when or why it was designed. Creationists can regale you at length with such explanations – yet IDists remain silent.

    There is no need to silence ID, they can just be ignored.

  14. Let me try out these thoughts –
    Anti-evolutionism has next to nothing to offer. As the evidence and reasoning and understanding of evolutionary biology has advanced over the last 100 years, even the die-hards have had to admit some things, such as “micro-evolution”, the reality of the past life forms represented by fossils, … If one is going to admit the reality of millions of years or the unhistoricity of the global Flood there is not even any Biblical argument against evolutionary biology.
    This means that ID, which does not insist on YEC, is left with nothing to offer.
    If I were unwilling to accept evolution, I’d realize that it was YEC or nothing.
    It’s a hard choice.
    If one takes the ID (that is, nothing) choice, one can make do with the negative advertising campaign. We all know that negative advertising works. Yet for some people, negativism is not satisfying.
    And yet, for some people, the extremes demanded of YEC are just too much.
    It’s a hard choice.

  15. ‘ “Darwinism” is a silly term, suggesting that those who accept Darwin’s theory do so because of a mystical devotion to Charles Darwin’

    Responding to this, and to Tertius, 3 Quarks Daily carried my blog on this very subject yesterday: http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2017/02/even-on-his-birthday-dont-say-darwin-unless-you-mean-it.html

  16. Professor Tertius says: “True Hamites™ look down on IDists as compromised, second-class creationists.”

    There is nothing lower than being a second-class creationist.

  17. There is nothing lower than being a second-class creationist.

    …except a third-class creationist?

  18. Responding to this, and to Tertius, 3 Quarks Daily carried my blog on this very subject yesterday: . . .

    I applaud Dr. Braterman for such a thorough compilation. His attention to detail impressed me even more when I saw the parenthetical note: “Lamoureux says no, by the way.” Not every author would be so careful. Darwinism Defeated? is a fascinating book, especially when one notices the contrasting qualifications of the authors: Most evangelicals recognize J. I. Packer as a theologian and Biblical scholar. Phillip E. Johnson is a retired lawyer. The evolution-defending author, Denis O. Lamoureux, has three doctoral degrees to his credit: dentistry, theology, and biology. Needless to say, Dr. Lamoureux makes law school professor Phillip Johnson sound even more ridiculous than Johnson usually does, yet Johnson is revered as a saint of the ID movement. (Needless to say, attorney Johnson has never bothered to learn what evolution is.)

    Moving on from that tangent, I’ve long been fascinated by the ways in which anti-evolutionists focus on Darwin as if evolutionary biology is nothing but an “I love Mr. Darwin” fan club. Consider how so many anti-evolution arguments are based on the assumption that if one can get everyone to think that Charles Darwin was a very evil man who tortured cute puppies just the fun of it, then the Theory of Evolution will have been proven wrong. Apparently, the Theory of Evolution itself is just too abstract to make a truly satisfying object of one’s hatred. Evil personified is the better way to go. Who hasn’t seen the many Darwin memes depicting Darwin’s familiar visage as an ape?

    I just love to give nose-tweaks to the Darwin-haters who work so very hard to depict Charles Darwin as the most evil villain to ever walk the earth. One of my favorite responses to the “Darwin was a despicable racist!” ranters on various Christian forums is to tell them of how Christian ministers in the USA honored Darwin with flowery eulogies from their pulpits on the Sunday following his death. We know this because American newspapers used to routinely publish [Yes, I split infinitives in my old age.] the sermons of local ministers. How did Charles Darwin earn those pastors’ praises and thanks? Throughout that era, Darwin and his extended family were the world’s #1 top-ranked donors to abolitionist causes, and most anti-slavery societies were led by Christian ministers. (e.g., Henry Ward Beecher, whose sister wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin) Royalties from Darwin’s books—yes, including that book, sponsored hundreds of thousands of scripture-filled, anti-slavery tracts which helped persuade millions of Americans to oppose slavery. You can imagine how the evolution-haters react when I tell them that the sales of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life paid for the printing of immense piles of Christian literature!

    Those are the kinds of historical facts which take all of the fun out of vilifying Darwin. I just love to watch them spit and sputter when they are forced to digest the idea of Christian ministers praising Charles Darwin for being such a virtuous, Christ-like, “defender of the oppressed African” and putting so much of his book royalties into the anti-slavery cause.

    So how do they respond to that historical evidence? Answer: The same way they respond to the scientific evidence for evolution. They deny it. I recall the otherwise typically verbose ranter who had nothing to say beyond a two-word response: “Never happened.” And if you think about it, that’s actually a brilliant strategy. The anti-evolution audience knows that Darwin was evil because he published the Theory of Evolution. So all good ministers would hate him.

    And even if some tiny percentage of anti-evolutionists would do their homework and verify the fact that Darwin donated immense sums to Abolitionist ministers, they could reason as follows: “Darwin knew that his evolution theory was being used by Satan to encourage atheism. So he probably donated his book royalties for the printing of anti-slavery tracts in hopes of buying his way out of hell!”

  19. Hold on IDiot Paul Nelson is one of the people in, Is Genesis History, a self confessed YEC.

    While the idiots have multiply creation events like the Cambrian, how about the whale creation event, how about turtles, “Sea Turtles from Pre-Turtles? No Evidence of It” all spouted by creationists.

    Perhaps I need to tell Dave on Twitter that he should get an event for this month cancelled “Undeniable: Why You Don’t Have to Be a Rocket Scientist to Know God Made Us” Featuring Dr. Douglas Axe “According to Axe, for the ingenious task of inventing life, this knower can only be God.” But that’s creationism!

  20. Changing the meaning of just one word, you get an exceptional new wrinkle to the title of this post: “Creationist Clunkers that belong to Count Klinghoffer.” The rank is fitting, and the promotion is much deserved! I bet Viscount Dembski and Baron Luskin wish they had stuck around.

  21. One should be careful about using the term “government schools,” which is a favorite of right-wing cranks who see the federal government as directly running the public schools and using them to promote Communism, atheism, “evolutionism,” “race-mixing,” etc., etc. Public schools are in fact run by local municipalities, with input from state governments and considerably less from the feds.