Valentine’s Day at the Discovery Institute

Things must be glum in the Seattle headquarters of the Discovery Institute, which occupies some dingy offices above a gymnasium. To begin with, they have no influence with the Governor of their state. As reported by our friends at the National Center for Science Education, Darwin Day declared in Washington.

Now they’ve posted about their attitude on Valentine’s Day. Aside from its theological roots, Valentine’s Day has become associated with romantic love, sending greeting cards, floral bouquets, etc. But not for Darwinists! Look at the title of the new essay at their creationist blog: What Darwinists Don’t Tell You: Valentine’s Day Edition, written by Klinghoffer. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Darwinism is replete with salesmanship, some of it thoroughly deceptive. [Hee hee!] Pushing the false dichotomy of evolution versus Young Earth Creationism, as if there were no alternative to these two, is one way that evolutionists bully and mislead non-scientists.

[*Groan*] Yes, there are trivial variations in creationist dogma but none of it really matters. The Discoveroids’ entire campaign was built upon constructing a facade that deliberately avoided the glaring indicia of religion (reliance on scripture, etc.) in the hope that by presenting themselves as a “scientific” enterprise, they could find a way into the public schools and undermine science.

But there’s no doubt that they’re a bunch of creationists. It’s all spelled out in their founding manifesto, the Wedge Document. Here’s a scan of the original: The Wedge (pdf document), which begins with a graphic of Michelangelo’s God creating Adam. It starts with a long Introduction:

The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western civilization was built. … Yet a little over a century ago, this cardinal idea came under wholesale attack by intellectuals drawing on the discoveries of modern science.

[…]

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.

Klinghoffer quotes Tom Bethell as an authority about how it’s the evolutionists who are lying about their motives. We’ll skip that. Then he says:

Similarly, only the most perilously candid evolutionists are in your face about another straightforward inference from materialism: the denial of free will.

Uh huh. Evolution means we have no free will. Your Curmudgeon was compelled to write this, and you are compelled to read it. After quoting Bethell again, Klinghoffer quotes one of the Discoveroids’ principal adversaries:

This bleak vision, the human being as meat machine, is on vivid display, though mixed with a clumsy childlike enthusiasm, in the writing of emeritus University of Chicago evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne. On Darwin Day, for instance, he chided me for the hope that evidence of design will overcome Darwinian censorship: “I’m sorry to say that, I think, Klinghoffer will go to his Maker (disassociated molecules) before a teleological view of life permeates evolutionary biology.”

About which he remarks:

Imagine trying to sell “disassociated molecules” to the public, with their human intuitions, fears, and longings. Darwinists like Coyne or Dawkins, Bethell observes, are their own worst enemies.

Klinghoffer continues by quoting thoughts about Valentine’s Day from his Discoveroid colleague, Jonathan Witt:

When Darwinian science conquers all, we will view the human brain as just the “product of genetic evolution by natural selection.” … So what becomes of Valentine’s Day, of all of those romantic longings and pledges to love, honor and protect, maybe even till death do us part? … But Darwinian science goes further. It insists the stuff of Valentine’s Day is all glands and instincts, and beneath those, all brain chemistry — a soulless concoction of matter and energy stirred up in the alchemist’s lab we call evolution.

Grim, huh? Let’s read on, as Klinghoffer summarizes the ghastly Darwinian belief system:

Of course, it would have to be that way. A materialist understanding of evolution robs us of virtually everything that makes life rich and worth living, if we’re honest about it with ourselves. What, really, is left? Eating? Animal rutting? Pursuing status or dominance in a manner hardly different from the way chimps and chickens do?

Does that describe you, dear reader? Klinghoffer claims it does. Our last excerpt is from the end of Klinghoffer’s Valentine’s Day message:

Darwinism asks us to doubt, to deny, our own intuitions and experiences. Intelligent design cheerfully affirms them.

[…]

Meanwhile, intelligent design is not permitted to make its own scientific case. Or when it does so, ID scientists are put down by censors or drowned out by media spokesmen with endless chants of “creationist, creationist, creationist.” What a mad world!

And so, dear reader, this being Valentine’s Day, your Curmudgeon does what any good evolutionist does. He assumes a threatening, dominant stance, snarls, and utters: “Oook, oook! Rut rut!” It’s the Darwinian way. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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

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31 responses to “Valentine’s Day at the Discovery Institute

  1. If the DI had any intuition, wouldn’t it conclude that either all species have eternal life or none do and not that one one out of billions does? What are the odds, they they keep harping on? The same with their privileged planet nonsense.

  2. “Meanwhile, intelligent design is not permitted to make its own scientific case. Or when it does so…”

    Wait, somebody made a scientific case for ID? I must have missed it.

    No, wait, I see it: Intelligent design is correct because it makes people feel good about themselves. That’s the scientific case for ID.

  3. It insists the stuff of Valentine’s Day is all glands and instincts, and beneath those, all brain chemistry — a soulless concoction of matter and energy stirred up in the alchemist’s lab we call evolution.

    Yep, that’s about it. And your point, Kankerwanker, is what?

  4. One of the prime characteristics of the ID/creationists that has stood out over the years is their propensity to attribute to “evolutionists” various evil motives, feelings, beliefs, “philosophies,” and rigid dogmas that demonize, in the “thoughts” of their mindless followers, everyone else in the secular world.

    But this tactic is called projection; it describes perfectly the state of mind of the ID/creationist making the accusations, and it has now become vogue in our current political climate.

    Klinkhoffer is just one one of the tortured souls in the ID/creationist movement lashing out at a world they stubbornly refuse to comprehend. He can only drag his gullible followers down with him because he doesn’t know – and apparently doesn’t want to know – which way is up.

  5. Klinkhoffer is just one one of the tortured souls in the ID/creationist movement lashing out at a world

    You know what the sad thing is about Kinkletinkle? We’re the only people who care about him (probably in a perverse way). Creationists use each other. They’re totally antisocial. So, who gives the Klink love on Valentine’s Day? That would be us. (or is it “that would be we?”) In any case, everybody, let’s wish Klooperpooper a jolly old St. V Day, and I’d be the first in line to give him a big kiss, except I don’t have the flu, so, forget it.

  6. Klinghoffer confuses intelligent design with Christianity – even though he claims not to be a Christian. Why does intelligent design lead one to an expectation of eternal life? The human model is to toss something when it wears out – it is non-intelligence that appears to care about keeping items in cycles – intelligence is acts much more linearly. Nature was doing the whole reduce, reuse, recycle thing long before humans starting thinking.

  7. Our Curmudgeon

    assumes a threatening, dominant stance, snarls, and utters: “Oook, oook! Rut rut!”

    Yes–and Olivia was in therapy for years after that notorious first and only date with you…

  8. Sorry Mr Kling2schite but ValintineDay has nothing to do with love, as it is like xmas another pagan day stolen by xtians for their purposes. The pagan form is a LOT more fun!!

  9. One of the rejoinders to many of the attacks on evolution is to point out the fallacies of composition and division.
    Evolution is about populations, species, clades, not individuals.
    Individuals are creatures of God, individuals think, hope, love. Collectives do not.

  10. “Klinghoffer’s Valentine’s Day message: Darwinism asks us to doubt, to deny, our own intuitions and experiences. Intelligent design cheerfully affirms them.”
    Could he give us a clearer denial that ID has anything to do with science? Not Darwinism in particular, but simply the scientific method in general, demands that we doubt and, if necessary, deny our naive impressions and intuitions. Has he never been taken in by an optical illusion? Has he never thought that he saw an animal, but realised on closer examination that it was just moving shadows and wind-blown leaves?

  11. Surely Valentine’s is a bad one on which to complain about denial of free will. Is this not an excellent day on which to declare to ones beloved, “I cannot help but love you!” — a clear denial of free will.

  12. Intelligent design does not tell us anything about our intuitions, feelings, experiences. It is no better about those than about our bodies and relationships with the rest of the world of life.
    All that ID can do is to complain about evolution. As if complaints were enough.

  13. “What, really, is left?”
    Everything we always have been doing, Klinkleclapper – and that includes the creacrap you keep on producing.

  14. Klinghoffer: “Of course, it would have to be that way. A materialist understanding of evolution robs us of virtually everything that makes life rich and worth living…”

    There’s so much equivocation going on in Klinghoffer’s essay that it’s difficult to follow, but I assume that here that he means that given ID, dualism follows as true.

    Besides being a non-sequitur, I’ve never understood how knowing what something really is robs that something of whatever pleasure or meaning we derive from it. And what exactly does adding some magical ghost into the equation do to save that pleasure or meaning?

    Basically, Klinghoffer’s argument boils down to the one that Keats alludes to in his poem Lamia–that “unweaving the rainbow” by understanding it, robs it of its value.

    How exactly does being aware of the electromagnetic spectrum and refraction disallow appreciation of a rainbow? Likewise, how does being aware of how and why we love rob that emotion of meaning??

  15. Reflectory says: “There’s so much equivocation going on in Klinghoffer’s essay that it’s difficult to follow …”

    Indeed. The strangest thing is his claim that we have free will only if the universe (and ourselves) are the product of a designer; but without such an all-powerful entity, we don’t.

  16. Indeed @Reflectory & SC
    Somehow, knowing that I am designed by the omnipotent makes me feel better.

  17. “how does being aware of how and why we love rob that emotion of meaning?”
    Biochemistry student 1: We learned today that the emotion of love is mediated by (chemicals/hormones I don’t remember).
    Biochemistry student 2: See! I told you love was real.

  18. Comments like Kling’s can be tested. The countries with the highest proportion of population that believes evolution is true are the Scandinavian countries, Denmark, France, the UK, and Japan. Do people in those countries believe themselves to be “meat machines?” Do they not feel romantic love, are they less moved by music and the arts? Do they just toss their dead into the ground to become disassociated molecules without a second thought?

    Do surveys, conduct reviews of literature and entertainment created in these countries, examine the extent to which these citizens take care of their families, love their children, give to charities, protect their poor, etc. etc. etc.

    Of course, the DI relies on its intuition to discern truth, not on empirical evidence. Or – probably most of the time – they rely on the invention of alternate facts, a.k.a. lies, to support an assertion they know is not true. It is unfortunate because here is something they could actually study, if they were even a fraction scientific in their approach to the world.

  19. Omnipotent one: I missed a closing parenthesis. Is there forgiveness?

    [*Voice from above*] But of course!

  20. michaelfugate

    Can one exercise free will under the threat of eternal torture?

  21. Some people say I have some “disassociated molecules” after reviewing a few (but not all) of my comments on the curmudgeon’s posts. Could be. However I can still tell the difference between creationist fraud and actual science. Good enough for me, and thanks for the forbearance …..WIll

  22. Every time a person dies from disease, it`s a condemnation of a ‘kind, loving god’. i.e. he doesn`t exist. Every time a person is saved from disease, it`s a confirmation of science.

  23. @michaelfugate
    Does one exercise free will in Heaven?
    @Ed
    How about comparisons between US states? How about changes over time?

  24. michaelfugate

    Can one rebel in heaven? What if God wasn’t who one expected? Could one give it all up? Could the boredom of eternal life drive one to hell? I doubt one will ever find out.

  25. I’ve said it before: “intelligent design” isn’t a theory; it’s a legal tactic, devised to get around all those pesky court rulings barring creationism from being taught as science in public schools.
    Moving on:

    Meanwhile, intelligent design is not permitted to make its own scientific case. Or when it does so, ID scientists are put down by censors or drowned out by media spokesmen with endless chants of “creationist, creationist, creationist.” What a mad world!

    Yup, it’s a mad world, all right, when people can claim there actually is a “scientific case” for ID and when ID’erss can insist that they are not, not, NOT creationists when they very obviously are–by definition, since they believe in a supernatural Designer identical in attributes to the God of the Bible.

  26. Dave seems confused, his omniscient designer would deny free will.

  27. KevinCKlinghoffer:
    “The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western civilization was built.”

    Whaa?!? The Greeks and the Romans got Western civilization rolling just fine without any such reference.

  28. Oops! Forgot to close the italics. My I beseech the Mighty Hand to reach down and correct my errant ways? Thank you!

    [*Voice from above*] All is well, my son.

  29. Klinghoffer won’t be happy about this one remembering the Dover trial:
    http://www.ydr.com/story/opinion/columnists/mike-argento/2017/02/09/dover-id-case-plaintiff-worries-devos-column/97684388/

    The trial wasn’t even a close call, the legal equivalent of a toddler stepping into the ring with Mike Tyson. Jones’ decision, issued in December 2005, was more than a sharp rebuke of the idea of intelligent design. It scorched the earth. The idea that any public school would even think about adopting something that gives even junk science a bad name became preposterous. That Dover was saddled with a legal bill of more than $1 million also served as more than adequate deterrent.

  30. Holding the Line in Florida

    Hey I know it is past Darwin Day, but does anyone still have access to that wonderful “Darwin Day Temple of Doom Sacrifice” video? Me thinks it was about a year ago when I saw it. Been looking around but can’t find it. Would love to see that again! The worshippers chanting “Darwin! Darwin!” while the IDiot was being lowered into the fire pit was simply fantastic!

  31. My wife and I enjoy rutting on V-Day. Strictly monogamous. Just like geese.