The Discovery Institute’s War on Reality


We haven’t had a good vomit opportunity since The Creationist Vomit Show from Seattle, and we keep getting email demanding another. Okay, your Curmudgeon hears you. By a stroke of good fortune, we found one at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog, and it’s a classic.

All right, Vomiteers, get ready for a new episode of the Creationist Vomit Show — on location in Seattle! — hosted by your humble Curmudgeon. The Discoveroids’ title is Now It’s a “War on Children” — Critics of Academic Freedom Opt for Scare Tactics, written by Sarah Chaffee (whom we call “Savvy Sarah”). Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

An article in Digital Journal [Republican anti-science bills target schools in four states] advances the familiar misconceptions about academic freedom legislation. But its title stands out even from what we’re accustomed to from the media: “Republican ‘war on science’ targets children in four more states.”

Anyone with any common sense would object to the gruesome and indecent image — a war that targets children? Fine, let them disagree about the advisability of these laws. But this wording is a prime example of scare tactics, also known as the fallacy of appeal to fear.

[*Audience squirms and squeals with delight*] The article Savvy Sarah cites is about several Discoveroid-inspired academic freedom bills that we’ve been writing about. We’ve critiqued such legislation in the Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws. Then she says:

As a matter of fact, these bills aid children. How else would you characterize legislation that encourages critical thinking skills that young people will find to be vital in adult life?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! On with the show! Savvy Sarah tells us:

Additionally, both the Digital Journal article and an Ars Technica article that it references say academic freedom legislation opens the door to non-scientific information. That is wrong. [Hee hee!] … As we have pointed out many times in the past, these bills do not permit religion in the classroom. Additionally, there is real scientific controversy over evolutionary theory’s Modern Synthesis. (See Casey Luskin’s article, for a start, “The Top Ten Scientific Problems with Biological and Chemical Evolution.”)

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We wrote about Casey’s Top Ten problems with evolution here: Casey’s Evidence for Intelligent Design. Skipping a bit, Savvy Sarah ends with this:

Plainly, academic freedom laws like those in Louisiana and Tennessee do not give shelter to teaching creationism. This kind of “reporting” does not help or educate anyone.

That’s it, Vomiteers — wasn’t it fun? [*Yes!*] Now, for the climax of the show — the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Your Curmudgeon will pull this magic chain and release a flood of creationist vomit upon the studio audience. Ready? [*Yes!*] Here it comes! [*Curmudgeon pulls chain. Whoosh! Plop! Bluuuuhhh!*]

Wasn’t that great? [*Yes!*] Okay, Vomiteers, you can take off your costumes now. We’ll let you know when the next episode is available. And if you don’t yet have your official Vomiteer costume, be sure to visit the Curmudgeon’s gift shop.

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

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10 responses to “The Discovery Institute’s War on Reality

  1. Excuse me for asking but what about all those ID accusations that evolution is responsible for Hitler, WWI, racism, etc. all ably documented by our Curmudgeon? Those aren’t appeals to fear? What about Christianity’s claim that all who do not “accept” Jesus are condemned to eternal hellfire? That’s not an appeal to fear? That’s the fun thing about fanatics, totally incapable of understanding how what they believe could be wrong or bad.

  2. Oh, and I forgot: “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” Enough said!

  3. Michael Fugate

    Speaking of critical thinking, Klinghoffer has another in his long series of articles – lacking any thinking let alone the critical kind – about evolution. He links to a Ted talk by a physicist who says some questions in physics remain unanswered. Klinghoffer then missing the entire point of the talk – the point of the talk being that the answers will not be found in the Newtonian past, but by thinking in entirely novel ways – claims evolution would be replaced by ID if only biologists didn’t believe they had all the answers. Comic as usual – believing in his tiny little brain ID is the only alternative and if he can just “anti” evolution enough, ID wins.

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    We sat near the front row of a Blueman Group show and had to wear a poncho. At least those guys were purposefully trying to get us sprayed. The DI is unawares of their stomach-retching effect.

  5. David Williams

    I find it amusing that the Discovery Institute thinks that they can replace the Theory Of Evolution with their twaddle.

  6. Uhm. Am I missing something here?
    I looked at both the articles that Sarah mentions and neither includes the word “war” in the title. Perhaps they changed the title after Sarah got stuck into to them.
    Or perhaps this is a case of never letting the facts get in the way of a good argument.

  7. Mea Culpa…
    A correction – Digital Journal doesn’t have the word “war” in their title, but it IS in the URL "republican-war-on-science-targets-children-in-4-more-states".

    Indeed, Sarah, I will go so far as to say that it was inappropriate, wrong and misleading, that Digital Journal should have referred to war and children in the same sentence. Unforgivable. Perhaps only slightly less unforgivable than your own self-righteous beat up.

    Though, fair's fair, I've got to hand it to you about the bit where you talked about encouraging critical thinking skills that young people will find to be vital in adult life – that was inspired. Surely the White House has been on the phone (oops, leaks!); but they'd make the trip in person if they thought they could get you to join the White House Communications Office. Move over, Sean Spicer, eh!!

    On the other hand, my dear Sarah, let's both admit that the underlying issue is not the children at all. It is about the maintaining integrity of the education system, about rejecting political interference in the development of curricula, and the importance of recognising the difference between science and psuedo-science. Hmm. I really do think that call from the White House can't be far away. I mean you're the complete package because, as they say, once you can fake sincerity, you've got it made.

  8. Yikes – sorry readers.
    Those bloody inline formatting codes… that’s the last time I try and bold something!

    [*Voice from above*] Calm down. All is well.

  9. Ross Cameron

    Critical thinking? Disinformatsia–an old KGB ruse.