Discoveroids Pervert the 4th of July Again

As expected, the Discovery Institute is once again hijacking Thomas Jefferson, perverting his views and the meaning of the American Revolution. We rebutted much of the same nonsense last year — see Discoveroids’ Fourth of July Creationism Lesson.

This year, their perversion of history is written by Stephen Meyer. His Discoveroid titles have changed over the years, but as their bio page indicates, he’s one of their senior fellows, and he’s currently the Program Director of their Center for Science and Culture — that’s the Discoveroids’ creationism shop.

It should not be forgotten that Meyer was a central figure in the infamous Sternberg peer review controversy. And as we reported here, Meyer was one of three creationist “experts” who were on the 6-member panel selected by Don McLeroy to testify before the Texas Board of Education regarding standards for science education.

Okay, you know what we’re dealing with. Meyer’s new post is We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

On Independence Day, it’s appropriate to review the sources of our rights as citizens. There is one source that is more basic than any other, yet that receives less than the attention it deserves. I refer to the idea that there is an intelligent creator who can be known by reason from nature, a key tenet underlying the Declaration of Independence — as well as, curiously, the modern theory of intelligent design.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The Declaration of Independence is all about intelligent design. Great start! Then he says:

The birth of our republic was announced in the Declaration through the pen of Thomas Jefferson. He and the other Founders based their vision on a belief in an intrinsic human dignity, bestowed by virtue of our having been made according to the design and in the image of a purposeful creator.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Creationists love to quote-mine and pervert the Declaration. We’ve discussed that before — see this from four years ago: Discoveroids Again Hijack the Fourth of July. After that, Meyer tells us:

Jefferson himself thought that there was scientific evidence for design in nature. In 1823, he insisted so in a letter to John Adams:

[Mined quote:] I hold (without appeal to revelation) that when we take a view of the Universe, in its parts general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to perceive and feel a conviction of design, consummate skill, and indefinite power in every atom of its composition.


It is impossible, I say, for the human mind not to believe that there is, in all this, design, cause and effect, up to an ultimate cause, a fabricator of all things from matter and motion.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The Discoveroids have used that letter before. We discussed part of it four years ago in Discoveroids Again Hijack the Fourth of July, and the other part seven years ago in Discovery Institute’s False Fourth of July. Meyer continues:

Taken to heart, Darwin’s view of man does undermine the vision of the Founders. As evolutionary biologist George Gaylord Simpson explained, Darwinism denies evidence of design and shows instead that man is the product of a “purposeless process that did not have him mind.” Fortunately, discoveries in modern biology have challenged this perspective and vindicated Jefferson’s thinking.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Darwin’s theory undermines the vision of the Founders. Let’s read on:

No theory of undirected chemical evolution has explained the origin of the digital information in DNA needed to build the first living cell on earth. Yet we know from repeated experience — the basis of all scientific reasoning — that information invariably arises from minds rather than from material processes.

Information! BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s creationist pixie-dust, lovingly inserted into our DNA by the intelligent designer — blessed be he! And now we come to the end:

The growing evidence of design in life has stunning and gratifying implications for our understanding of America’s political history — and for our country’s future. On the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the evidence for “Nature’s God,” and thus for the reality of our rights, is stronger than ever.

So there you are. We hope that doesn’t ruin the day for you, dear reader. Don’t be too upset — it’s only creationism.

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

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15 responses to “Discoveroids Pervert the 4th of July Again

  1. “Taken to heart, Darwin’s view of man does undermine the vision of the Founders.”
    And why would I care? I’m not American. Come to think of it, the vast majority of the human population isn’t.

    “We hope that doesn’t ruin the day for you.”
    On the contrary. WaffleMeyer brightens up this otherwise mundane day of mine.

  2. Michael Fugate

    Pure make-believe – I think it is time for the DI to rename itself the Delusional Institute.

    As with mnbo, so what if it does undermine the vision of the founders? The founders weren’t gods and the US Constitution is not the revealed word of any gods – just a document written by intelligent, educated, but fallible men of their time.

  3. robnorman2015

    His rhetoric conflates the human condition with US citizenship. This is annoying and parochial enough to anyone from outside Planet America, even before you get around to all the logical fallacies.

  4. Michael Fugate

    And speaking of quotes taken out of context or just made up – did the 4th of July Hobby Lobby ad show up in your newspaper today? Theocrats unite!

  5. I wonder how many people of the 18th century thought lie the prefromationists, that each iperson, indeed each living thing, was individually formed at the beginning of creation. That was compatible with the common deism of the time. Whatever, the words of Jefferson had nothing to do with the origins of species. One should be careful of the fallacies of composition and division, and distinguish between the individual and the collective.

  6. With all of this argument recycling any chance the Discoveroids are just trying to be green?

  7. Gosh, weren’t Thomas Jefferson and Charles Darwin communicating with each other, maybe even on Facebook? They frequently exchanged their ideas, but TJ was bound by the level of science at the time while CD knew far more, but apparently failed to enlighten TJ.

    True, too, the Declaration of Independence references a “Creator” of some sort, open of course to the reader’s interpretation of that, but the point was that the to be newly formed nation was splitting from the old establishment and needed justification. Since the colonies couldn’t appeal to the King as the King was the ultimate authority at the time, they had to go over his head, so to speak, and invoke a creator, who by the way gave the King of Engliand the right to be the sovereign of England and enslave all the English people as well as those in the new land and elsewhere.

  8. I will take this opportunity to point out some numerology of history.
    TJ (as well as John Adams) died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.
    CD published “Origin of Species” when he was 50 years old, in 1859. CD was born on the same day and year as Abraham Lincoln.
    CD was aware of AL, but I don’t know whether AL was aware of CD. AL died in 1865, so it is possible, but AL was rather busy during those days.

  9. Since I have collected a number of Thomas Jefferson quotes I thought that I should share them here. Oddly enough, they don’t seem to agree much with the proclamations of the Dishonesty Institute.

    “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.”

    “The Christian god is a three-headed monster, cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three-headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites.”

    “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.” ~ Thomas Jefferson wrote, in a letter to John Adams (April 11, 1823)

    And here is a John Adams quote that the Dishonesty Institute seems to have “accidentally” overlooked:
    “The government of the United States is not ,IN ANY SENSE, founded on the Christian religion.”

  10. Eric Lipps

    Taken to heart, Darwin’s view of man does undermine the vision of the Founders. As evolutionary biologist George Gaylord Simpson explained, Darwinism denies evidence of design and shows instead that man is the product of a “purposeless process that did not have him [in] mind.” Fortunately, discoveries in modern biology have challenged this perspective and vindicated Jefferson’s thinking.

    So we’re supposed to believe God created the universe in order for us to exist?

    even the Bible doesn’t support that; the King James Version merely says (verse 27): “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Which raises an interesting question, for it implies that men and women were created at the same time, contradicting the rib story later on.) The Holy Word then goes on to ordain a vegetarian diet for all humans and animals, lions and tigers and bears oh my! included: “29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
    30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.”

    Hard-core creationists natter on about how the Bible is true word-for-word exactly as written, but they don’t really read it that way.

  11. davidambrose

    Thank you for the Jefferson quotes.
    SC, the creatins will twist anything they think (do they actually think?) will be of any use to them and their delusions of some fictions doG.
    I like dogs well enough, but prefer cats above other critters, and WAY better than any sort of religious fundies.

  12. Ross Cameron

    One of the characteristics of a major delusion is that you will duck and weave, twist and turn, rather than even consider contrary evidence. And if you run out of new ideas, there`s always revisiting the old.

  13. Let me play Deity’s Advocate. Jefferson did indeed speak of a Creator, whom he regarded as a designer. This did not of course stop him from regarding Christianity as nonsense, and the United States as a secular entity.

    And then let me also remind you that the man who wrote that “all men are created equal” owned slaves. As Samuel Johnson put it, “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?”

  14. Ceteris Paribus

    @ Paul Braterman –
    Double Plus Extra Good post! Think I will take another day off and celebrate rationality, while my town cleans up the debris from yesterday’s ritual July 4th blowout.

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    Self-driving cars may soon be able to make moral and ethical decisions as humans do