The Discoveroids Continue Celebrating

The Discovery Institute is still celebrating their ten year-old victory in Louisiana. We just posted Discoveroids Celebrate Ten Years of ‘Success’, and their riotous self-congratulations are continuing. This just appeared at their creationist blog: West: Louisiana Science Education Act Is Important as a “Stereotype Breaker”, written by Klinghoffer. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

This week we’re celebrating the tenth anniversary of the passage of the Louisiana Science Education Act. It was a turning point in the effort to secure academic freedom for science teachers. That effort was never going to be an overnight success, but the LSEA marked an important beginning.

Wowie — it was a turning point and an important beginning. Then he says:

Why is it important? In a conversation for ID the Future, John West and Sarah Chaffee discuss the act, adapted from model language by the Center for Science & Culture, and why it matters.

Fortunately, we don’t have to listen to that podcast, because Klinghoffer summarizes it for us:

A point Dr. West makes is that the LSEA was a “stereotype breaker.” [Ooooooooooooh!] Stereotypes are of course one of the top weapons that Darwinists have in their arsenal for discouraging resistance to evolutionary dogma. You don’t want to be one of those science-denying creationist fundamentalists, do you?

Heavens no! We’re afraid of being a victim of Darwinist stereotypes. By the way, if you don’t know who John West is, see Buffoon Award Winner — John West. Okay, back to Klinghoffer. He tells us:

In fact, West notes, the LSEA shattered clichés like that in several ways. For one, it enjoyed broad bipartisan support — it was not a matter of Republicans versus Democrats. That’s got to be one reason it has resisted attempts at repeal led by activist Zack Kopplin, who has since moved on to other pursuits … . For another, it enjoyed support from scientists. [Hee hee!] It was, again, not a battle of citizens versus science.

As we’ve noted before, when the LSEA was passed, both houses of the Louisiana legislature were Democrat controlled, and the thing was passed almost unanimously. It was bipartisan creationist lunacy. Klinghoffer continues:

Finally, it was not “anti-science” at all but on the contrary, pro-science: that is, if by science you mean an enterprise entailing critical, objective analysis and weighing of evidence.

That’s more creationist Doublespeak. And now we come to the end:

In fact, the LSEA took inspiration from Darwin himself, who wrote that in scientific inquiries, “a fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! A classic example of creationist quote-mining. It comes at the beginning of the Origin of Species, sixth edition: Introduction. The portion mined by Klinghoffer is shown in red font. Darwin says:

I can here give only the general conclusions at which I have arrived, with a few facts in illustration, but which, I hope, in most cases will suffice. No one can feel more sensible than I do of the necessity of hereafter publishing in detail all the facts, with references, on which my conclusions have been grounded; and I hope in a future work to do this. For I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question; and this is here impossible.

Well, dear reader, we’ll let you decide if Darwin wanted creationism taught along with his work. Anyway, the Discoveroids have smashed through the Darwinist stereotype and their generous patrons are probably motivated to keep the funds flowing.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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20 responses to “The Discoveroids Continue Celebrating

  1. Ross Cameron

    ‘A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question’. O.k., I did that. Evos-10, ID-nil.

  2. Karl Goldsmith (@KarlGoldsmith)

    If Louisiana education is ranked 47th then how is that something to celebrate?

  3. From what I can tell the LSEA has had no effect on science education at all. What creationism that has been pushed has been by the usual suspects: schools that have a religious bias already. To my knowledge no teacher or district has invoked the LSEA as a defense.

  4. “secure academic freedom for science teachers”
    Brrrrrr. Most science teachers aren’t academics and if they are they don’t do scientific research. Science teachers should not have academic freedom at all; they should teach the contemporary state of scientific knowledge.
    Really, were I a teacher physics in Louisiana I would spend a lesson, maybe two, on Flat Earth Theory. ‘Cuz szientivic fried dom.

  5. Flat Earth Theory offers an excellent opportunity to show how science comes to correct conclusions and likely could be successfully taught in that context. Unfortunately, with its close ties to religion and with today’s increasing deference to christian religion in the courts, creationism can’t also be so used. Sigh.

  6. “You don’t want to be one of those science-denying creationist fundamentalists, do you?”

    That’s pretty rich, coming from someone who identifies as an Orthodox Jew. Presumably, Klinghoffer takes the Torah- or at least, the Pentateuch- to be the literal, divinely inspired word of Yahweh, which sounds like a definition of fundamentalist to me.

    Ol’ science-denying, creationist-by-stealth Klinghoffer, shooting from the hip again, trying to create distinctions where they don’t actually exist.

  7. @Scientist: yes, if “Teach the Controversy” means “Demonstrate why Creacrap , including IDiocy, is not science” you’re totally right. Somehow I suspect that’s not what Klinkleclapper has in mind.

  8. @Scientist
    You bring up a couple of good points.
    But I think that it would take a mature student to get the point about the Flat Earth being falsified hypothesis. I don’t know, but my guess is that young kids would just be confused, and older kids would just think that the teacher is an idiot. I bet that even a lot of college students could not understand. I hope that I am underestimating.

  9. Michael Fugate

    Aren’t we looking for mature students? Isn’t that what our goal should be? Students who understand the evidence and can explain why the earth is not flat or life on earth share common ancestry? If students don’t understand, then it is indoctrination not education. It takes more time and sure some students will be frustrated, but the end result is a better student.

  10. “Aren’t we looking for mature students?”
    No, teachers are helping kids to mature. That said they should not underestimate especially teens either. I think Scientist and TomS aren’t really contradicted each other.
    1. You can teach stuff like creationism and FEt with the purpose to clarify how the scientific method works – ie why they are crap.
    2. You can teach them (though honestly I have a hard time imagining it) as serious alternatives to the scientific consensus.
    Scientist is talking about the first; Klinkleclapper and me above about the second.

  11. Michael Fugate

    We are looking for mature students as a goal…

  12. Holding The Line In Florida

    Every Oct 23d I teach “Happy Birthday Earth” to demonstrate how Ussher did the best he could under the time and circumstances, but how spectacularly wrong he was. I show my student’s (7th Graders 12-13 year olds) that he wasn’t dumb, but really pretty smart, but he just didn’t have information that they, as 7th Grade Students in 2018, have. I then show them how James Hutton a hundred years later used new information and ideas, developed the beginnings of modern geology. I constantly use examples like the evolution of the ideas of disease to demonstrate that things change over time as new technology comes available. How scientific knowledge changes is one of the state standards, and one that I teach with relish!

  13. @FrankB
    I did not intend to object to anything that @Scientist said.

  14. Holding The Line In Florida, that’s similar to the way Asimov wrote his science books. He did it historically, showing how knowledge progressed over the centuries through the work of individual researchers. As a side benefit, he said that he rarely needed to issue new editions, because the content of those books didn’t change, except for the most recent chapters.

  15. Holding The Line In Florida

    @SC. Yep I always make a point to show the year of the text book’s publication. The last I had was over ten years old. I constantly add to information to the book staying abreast of the latest developments in my curriculum. It is a good way of showing that knowledge is ever changing. One of the complaints I sometimes receive (especially from chronic absentees is “That’s not in the book!” I simply smile and say ,”Yep, Science always is changing! You should make a point of attending class more regularly!”

  16. @Holding et al. In many instances the historical approach works well to show how scientific knowledge is accumulated and explanations change, as for example with the shape of the earth. The approach is probably better used with older students who have some concept of history. For younger students teacher friends tell me there are many exercises/demonstrations that can be used with them. And, I’ve seen first hand many very sharp elementary students at the natural history museum who really do seem to get it. It would likely help if elementary teachers were better trained in science (especially for hands on science, rather than rote; and if they didn’t have so many other responsibilities) and if there were more opportunities for field trips for kids to observe real science. Unfortunately, there will always be flat-earthers, creationists, and quacks.

  17. Michael Fugate

    It is so typical of the DI to use Darwin’s authority as a scientist in an attempt to undermine the science that made Darwin an authority in the first place.

  18. I don’t want to be negative about the Flat-Earth proposal, but there are some dangers. I hope that these are addressed.
    1. The kids go home and say that their teacher told them that the Earth is flat. Either the kids believe it, because their teacher said so, or the kids think that their teacher is really stupid.
    2. The teacher tells them the old canard about Columbus proving that the Earth is round, agaist the superstitious sailors and/or ignorant scholars and the churches.
    3. The teacher teaches a Whiggish History of scholarship.

  19. Michael Fugate

    Another problem associated with whiggism is “great man syndrome” – Darwin relied on correspondence with hundreds of scientists and couldn’t have done his work without their willingness to share. He also got things wrong because he lacked good data or good ideas for experiments. Science is only as good as the data available, the questions we ask and our ability to attempt an answer. Sometimes, like the DI, we want something to be true and make sure we ignore evidence to the contrary.

  20. Quote mining? Not Klinghoffer. Oh dear.