The Discoveroids and Thomas Jefferson, Again

They did it last year — see Discoveroids Pervert the 4th of July Again and they’ve done it before. It began nine years ago with Thomas Jefferson Joins The Discovery Institute!

The Discoveroids are once again hijacking Thomas Jefferson, perverting his views and the meaning of the American Revolution. The latest in this shameful series was posted at their creationist blog on the Fourth: We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident. As with some of the earlier versions, it was written by Stephen Meyer. This one even has the same title as his similar post last year.

Meyer’s Discoveroid job description has changed over the years, but as their bio page indicates, he’s one of their senior fellows and currently the Program Director of their Center for Science and Culture — that’s their creationism shop. It should not be forgotten that Meyer was a central figure in the infamous Sternberg peer review controversy. Here are some excerpts from his new post, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

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.

Amazing, isn’t it? The American Revolution was based on intelligent design! Whoa — hold on a minute! This year’s post is a duplicate of what Meyer wrote last year. We’ve been duped!

Okay, two can play that game. We’ll remind you of a few of our own posts from the past. First there’s Thomas Jefferson on Young-Earth Creationism, in which we quoted extensively from his Notes on the State of Virginia, and then said:

Jefferson, when confronted with the peculiarity of fossil seashells on mountaintops, rejected all three hypotheses which were current in his day: (1) the Flood, because there was no evidence for it; (2) geological convulsions (the correct answer) because the science of geology was then unknown; and (3) Voltaire’s spontaneous generation, which seemed ridiculous. Then, to his great credit, he declared that “Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, then he who believes what is wrong.”

We also wrote The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. It was Jefferson’s work. We quoted the statute in its entirety, after which we said:

[T]hose who try to rewrite American history to assert a theocratic meaning for Jefferson’s Declaration and (largely) Madison’s Constitution and Bill of Rights are strangely silent about this statute.

This is the last paragraph of Meyer’s duplicate post:

The growing evidence of design in life [Hee hee!] 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.

The Discoveroids are not only — shall we say — somewhat deficient regarding science, but their understanding of America’s founding is also in need of some heavy-duty work. In that regard, inspired by Meyer’s repetition, we’ll wrap this up by referring you to one of our own favorites: Is America a “Christian Nation”?

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

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12 responses to “The Discoveroids and Thomas Jefferson, Again

  1. Michael Fugate

    It is as if the DI’s education stopped in the mid 18th c.

  2. “stunning and gratifying implications for our country’s future.”
    Is he talking it’s decline, that this year is accelerated by Donald the Clown?

  3. How long can he resist from appearing in the uniform of the General Admiral of the Space Force with the Presidental Medal of Freedom?

  4. Most people don’t think it’s curious that the “modern theory of intelligent design” refers to God, because that’s what it was devised for in the first place. Once again a Tooter admits ID is religion.

  5. “All men were created equal”, from a slave-owner. That’s always puzzled me

  6. Eric Lipps

    What always amazes me about creationists (well, once of the many things, anyway) is their complete obliviousness to one simple fact: that even if God exists, that doesn’t prove evolution didn’t happen. Only if you read the Bible literally do you have to arrive at that conclusion—and if you read the Bible literally, you’re soon drowning in absurdities such as a worldwide Flood which somehow drowned even the top of Mount Everest in forty days (even the ridiculous Waterworld didn’t go quite that far), people being turned into actual pillars of salt, donkeys talking (see the story of Balaam in Numbers 22;21-39) and so on.

  7. @Eric Lippps
    Yes, but the Bible does not have anything to say about evolution.
    Many of the Young Earth Creationists tell us that there is a degree of evolution, micro-evolution but not macro-evolution.
    The necessary concepts for talking about evolution are anachronistic for Ancient Near East. Biblical Hebrew did not have the vocabulary to say anything about genetic changes in populations. (Let alone to make a
    distinction between macro- and micro-evolution.)
    The most that one can say is that an Young Earth does not allow enough time for evolution. That is, that human reasoning, rather than the explicit word of God, rules out evolution.
    Anyway, when it comes to things in the Bible which are ruled out by modern science, the creationists feel free to reinterpret the plain text of the Bible in the light of their understanding of modern science. When it suits their purposes.

  8. @Creacrappers manage to amaze EricL:

    “that doesn’t prove evolution didn’t happen”
    In creacrap language “prove” doesn’t mean what you mean with it.

    “if you read the Bible literally”
    That’s creacrap for you – they only do when it suits them. They are totally OK with interpreting texts when it’s about the questions whether bats are birds and what the Bible says about the value of pi. You can use this for your entertainment when you meet a creacrapper.

    Creacrapper: “God created the world in 6 days. The Bible says so.”
    You: “There are christians who are OK with large timescales.”
    Cc: “No, no, the Bible is God’s Word, we should take it for what it is.”
    You: “OK – then Bats are birds and the value of pi is 3 (reference added)”.
    Cc: “No, you misunderstand this. These quotes mean ……”
    You: “You are interpreting these texts, you don’t take them literally.”

    In the end it’s an emotional issue. It’s about them feeling special (in christianity: Special Creation). Like our dear SC always points out, no chreacrapper is no kin of no monkey. If I may practice some internet psychology, I’d say because the creacrap version of christianity already results in a negative self image due to Original Sin. That’s something you can use against them as well for your entertainment.

    Cc: “You believe in evilution because you’re an athiest who wants to sin!”
    You: “You say you are a christian, bearing the burden of Original Sin. The soul is willing, the flesh is weak. You’re a liar and an adulterer.
    Cc: “Don’t call me a liar! I’m not a liar!”
    You: “Oh? Are you perfect like Jesus? You don’t sin?
    Cc: “Of course I’m not perfect. Like all people I do sin.
    You: “One of the sins is lying. If you do sin you lie. Hence you’re a liar.

    Be warned though: christians who do accept evolution think this trick revolting. They dispise unbelievers playing the literalist game even more than they dislike creacrappers. Third Prof was an excellent example, but as I learned far from the only one. Their 11th Commandment sees to be “Thou shall not use creacrap tricks against creacrap with the intention to mock it, because then I’ll feel offended.”
    A pity that Third Prof got ill, I had planned to hold this against him.

  9. I think that you are unfair to Third Prof. But whether or not, I suggest that you not use the examples of bat is bird or pi=3. but rather someting which is widely accepted among Biblical cscholars, such as: the “Biblical cosmology” (see the Wikipedia article) is that common in the Ancient Near East, including a disc-shaped Earth under a firmament.

  10. “I think that you are unfair to Third Prof.”
    Well, having been at the receiving end of his rage three times I’d say I am speaking from experience. Funny that you make exactly the same mistake as him, even after I explicitly pointed it out.
    I don’t care about Biblical scholarship and even less so about its long toes. If Third Prof and co are so easily hurt it’s all the more reason for me not to take it too seriously. See, the book means nothing to me, except now and then as a source of historical informationj and even then about a region that never has been terribly important in the Grand Scheme of Things. For instance if you want to understand how comes that christianity first became a separate religion and then conquered the world the book is almost useless.
    What sparks my interest is creacrap methodology, including applied to their favourite Holy Book. What interests me even more is how I can use their own methodology effectively against creacrappers. Then “bats are birds” and “pi = 3” work better than the Earth is flat.
    My mockery of Ol’Hambo etc. does not apply to christians who accept evolution. In exactly the same way my usage of those two examples does not apply to non-literalist christians. Apparently that’s too hard to understand for several of them (and for you?) because of their unhealthy emotional attachment to that overall rather silly book. My problem it is not. Over sensitive fandom never is.

  11. About the statement “a region that never has been teribly important in the Grand Scheme of Things”, I recently came across a paper which asked people around the world how important they thought their country was in the grand scheme of things:
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211368118300202

    Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
    We Made History: Citizens of 35 Countries Overestimate Their Nation’s Role in World History
    Franklin M.Zaromba James H.Liub DarioPáezc KatjaHanked Adam L.Putname Henry L.Roediger

    It seems that the least importance which any country ranked themelves was 11%.
    Considering that the Ancient Near East has the distinction of having the earliest recorded history, literature, and science, the source for nearly all the world’s alphabets, etc.

  12. @FrankB
    I am trying to understand why you don’t like the example of the Ancient Near Eastern cosmology being adopted by the Bible, but not being adopted by self-proclaimed modern Biblical literalists. It almost seems like you are accusing people who bring up that example as being overly devoted to the Bible, but I can’t make any sense about that.