Discoveroids, Creationism, and Gastric Distress

There is a well known (but seldom mentioned) rule of human behavior that goes like this: When a sudden, embarrassing sound of gastric distress errupts in a crowded room, the guilty party is likely to be the one who says: “Don’t look at me! I didn’t do it! Why is everyone looking at me?”

Today we’re presented with an excellent application of that rule. It was only yesterday that we posted As You Always Suspected, describing a common link between creationism and belief in conspiracy theories. At the end of our post we said:

If any creationists are willing to post about this, they’ll probably claim that it’s a desperate attempt by godless evolutionists to discredit those who know and are proud to declare The Truth. We’ll be watching, so stay tuned to this blog!

It didn’t take long. This just appeared at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: Introducing the New “Conspiracism” Canard. It was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Isn’t deceptive name-calling a wonderful thing? Here’s a new twist to efforts to evade a debate about design in nature by associating ID with tendencies in thought that many people find disreputable. The familiar gambit is to paint intelligent design with the brush of “creationism.” You simply slap that label on us and bingo! — no need to discuss the substance of the relevant scientific evidence.

Klinghoffer is in full Why is everyone looking at me? mode. He says:

Writing, remarkably, in the otherwise sober journal Current Biology, a group of researchers led by Pascal Wagner-Egger claim to uncover a link between “creationism” and “conspiracism.”

After a quote from the research we discussed yesterday, he tells us:

Typically, Wagner-Egger et al. use “creationism” to denote an idea they don’t like but that really is much broader than what the term implies. They define it as “the belief that life on Earth was purposefully created by a supernatural agent.” The origin of life certainly does seem to reflect purpose rather than the mere play of random processes. Whether the purpose is that of a “supernatural agent” is a question on which science, as far as I know, can’t currently shed light.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Klinghoffer’s denial is going too far. The Discoveroids are constantly telling us that their “science” points to an intelligent creator. Oh wait — he backs up a bit and says:

Obviously, “teleological thinking” — an openness to seeing intelligent causes at work in ways not everyone can agree on — underpins arguments for design, and it would have to underpin most conspiracy thinking as well. But this is a game that can be played in two directions.

Really? He continues:

[T]he only genuine, known conspiracy theory “associated” with “creationism” is one promulgated by Darwinists. This is the belief that whatever ID proponents may say to the contrary, as we do over and over again, we’re really all about a secret plot to teach ID, or the Bible, or creationism, in public schools.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! He’s saying: I didn’t do it. You did! All of you!

After quoting himself in defense of Discoveroid “academic freedom” bills, he concludes with this:

Hidden codes and secret cabals are the meat and potatoes of conspiracy theorists. Pascal Wagner-Egger and his colleagues can tell the readers of the Current Biology what they like, but it’s Darwinists and their media champions who spread actual conspiracy thinking, not us.

So there you are, dear reader. As with gastric distress, so it is with creationism. He who promptly denies blame is likely to be the guilty party.

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

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29 responses to “Discoveroids, Creationism, and Gastric Distress

  1. I can’t wait for the day that the announcement of someone being a Christian is met with the same awkwardness as someone dropping ass in a crowded room!

  2. oh no Klinkledinkle cut the cheese? Again ? Has he been doing those magic tricks again?

  3. Michael Fugate

    “The lady [gentleman] doth protest too much, methinks”.

  4. David “the Spleen” Klinghoffer, one of DiscoTute’s Mystery Men.

  5. Michael Fugate

    One is a creationist/conspiracist because one does not reflect cognitively. This is encapsulated in the common sense/intuition championing by the DI – they don’t want you to think reflectively – they want you to react emotionally.
    Here are the types of questions they can’t answer correctly:

    (1) A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? _____ cents

    (2) If it takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets? _____ minutes

    (3) In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of the lake? _____ days

  6. “You simply slap that label on us and bingo.”
    Agreed. Few things are simpler than explaining why IDiocy a la Klinkleclapper is a form of creacrap.
    1. Evilution is wrong, doesn’t matter how? Check.
    2. Paley’s False Watchmaker Analogy? Check.
    3. Grand Old Designer (Blessed be MOFO!) of the Gaps? Check.

    “we’re really all about a secret plot to teach ID ….. in public schools.”
    BWAHAHAHAHA! Were Klinkleclapper serious about his “IDiocy is science too and it’s better than Evilution” nonsense he would push an open plot to teach it. Unlike Ol’Hambo he doesn’t even manage to be consistent on this topic. He’s a poo flinger indeed – too bad he almost always hits himself. To paraphraze an infamous quote from the 19th Century:

    – Klinkleclapper’s blogpost gives us for the first time the hideous notion that there can be blogposts that stink to the eye.

    The original victim of this quote is still famous and beloved today; somehow I doubt that will be the case next century with anything Klinkleclapper has written.

  7. The only “secret” is the alternative to evolution. I use scare quotes because it isn’t really a secret – despite the best efforts of the denialists, to pretend that there is a alternative, it is apparent that nobody has formulated a non-evolutionary explanation for obvious patterns in the variety of life. “What happens, when or where, why or how, or who?” (For the ID advocates – the YECs tell us who and when.)

  8. Michael Fugate

    The origin of life certainly does seem to reflect purpose rather than the mere play of random processes. Whether the purpose is that of a “supernatural agent” is a question on which science, as far as I know, can’t currently shed light.

    The first sentence is bald assertion without support.
    The second is contrary to the DI’s own Stephen Meyer’s ramblings in “The Return of the God Hypothesis”
    The conclusion follows that theism explains a wide ensemble of metaphysically-significant evidences more adequately and comprehensively than other major worldviews or metaphysical systems. Thus, unlike much recent scholarship that characterizes science as either conflicting with theistic belief or entirely neutral with respect to it, this essay concludes that scientific evidence actually supports such belief.

  9. The origin of life certainly does seem to reflect purpose rather than the mere play of random processes. Whether the purpose is that of a “supernatural agent” is a question on which science, as far as I know, can’t currently shed light.

    Note the careful use of the word “seem.” The unwary reader might not pick up on the fact that what might seem true isn’t necessarily actually true.

  10. Mark Germano

    “The origin of life certainly does seem to reflect purpose…”

    Not only does it seem, but it only reflects. And certainly, too! A squishier sentence could hardly seem to be written to obfuscate the writer’s possible intentions. Definitely.

    A stronger statement would be “Life was made for a purpose.” Or “Life was created on purpose.” Although, perhaps there’s a definition of purpose that I’m missing.

    Also I searched the text at the AAAS site and at Current Biology. Neither mentions intelligent design. Klinghoffer made that connection himself.

  11. @Eric Lipps
    First of all, I’d like to point out that the alternative to divine fiat is not a random process. That is muddled holdover from centuries ago, when Epicurianism was synonymous with materialism.
    Then, once again, design is not an answer for the questions of interest.
    Even if it is true that some feature of life, life itself, or the whole of the natural is designed, design does count as an explanation.
    Consider this example: Everyone knows that Leonardo made use of design in his paintings, including the Mona Lisa. Why, I wonder, does the Mona Lisa have that smile? It does not address that question to tell me that it is designed. No, I am not suggesting that it is random – it is part of Leonardo’s design, I am confident. But it does not explain the smile.

  12. “Hidden codes and secret cabals are the meat and potatoes of conspiracy theorists.”

    Well, the Discoveroid’s take on DNA qualifies for the first, and the agendas laid out in the Wedge strategy easily qualifies for the second.

    Klinghoffer is the Dan Brown of creationism, just not as popular.

  13. Who is trying to ‘evade a debate about design in nature’? Certainly not the proponents of darwinian evolution. The debate has been had, several times over, both formally and on internet sites, and the result has been that design cannot be proven and isn’t a good explanation for what we observe.

    Of course, I’m talking to Klinghoffer here because his blog… doesn’t allow debate.

  14. you can’t prove design
    And why is that?
    Because nobody knows what it means.
    Ask any simple question about design. And what will you get? A change of the subject. A red herring. A complaint about evolution. “That can’t happen by chance.” Anything but an attempt to explain what design does, where, why or how – or, in the case of ID, who or when. The
    How can anyone take that obfuscation seriously?

  15. Pete Moulton

    Draken: “Of course, I’m talking to Klinghoffer here because his blog… doesn’t allow debate.”

    No, of course it doesn’t. Klinghoffer prefers to sling his poo from behind the skirts of a protective no-comments policy. You could use the contact feature to send him an email, but you should expect the email to be subjected to his selective editing and quote-mining.

  16. “Here are the types of questions they can’t answer correctly: …”
    And here is a much more direct question that they are never able to answer:

    In what way is the *Wedge Strategy* not religion pretending to be scientific?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy

  17. @TomS pretends ignorance: “Because nobody knows what it means.”
    You yourself gave the example of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. It’s pretty easy to understand what it means here. Da Vinci had an idea of the result he desired. He chose the means and the procedures necessary and then followed a path of causes and effects until his idea was more or less realized (we all know from our own experience that the end result not always is what we had in mind before we began). That idea (mental picture, whatever) can be called design.
    This is why teleology is totally useless. Every teleological explanation of any natural event can be reformulated in terms of cause and effect. To make things worse creacrappers, specifically including IDiots, never specify the means and procedures available to their presupposed Grand Old Designer (blessed be MOFO!). Instead they do what they always do – make sure that their terminology remains ambiguous, which is a cardinal sin in science.

  18. “it’s Darwinists and their media champions who spread actual conspiracy thinking, not us.” Of course ! Why would a klinklecreacrapper admit any of the misdeeds and deceit of their employers? Its not conspiracy “thinking” if its rooted in facts. So, I’ve rewritten your sentence klinkle. here it is . “its scientists and their peer reviewed science journals who spread actual scientific methodology, not us”. There fixed that for you. You’re welcome sweet pea.

  19. Test – a comment I just posted did not appear. Klinkleclapper’s Grand Old Designer must have send a nasty demon to punish me for my mockery. Fortunately I put my faith in the Great Hand from Above. He surely will deliver me from evil.

    [*Voice from above*] I delved into the trash bin, and lo — it has been retrieved!

  20. Klinkerkitzmiller.

  21. Michael Fugate

    If ID is not creationism, then what is it?
    How does it differ from creationism, other than being coy about the creator and the age of the universe?

    As for debate – apologists don’t engage in debate. A debate entails asking and answering questions – not merely engaging in platitudes, clichés and assertions. Their whole purpose is not to be pinned down, to never offer something capable of being tested.

  22. Just the fact that he uses “Darwinists” gives his game away.

  23. @FrankB
    Your description of what “design” means in the ordinary sense of the word shows how it is totally inappropriate as applied to creation, or to what an omnipotent agent does. Leonardo, or any designers that we have any knowledge about, plans what they want to do, and have to take account of what is possible. Yet that just doesn’t make sense for a supernatural – meaning “beyond the limits of nature” – agency. ICreation “ex nihilo” does not have to experiment – no “try this, and see how it fits with the other stuff”. If God’s creation turns out to violate the laws of space, that is no problem – actually, because gods are also omniscient, they know before acting what will require a violation of the laws which they have created.
    And that is why I say that nobody knows what the creationists are talking about when they say “design”.

    Well, actually, there are more reasons that I say that nobody knows what “design” means. For example, We know that design is not enough to account for the existence of anything. Back to the Leonardo example: He also designed flyig machines, but he didn’t make any. Among the famous designers who designed things which never existed: MC Escher, Rube Goldberg, Al Capp (I’m thinking of the famous example contrary to evolution, the shmoo).

  24. Michael Fugate

    Which shows dramatically their lack of cognitive reflection. They will pay lip service to philosophers who devastatingly critiqued supernatural design, but never engage with those critiques – falling back on tropes like “if it looks designed, it is designed”. Shallowness is ID’s distinguishing characteristic.

  25. @TomS: “Your description of what “design” means in the ordinary sense of the word shows how it is totally inappropriate as applied to creation”
    Thanks for the compliment.

  26. TomS says to FrankB:

    Your description of what “design” means in the ordinary sense of the word shows how it is totally inappropriate as applied to creation, or to what an omnipotent agent does.

    Don’t lose track of the original meaning. Because teaching creationism was banned in the public schools, “intelligent design” was devised as an allegedly scientific alternative to whatever was done by the creator in the bible. All that “design” means is that it’s somehow not what the creator did. But the result is always the same.

  27. Michael Fugate

    Doesn’t Klinghoffer need to state the purpose for life on earth – not just claim it seems (to him) to have one?

  28. @Curmudgeon
    Perhaps more accurately, “design” means whatever meaning is left over about creation when one removes all reference to creator(s) and when it takes place.
    I don’t think that I am being disengenuous is saying that I don’t know what meaning is left to “design”, if that be the case.

  29. @TomS: The only reason that that’s a problem is because you tend to take IDiocy way too seriously.
    Another example. MichaelF apparently doesn’t realize that what Klinkleclapper needs to do and what he actually does can be two entirely different things.