You know about the Discovery Institute’s propaganda slogan — Teach the Controversy. Wikipedia says it’s “a campaign, conducted by the Discovery Institute, to promote the pseudoscientific principle of intelligent design, a variant of traditional creationism, while attempting to discredit the teaching of evolution in United States public high school science courses.”
As we often point out, their campaign hasn’t been very successful — especially since Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. But despite decades of failure, they keep slugging away at it. Now they’re trying to expand their campaign into other areas, as if it were some kind of success formula.
They just posted this at their creationist blog: Stephen Meyer: Teach the (Coronavirus) Controversy. It was written by Klinghoffer. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
Our colleague and CSC director Stephen Meyer has a terrific article up now at The Federalist [link omitted]. As readers will know, when it comes to evolution education, the Center for Science & Culture [ “CSC” ] advocates “teaching the controversy.” Note Meyer’s application of the “Teach the Controversy” principle to how medical opinion is being given to U.S. leaders who make policy decisions about a national response to COVID-19.
Fascinating. Having triumphed over the theory of evolution, now they want to use “Teach the Controversy” to triumph over the coronavirus. Isn’t that wonderful? Oh, wait. We must pause to toss in a bit of background, which you’re free to skip:
We all know about Stephen Meyer. His Discoveroid job description has changed over the years, but as their bio page indicates, he’s one of their senior fellows and is 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. According to the Discoveroids’ 2016 Tax Return, Meyer’s salary was $250K.
Okay, back to Klinghoffer, who says:
As Dr. Meyer observes, “The administration’s virus taskforce has recommended only a gradual lifting of stay-at-home orders and has established criteria for full re-opening that could take months to satisfy in many states.” His proposal is that rather than listen only to a group of experts with one set view, it would be productive to listen to another group as well, a “Team B,” or “what the military calls a ‘Red Team’ to challenge the received view of an organization from within”: [Big quote from Meyer’s Fedralist article].
Klinghoffer explains how it would work:
Let this Red Team provide a counterpoint to the current taskforce and thus “teach the controversy” to top decision-makers. If it works in the context of public school education [BWAHAHAHAHAHA!], would it work in the White House? I think it would, and for the same reason: Students and Presidents make better decisions when they are exposed to competing views. As Meyer says, allowing controversy and permitting it to be widely aired is how science makes progress and delivers understanding.
That’s a terrific idea! Hey — why not teach the astrology controversy in astronomy class? And how about Flat Earth controversy in geography class? We think the Discoveroids are really onto something here!
After another quote from Meyer’s Federalist article, Klinghoffer continues:
You can hear the objection already, one we’ve heard before in the Darwin debate. When it comes to the coronavirus, do legitimate scientists really disagree? Or is there only one valid position, represented by what the media refer to with a definite article, not “science” but “The Science”?
Then he gives us a huge quote from Meyer’s Federalist article, after which his final paragraph says this:
It’s an important perspective, and not for scientific or medical reasons alone. In the never-ending lockdown, there is more at stake than health, including economic ruin, bringing its own threats to life, and perhaps above all, America’s future as a free country.
So there you are, dear reader. In the Discoveroids’ view of things, everything is subject to debate. But we wonder, would they ever say there was something that was known with certitude — that should be taught without controversy? Well, there’s the wickedness of Darwin, of course. But other than that, is there anything at all?
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