Orwellian Doublethink and Discoveroid Creationism

This is the most astonishing post we’ve ever seen at the creationist blog of the Discovery Institute. It’s titled Doublethink: Censor of the Year Calls for Free Speech, and 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]:

It’s been decades since I first read 1984, but it clearly is a book for our current cultural and political moment. I bought a copy at a used book store the other day and the tattooed and purple-haired young lady at the register gave me a curious glance. She commented, “Oh, I’ve had other people asking about this book. Why are you reading it now?” I wasn’t going to get into a discussion about current events, but I couldn’t entirely stop myself. I said, “Well, it just seemed timely.” [Skipping unimportant stuff.] It was almost, but not quite, a conversation from Orwell’s dystopian novel, where truth can barely be hinted at, and then carefully covered over, never stated outright.

After that nonsensical introduction, says:

Even more Orwellian was a comment in a New York Times article that a colleague passed around last night with some amusement. The Times reports, “ M.I.T.’s Choice of Lecturer Ignited Criticism. So Did Its Decision to Cancel”. The lecturer is Dorian Abbot, “a scientist who has opposed aspects of affirmative action.” Well, that’s enough to get you canceled.

What’s so Orwellian about that article? Klinghoffer tells us:

Among those weighing in on the topic was, of all people, our Censor of the Year from 2014, atheist and evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne at the University of Chicago.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Everyone around here knows about Jerry Coyne. That’s a link to his Wikipedia write-up. We recently discussed the controversy that made him such a popular subject around here — see A Book about the Ball State Imbroglio. The Discoveroids were — and still are — furious that Coyne was able to snuff out a course that taught creationism. Klinghoffer continues:

A pioneer of cancel culture [Hee hee!], Coyne earned that distinction by using his own clout to squash a young physicist, Eric Hedin, who was then teaching at Ball State University. Hedin’s thoughtcrime (Orwell’s term) was to introduce his students to intelligent design. Acting in concert with the bullies at the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Coyne got Hedin canceled.

Well, he got Hedin’s course cancelled. Let’s read on:

The idea was to put the less powerful scientist down the memory hole (Orwell again), but they didn’t entirely succeed. Hedin is still teaching [at Biola. a bible college], though no longer at Ball State, and he tells his story in a recent book, Canceled Science: What Some Atheists Don’t Want You to See. [Link omitted!]

We wrote about that book a few months ago — see Eric Hedin’s Book Explains the Whole Universe. Back to Klinghoffer:

Cut to 2021 and here is the same Jerry Coyne, now presented without irony as a free speech advocate! From the Times story:

[Klinghoffer quotes Heden:] “I thought scientists would not get on board with the denial-of-free-speech movement,” said Jerry Coyne, an emeritus professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Chicago. “I was absolutely wrong, 100 percent so.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Preventing a creationist from teaching Oogity Boogity in a state university’s science class is a denial of free speech! Then Klinghoffer goes really wild:

Coyne, who punched down, canceled Eric Hedin, and never apologized, deplores what he calls the “denial-of-free-speech movement.” Try to wrap your mind around that one. George Orwell had the perfect word. In 1984, he called it “doublethink”:

Verily, the mind boggles! Klinghoffer babbles on for a bit, but we’re skipping most of it. Here’s our last excerpt:

Doublethink is one tool by which the prestige of science is used to hypnotize the public on behalf of a materialist picture of reality. Another is intimidation and bullying.

Okay, that’s enough. We can’t think of any witty way to end this post, because Klinghoffer has temporarily scrambled our brains. If you, dear reader, can read his post and still keep your wits intact, then let us hear from you.

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

17 responses to “Orwellian Doublethink and Discoveroid Creationism

  1. Cool story about the book store bro.

  2. chris schilling

    From the Discoveroid’s 1998 Wedge Document:

    “We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future. We shall take part in it as handfuls of dust and splinters of bone. But how far away that future may be, there is no knowing.”

    No, sorry, that’s actually from Orwell’s novel. My apologies.

  3. Nope. Hedin screwed up his own career, got tenure at Ball State, but left on his own accord to work at a bible college, BIOLA, where the academic standards are quite a bit lower. Hedin did this on his own.

  4. There is a lot in Orwell’s “1984* See particularly wikiqote.org So especially part 3 chapter 2

  5. What shall we say of those who protest at any refusal to give academic standing to ID, yet remain silent in the face of the entire TRACS organisation, for which censorship is flaunted as high principle ,or even when one of their own is hounded from hist post for not being creationist enough, as happened to Dembski?

    And then protest at the application of double standards?

  6. Klankerwanker has earned his every nickname. A truly disgusting and disagreeable disgrace to the human species; of no redeeming value, whatsoever, whose only employment is with an equally foul propaganda charity.

    No, I don’t believe the hokey “used book store” story, although in Klopperplopper’s sick, twisted world, sneering at a fictional cashier’s appearance is certainly indicative of his Calvinist buckle-hatted character.

    Used book store in 2021? Oh, you say, Cankersorewanksomemore is just being frugal. Yeah? Well you can read 1984 for free on-line via the Gutenberg Project. “It was a bright cold day in April, …”

    And, it was not evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne, author of the well-researched “Faith vs Fact” (spoiler: Fact wins) who put the kibosh on Hedin’s silly creationist course, it was the Ball State president who issued a statement that creationism and “intelligent design” creationism are not science and will not be presented at Ball State.

  7. You’re right, docbill1351, there aren’t many used book stores these days. All those I used to visit vanished years ago. But the most amazing thing about Klinghoffer’s post is a creationist outfit accusing science advocates of Orwellian doublethink. That’s really a classic.

  8. Indeed, @SC, especially when, as I point out, the issue is being two-faced about censorship.

    In the Uk, Oxfam runs very good (and not very cheap) used book stores. I always look on line; for the UK I recommend World of Books and Alibris, but don’t know their US or Australian or Dutch equivalents

  9. @DaveLuckett, and anybody else; for COP26 I’m writing about the connections between creatonist including ID and climate change denialists. I know about the US overlap, but what about Australia? Other countries?

  10. On the utility and rarity of used-book stores, they a are source for creationist books.
    Oh, by the way, the tattoos on the clerk, those are common today. And purple hair is not uncommon, either.

  11. Thank you, Mr./Ms./whatever Curmudgeon. It’s weird that Klinghoffer doesn’t see the difference between freedom of speech and abrogation of the (same) First Amendment by dragging religion into a public-university classroom. Actually, of course Klinghoffer know’s he’s dissimulating, but they’ll try to score points whenever they can. I really wish they’d stop monitoring me. It doesn’t bother me, but it’s become an obsession of the Discoveroids. Why? Because they can’t win on the merits of their case, as they have no evidence, so they go after people’s characters instead.

  12. Jerry Coyne, I presume. Good of you to visit our humble blog. Klinghoffer’s animosity is quite understandable. Oddball movements need controversy and villains, because they don’t have anything else. Your reputation makes you an ideal target.

  13. Paul Braterman, that would require a fair amount of research. Thing is, there’s not much organised creationism in Australia. Oh, it’s here and there, in some of the loopier ends of the Baptists, not to mention the Adventists and the JW’s are certainly creationist, and there are sects even further out in the undergrowth than those, but as far as organisations that are specifically dedicated to pushing creationism AND specifically Australian, I can only find Creation Ministries International. This, you will recall, was the origin of Ken Ham’s “ministry”, until he fell out with them. That was after Ham left for greener pastures, which of course he didn’t want to share, which would imply that in Australia the creationist pastures were not so green.

    It’s not that there is any real lack of creationists in Australia, mind. It’s the organisation.

    CMI publish a quarterly, now called “Creation”, and this is what that publication had to say about climate change only about a year ago: https://creation.com/climate-change. As you can see, there’s a certain tentative quality about it. Of course it’s fundamentalist and literalist, not to mention right-wing, but the writer, and hence the organisation (for you can bet your socks the piece was thoroughly vetted for doctrine) seems to be trying to accommodate the possibility of AGW, while casting doubt on its seriousness.

    The article also contains this assertion: “Until now, CMI has largely avoided the issue. For one thing, we don’t think of it as a core creation-Gospel issue.”

    If anything in this scabrous collection of semitruths can be taken as factual, it would probably be that. I would submit, then, that the leading – practically the only – national specifically creationist organisation at least soft-pedals AGW denial.

  14. @Dave Luckett, thanks. Extremely useful.

    Who funds CMI?

    As I read it, the article is a texbook example of denialism as conspiracy theory. Fom the beginning of Section 2: “Martyn Iles, head of the Australian Christian Lobby, says that we must ask what worldview drives the climate change agenda—where are these people coming from? Without a doubt the worldview driving the alarmism is not Christian; it is humanistic and neo-Marxist.10 It is a Babel mentality. People seem to think that they can be like God, even controlling the weather, as Jesus did when He stilled the storm on Lake Galilee.” And Section 3 is full of cherrypicked data and handpicked fringe authorities. And long-exploded arguments: “Note that the human contribution to CO2 emissions through the burning of fossil fuels is less than 5% of the total global carbon budget.” This only sentences after admitting the increase from pre-industrial to present levels!

  15. People seem to think that they can be like God

    How dreadful. Kids, don’t grow up and be like God.

    “Mrs. Rosen, when you see your grandson tell him not to become a haberdasher.” –The Poseidon Adventure

  16. Dave Luckett

    Who funds CMI? Don’t know if anyone does. Public donations and sale of goods, mostly, I’d say. They’re certainly not saying.

  17. Dave Luckett

    Oh, there is this from the national register of charities: https://www.acnc.gov.au/charity/2dcf8fff5f5c8c6281e2cd82c09f3955#financials-documents. I note, with some alarm, that they got $A 50 000 out of government grants. I wonder what genuine charitable purpose that was for. Mind you, it’s not much out of an income of nearly three million dollars, but still…