The Discoveroids’ collective tantrum, which we last reported in Discovery Institute vs. Methodists, Continued, shows no sign of abating. Oh wait, we made one later post: A “Poll” on Discovery Institute vs. Methodists.
We’ve lost track of how many times the Discoveroids have written about the situation — at least 15, possibly 20 or more. Well, today they’ve done it again. Their creationist blog has a new article written by John West,whom we affectionately call “Westie.” He was an early winner of the Curmudgeon’s Buffoon Award, thus the jolly logo above this post. Westie is vice President of the Discovery Institute, which makes him one of the chief Keepers of their wedge strategy.
Westie’s article is Official United Methodist News Service Implies Intelligent Design Is … Satanic? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
The United Methodist News Service (the official news service of the denomination) has published an article about the UMC’s ban on Discovery Institute from having an information table at its upcoming General Conference. I give a lot of credit to reporter Heather Hahn for being willing to talk with me to get Discovery Institute’s side of the story.
This is the article Westie’s talking about: Denial of GC2016 booth sparks protest. Westie quotes selectively from it, but he doesn’t mention a few things it says that we think are relevant, so we’ll present them here:
General Conference planners last month denied a group’s request to have a display at the 2016 legislative assembly, saying the group was not in line with the church’s social teachings.
The Seattle-based Discovery Institute, which promotes intelligent design, argues church leaders are ignoring the denomination’s motto of “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.” The group has set up a website urging people to email various United Methodists seeking a reversal. The Commission on General Conference has a vetting team to ensure exhibitors conform with the Social Principles, the denominational teachings contained in both the United Methodist Book of Discipline and Book of Resolutions. The Discovery Institute did not quite meet this test, a commission leader says.
Intelligent design proposes that life is so complex that nature must have had an intelligent designer. After the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987 [an obvious reference to Edwards v. Aguillard] struck down creation science in public schools as unconstitutional, intelligent design gained popularity as an alternative to the study of conventional evolutionary biology. The Discovery Institute, a public policy think tank founded in 1991, explicitly seeks to champion intelligent design in academia.
However, according to its Social Principles, The United Methodist Church does not see conflict between faith in God and the study of biological evolution.
General Conference in 2008 [that was after the decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District] approved a resolution “opposing the introduction of any faith-based theories such as Creationism or Intelligent Design into the science curriculum of our public schools.” The commission cited the resolution specifically in declining the Discovery Institute’s exhibit application.
In other words, the Methodists know exactly what the Discoveroids are up to, and they want no part of it. The Discoveroids’ natural constituency is comprised of (1) idiots who think their “theory” really is science; and (2) hard-core creationists who don’t care about that, but who recognize that the Discoveroids are fellow creationists. The Methodists don’t fit either description.
Okay, back to Westie’s post. He doesn’t quote that stuff — it’s too revealing. Instead he focuses on other things. He says:
But there are some rather strange passages in the article. Take the following sentence:
[Westie’s quote from the UMC article:] Because intelligent design starts with belief in a designer, who as Jesus said should not be put to the test, it doesn’t offer testable hypotheses the way evolutionary biology does.
Westie doesn’t mention that his quote was described in the UMC article as coming from Jory Weintraub an immunologist “at United Methodist-related Duke University,” even though that link to Weintraub’s page is in the UMC article. Anyway, he claims that it’s wrong:
First and foremost, intelligent design does not start with “belief in a designer.” It starts with the empirical data of nature, and from this data it infers the existence on an intelligent cause.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Let’s read on:
Second, intelligent design most certainly does offer testable hypotheses. Casey Luskin and William Dembski have both offered good discussions of this issue, as does Stephen Meyer in Appendix A of his book Signature in the Cell.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Westie continues:
Finally, there is the appeal to the authority of Jesus. The reference is to a passage in the New Testament where Jesus is tempted by Satan to prove himself the Son of God and Jesus responds: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test” (Luke 4:12). The implication seems to be that intelligent design is not only wrong, it’s a temptation straight from Satan! Wow.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! “Wow” indeed! Here’s more, and now Westie gets around to picking on Jory Weintraub, with whom he had some email exchanges:
Dr. Weintraub also wouldn’t disclose whether he himself is a United Methodist, or what his own religious affiliation might be. Of course, he has every right to weigh in with his opinion regardless of religious affiliation. But the article makes a point to highlight that Weintraub works for the “United Methodist-related Duke University,” as if that gave him special authority to speak for the UMC. Given the context, I thought readers might want to know what his own religious views are.
Gasp! Could it be that Dr. Weintraub isn’t a Christian? That would certainly discredit everything he says. Egad — he might even be Jewish! How dare he — of all people! — suggest that the Discoveroids are Satanic? Good point, Westie!
The Discoveroid article babbles on, but this is long enough. You get the picture. Westie has once again demonstrated that he is a worthy recipient of the Curmudgeon’s Buffoon Award.
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