Category Archives: Politics

If Behe Were King of Science

You may recall that several years ago — way back in 2009 — we presented our coveted Buffoon Award to the Intelligent designer for the truly incompetent job he did in designing us — see Buffoon Award Winner — The Intelligent Designer.

What brought that long-ago post to mind is something that was just posted at the creationist blog of the Discovery Institute, titled Michael Behe: What About “Bad” Designs in Biology? And Other Questions. It’s very brief and it has no author’s by-line. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

On a new episode of ID the Future [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!], ID biologist Michael Behe continues fielding tough questions from philosophers Pat Flynn and Jim Madden.

We wrote about the first of those last week — see Behe’s Best Argument for Intelligent Design. Behe was drooling over the theology of Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274). What else does he have for us? The Discoveroids say:

Here in Part 3 of 3 [Egad, we missed the second podcast in the series!], Behe responds to the claim that some designs in biology are bad designs and to criticisms leveled at ID from some Thomists.

What does Behe say about the claim that some biological designs are bad? We may never know, because the Discoveroid post don’t tell us! Ah well, let’s see what they do say:

Also in the mix, the issue of academic pressure to distance oneself from ID, even before those involved understand what the theory of intelligent design actually is.

Academic pressure? Behe’s probably thinking about the attitude of his colleagues at Lehigh University, who for years have had a statement at the university’s website declaring their revulsion for intelligent design — see Department Position on Evolution and “Intelligent Design.

The Discoveroids continue:

Madden [one of the philosophers on the podcast] asks Behe what reforms he’d pursue if he suddenly found himself in charge of the National Academy of Sciences.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What would it be — death to all Darwinists? Alas, we’re not told. There’s just a little bit more to the Discoveroids’ post. Here it is:

Listen in to hear Behe’s response, and much more. Download the podcast or listen to it here. [Link omitted!]

Well, dear reader? You know you can’t resist watching those Discoveroid things, so go ahead. Then get back here and tell us all about it.

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

Discoveroids Attack the “Church” of Science

This one is delightfully overflowing with unintended irony. It’s at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog, titled From Matt Ridley, Smart Remarks on Scientocracy — and a Howling Irony, and 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]:

There were some excellent comments about science and scientocracy from Matt Ridley in a weekend interview in the Wall Street Journal — but also a howling irony. Ridley, a self-professed “science critic,” distinguishes science as a “philosophy,” a way of seeking knowledge with roots in the Enlightenment, from science as a self-promoting, self-protecting “institution,” a “global guild.”

That sounds like a reasonable distinction. But Klinghoffer reacts strangely to Ridley’s views:

“Conformity,” Mr. Ridley says, “is the enemy of scientific progress, which depends on disagreement and challenge. Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts, as [the physicist Richard] Feynman put it.” Mr. Ridley reserves his bluntest criticism for “science as a profession,” which he says has become “rather off-puttingly arrogant and political, permeated by motivated reasoning and confirmation bias.” Increasing numbers of scientists “seem to fall prey to groupthink, and the process of peer-reviewing and publishing allows dogmatic gate-keeping to get in the way of new ideas and open-minded challenge.”

Okay, Ridley doesn’t approve of groupthink. Klinghoffer tells us:

In Mr. Ridley’s view, the scientific establishment has always had a tendency “to turn into a church, enforcing obedience to the latest dogma and expelling heretics and blasphemers.” This tendency was previously kept in check by the fragmented nature of the scientific enterprise: Prof. A at one university built his career by saying that Prof. B’s ideas somewhere else were wrong. In the age of social media, however, “the space for heterodoxy is evaporating.”

Egad — is science turning into some kind of church? Klinghoffer continues:

Isn’t that the truth? Science as a “church” policing its members for their obedience to “dogma,” pursuing and “expelling heretics and blasphemers.” That’s the experience of ID proponents in academia, tracked and punished by the Darwinists, in a nutshell.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, it’s a cruel world. Let’s read on:

And yet…Ridley needs to put in a dig at intelligent design [Gasp!], right in the middle of some smart remarks about what’s worrisome about the hankering of scientists to be put in charge of everyone, as in the present pandemic.

[Klinghoffer quotes from the Journal article, which quotes Ridley:] He asks: “If you think biological complexity can come about through unplanned emergence and not need an intelligent designer, then why would you think human society needs an ‘intelligent government’?” Science as an institution has “a naive belief that if only scientists were in charge, they would run the world well.” Perhaps that’s what politicians mean when they declare that they “believe in science.” As we’ve seen during the pandemic, science can be a source of power.

Klinghoffer is confused. He tells us:

I’m not sure what that even means. Because, in the evolutionary perspective, brilliant invention emerges from mindless material processes, therefore brilliance in a societal context will emerge readily even if unintelligent people run the government? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the worldview, the values, of those in government more than on their IQ. People of low, average, or high intelligence, if they’ve got a faulty picture of reality projecting at the back of their thoughts, can do a lot of damage if you put them in charge.

This is just weird. We don’t need government to run our lives. All they have to do is keep us free. See The Folly of Economic Creationism.

In his final paragraph, Klinghoffer attacks Ridley:

What is the function of the dig at ID, though? It seems to me it is to provide self-protection. [Groan!] Science is a “global guild” and this “critic” is assuring readers that despite sounding like a “heretic” or a “blasphemer” — perhaps even like one of those intelligent design rascals — he’s really quite safe and tame. He is a member of the “church” in good standing…well, maybe not perfect standing, but good enough for a hearing by the mainstream media. Unfortunately, that undercuts the cogency of much of the rest of what he has to say.

Tragic. Absolutely tragic. Ah well, what else would we expect from the Discoveroids?

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

Unindexed Free Fire Zone

The creationists haven’t generated any news today, so once again, we’re on our own. Actually, there is something to report.

Contrary to their excellent service in the past, it now seems that Google no longer indexes this blog. Well, they’ve indexed a few posts during the past few weeks, but we post every day and they’ve skipped ten posts during the month of July — a month that still has a week left to go. Also, they’ve skipped several posts before then. What’s going on?

We assume their unusual behavior is because they’ve had some recent personnel changes, and the new people have very different ideas from their predecessors. We may be wrong about that, but whatever the reason, the result is that Google now protects the websites and ideas that we criticize. They are certainly free to believe and behave as they wish, but we’re also free to point out their change of behavior.

As you’ve probably figured out, we’re declaring another Intellectual Free Fire Zone. You think Biden is doing a great job? Tell us about it. Use the comments for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, whatever — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it!

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

Does Gay Sex Prove God & Disprove Evolution?

This comes from a source we’ve never visited before — Metro Weekly, located in Washington, DC. Their website declares that they are “Washington’s LGBTQ Magazine.” Make of that what you will. Their article reveals a dimension of the evolution debate that we didn’t know about before. It’s titled Gay sex proves “existence of God” and discredits evolution, evangelical pastor claims, and they don’t seem to have a comments feature. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

A right-wing pastor [Egad, a right-winger!] has claimed that gay people having sex proves the “existence of God.” Jack Hibbs, pastor at Calvary Chapel church in California, made the claim earlier this month in a sermon against evolutionary theory, spotted by RightWingWatch [link omitted].

Then Metro Weekly says:

He [Hibbs, the right-winger, presumably] argued that those who believe in evolution should oppose same-sex marriage because it contravenes “survival of the fittest,” and that there should be “no such thing as homosexuality” because evolution would have “washed that out.”

Good start, huh? After that they tell us:

Offering a bizarrely enticing description of sex between same-sex couples [Gasp!], Hibbs said, “When two people of the same sex get together, it’s out of sheer wanton lust and pleasure only for self. Nothing comes of it. No life can come from it. No family can come from it,” he continued.

The rev seems to know what he’s talking about. His quote continues:

“If you’re an evolutionist, you have to be against same-sex unions,” Hibbs said. “If you’re an evolutionist, what is one of the statements? [Statements?] It’s the survival of the fittest, right? And in evolutionary theory, the survival of the fittest has to procreate.”

Well, dear reader — if you’re a Darwinist, that’s one of your “statements,” isn’t it? Let’s read on:

He added: “But if evolution is true, then there would be no such thing as homosexuality, because over the last 400 trillion, billion, zillion, quadbillion, zillion, nillion, years, evolution would have washed that out.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We assume the rev is a young-Earth kind of guy. Another excerpt:

Then came his most curious assertion: “Homosexuality — LGBTQ actions — prove the existence of God, because God’s word says this would be some of the outcome and actions of the Last Days.”

The Metro Weekly writer disagrees with the rev. He says:

Ignoring Hibbs’ fascination with LGBTQ people enjoying “lust and pleasure” with one another, his argument is somewhat illogical. [Somewhat?] For starters, homosexuality and same-sex sexual activity have been recorded for thousands of years. That’s a fairly lengthy period for humanity’s “Last Days,” given gay sex actually predates Christianity.

Skipping a few other arguments, Metro Weekly ends with this:

So while Hibbs may believe homosexuality should have been “washed out” over a “quadbillion, zillion” years, that’s not the case — and although a number of theories abound as to why that is, none point to “Last Days.”

Your Curmudgeon doesn’t care who wins this argument. Most likely no one ever will. But we’d like to see what ol’ Hambo or the Discoveroids have to say about it.

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