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Conservative commentary on the dishonesty of creationism

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  • Todd S. Greene
    Excerpt from: http://article.nationalreview.com/? q=ZGYwMzdjOWRmNGRhOWQ4MTQyZDMxNjNhYTU1YTE5Njk= [link is line-wrapped] The pervasive dishonesty of the
    Message 1 of 4 , May 1, 2008
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      Excerpt from:
      http://article.nationalreview.com/?
      q=ZGYwMzdjOWRmNGRhOWQ4MTQyZDMxNjNhYTU1YTE5Njk=
      [link is line-wrapped]

      The pervasive dishonesty of the rhetoric and tactics creationists use
      is recognized by people from all spectrums, including by political
      conservatives.

      - Todd Greene

      ================================================================
      A Blood Libel on Our Civilization (Can I expell Expelled?)
      by John Derbyshire
      (National Review Online, 4/28/2008)

      These dishonesties do not surprise me. When talking about the
      creationists to people who don't follow these controversies closely, I
      have found that the hardest thing to get across is the shifty,
      low-cunning aspect of the whole modern creationist enterprise.
      Individual creationists can be very nice people, though they get nicer
      the further away they are from the full-time core enterprise of modern
      creationism at the Discovery Institute. The enterprise as a whole,
      however, really doesn't smell good. You notice this when you're around
      it a lot. I shall give some more examples in a minute; but what
      accounts for all this dishonesty and misrepresentation?

      My own theory is that the creationists have been morally corrupted by
      the constant effort of pretending not to be what they are. What they
      are, as is amply documented, is a pressure group for religious
      teaching in public schools.

      Now, there is nothing wrong with that. We are a nation of pressure
      groups, and one more would hardly notice. However, since parents who
      want their kids religiously educated already have plenty of private
      and parochial schools to choose from (half the kids on my street have
      attended parochial school), as well as the option of home schooling,
      now very well organized and supported (and heartily approved of by me:
      I just wish I knew how they find the time); and since current
      jurisprudence, how correctly I am not competent to say, regards
      tax-funded religious instruction as unconstitutional; creationists are
      a pressure group without hope, if they campaign openly for the thing
      they want.

      Understanding this, the creationists took the morally fatal decision
      to campaign clandestinely. They overhauled creationism as "intelligent
      design," roped in a handful of eccentric non-Christian cranks keen for
      a well-funded vehicle to help them push their own flat-earth theories,
      and set about presenting themselves to the public as "alternative
      science" engaged in a "controversy" with a closed-minded, reactionary
      "science establishment" fearful of new ideas. (Ignoring the fact that
      without a constant supply of new ideas, there would be nothing for
      scientists to do.) Nothing to do with religion at all!

      I think this willful act of deception has corrupted creationism
      irredeemably. The old Biblical creationists were, in my opinion,
      wrong-headed, but they were mostly honest people. The "intelligent
      design" crowd lean more in the other direction. Hence the dishonesty
      and sheer nastiness, even down to plain bad manners, that you keep
      encountering in ID circles. It's by no means all of them, but it's
      enough to corrupt and poison the creationist enterprise, which might
      otherwise have added something worthwhile to our national life, if
      only by way of entertainment value.

      This dishonesty showed up very soon after the creationists decided to
      don the mask of "alternative science" in the 1990s. A key episode was
      the Kunming conference of June 1999. In very brief — you can read the
      full story in Forrest and Gross's Creationism's Trojan Horse ("A bad
      book, a very bad book," shuddered the Discovery Institute's Bruce
      Chapman when he saw it on my desk, like a vampire spotting a clove of
      garlic), pp.56-66 — there is a very interesting bed of extremely old
      fossils near Kunming, in southern China. Paul Chien, a little-known
      creationist of Chinese ancestry from San Francisco, acted as a front
      man for the Discovery Institute to organize a conference in Kunming,
      bringing in professional paleontologists from China and abroad, but
      without telling them of the Discovery Institute's involvement. The aim
      was "to produce and then to promote a book containing the conference
      papers of [creationist] members immediately juxtaposed to those
      written by respected scientists in the relevant fields." (Forrest &
      Gross, their italics.) When the real paleontologists found out what
      was going on, and how they had been brought across China, or around
      the world, they were not pleased. Embarrassing scenes followed. No
      book ever appeared.

      Examples can be multiplied. The witty and mild-mannered federal Judge
      Jones, who presided over the 2005 Kitzmiller trial in Dover, Pa., felt
      moved to note that: "The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served
      by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic
      that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted
      their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to
      cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID
      Policy." The response of the Discovery Institute was to launch
      sneering, slanderous attacks on the professionalism and competence of
      Judge Jones (a church-going conservative Republican appointed by
      President George W. Bush).
    • Robert Baty
      A most interesting commentary. I thought I would post a link that might not be line-wrapped . How about:
      Message 2 of 4 , May 1, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        A most interesting commentary. I thought I would post a link that might not be "line-wrapped". How about:

        http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZGYwMzdjOWRmNGRhOWQ4MTQyZDMxNjNhYTU1YTE5Njk=

        I think an application to the problem discussed therein can be seen in the recent antics of one Jerry McDonald and his DE fellow tinroad6g.

        Sincerely,
        Robert Baty


        -----Original Message-----
        From: Todd S. Greene
        Sent: Thursday, May 1, 2008 9:48 AM
        To: Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [M & B] Conservative commentary on the dishonesty of creationism

        Excerpt from:
        http://article.nationalreview.com/?
        q=ZGYwMzdjOWRmNGRhOWQ4MTQyZDMxNjNhYTU1YTE5Njk=
        [link is line-wrapped]

        The pervasive dishonesty of the rhetoric and tactics creationists use
        is recognized by people from all spectrums, including by political
        conservatives.

        - Todd Greene

        ================================================================
        A Blood Libel on Our Civilization (Can I expell Expelled?)
        by John Derbyshire
        (National Review Online, 4/28/2008)

        These dishonesties do not surprise me. When talking about the
        creationists to people who don't follow these controversies closely, I
        have found that the hardest thing to get across is the shifty,
        low-cunning aspect of the whole modern creationist enterprise.
        Individual creationists can be very nice people, though they get nicer
        the further away they are from the full-time core enterprise of modern
        creationism at the Discovery Institute. The enterprise as a whole,
        however, really doesn't smell good. You notice this when you're around
        it a lot. I shall give some more examples in a minute; but what
        accounts for all this dishonesty and misrepresentation?

        My own theory is that the creationists have been morally corrupted by
        the constant effort of pretending not to be what they are. What they
        are, as is amply documented, is a pressure group for religious
        teaching in public schools.

        Now, there is nothing wrong with that. We are a nation of pressure
        groups, and one more would hardly notice. However, since parents who
        want their kids religiously educated already have plenty of private
        and parochial schools to choose from (half the kids on my street have
        attended parochial school), as well as the option of home schooling,
        now very well organized and supported (and heartily approved of by me:
        I just wish I knew how they find the time); and since current
        jurisprudence, how correctly I am not competent to say, regards
        tax-funded religious instruction as unconstitutional; creationists are
        a pressure group without hope, if they campaign openly for the thing
        they want.

        Understanding this, the creationists took the morally fatal decision
        to campaign clandestinely. They overhauled creationism as "intelligent
        design," roped in a handful of eccentric non-Christian cranks keen for
        a well-funded vehicle to help them push their own flat-earth theories,
        and set about presenting themselves to the public as "alternative
        science" engaged in a "controversy" with a closed-minded, reactionary
        "science establishment" fearful of new ideas. (Ignoring the fact that
        without a constant supply of new ideas, there would be nothing for
        scientists to do.) Nothing to do with religion at all!

        I think this willful act of deception has corrupted creationism
        irredeemably. The old Biblical creationists were, in my opinion,
        wrong-headed, but they were mostly honest people. The "intelligent
        design" crowd lean more in the other direction. Hence the dishonesty
        and sheer nastiness, even down to plain bad manners, that you keep
        encountering in ID circles. It's by no means all of them, but it's
        enough to corrupt and poison the creationist enterprise, which might
        otherwise have added something worthwhile to our national life, if
        only by way of entertainment value.

        This dishonesty showed up very soon after the creationists decided to
        don the mask of "alternative science" in the 1990s. A key episode was
        the Kunming conference of June 1999. In very brief � you can read the
        full story in Forrest and Gross's Creationism's Trojan Horse ("A bad
        book, a very bad book," shuddered the Discovery Institute's Bruce
        Chapman when he saw it on my desk, like a vampire spotting a clove of
        garlic), pp.56-66 � there is a very interesting bed of extremely old
        fossils near Kunming, in southern China. Paul Chien, a little-known
        creationist of Chinese ancestry from San Francisco, acted as a front
        man for the Discovery Institute to organize a conference in Kunming,
        bringing in professional paleontologists from China and abroad, but
        without telling them of the Discovery Institute's involvement. The aim
        was "to produce and then to promote a book containing the conference
        papers of [creationist] members immediately juxtaposed to those
        written by respected scientists in the relevant fields." (Forrest &
        Gross, their italics.) When the real paleontologists found out what
        was going on, and how they had been brought across China, or around
        the world, they were not pleased. Embarrassing scenes followed. No
        book ever appeared.

        Examples can be multiplied. The witty and mild-mannered federal Judge
        Jones, who presided over the 2005 Kitzmiller trial in Dover, Pa., felt
        moved to note that: "The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served
        by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic
        that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted
        their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to
        cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID
        Policy." The response of the Discovery Institute was to launch
        sneering, slanderous attacks on the professionalism and competence of
        Judge Jones (a church-going conservative Republican appointed by
        President George W. Bush).




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • w_w_c_l
        ... Todd, This is a pretty good article but there are a couple of ... I say they were morally corrupt to begin with, and that is why they decided to become
        Message 3 of 4 , May 1, 2008
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          --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "Todd S. Greene"
          <greeneto@...> wrote:
          >
          > Excerpt from:
          > http://article.nationalreview.com/?
          > q=ZGYwMzdjOWRmNGRhOWQ4MTQyZDMxNjNhYTU1YTE5Njk=
          > [link is line-wrapped]
          >
          > The pervasive dishonesty of the rhetoric and tactics
          > creationists use is recognized by people from all
          > spectrums, including by political conservatives.
          >
          > - Todd Greene

          Todd,

          This is a pretty good article but there are a couple of
          points with which I am not in complete agreement:

          > My own theory is that the creationists have been
          > morally corrupted by the constant effort of
          > pretending not to be what they are. What they
          > are, as is amply documented, is a pressure group
          > for religious teaching in public schools.

          I say they were morally corrupt to begin with, and
          that is why they decided to become creationists in the
          first place.


          > The old Biblical creationists were, in my opinion,
          > wrong-headed, but they were mostly honest people.

          I disagree. From Henry Morris on down, every last one
          of them has been a deliberate liar. Wrong-headed? Yes,
          naturally. But mostly honest? Not a chance.

          Creationism riding in the newly painted wagon of
          "intelligent design" is the same slicked back snake-oil
          medicine show it always has been, aimed at preying on
          innocent townsfolk who never realized they even *had*
          any ailments until these charlatans came along.

          It's bad science and bad theology. But what do they
          care? As soon as they've got your silver dollars they're
          gone in the night, leaving it up to the people they
          duped to defend "the remedy".

          Step right up, Jerry McDonald! Step right up, Skip
          Francis! You gents look like you could use a dose of
          Dr. Humphreys' Cosmological Cure-All!


          Rick


          > ================================================================

          A Blood Libel on Our Civilization (Can I expell Expelled?)
          by John Derbyshire
          (National Review Online, 4/28/2008)

          These dishonesties do not surprise me. When talking about the
          creationists to people who don't follow these controversies closely, I
          have found that the hardest thing to get across is the shifty,
          low-cunning aspect of the whole modern creationist enterprise.
          Individual creationists can be very nice people, though they get nicer
          the further away they are from the full-time core enterprise of modern
          creationism at the Discovery Institute. The enterprise as a whole,
          however, really doesn't smell good. You notice this when you're around
          it a lot. I shall give some more examples in a minute; but what
          accounts for all this dishonesty and misrepresentation?

          My own theory is that the creationists have been morally corrupted by
          the constant effort of pretending not to be what they are. What they
          are, as is amply documented, is a pressure group for religious
          teaching in public schools.

          Now, there is nothing wrong with that. We are a nation of pressure
          groups, and one more would hardly notice. However, since parents who
          want their kids religiously educated already have plenty of private
          and parochial schools to choose from (half the kids on my street have
          attended parochial school), as well as the option of home schooling,
          now very well organized and supported (and heartily approved of by me:
          I just wish I knew how they find the time); and since current
          jurisprudence, how correctly I am not competent to say, regards
          tax-funded religious instruction as unconstitutional; creationists are
          a pressure group without hope, if they campaign openly for the thing
          they want.

          Understanding this, the creationists took the morally fatal decision
          to campaign clandestinely. They overhauled creationism as "intelligent
          design," roped in a handful of eccentric non-Christian cranks keen for
          a well-funded vehicle to help them push their own flat-earth theories,
          and set about presenting themselves to the public as "alternative
          science" engaged in a "controversy" with a closed-minded, reactionary
          "science establishment" fearful of new ideas. (Ignoring the fact that
          without a constant supply of new ideas, there would be nothing for
          scientists to do.) Nothing to do with religion at all!

          I think this willful act of deception has corrupted creationism
          irredeemably. The old Biblical creationists were, in my opinion,
          wrong-headed, but they were mostly honest people. The "intelligent
          design" crowd lean more in the other direction. Hence the dishonesty
          and sheer nastiness, even down to plain bad manners, that you keep
          encountering in ID circles. It's by no means all of them, but it's
          enough to corrupt and poison the creationist enterprise, which might
          otherwise have added something worthwhile to our national life, if
          only by way of entertainment value.

          This dishonesty showed up very soon after the creationists decided to
          don the mask of "alternative science" in the 1990s. A key episode was
          the Kunming conference of June 1999. In very brief — you can read the
          full story in Forrest and Gross's Creationism's Trojan Horse ("A bad
          book, a very bad book," shuddered the Discovery Institute's Bruce
          Chapman when he saw it on my desk, like a vampire spotting a clove of
          garlic), pp.56-66 — there is a very interesting bed of extremely old
          fossils near Kunming, in southern China. Paul Chien, a little-known
          creationist of Chinese ancestry from San Francisco, acted as a front
          man for the Discovery Institute to organize a conference in Kunming,
          bringing in professional paleontologists from China and abroad, but
          without telling them of the Discovery Institute's involvement. The aim
          was "to produce and then to promote a book containing the conference
          papers of [creationist] members immediately juxtaposed to those
          written by respected scientists in the relevant fields." (Forrest &
          Gross, their italics.) When the real paleontologists found out what
          was going on, and how they had been brought across China, or around
          the world, they were not pleased. Embarrassing scenes followed. No
          book ever appeared.

          Examples can be multiplied. The witty and mild-mannered federal Judge
          Jones, who presided over the 2005 Kitzmiller trial in Dover, Pa., felt
          moved to note that: "The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served
          by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic
          that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted
          their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to
          cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID
          Policy." The response of the Discovery Institute was to launch
          sneering, slanderous attacks on the professionalism and competence of
          Judge Jones (a church-going conservative Republican appointed by
          President George W. Bush).

          ----------------------------------
        • Todd S. Greene
          ... Rick, don t you know that Humphreys is now passé, and the new sheriff in Creationist Town is named John Hartnett? Chuckling, Todd Greene
          Message 4 of 4 , May 1, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            --- In Maury_and_Baty, Rick Hartzog wrote (post #14592):
            |[snip]
            > Step right up, Jerry McDonald! Step right up, Skip
            > Francis! You gents look like you could use a dose of
            > Dr. Humphreys' Cosmological Cure-All!

            Rick, don't you know that Humphreys is now passé, and the new sheriff
            in Creationist Town is named John Hartnett?

            Chuckling,
            Todd Greene
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