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Re: Conservative commentary on the dishonesty of creationism

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  • 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 1 of 4 , May 1 9:20 PM
      --- 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 2 of 4 , May 1 11:37 PM
        --- 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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