Re: Conservative commentary on the dishonesty of creationism
- --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "Todd S. Greene"
> Excerpt from:
> [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
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 beenI say they were morally corrupt to begin with, and
> 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.
that is why they decided to become creationists in the
> The old Biblical creationists were, in my opinion,I disagree. From Henry Morris on down, every last one
> wrong-headed, but they were mostly honest people.
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!
> ================================================================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
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).
- --- In Maury_and_Baty, Rick Hartzog wrote (post #14592):
> Step right up, Jerry McDonald! Step right up, SkipRick, don't you know that Humphreys is now passé, and the new sheriff
> Francis! You gents look like you could use a dose of
> Dr. Humphreys' Cosmological Cure-All!
in Creationist Town is named John Hartnett?