Saturday, September 23, 2006

DI: A Day Late and a Dollar Short

I dont suppose *news* that the Discovery Institute is a little slow on the uptake, but a couple weeks ago, Casey Luskin finally got around to 'criticising' Chris Mooneys take on ID Creationism in The Republican War on Science. A book that came out over a year ago. While Im sure Casey was a little more concerned about controlling the damage from the Dover Trial last fall/winter, this still seems a little silly to me, but lets see what he has to say:

In its entirety

#1-- Mr. Mooney overpraises Darwin.
#2-- Mr. Mooney claims ID traces itself to the theological arguments of William Paley.
#3-- Mr. Mooney critiques a blatantly false, straw-man version of intelligent design.
#4-- Mr. Mooney implies there are no peer-reviewed scientific publications supporting ID.
#5-- Mr. Mooney alleges that the controversy over evolution is "manufactured".
#6-- Mr. Mooney insinuates that Discovery Institute opposed Dover's ID Policy because Discovery Institute allegedly believes ID is unconstitutional.
#7-- Mr. Mooney implies it is inappropriate to "teach the controversy" over evolution.
#8-- Mr. Mooney insinuates the Santorum Amendment inappropriately "singles out" evolution.
#9-- Mr. Mooney argues that intelligent design is not science because some
of its proponents have Christian religious beliefs and motives.
#10-- Mr. Mooney argues that Discovery Institute is "disingenuously pretending that modern science basically amounts to institutionalized atheism".
#11-- Mr. Mooney appeals to authority as a valid argument against ID.
#12-- Mr. Mooney's misrepresents Stephen Meyer's peer-reviewed pro-ID science article.
#13-- Mr. Mooney claims the Kitzmiller v. Dover case is the "death knell" of ID.
#14-- An Error of Omission--Mr. Mooney ignores the real "war"--the attack upon the academic freedom of scientists who support intelligent design in science and the media.
See? Its just the usual DI dreck! (If you dont know why these 'arguments' are retarded, Chris gives this garbage the attention it deserves here) It took Casey a year to pull this together? Ugh.

Evidently Casey is actually pissed off that all those darn 'scientists' are listening to Chris:
"Why do so many people eagerly listen to a journalist with neither scientific nor legal training discuss a complex scientific and legalissue like intelligent design?" asks Casey Luskin, an attorney with a science background, working with Discovery Institute's Center for Science & Culture (CSC).
Gee Casey, dont ya think its weird that a lot of people with credentials agree with Chris, and virtually everyone with credentials doesnt buy your Creationism bullshit? If you want to play the 'credentials' card, youre still neck-in-neck with the astrologers and faith healers. But fine, want me to disagree with Chris on something? Sure!

I dont mind Chris's lack of scientific credentials. He cited his sources and consulted appropriate experts and documents of the topics he addressed. What I have a problem with is his naive (hopefully not pretentious) attitude about how it is to be a scientist in the real world. There was one sentence in the new epilogue that pissed me off:
"But scientists have too often failed to counter creationist efforts ar a local level, preferring to remain in their ivory towers."

Bull. Shit.

I am still just a 'kid', yet I try to be as active as possible on the local Anti-Creationism front. Right after I moved down to OKC, I attended a local church to hear a Creationist speak (just a bottom feeder-- Brad Harrub . No one 'cool'). After sitting through a 2 hour hate speech - and I do mean hate speech - against science, reason, atheists, etc, the audience was invited to ask questions of Mr. Harrub. Questions written on a piece of paper, filtered through the ministers/elders, and finally to Harrub to answer or not answer. However I was allowed to ask as many questions of Harrub as I liked... as I was shepherded away from the rest of the church, so they wouldnt be tainted with my evil questions. I returned to the church a few days later and asked to give a presentation about evolution to anyone was interested. The ministers humored me for a bit, but then they suddenly were unable to return my emails and messages.

This is what you come up against being a science advocate in the real world. These people have absolutely no interest in 'teaching both sides.' They want to teach their side, their creation myth, nothing else. They blockade themselves in their churches and their religious schools and religious camps and nobody gets through with an outside opinion. Filtering questions?? Common!! I would ask Chris, why hasnt he promoted his book on 'The 700 Club'? He says we need to plead with the Religious Right to come back to reality, so why doesnt he go on 'The 700 Club' and do just that? Well, the same reason why I cant leave my 'ivory tower' to speak at local anti-evolution churches. I might want to go, but theyarent letting me in.

The answer is not to further condemn frustrated science activists, but to properly condemn the evil individuals that would rather keep their flocks ignorant than lose their tithes. Evil little twits like Casey who continue the religious mental abuse of teenagers and young adults with their IDEA clubs. Dont bitch to me about staying in my 'ivory tower' when youve never been in the dark trenches of the Bible Belt.

There, Casey. Feel better?


Gerald said...

Good summary of the DI's awful attempt to make Chris Mooney look bad. They seem to forget that Ann Coulter has no scientific credentials either, but they don't seem to mind her writing about science, ID, and evolution. Maybe they don't mind since she got all of her knowledge about the subject from the DI and spends the major portion of her book using pitiful old creationist arguments against evolution. The hypocrisy of creationists never ceases to amaze me.

I also read that Morgan Spurlock, creater of "Thirty Days" and "SuperSize Me" is supposed to make a documentary about Chris Mooney's book. Can't wait to see it.

P.S. Nice blog and keep up the good work!

ERV said...

Oh thats fantastic! I didnt know about the Spurlock/Mooney deal, but I just picked up the paperback version of 'RWOS' a few weeks ago :) A theatrical version would certainly help bring this problem to the attention of more people.

hehehe Coincidentally, I just rented 'Super Size Me' last week!

W said...

Its great to see you taking them to task on the net (for all the world to see), and in-person in OKC. Very bold. I'm proud. The War on Science has been in my to read list for a while now. Time to get crackin'