Wherein the DI Forgets to put its Brain in Gear before Engaging its Mouth…

| 39 Comments

I found this bit of Discovery Institute fact-mangling to be even more blatant and preposterous than usual.

It seems the good folk at DI are complaining that Paul Nelson May Now be Forever Misquoted, saying

Today there is another urban myth building up a head of steam, and being helped along by Darwinists, about Discovery Fellow Paul Nelson. Gaurdian [sic]reporter Karen Armstrong reports: ‘Great shakings and darkness are descending on Planet Earth,’ says the ID philosopher Paul Nelson, ‘but they will be overshadowed by even more amazing displays of God’s power and light.’ And yet this is pure rubbish because Nelson never said anything like this, and it turns out that Armstrong never even interviewed him. Nelson points this out in his letter to the Guardian demanding a correction. (Note to Paul: don’t hold your breath)

The trouble is, when you visit Nelson’s aforementioned letter, you quickly learn that Paul Nelson is actually thanking

…the indefatigable Nick Matzke for catching a wild misattribution in Karen Armstrong’s Guardian opinion piece of 31 July 2006. I just sent the following letter to the newspaper:

To the editors, In her opinion piece of 31 July, Karen Armstrong attributed remarks to me (as a direct quote) which I did not make: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentis[…]3810,00.html The erroneous attribution can be found near my name, Paul Nelson. This was first brought to my attention by the widely-read science blog, The Panda’s Thumb: www.pandasthumb.org

And there we have it. As discussed days ago on the Thumb, a Guardian reporter egregiously misquoted IDer Paul Nelson; the error was posted, corrected and discussed by Nick Matzke here on the Thumb; Paul Nelson complained to the Guardian, citing Nick’s PT blog as his source; … and so, Robert Crowther concludes

Today there is another urban myth building up a head of steam, and being helped along by Darwinists, about Discovery Fellow Paul Nelson.

We’re not making this stuff up! The Moral of the story is that it’s best to put the old brain in gear before engaging the mouth. But when you see evil “Darwinists” around every corner, I guess old habits are hard to break!

39 Comments

The DI’s mastery of unconscious irony is unsurpassed.

I wonder how long they’ll take before they correct this, and will they ever apologize for the gratuitous slap at ‘Darwinists’.

Well it’s for the plebes, whose entire edifice of belief is built upon the notion that “Darwinists” are suppressing the “truth” that they read and hear regarding creation. So the DI feeds that perception, while we know how they’ll leave out true facts that tend to clutter the message.

Their out, of course, is that they didn’t write “all Darwinists,” and will presumably use any two who might have jumped the gun to back up their claim. The context, however, would point to a majority, or at least a large minority, of “Darwinists” who have commented about the matter who would in fact be ‘helping the myth along’. No evidence backs up such implications, yet it’s good enough fodder for a herd that receives its nourishment from the DI and their lapdogs.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

The Moral of the story is that it’s best to put the old brain in gear before engaging the mouth.

Another moral of the story is “don’t expect thanks from from creationists when you point out the truth – even if it’s a truth that benefits or reflects positively on them.”

[DonaldM] This just shows how dishonest Darwinists are! Obviously Low Down Dirty Matzke deliberately put up a post about the misquote knowing GOOD AND WELL that Crowther wouldn’t see it before complaining about the Darwinists. This is a cheap shot to make Crowther look like a belligerant idiot Nick and you should be ashamed! Your perfidy knows no bounds, sir. [/DonaldM]

I wonder how long they’ll take before they correct this, and will they ever apologize for the gratuitous slap at ‘Darwinists’.

This is the Ministry of Misinformation - trivial detail, such as ‘facts’, never get in the way of a good story?

What got my goat was that (A) Crowther made no mention of any specific “Darwinists” allegedly spreading the Nelson mis-quote, and (B) Crowther’s post linked directly to Nelson’s letter, which begins by thanking PT’s Nick Matzke (whom we must assume is a “Darwinist” in Discovery’s eyes).

But, outside of not providing any details of which “Darwinists” were dissembling, and failing to recognize that it was a “Darwinist” who actually broke the story on the problems with the Nelson citation, everything’s hunky-dory.

Dave - not a “Darwinist,” but a physicist. (But, not an “Einsteinist” or “Maxwellist” or “Bornist” either…)

Its those Darwinian fascists, at it again!

But, outside of not providing any details of which “Darwinists” were dissembling, and failing to recognize that it was a “Darwinist” who actually broke the story on the problems with the Nelson citation, everything’s hunky-dory.

I’m glad it’s some other wildly misinformed Darwinists (WMDs) in some other unnamed place at some other unnamed time carrying out some other unnamed unmentionable dastardly deeds. Only standing shoulder to shoulder can the unnamed unmentionables be sorted out of the hamper of ignorance and washed in bright light of truth and this dark stain removed from Darwin’s soiled reputation.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

What got my goat was that (A) Crowther made no mention of any specific “Darwinists” allegedly spreading the Nelson mis-quote…

I believe the DI is accusing Karen Armstrong herself of being the “myth-spreading Darwinist,” since it was her article that listed the quote in the first place.

What, you think they need anything beyond the original instance before accusing “Darwinists” in general? No, no. Simply having it published once is the “spreading” part, even if no one else ever repeated the accusation. C’mon, man. Start thinking like a propogandist.

Well, if Karen Armstrong is the bad ol’ “Darwinist,” I guess they’re not making them like they used to! A Google of her mentions on the Guardian website brings up the following:

· Karen Armstrong is the author of The Battle for God: A History of Fundamentalism · Karen Armstrong is the author of The Great Transformation: The World in the Time of Buddha, Socrates, Confucius and Jeremiah · Karen Armstrong is the author of A Short History of Myth · Karen Armstrong is the author of Buddha · Karen Armstrong is the author of The Great Transformation: The World in the Time of Buddha, Socrates, Confucius and Jeremiah · Karen Armstrong is the author of A History of God

Darwinist, Schmarwinist, I say. Not even one publication in the Annals of Genetics!

Dave

Dave, perhaps we can call them “Darwinism-related program activities”.

Was Armstrong’s article anti-ID? Then the implied assumption is that she is a Darwinist by default. That really is how these guys think. It’s black and white with them.

Here’s the original piece. Armstrong says

… The fundamentalists’ rejection of science is deeply linked to their apocalyptic vision. Even the relatively sober ID theorists segue easily into Rapture-speak. “Great shakings and darkness are descending on Planet Earth,” says the ID philosopher Paul Nelson…

You’re right, H. - Armstrong’s implication that ID is intimately involved with Religion would probably suffice to make her a “Darwinist” in the DI’s eyes. Dave

I’d like to take this opportunity to extend an invitation to Karen Armstrong to join the Darwinian Pressure Group, Delta Pi Gamma. God knows we need the chicks.

Thinking on my last comment a bit, I realized that, by the same logic, IDers would also consider Biblical Creationists to be “Darwinists.”

I am so glad I’m not an IDer. I couldn’t handle the cognitive dissonance!

Dave

Thinking on my last comment a bit, I realized that, by the same logic, IDers would also consider Biblical Creationists to be “Darwinists.”

I am so glad I’m not an IDer. I couldn’t handle the cognitive dissonance!

Dave

Yeah, I was thinking a bit more about what I wrote as as well.

ID is clearly intent on perpetuating the fiction that ID is constantly being repressed or misrepresented by evil “Darwinists” with an agenda. To them this nebulous opression is ever-present and on-going, which is why any slight misrepresentation that actually does occur is always handled with a “see, here they go again” attitude, with the “they” a catchall for any opposition. They don’t view them as isolated cases, it’s all part of the big Darwinian propaganda machine. This holds true even if any particular individual isn’t expliciting endorsing evolution. One is considered brainwashed for any attempt to perpetuate the status quo.

However, since ID has no research programs of its own, IDers are constantly forced to scour the papers of the same “Darwinists” they depise for anything which they can pretend supports ID conclusions. Did some paper published somewhere compares a flagellum to an outboard motor? That’s ID!

So this is how the IDers cognitive dissonance functions: You are either with us or against us, but only we can tell you which you are. You might think you are being a neutral reporter, but in fact you are merely a tool perpetuating the Darwinian conspiracy. Or you might think you are researching evolutionary principles, but you are instead unwittingly supporting ID concepts. And what the DI labels someone is always subject to change depending upon the particular circumstances, mind you.

In the end, it just comes down to how the DI can spin any particular item or statement for their cause.

In the end, it just comes down to how the DI can spin any particular item or statement for their cause.

Amen!

Dave

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Comment #116671

Posted by bill Farrell on August 3, 2006 05:45 PM (e) | kill

I’d like to take this opportunity to extend an invitation to Karen Armstrong to join the Darwinian Pressure Group, Delta Pi Gamma. God knows we need the chicks.

Are you guys aligned with the Darwinian Fascists?

Another moral of the story is “don’t expect thanks from from creationists when you point out the truth — even if it’s a truth that benefits or reflects positively on them.”

Well, now you’re doing a bit of what Dave Thomas is criticizing, because creationist Paul Nelson did thank Nick. While it’s true that, on the whole, hypocrisy and dishonesty characterize DI and the rest of the “movement”, we already knew that, and to take that as the moral of this story is to cherry pick. Nick Matzke took the high road here; let’s try to stay on it, and acknowledge that Nelson gave credit where credit was due.

Vaguely of topic, but I noticed that Nelson’s listed affiliation is now “adjunct” at Biola. What happened?

I am so glad I’m not an IDer. I couldn’t handle the cognitive dissonance!

sure ya could, all you have to do is utilize denial and projection as rampant defense mechanisms, and you could live in your own little world, apparently quite comfortably based on the durability of folks like Behe, Dembski, and our own resident dissonants like FL.

I just don’t get what the DI are complaining about.

Do they think that no one knows they are a well funded conservative Fundamentalist Christian (Biblical Literalist) right wing political pressure group ?

Hey guys wake up the cats out of the bag.

Do they STILL think that everyone who has not lived on Mars for the last few years KNOWS they are promoting Genesis as their alternative to Evolution?

No? Everyone in Kansas knows.

Don’t they realize that the loony ravings of post-desperationist anti-millennium tele-rapture money grubbing wide eyed maniacs are totally indistinguishable from the hairy wide eyed maniacs in the middle east who claim to know the “One true world of GodTM and just to prove it WE will send YOU to him”

Irrational religious idiots all seem the same to me, they all say the same irrational things.

One bit of generic bible-baffle is the same as another when you don’t live in a theocracy.

Osama and Nelson are peas in pod THAT is Armstrong’s point.

Rapture? I’ll bet Howie could tell us a thing or two about that.…right Nelson?

Whats the matter? Is Rapture the new ‘N’ word.

As an outsider Armstrong’s view of American Fundamentalist (Biblical Literalists) comical though it is, IS the image America gives the world BECAUSE Americans ACTUALLY say those things and when the Pres. says he ‘talks with god’ aside from the absolute cold chills it sends down my spine, well…it doesn’t help Nelson’s case does it.

What is Howie complaining about anyway? If I wanted a theocracy ,I’d be pretty happy with the current situation, just one little detail..get rid of the Darwinists.

Or does he still want stoning for adultery AS WELL? Some people are never satisfied.

wamba wrote:

Its those Darwinian fascists, at it again!

Yea, they’ve got Pat Robertson thinking global warming is real:

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/14171691/

“We really need to address the burning of fossil fuels,” Robertson said on his 700 Club broadcast. “It is getting hotter, and the icecaps are melting, and there is a buildup of carbon dioxide in the air.”

Now, if Robertson could change his mind about that – what might make him change his mind about evolution?

the bush administration telling him to change his mind?

My guess is that’s why he now speaks with a different tongue on the global warming issue.

Robertson is just a tool, and the years of service have worn on him poorly.

…ID philosopher Paul Nelson…

No siree! He’s a design theorist and scientist

Are you guys aligned with the Darwinian Fascists?

As Grand Quartermaster of Delta Pi Gamma, I can assure you that we are not a fascist organization nor are fascists among our membership.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

The “building up a head of steam” bit is particularly surreal.

i wonder if that’s mediated by nitric oxide, too?

one thing that’s clear: DI reads Panda’s Thumb. (hi there, guys!)

‘Tis true! The Darwinian Fascists were founded by none other than the Grand Poobah hisself, William Dembski.

Figmentus Imaginei

I was just wondering. When has DI ever put their brains in gear?

And if they did put their brains in gear would they still be DI?

J Bigg Wrote:

I was just wondering. When has DI ever put their brains in gear?

And if they did put their brains in gear would they still be DI?

What is the sound of one DIer thinking?

OK - so, if a DIer is alone in the woods, and says something with no one around to hear it - is he still wrong?

Dave

Mainly what the later provides is a platform for atheists to bash religion under the cover of promoting “science” education.

I can’t speak for the others, but I bash YOUR religion.

I have no problem with mainstream versions of the Abrahamic religions existing.

I will always prefer people abandon superstition just as the mainstreamers will always prefer people find God. We can get along fine together.

Anyway, what’s wrong with verbally bashing religion when you fundie nuts will think nothing of PHYSICAL bashing of atheists?

Like Pandas Thumb and Kansas Citizens for Science provide great levels of enlightenment.

That’s a matter of opinion.

Just because many don’t kiss your ass like Dembski’s monkeys does to Dembski doesn’t mean there’s no knowledge to be gained here.

JB, Go back to reading your Wholly Babble and eating library paste.

Like Pandas Thumb and Kansas Citizens for Science provide great levels of enlightenment. Mainly what the later provides is a platform for atheists to bash religion under the cover of promoting “science” education.

Your insecurity is showing again.

Given that many people in both organizations are professed Christians, your statement is quite insulting and inaccuate.

Unless you’re trying to say that YOU can say who’s Christian and who isnt.…?

Panda’s Thumb does not allow commenters to post under multiple names and/or e-mail addresses.

Please see our Comment Integrity Policy, specifically Rule 6:

6. Posting under multiple identities or falsely posting as someone else may lead to removal of affected comments and blocking of the IP address from which those comments were posted, at the discretion of the management.

I’m mentioning this because the troll whose comments I’ve deleted, a.k.a. “JB” and “Yuel”, is posting under INVALID E-MAIL ADDRESSES, and under multiple names, all from the same I.P. address.

For the record, and mainly so readers won’t wonder who folks are responding to, here follow the deleted comments.

That said, please don’t feed the Trolls.

If you are an innocent user happening to be also using IP address 68.91.81.40, I’m afraid you will be losing posting privileges here.

IP Address: 68.91.81.40 Name: JB Email Address: [Enable javascript to see this email address.]

Comment #116884

Posted by JB on August 4, 2006 02:28 PM (e)

So what? Like Pandas Thumb and Kansas Citizens for Science provide great levels of enlightenment.

Mainly what the later provides is a platform for atheists to bash religion under the cover of promoting “science” education.

IP Address: 68.91.81.40 Name: Yuel Email Address: [Enable javascript to see this email address.]

Comment #116949

Posted by Yuel on August 4, 2006 05:51 PM (e)

Well, I just don’t want to go to a Gulag like grandpa!

Buh-Bye, JB. Buh-Bye, Yuel. Pity that some creationist trolls are too cowardly to post with a valid e-mail address, even if that’s made available only to the post originator (that’s me!).

Hm. It looks as though the “[sic]” was added by Dave Thomas.

Given that Evolution News’s article is about an error in the Grauniad, I thought at first that the spelling “Gaurdian” was intentional. But apparently they don’t even have that much wit.

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This page contains a single entry by Dave Thomas published on August 3, 2006 1:59 PM.

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