Help, help, I’m being repressed!

| 17 Comments

Two recent posts over at the Discovery Institute’s Media Complaints Division blog have me ready to break out the world’s smallest violin. Their new (well, newish, anyway - it’s popped up from time to time before) argument is that they are being discriminated against. In the first of the two articles, Rob Crowther argues that “Darwinists” are trying to “censor” academic freedom in Michigan. In the second, John West starts by suggesting that “Of Pandas and People” should be the “Banned Book of the Year,” and concludes with the outrageous and insulting claim that the “ultimate goal here is to ban ideas.”

The two posts, unsurprisingly enough, are jam packed with statements that are in gross conflict with reality. I’m not going to go into those here, although there are one or two I’m considering taking a swing at later. Instead, I’m going to focus on their root claim that objecting to what they want to do in the classroom constitutes some sort of “censorship.”

Read more (at the Questionable Authority):

17 Comments

Now we see the violence inherent in the system!

Bloody peasant!

Oh, did you see that? Right there? That’s a dead giveaway!

Not to stretch this too much further, but it is interesting to note that the very next scene has the monks chanting and beating themselves over the head, kind of like the DI/ID folks seem to be doing.

Well, ‘ow’d ye get t’be th’Center for Science an’ Culture then? I dinnae vote fer ye!

oops, wrong part. From the top…

This sorry page at the disco website shd be renamed “depressed institute whines and moans” or some such thing. This tale of woe is like a classic South Indian tearjerker (movie); the crying goes on and on. They could come up with one of those things that the MAD magazine (in those great days when it was really MAD) used to have - a stack of strips with all sorts of newsy phrases that you could mix and match to write your own headlines. The disco folks don’t seem to enjoy their job any longer and seem to be deep in the grip of boredom. It isn’t any better at IDCfuture either with Hunter coming up with some “I can’t believe this could happen because of RM+NS.”

…Loose mathematicians handing out design inferences right and left and going on about blind watchmakers is not a proper basis for enshrining one’s religious beliefs as “science”…

Let me get this straight.

The Disco Institute’s top “banned book of the year” is a book that wasn’t banned.

OKKKKK…

Just like their top “scientific theory” isn’t a scientific theory.

I think I’m beginning to see a pattern here, but the intelligence behind the design is elusive.

Mike Dunford Wrote:

The problem, of course, is that they’re not being censored. Nobody is telling them to stop writing or selling books. Nobody is keeping them from writing op-eds, and nobody is keeping them from running a blog. We’re not even keeping them out of the scientific literature - the problem that they have there is that we expect them to meet the same standards as the rest of us to get their material in there. We’re not telling them that they can’t teach their stuff to their kids at home or in Church. We’re not telling them that their books can’t be put in public libraries.

You missed the most important part. Critics of anti-evolution scams ironically give students the easiest access to the mutually contradictory anti-evolution positions (& ID, which is a strategy, not a position). All of these sites, fatal flaws, contradictions and all, are one or two clicks away from the Talk Origins Archive home page. Everything the anti-evolution activists want students to learn and more. So why aren’t they advertising the heck out of it? Simple, it is they who are trying to censor information. The chutzpah is astounding.

“What we are telling them is that they can’t teach their lies in the public school science classroom. It’s as simple as that.” - http://scienceblogs.com/authority/2[…]epressed.php

“The Dover school board wanted teachers to tell students that if they desired information about intelligent design they could go to the school library and read Of Pandas and People.” - http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/0[…]_of_pan.html

It appears that they did not advocate any teaching of their theory, so I don’t see what this post is really getting at. Neither do I think it is appropriate to label them as having a “fringe belief”.

If they do indeed have a “fringe belief” they wouldn’t have half of the “uneducated” public behind them. I of course, am a mere university undergrad and thus belong to the “uneducated” masses. Afterall, only scientists are “educated” people. If you think I sound like I’m accusing someone of being elitist, I think it’s a justified accusation.

It appears that they did not advocate any teaching of their theory

Mostly because ID doesn’t actually HAVE any, uh, theory.

But if I’m a little curious now — if IDers don’t actually WANT their “theory” to be taught, and if it’s not BEING taught, then, um, what the hell are they bitching about?

If they do indeed have a “fringe belief” they wouldn’t have half of the “uneducated” public behind them

A higher proportion of Americans, of course, accept flying saucers, ESP and ghosts, than accept creation ‘science’.

Or do you consider those to be “not fringe beliefs” too?

Heck, some two-thirds of US citizens STILL beleive that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9-11 attacks.

Americans are, on the whole, utterly uneducated pig-ignorant buffoons. (shrug)

There is nothing new at all in the discrimination charge. The “scientific creationists” used it, and Phillip Johnson was whining about it at the same time he was making ID by fiat.

What probably is happening, though, is that IDists are focusing more heavily on it, since their “arguments” have been argued to death. That may make the discrimination plaint seem “newish”, no matter how poorly it has itself stood up to competent critics.

The complaint about “discrimination” seems almost natural from their side. This is actually because evolution was banned from many classrooms in the past, with the Scopes trial being the most famous battle over such banning. Thus, once “evolutionists” turn around and say that fairy tales really aren’t science and shouldn’t be taught as such, the obvious retort is that you’re “banning us” like evolution itself was once banned.

Of course they have to ignore the fact that evolution is science for the claim to work, which is fine for them because they don’t understand science anyhow. Just equate a secular theory, which was banned by reactionary religionists, with the reactionary religious origins’ myth, and you have a faux bias claim which plays to the rubes.

The twist comes from the IDists’ learning how we answer such false charges. They know that evolution is a secular theory, and thus has every bit as much right to be taught as science as any other secular theory, like those of physics and of geology. Therefore they are trying to make evolution out to exist solely in order to banish God from science and from classrooms, and to be ideologically driven by “materialism”. Why this isn’t also the reason why physics exists, or chemistry, isn’t an answer that is forthcoming, other than a whole host of IDiot complaints against evolution and the usual ‘argument from incredulity’ (“I’m too stupid to understand evolution, hence it couldn’t happen.”)

So the fact is that the “discrimination” whine has advanced significantly, with ancillary attacks on “materialism” supporting the claim. None of it is coherent in the least: Consider that evolutionary theory integrates biology with physics, the latter of which they support (and sometimes wish to supplant evolution with–as if physics could explain biology sans evolution), and that their “alternative” is simply to dispatch with physics in the area of origins. Certainly they can’t help but undermine all of science with their attacks on “materialism”, which means that we’re just about on the level of the attacks on Galileo (minus the Inquisition) when they piously inveigh against “materialistic science”.

But one can always state that one’s own (reactionary and unevidenced) views are being suppressed, even if they are views that go against the foundations of science. And it plays in many of the churches, so why wouldn’t they equate their biases with the products of (relatively) unbiased observation and modeling?

I suspect that we’re going to be hearing the same whine for a very long time.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

From Wingless:

“If you think I sound like I’m accusing someone of being elitist, I think it’s a justified accusation.”

Also from Wingless:

“I of course, am a mere university undergrad and thus belong to the “uneducated” masses.”

‘nuff said.

If you think I sound like I’m accusing someone of being elitist, I think it’s a justified accusation.

Of course we’re elitist. Science is about as elitist an endeavor as you can imagine. We have a long, difficult training and credentialing procedure, and rigorously exclude the unqualified and uninformed.

You think this is a bad thing?

Comment #134136

Posted by Wing|esS on September 26, 2006 05:47 AM (e)

It appears that they did not advocate any teaching of their theory, so I don’t see what this post is really getting at. Neither do I think it is appropriate to label them as having a “fringe belief”.

If they do indeed have a “fringe belief” they wouldn’t have half of the “uneducated” public behind them. I of course, am a mere university undergrad and thus belong to the “uneducated” masses. Afterall, only scientists are “educated” people. If you think I sound like I’m accusing someone of being elitist, I think it’s a justified accusation.

Wow, a bright and shiny new troll.

It’s not a “fringe” belief in numbers, but in scientific acceptance and credibility. That is because it is, 100%, a “religious” belief. And religion is not science, or medicine, or even accounting.

“Uneducated.” Relying on ignorance to form education policy is a good thing? Uneducated people are, by their nature, not capable of formulating sound, effective educational policies. Simply because they’re ignorant (which is not the same as stupid). What you don’t know, can kill you. Or at least make Johnny ignorant.

“Educated.” You tool. You owe your life, and it’s relative luxury, to a small percentage of the human race that qualify as “educated” people. The medicine and technology that keeps you alive - from safe and abundant food & water, to anti-biotics, medical care, transportation infrastructure, etc., etc., etc. is because of “educated” people. Ignorant fools don’t build hospitals, they just “pray and bury.”

Wing|esS Wrote:

It appears that they did not advocate any teaching of their theory, so I don’t see what this post is really getting at.

Actually, the DID advocate that.

Neither do I think it is appropriate to label them as having a “fringe belief”.

If they do indeed have a “fringe belief” they wouldn’t have half of the “uneducated” public behind them.

It’s a fringe belief because, whether or not they have half the general populace behind them, they still have zero actual science and practically zero actual scientists behind them. Those are the only people who count, and not because of elitism but because they’re the ones who make up the scientific community that the ID movement has completely failed to try and win over. Not just “win over,” “TRY and win over.” All the blustering and hot air blowing about ID has been aimed not at the scientific community, where one would think they should be aiming, but at the layman and the politician. They’re not interested in science, they’re interesting in making a grass-roots social coup against science. Even now you make the Ad Popularm appeal to the beliefs of the uninformed, the underinformed, the misinformed, and the don’t-want-to-be-informed as if they had any actual weight in determining the sciency-ness of the matter. Unfortunately for this argument science isn’t a democracy of beliefs but a meritocracy of explanations. ID isn’t an explanation and it has as yet shown absolutely no merit, or even capacity for merit.

I of course, am a mere university undergrad and thus belong to the “uneducated” masses. Afterall, only scientists are “educated” people. If you think I sound like I’m accusing someone of being elitist, I think it’s a justified accusation.

I’m just a lowly tech college graduate slinging newspapers to make ends meet and even I can see that this accusation is unjustified. This isn’t an elitist attitude where only people who go to X universities or with Y credentials are accepted, obviously, since several DI fellows have perfectly fine academic credentials and many working stiffs and contributors to science have historically had little to none. The fact is that this isn’t about elitism, it’s about keeping vacuous unscientific sectarian religious chicanery and polemics out of science classes, where they don’t belong. The only reason to discuss ID in a science class is to show students that ID sn’t science and why. I actually think this would be the one valuable contribution of the ID movement to science education.

Wing|esS Wrote:

Neither do I think it is appropriate to label them as having a “fringe belief”.

I agree with you on a technicality. It is actually a rather common belief that people, and not just young children, need to take fairy tales literally in order to behave properly. That is the only belief that is apparently shared by nearly every promoter of ID, classic creationism or the designer-free phony “critical anslysis.” With the possible exception of most promoters of the mutually contradictory classic creationist positions (e.g. YEC, OEC), most anti-evolution activists know that they are leading students to infer false conclusions about natural history, as well as evolution and the nature of scientific inquiry.

Those conclusions are “fringe beliefs” among scientists and science literate members of mainstream religions, however.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Dunford published on September 25, 2006 4:03 PM.

The silliest thing I’ve heard all week: ACLU book banning was the previous entry in this blog.

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