A Blood Libel on Our Civilization

| 154 Comments

I think this willful act of deception has corrupted creationism irredeemably.
   - John Derbyshire

Conservative author John Derbyshire, writing in the National Review Online, pulls no punches. His article is ostensibly a review of Expelled, with an approving nod to Expelled Exposed. One of the problems in discussing creationism with ordinary decent people is that creationism has become so bad that one can’t explain how bad it is without sounding extreme. Derbyshire:

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.

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.

Political creationists must pretend not to be creationists. This is in addition to avoiding any real understanding of how nature works, so that they can go on believing in their “critical analysis of Darwinism”. The strain of all this pretending is starting to show very publicly. The excesses of Ben Stein’s Expelled go way beyond your daily quote mine, and will backfire with many people. Is creationism now a loser in national politics?

Continue reading A Blood Libel on Our Civilization at the National Review.

154 Comments

The irony of this is mind-boggling.

Maybe this movie is actually an example of Voltaire’s prayer?

I think this willful act of deception has corrupted creationism irredeemably.

That is certainly corrupting, but I suggest the corruption started when they first began deceiving themselves regarding the nature of reality.

I think this willful act of deception has corrupted creationism irredeemably.

That is certainly corrupting, but I suggest the corruption began when they first started deceiving themselves regarding the nature of reality.

Ok, there’s a bug in this new commenting system. I posted a comment and saw it merged into the same box as Stanton’s comment. When I left and came back, my comment was gone. I added it again, and then saw it merged again with Stanton’s comment, along with my other one. When I left and came back, both my comments were gone, although the number of comments says “3”.

Nevermind, they’re all back again. (Sorry for the pollution.)

Derbyshire’s piece is well-reasoned, clearly written, and it properly excoriates the frauds and poseurs who roam the halls of the Discovery Institute.

I just emailed the John Derbyshire the Youtube video “Why do People Hate Creationists p 24” the one where Stein says that “science leads to killing people”.

Can’t wait for more conservatives to rip Stein a new one. His career is over.

Someone should send all of Ben Stein’s verbal diarrhea to every cable news outlet’s economic and marketplace executive producers so they can see how absurd this man is. He’ll never work again.

J

Derbyshire: “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.

Heh. My own theory is that the creationists have been corrupted by “Darwinism.” See how bad it is? Even they are not safe from its evil influence. Stop Teh Darwinism before we are all corrupted.

It’s refreshing to see conservatives speak out against Intelligent Design. Derbyshire, Charles Krauthammer, Dinesh D’Souza, and of course John E. Jones III. Despite the influence of the Religious Right, conservatives should appreciate that watering down science threatens America’s scientific standing.

Derbyshire said what I said a few times. Expelled could well bommerang on the creos. It is just a bunch of lies strung together. As well, it takes an atrocity and demeans it by falsely twisting it to support a fundie Xian mythology.

If fundie creos all lie, hate, and occasionally persecute and kill scientists and science supporters, who would want to be one?

PS, FWIW, looks like the creos claimed another victim. ERV the blogger had her blog deleted by google. Not clear what happened but looks like someone libeled her and google didn’t much care, and hit delete. PT should do a post on this!

http://www.sunclipse.org/?p=626 [link goes to Blake Stacey’s blog which has a must read essay with documentation of the cases below.] Posting the list of who is really being beaten up, threatened, fired, attempted to be fired, and killed. Not surprisingly, it is scientists and science supporters by Death Cultists.

I’ve discovered that this list really bothers fundies. Truth to them is like a cross to a vampire.

If anyone has more info add it. Also feel free to borrow or steal the list.

I thought I’d post all the firings of professors and state officials for teaching or accepting evolution.

2 professors fired, Bitterman (SW CC Iowa) and Bolyanatz (Wheaton)

1 persecuted unmercifully Richard Colling (Olivet)

1 persecuted unmercifully for 4 years Van Till (Calvin)

1 attempted firing Murphy (Fuller Theological by Phillip Johnson IDist)

1 successful death threats, assaults harrasment Gwen Pearson (UT Permian)

1 state official fired Chris Comer (Texas)

1 assault, fired from dept. Chair Paul Mirecki (U. of Kansas)

1 killed, Rudi Boa, Biomedical Student (Scotland)

Death Threats Eric Pianka UT Austin and the Texas Academy of Science engineered by a hostile, bizarre IDist named Bill Dembski

Death Threats Michael Korn, fugitive from justice, towards the UC Boulder biology department and miscellaneous evolutionary biologists.

Death Threats Judge Jones Dover trial. He was under federal marshall protection for a while.

Derbyshire: “Our scientific theories are the crowning adornments of our civilization, towering monuments of intellectual effort, built from untold millions of hours of observation, measurement, classification, discussion, and deliberation. This is quite apart from their wonderful utility — from the light, heat, and mobility they give us, the drugs and the gadgets and the media. (A “thank you” wouldn’t go amiss.) Simply as intellectual constructs, our well-established scientific theories are awe-inspiring.”

Inspiring words for our children to read and ignite their interests in science.

Thank you John Derbyshire, you rock, man!!!!

Greg Esres said:

Ok, there’s a bug in this new commenting system. I posted a comment and saw it merged into the same box as Stanton’s comment. When I left and came back, my comment was gone. I added it again, and then saw it merged again with Stanton’s comment, along with my other one. When I left and came back, both my comments were gone, although the number of comments says “3”.

Greg, please send any bug reports to me or post them on the upgrade thread.

What I think you saw was not a bug, but the expected behavior. When a comment is posted, the comment panels get updated dynamically while the server rebuilds the static webpage in the background. So posting, followed by a refresh will not always be as up to date and posting without a refresh.

Many years ago, I used to enjoy singing the hymn “Living For Jesus” (http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/l/i/livingfj.htm).

I have no desire to debase the memory of the two persons who created this rather sappy bit of piety, but I think that memory has already been debased. So herewith, the NEW! Up To DATE! first verse:

Lying for Jesus, in all that we do,
Ever deceptive, we set forth the true!
This twisty pathway entirely suits me,
Making a world that’s completely truth-free!

Pasting URLs between parantheses is a seriously dim practice. That’s “ http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/l/i/livingfj.htm “.

Reading Derbyshire’s review was a great way to end the day. Thanks!

Great analysis by a conservative science fiction writer:

Part one

Part two

While you are patting Mr. Derbyshire on the back, read “Prime Obsession”. You’ll become knowledgeable about a new subject in a hurry.

How does one become a conservative author while writing math books?

Stein adds himself to that small class of intellectuals (including Tom Bethell and William F. Buckley) who are clueless about the nature of science. Did they perhaps do badly in freshman chemistry?

Perhaps we can find someone clueless in both science and literature to deliver a timeless lecture on “Two Anti-cultures”.

An excellent review by John Derbyshire; and done with the kind of bluntness needed.

It has seemed evident to me for a number of years now that the fundamentalist cults in the U.S. have become safe havens for some of the nastiest con men in existence. The nature of fundamentalism seems to attract people who are gullible and dependent on strong personalities, no matter how psychopathic these personalities are. So when charlatans like Ken Ham, Kent Hovind, and the pack of wolves at the Discovery Institute come along with a line of patter that makes bad religion look “respectable” and “upscale”, pliable rubes line up like sheep.

Perhaps G.W. Bush has at least done us a favor in demonstrating just what a mess this fundamentalist thinking can generate when it gets hold of political power and starts subverting truth to sectarian ideology. The number of blinkering psychotics who have been emboldened to come out of the woodwork during this administration is pretty alarming. And they want to take over society at every level.

Hopefully voters won’t be so complacent in upcoming elections. These fundamentalist IDiots gunning for power are seriously dangerous people. The trolls who show up here on Panda’s Thumb seem to be fairly representative of paranoid mental illness mixed with fundamentalism and pseudo-science, and they seem no longer to have any concept of decent ethical standards.

It’s time for a good house cleaning. These ID/Creationists are not nice people, and they need to be exposed as the sleaze balls they really are. No more courtesy for them; they only take advantage of courtesy to advance their agenda.

Thinking “It’s all about religion!” and “It’s not about religion; it’s science!”–and being committed to both.

From Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”:

According to the novel, doublethink is:

The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them . … To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.[1]

Wonderful.

Creationists will of course dismiss this since Derbyshire admits he has not seen the movie.

Did Krauthammer comment on the movie? Anyone have a link?

ck1,

I don’t think Krauthammer has commented on Expelled, but he has commented on ID.

Holy Shit!! Brav-fucking-O!

The “Christian Nation” fraud goes beyond science. They’ve tinkered with American history too. See the book Liars For Jesus by Chris Rodda.

Amazing… I am slack-jawed at the immensity of the smack-down laid out by Derbyshire.

So much for the critics of ID-creationism being part of a “liberal conspiracy”. Give me more conservatives like Derbyshire and Judge Jones any day!

Thwack! Take THAT, Stein! Thwack! :)

A decent article, except.. I just cannot excuse the way he tried to label science as a uniquely Western achievement.

And there is science, perhaps the greatest of all our achievements, because nowhere else on earth did it appear. China, India, the Muslim world, all had fine cities and systems of law, architecture and painting, poetry and prose, religion and philosophy. None of them ever accomplished what began in northwest Europe in the later 17th century, though: a scientific revolution

I beg your conservative pardon? We wouldn’t have HAD the scientific revolution if the Muslims hadn’t saved the knowledge that the Christian church tried to destroy. You can’t even suggest that they just safeguarded it, they built upon it as well. What Europe got was more like “scientific revolution 2.0”.

I’ve finally found some data on how EXPELLED did this last weekend. From the web site Box Office Mojo: Dropped to 13th from 10th the week before, dropped to $1,394,940 (down 53%), with a grand total of $5,297,860. Let’s hope that the half-life of this thing turns out to be 1 week.

Nomad said: A decent article, except.. I just cannot excuse the way he tried to label science as a uniquely Western achievement.

I beg your conservative pardon? We wouldn’t have HAD the scientific revolution if the Muslims hadn’t saved the knowledge that the Christian church tried to destroy. You can’t even suggest that they just safeguarded it, they built upon it as well. What Europe got was more like “scientific revolution 2.0”.

I would have to disagree with this point. While various civilizations (including the Egyptians, Babylonians, Romans, Arabic/Muslims, early Middle Ages Europe, etc) did make technological contributions of one form or another, including tweaking of various ideas and preservation of knowledge, I would argue that the mode of thought which led to what we call “science” had its roots with the ancient Greeks.

The ancient Greek civilization gave rise to natural philosophy, which is as far as I know is something unique to the Greeks. Eventually, natural philosophical speculation led to modern science. If it were not for the lucky occurrence of certain cultural conditions, the enterprise of natural philosophy may have never arisen.

There is a great book which goes into this in much more detail called “Uncommon Sense: The Heretical Nature of Science” by Alan Cromer. From what I have read there in addition to my own extensive studies into the history of science, I would have to say that it all pretty much started with the ancient Greeks - specifically Thales of Miletus.

Okay, back on topic now…

It is no doubt true that for careful, deliberate argument, logical analysis and the cool light of reason one should read good liberal commentators. Nevertheless, when it comes to thunderous, righteous, furious condemnation, root, branch and the horse you rode in on, nothing can match an outraged conservative. Bravo, Derbyshire.

I think this video goes to the essentials.

“When we use “Western Civilization”, we mean reason.”

Reason vs. Faith, Question 1 of 8 (2min 35sec from Ayn Rand Institute)

I would put it more strongly; religion is the cancer on Western Civilization. It has gained the upper hand before and is trying to do so again. This is why I consider the “Christian Nation” movement to be one of the most dangerous in Western history. It’s anti-reason, anti-science, anti-Western Civilization, and un-American.

Great post and great discussion:) Kind regards from Germany, I´ll follow your blog, it´s great.

good thank you admin

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This page contains a single entry by Pete Dunkelberg published on April 28, 2008 3:53 PM.

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