Casey’s still beavering away

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Jeremy Mohn, a high school biology teacher in Kansas and for years a stalwart in the defense of honest science education in that state, points us to another Casey Luskin masterpiece. Jeremy’s post is titled The Dispersal of Doubt: Biogeography, Convenient Omission, and Selective Quotation.

I recently encountered an article that is a classic demonstration of the array of deceptive tactics employed by a well-known critic of evolutionary theory. In a relatively brief essay about biogeography, the critic raises as many doubts as possible through the use of selective quotations from actual experts on the topic. All the while, he conveniently omits important details from the quoted texts that actually reduce the purported severity of the highlighted “conundrums.”

It’s well worth reading.

10 Comments

In other news, dog bites man.

DS said:

In other news, dog bites man.

Except that in this case, 99+% of the people are completely unaware that “dogs bite people.” While I’m glad that Mohn refers to “deceptive tactics” instead of the all-too-common assumptions that these people “believe this or don’t understand that.” But the comment about “doctrine of creation” was completely unnecessary. What’s far more relevant than Luskin’s pathetic pandering to Biblical literalists, and even more relevant than the selective omissions that we (the ~1%) know he’ll continue to omit even after acknowledging their existence, is: (1) he fully acknowledges the millions of years that are flatly rejected by YECs and some “kinds” of OEC. And (2), his pretending that some of the lines of evidence for common descent itself is weak has failed to convince his own colleague, Michael Behe, who is the only DI person to take a clear, consistent position on common descent.

DI “dogs” don’t so much bite people as leave a tinkle wherever they can get away with it.

I will take this as a correction of a prior belief of mine that creationists tend to stay away from biogeography. I see now that even this, which among the starkest indicators of speciation, can be misrepresented by creationists.

Casey Luskin is “well-known”? I think that’s questionable. Bonus points for the photo of the loon though.

@Mark Sturtevant:

Biblical creationists will either avoid it or “explain” it with “Flood Geology,” but the DI will take anything they can get away with to promote unreasonable doubt. In this case Luskin admits 5 lines of evidence, then pretends that if he can show that one is “weak,” even by very selective omission, that you are free to believe any other origins story you want - global flood, young earth, old earth, flat earth, aliens, whatever. Anything but “Darwinism.”

@MaskedQuoll

Luskin is well-known to critics, but we’re a tiny subset of the population. Few people, whether or not they accept evolution, can’t name one DI person, though Medved’s radio show is slowly changing that. But the DI, through well-“designed” spreading of memes, has been astonishingly successful at training the public to see the “debate” only in terms of “weaknesses” of “Darwinism,” and of course how acceptance of it is, in their paranoid fantasy, the root of all evil. While diverting all attention away from the real weaknesses - in the mutually-contradictory origins stories that they calculate that most of their scammed audiences will infer by default.

…few people can name…

What I find interesting is that Casey Luskin - well-known to pal around with Ark-believing YECs who implicitly hold that koalas left Australia, somehow crossed the Indian ocean, travelled to the Middle East to get on a boat and then returned to repopulate the continent - sees fit to chuckle at the possibility of monkeys rafting between Africa and America tens of millions of years ago.

Which is it, Casey? Rafting ok for koalas but not monkeys? Or are you too busy shuffling the goalposts around to notice that you’ve scored an own goal?

Not to mention that monkeys are generally more mobile, and definitely more flexible in their diet than are koalas…

(Monkeys don’t have to gum their food, either!)

Henry

Harry Probert said:

What I find interesting is that Casey Luskin - well-known to pal around with Ark-believing YECs who implicitly hold that koalas left Australia, somehow crossed the Indian ocean, travelled to the Middle East to get on a boat and then returned to repopulate the continent - sees fit to chuckle at the possibility of monkeys rafting between Africa and America tens of millions of years ago.

Which is it, Casey? Rafting ok for koalas but not monkeys? Or are you too busy shuffling the goalposts around to notice that you’ve scored an own goal?

I had the same thought. They had to get to South America from Mount Ararat somehow. Arguing that they didn’t travel to South America almost contradicts creationism as much as it contradicts evolution.

But what you have to remember is that all that matters is contradicting science. You have to understand, ID/creationism is part of the post-modern religious arm of an authoritarian reactionary ideology. The priority of ID/creationism is, as they themselves state, is to “destroy Darwinism”. Anything any “Darwinist” said must be wrong and must be contradicted. That is pretty much the only consistency. No positive claims, certainly no effort to arrive at a consensus. It’s been conjectured that if they could get rid of “Darwinism” and the many other things that they consider themselves unified against, they’d turn on each other. Possibly. At any rate, Casey Luskin’s current job is to contradict anything in a mainstream biomedical science paper, while not directly contradicting any possible version of fundamentalist creationism. It’s not about defending ID/creationism, it’s about contradicting science.

harold said:

But what you have to remember is that all that matters is contradicting science. You have to understand, ID/creationism is part of the post-modern religious arm of an authoritarian reactionary ideology. The priority of ID/creationism is, as they themselves state, is to “destroy Darwinism”. Anything any “Darwinist” said must be wrong and must be contradicted. That is pretty much the only consistency. No positive claims, certainly no effort to arrive at a consensus. It’s been conjectured that if they could get rid of “Darwinism” and the many other things that they consider themselves unified against, they’d turn on each other. Possibly. At any rate, Casey Luskin’s current job is to contradict anything in a mainstream biomedical science paper, while not directly contradicting any possible version of fundamentalist creationism. It’s not about defending ID/creationism, it’s about contradicting science.

You know, if you replaced the words ‘science’, ‘Darwinism’, etc. with ‘Obama’ and ‘liberalism’ you’d pretty much have the program of the Tea Party. And a pretty much complete overlap with fundamentalist creationism.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on August 31, 2013 1:48 PM.

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