Friday, December 02, 2005


Double Standard

Red State Rabble doesn't expect the uproar over the e-mail comments made by KU religious studies professor Paul Mirecki to subside anytime soon. Right-wing fundamentalists fully intend to use the controversy as a hammer to pound the real target of their rage -- public education -- as long and as hard as they can.

The e-mail controversy is a twofer for the right. They not only get to wield the blunt instrument of their rage against enemies both real and perceived, they get to wallow in self-pity as well. They may control the legislature, they may control the state school board, but, they are victims. It is so sad.

Today, on the Discovery Institute's Evolution News and Views blog, there is a fascinating juxtaposition of posts. In one post, Robert Crowther writes that the problem isn't just Mirecki's "comments on intelligent design that have got him in hot water, but his callous and nasty comments over the years."

Crowther goes on to describe Mirecki as a, "malicious atheist who is bigoted against people of faith... "

"A lot has been written about the so-called religious motives of those who attack Darwin's theory," continues Crowther. "It would be interesting if reporters would cover the anti-religious views of the most vocal critics of ID, like this guy, Barbara Forrest, Victor Stenger, Eugenie Scott or Hector Avalos, the atheist professor turned inquisitor at Iowa State University who is trying to marginalize astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez."

Crowther ends by dredging up an e-mail by KCFS member Liz Craig in which she proposes going to the "national and local media about what's going on and portray them [the critics of evolution] in the harshest light possible, as political opportunists, evangelical activists, ignoramuses, breakers of rules, unprincipled bullies, etc. There may no way to head off another science standards debacle, but we can sure make them look like asses... "

Name calling is bad. Atheists do it -- the most vocal critics of ID are all atheists, like Ken Miller. There is no mention, of course, of the Clergy Letter Project which had gathered 10,050 signatures as of Nov. 29 endorsing this statement:
We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests.

There's a bunch of atheists for you.

Then there's the Evolution News and Views post by John West titled "Museum Exhibit Supresses (sic) Darwin's Real Views on Eugenics, Race, and Capitalism." West's post, as always, does a little quote mining to make the case that Darwin -- and by extension, all defenders of science and evolution -- are supporters of eugenics and racism -- even Hitler.

West cites Dr. Richard Weikart, a History professor at California State University, Stanislaus, who is the author of From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, that asserts that Darwinism played a key role in the rise of eugenics, euthanasia, infanticide, abortion, and racial extermination, all ultimately embraced by the Nazis.

Interestingly, West cites Weikart in support of the view that Darwin was a supporter of capitalism. RSR is a bit puzzled about that. We suppose it proves that whatever his faults, at least Darwin wasn't a communist. We do have a question though: if Discovery Institute plans to come out against capitalism, what are they for, feudalism?

Here's our favorite proof of Darwin's evil nature: "It's true that Darwin wasn't a champion of forced sterilization, but that's because the technology for sterilization wasn't developed until well after Darwin died."

Red State Rabble is a little older, and a little slower, so let's see if we've got the rules right. It's okay for outfits like Discovery Institute and their allies on the extreme right to call scientists, teachers, and defenders of science anything they want in public: baby killer, immoral, racist, Nazi.

It's absolutely okay, for these same people to brand everyone who objects to redefining science as an atheist -- even if they attend church every week, even if they are clergypeople.

But, if an opponent of ID blows off a little steam in a private e-mail. Well, that's a crime.

Now, there's a double standard.

Now that we come to think of it, Liz Craig had it right when she described them as unprincipled bullies.


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