Friday, January 27, 2006


Discovery's Propaganda Would Have Made Stalin Blush

Our dear, old, batty friend Casey Luskin, a staff member at the intelligent design-addled Discovery Institute has a post up on the Evolution News and Views blog hailing an article by Richard Cleary in Viewpoint which purports to expose the logical fallacies in Judge John Jones Dover ruling;

He [Judge Jones] tries to show that ID is creationism by showing that it grew out of earlier creationist thinking and that since creationism is religious so, too, must ID be. He also argues at length that most of the proponents of ID are Christians and that they have a religiously inspired agenda and that therefore ID is a violation of the establishment clause of the First amendment to the constitution.

Let's unpack this. The first claim, that ID must be religious, even though it doesn't appear to be, because it evolved from (forgive me) creationism, is silly. Because one theory emerges from the embers of another doesn't entail that it necessarily bears all or even many of the traits of the other. Modern theories of the atom are all descendents (sic)of Democritus' belief that such entities exist, but the belief that there are atoms pretty much exhausts the similarities between the modern and the ancient views. Modern chemistry is directly descended from alchemy but chemistry is not alchemy. It is logically illicit to infer that because ID is a descendent (sic) of creationism it is therefore creationism in disguise.

We'll skip over the fact that modern theories of the atom are based -- not on Democritus, but -- on evidence gathered from observations of the natural world. We won't even bother with the fact that alchemy has been rejected -- for the same reason scientists reject intelligent design -- because the beliefs of the alchemists were found to have no correspondence with the real world.

The reason Judge Jones ruled that intelligent design is nothing more than creationism in a cheap tuxedo is that irrefutable evidence was presented in court proving it was so.

One of those pieces of evidence, among the many presented, was the fact that the authors of the creationist/intelligent design textbook, Of Pandas and People, performed a crude cut an paste where they razor-bladed the word creation out of the text and pasted the word intelligent design over it -- all without bothering to change the definition of the word.

It's not Judge Jones saying creationism is the same thing as intelligent design. It is the writers, editors, and publishers who put together Of Pandas and People. They said it -- and more damning -- wrote it, and the evidence that they did is inescapable.

Of course, both Luskin and Cleary know this. It is only the willing suspension of disbelief on the part of the followers of intelligent design that allows them to get away with producing the sort of crude propaganda that would have made Stalin blush.

Go ahead, unpack that.


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