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August 05, 2005

Commentaries on the Evolution debate

Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld
Evolution vs. Intelligent Design

Back in 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 1981 Louisiana law which mandated a balanced treatment in teaching evolution and creation in the public schools. The Court decided that the intent of the law "was clearly to advance the religious viewpoint that a supernatural being created humankind," and therefore violated the First Amendment's prohibition on a government establishment of religion. In other words, the Court adopted the atheist position that creation is a religious myth....

...Justice Brennan seemed to be totally unaware that an "establishment of religion" meant a state-sanctioned church, such as they have in England with the Anglican Church, which is the official Church of England. Belief in God is not an establishment of religion. Belief in a supernatural being who created mankind is not an establishment of religion.

Also, there is no factual basis to key tenets of evolutionary theory. The fossil record shows no intermediary forms of species development. No scientist has been able to mate a dog with a donkey and get something in between.

But homeschoolers, although not affected by what the court forces on government schools, should know how to refute the fairy tale called the Theory of Evolution. Justice Brennan called it fact, which simply indicates the depth of his ignorance.

David Limbaugh
The Intelligent Design bogeyman

Don't academics purport to champion free and open inquiry? What, then, are they so afraid of regarding the innocuous introduction into the classroom of legitimate questions concerning Darwinism?

Their defensiveness toward challenges to their dogma is inexplicable unless you understand their attitude as springing from a worldview steeped in strong, secular predispositions that must be guarded with a blind religious fervor.

Indeed, it appears many Darwinists are guilty of precisely that of which they accuse ID proponents: having a set of preconceived assumptions that taint their scientific objectivity.

George Neumayr
Darwin's Compost

“Bush Remarks On ‘Intelligent Design’ Theory Fuel Debate,” read a front-page headline on Wednesday’s Washington Post. President Bush’s hum-drum comment – “You’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes” – is treated by the Post as a singular event, an outlandish aside worthy of front-page scrutiny and implied criticism of his simple Christian views....

This story, while ludicrously biased, contains a sign of hope: it is a measure of the elite establishment’s fear that the Darwinian grip on culture is slipping. In the elite’s frantic attempt to protect their shrinking scientific turf, they must insist on a “scientific consensus” – the phrase the Washington Post earlier this summer cited to editorialize against the showing of an Intelligent Design documentary at the Smithsonian – that doesn’t exist, and they must treat any deviation from this fictional consensus as evidence of kookery.

David Klinghoffer
Designs on Us: Conservatives on Darwin vs. ID

One prominent evolutionary psychologist, Harvard’s Steven Pinker, has written frankly about rivalry in academia, and the use of cutting rhetoric in the defense of established ideas: “Their champions are not always averse to helping the ideas along with tactics of verbal dominance, among them intimidation (‘Clearly…’), threat (‘It would be unscientific to…’), authority (‘As Popper showed…’), insult (‘This work lacks the necessary rigor for…’), and belittling (‘Few people today seriously believe that…’).”

I bring this up because Intelligent Design aggressively challenges the status of many professionals currently laboring in secular academia. And because one of the hallmarks of the defense of Darwinism is precisely the kind of rhetorical displays of intimidation, threat, authority, and insult that Pinker describes.

For instance in a section on the website of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, entitled “Q&A on Evolution and Intelligent Design,” you will find numerous statements as if lifted almost verbatim from Pinker’s examples — ridiculing ID as “non-scientific,” an idea whose “advocates have yet to contribute in a scientifically rigorous manner,” who “may use the language of science, but [who] do not use its methodology.”

When you consider that ID theoreticians have published their findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals, in formidable academic presses such as those of Cambridge University and the University of Chicago, such denunciations start to sound like a worried defense of status more than a disinterested search for truth.

Posted by Danny Carlton at August 5, 2005 11:22 AM

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Those are amusing (in a sad way), in particular the first from "Doctor" Samuel Blumenfeld (he got an honorary law degree from Bob Jones Univ - wow, impressive!).

I think a good start would be for people who want to challenge evolution to, oh, actually understand the subject before spouting off.

Posted by: andy at August 5, 2005 12:28 PM

A good start in claiming someone doesn't understand a certain subject would be to point out what they said that's not true. But then that would actually require thought, rather than just a post-and-run ad hominem attack.

Oh, and how many books have you written? Blemenfeld's written 8 which have all sold quite well.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at August 5, 2005 02:10 PM

Danny, click on through to my blog and you'll see I pick apart Blumenfeld's idiocy.

And since when does the number of books someone has sold mean anything? Michael Moore has sold millions. Whoopity do.

Posted by: andy at August 5, 2005 03:30 PM

I checked it out, and responded.

You really think Michael Moore wrote those himself? Your very gullible, aren't you.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at August 5, 2005 05:43 PM

Yes, and your response was little more than creationist claptrap. Congratulations. Do they distribute the talking points at meetings or something?

And, yeah, I think Michael Moore wrote a book - and Ann Coulter too - and I think they're both idiots, but that's neither here nor there. Regardless, the point remains that writing a book on something doesn't make what you say about something else true. I realize that simple logic escapes you, but re-read that last sentence as many times as it takes for it to sink in.

Posted by: andy at August 5, 2005 06:10 PM

The thing about Creationists, is that we learn to think for ourselves. Evolutionists know only how to regurgitate the mantra of their religion.

Ann Coulter earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School. She clerked for the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, practiced law in New York in a private practice, then worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee. After that she worked for the Center for Individual Rights in Washington, D.C. as a litigator.

Michael Moore dropped out of college before finishing, got a job at a Liberal magazine, which he managed to get fired from. Sued them. They settled, and he used the money to make his first hack movie Roger and Me. He's annoying enough to be the darling of Liberals, so he's had plenty of money to hire other people to write things for him.

You can hardly compare the two.

Blumenfeld on the other hand has written 8 books on education, which have sold well to people very concerned about education. People didn't buy his books because he make wise-cracks about people he disagreed with. They bought them because he knows what he's talking about.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at August 5, 2005 10:31 PM

Except, Danny, evolution, which he clearly doesn't understand. Nor do you.

P.S. This was a great line:

The thing about Creationists, is that we learn to think for ourselves. Evolutionists know only how to regurgitate the mantra of their religion.

I almost fell out of my chair laughing. I'm more convinced than ever that you're actually a evolutionist doing his best to make creationists look silly. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: andy at August 6, 2005 11:58 AM

Yet you have not once shown where he's was wrong about anything he said about Evolution. It's your religion and you're defending it by insisting no one be allowed to criticise it. You are dogmaticly following the tenets of your religion, a religion which apparently you know little about.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at August 6, 2005 12:45 PM

Uh, let's see - he says go back and read Darwin to understand evolution. Um, no. It's a good place to start but there's 150 years of advances that have refined and improved his initial theory. He's a typical dishonest creationist, lying to people he thinks are too stupid to go figure things out for themselves. Sadly, he appears to be right on the money in that regard.

Have a nice day. Feel free to come back to the WWR when you have a clue about evolution.

Posted by: andy at August 6, 2005 03:56 PM

Still spouting vagaries. By avoiding any specifics, you are amply illustration exactly who is without a clue.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at August 6, 2005 10:35 PM

I'm sorry, but a comment box is not exactly a place to recount 150 years of advances (however, it IS enough to recount all of the scientific advances wrought by religion in the same period - shocking).

It's quite obvious you have no interest in learning what science actually says, preferring to live with your pretty little creationist head in the proverbial sand.

Sad, but typical. Hey, it's your right to believe whatever nonsense you like, just keep your dirty little ignorant hands off of the public education system and we'll get along fine.

Smooches, oh ignorant one.

Posted by: andy at August 7, 2005 02:19 AM

Still not one specific example. It's an old, transparent and useless trick.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at August 7, 2005 02:16 PM

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