Lonely broken-hearted creationists

Aww, poor Intelligent Design creationism is feeling unloved. Or perhaps it’s jealousy. David Klinghoffer, that clueless ideologue at the Discovery Institute, is whimpering that blogging scientists aren’t paying enough attention to his brand of creationism while sniping at Jack Scanlan.

Darwinian scientists who blog — in other words, those whose comments are most readily accessible to us — may indeed not pay attention to ID arguments, but that’s certainly not because of any lack of “rigorous and persuasive ideas” on ID’s part. The proof is that Darwin defenders are typically very busy indeed picking on other arguments that no thoughtful and critical person would remotely regard as “rigorous and persuasive.” What those other arguments have in common is that, unlike ID, they’re too weak to effectively fight back.

As a convenient example, right over at Panda’s Thumb, Scanlan’s colleage PZ Myers contributes a longish post (1500+ words) attacking some guy’s rather… well, strained attempt to discover the details of all of embryology in two vaguely formulated verses from the Koran. Dr. Myers complains:

I have read the entirety of Hamza Andreas Tzortzis’ paper, “Embryology in the Qur’an: A scientific-linguistic analysis of chapter 23: With responses to historical, scientific & popular contentions,” all 58 pages of it (although, admittedly, it does use very large print). It is quite possibly the most overwrought, absurdly contrived, pretentious expansion of feeble post hoc rationalizations I’ve ever read. As an exercise in agonizing data fitting, it’s a masterpiece.

Who is Hamza Andreas Tzortzis? On his Facebook page, he is identified as “a convert to Islam, …an international lecturer, public speaker & author. He is particularly interested in Islam, philosophy and politics.” How Dr. Myers discovered Mr. Tzortzis and what an easy punching bag he makes, I do not know.

Don’t worry, Davy! I think you’re just an easy a punching bag as Tzortzis, and just as obscure and irrelevant! Also, I think Intelligent Design creationism is just as strained, just as ludicrous, just as fallacious as Tzortzis’s Muslim creationism, or Ken Ham’s fundamentalist creationism, or Hugh Ross’s old earth creationism, or Biologos’s theistic evolution. I despise you all equally.

Big hug, OK?

Now I know these guys are used to cherry-picking all of their data and seeing whatever they want to see, but Klinghoffer has made a ridiculously bogus claim, that we don’t pay attention to Intelligent Design creationism’s arguments. Of course we do! It’s just that right now ID is rather spent — they’ve blown it in all of their attempts to legislate creationism into the schools, they’ve got nothing credible published, and their predictions have all fallen flat — in 2004, Dembski predicted the demise of “molecular darwinism” in 5 years, which, you may notice, has passed. Instead, it looks like ID has lapsed into a twitching coma, with nothing new to say…not that they ever did, since all they were was warmed over William Paley in the first place.

Besides, ID creationism was only a puppet for the religious creationists anyway. Almost everyone in the movement is devout in some way or another (cue Berlinski to swirl in superciliously and declare that no, his only god is Berlinski), and their support was entirely derived from a creationist base that saw ID as a convenient secular facade to plaster over the godly superstition of its underpinnings. Sorry to say, that base was only loyal when they thought ID was a useful mask…as it has failed, they’re all flocking to the Hams and Hovinds and local megachurches instead. You know, the religiously-driven fanatics that Klinghoffer so lightly dismisses as our easy targets.

But it’s silly to claim we haven’t addressed their arguments. Personally, I’ve reviewed Meyer’s Signature in the Cell and Jonathan Wells’ Icons of Evolution and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design. I’ve tackled Casey Luskin and Michael Egnor and Paul Nelson and Michael Behe and William Dembski. I’ve written general critiques of ID creationism. I’ve trashed ID creationism repeatedly, and with bemused enthusiasm.

Let’s not forget all those other science bloggers and writers who’ve also stomped on ID repeatedly: Ian Musgrave, Wesley Elsberry, Carl Zimmer, John Wilkins, Larry Moran, Steve Matheson, Jeff Shallit, Allen MacNeill, Jerry Coyne, Ken Miller and many more. Or the whole danged gang at the Panda’s Thumb. We’ll all continue to take swipes at ID creationism occasionally, but the Discovery Institute just has to learn that as far as creationism goes, we’re polyamorously promiscuous, and we’re happy to screw the whole damned bunch of anti-science goombahs.

ID is just one minor and particularly pretentious form of the pathology. We don’t focus on only ID, and it’s not because we’re afraid that they’ll “effectively fight back”. They won’t. What they’ll do instead is pretend our critiques never existed…just as Klinghoffer does here.

(Also on Sb)

Comments

  1. Aquaria says

    Instead, it looks like ID has lapsed into a twitching coma, with nothing new to say…not that they ever did, since all they were was warmed over William Paley in the first place.

    I don’t usually talk about needing new computer monitors, but this did it to me for some reason.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  2. Aquaria says

    Aww, poor Intelligent Design creationism is feeling unloved. Or perhaps it’s jealousy. David Klinghoffer, that clueless ideologue at the Discovery Institute, is whimpering that blogging scientists aren’t paying enough attention to his brand of creationism.

    This guy doesn’t get that his 15 minutes are over already.

  3. Ichthyic says

    OMG cute monkey icon!!!

    perhaps oddly, I find that comment to be exactly appropriate.

    nothing to see here…

    oh wait! MONKEYS!

    ID died exactly as quickly as most predicted it would; it’s just that on the ID side, they took those predictions and simply used them to project.

    because, after all, it’s the standard religion defense toolkit:

    project and deny.

  4. mandrellian says

    The only thing more pathetic and laughable than a pretentious, pustulent creationist is a snivelling, self-pitying creationist, whining how the evolutionist paradigm doesn’t pay enough attention to him (the pathetic-ness is even more pronounced when said creationist has had a heck of a lot more attention from actual scientists than he or his crankery deserve).

    TL;DR:

    BAWWWWWW ME BUTTHURT; SCIENCE-MAN NO LOOKY MY TALKY POO-POO.

  5. Glen Davidson says

    It’s boring to ask again and again, where’s any goddamn evidence for design in life?

    Produce some of that, and we’ll be highly interested. Until then, your pathetic whining that we’re not often enough calling you the IDiots you are is as boring as your marked disregard for evidence.

    Glen Davidson

  6. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Since creationism ID has only one argument, god intelligent designer did it, it’s hard to find evidence for it.

  7. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gee, why aren’t they out there refuting the million or so scientific papers in the peer reviewed literature, the right way by publishing in the peer reviewed scientific literature, one by one??? Oh, that’s right, in order to do science, one must have some evidence other than a 2500 year-old book of mythology/fiction, most of it, including the creation myths, stolen from their neighbors…

  8. congenital cynic says

    PZ, sometimes your rants are just so enjoyable. This was one of those times.

    I have to say that I admire your stamina. I’m about your age (one year older, I think), and have been debating with religious people for so long and have found them so impenetrable to logic, reason, and evidence that these days I tire and just say WTF and walk away. They are too dense to get it, and with the “god did it” catch-all answer, they never will get it. I’ve given up on them.

    But after having read your blog for a long time now I think I’m ready to skip reasoned argument with believers and just shift into full blown ridicule. That, at least, will give me some comic relief from their pathetic pandering to the mythical sky buddy. I was brought up to be polite, and mockery was considered rather a bad thing, but in my ramp up to full curmudgeonhood I think I’m going to give the ridicule a go. Trying to reason with believers, however, just gives me a headache.

  9. Art Vandelay says

    Could someone answer me a question since Ken Miller was brought up and I know he kicked ass in the ID trials in Georgia a few years back and I’m sure he’s a wonderful scientist but how does a devout Christian like that defend Godless evolution? I haven’t read his books and I’m not really interested in reading about people trying to make science and religion compatible but it seems to me that the idea of creation by your God in some manner is in fact an essential part of being a member of that faith. I mean, doesn’t Ken Miller kind of have to believe this in some manner? Without divine intervention somewhere in the process, doesn’t the whole damn thing just sort of blow up?

  10. says

    …that’s certainly not because of any lack of “rigorous and persuasive ideas” on ID’s part….

    [loud, prolonged laughter] Oh … you were serious? David, Mr. Klinghoffer, I know you’re jonesing for some respect. I think you could get some in a comedy club. Or take this act to Skepticon.

    You could expand on the bit about asking PZ to screw only you, monogamously, forever and ever.

  11. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Art Vandelay #12

    The way I understand it, and my understanding may be completely off, Miller is a theistical evolutionist. The Big Guy In The Sky™ set everything up with the potential for evolution. You and Staphylococcus aureus and cockroaches and stinking corpse lilies and those worms that can only eat eyeballs were just ideas in the mind of TBGITS™. So we start with the primordial soup and end up with the acme of evolution, which is me. TBGITS™ made sure that conditions were just perfect to produce ME!

  12. says

    Why are people afraid of evolution? Because they believe it threatens their special position in the heart of God. Now you would think it wouldn’t matter – given an all-knowing, all-loving God, but people get all concerned that arising from lesser primates means God can’t love them, may even despise them.

    I say it’s a load of malarky. It matters not what we came from, but how we treat each other. Better a mutant simian who helps his neighbor than the first cousin of an angel who treats fellow humans like dirt.

  13. Aquaria says

    Could someone answer me a question since Ken Miller was brought up and I know he kicked ass in the ID trials in Georgia a few years back and I’m sure he’s a wonderful scientist but how does a devout Christian like that defend Godless evolution?

    Cognitive dissidence.

  14. Rey Fox says

    If he had just gone to Skepticon, he could have seen PZ take down an actual scientific prediction of ID. Having thus been educated, he would have had to sell us ice cream afterwards.

  15. says

    Art Vandelay:

    Thanks. Is that really all that radically different from ID?

    Radically? No.

    It’s ID on the quantum scale. It’s the conviction God built us, but he did so in a way indistinguishable from nature. It’s the certainty that he’s God’s favorite child, in spite of the fact that the inheritance went to the bacteria. It’s the knowledge that evolution through natural selection is adequate to explain our existence, but not sufficient.

    It’s like ID, without any kind of actual commitment.

  16. phoenixwoman says

    Sounds like a variant of the “No True Scotsman” gambit: He’s claiming — falsely, as PeeZed hath amply shown — that the evolution bloggers only pick on the blatant woo-woos, as if dressing up woo with fancy multisyllabic Latinish words (as ID nutters do) made it less blatant as woo.

  17. VegeBrain says

    When will these ID types realize we think of them like a balloon full of farts, and the reason we don’t poke at them very hard is they might just blow up and leave a bad smell in the air.

  18. Art Vandelay says

    It’s the knowledge that evolution through natural selection is adequate to explain our existence, but not sufficient.

    Got it. Well I’m sure Ken Miller is a good person and teacher but man, if that isn’t intellectual dishonesty, I’m not sure what is.

  19. says

    You horrible atheists only go after Christians, you’d never pick on a muslim because you’re too afraid.

    Youre just picking on some muslim, like who ever heard of them anyway, you must not have the balls to go against our Christianity because you know its The Truth.

  20. you_monster says

    David Klinghoffer,
    “Pretty please PZ, focus more on meeeee. I urge you to publicly make me look like an idiot and a dishonest advocate of bunk science.”

    PZ,
    “Wish granted.”

  21. anteprepro says

    nigelthebold:

    It’s like ID, without any kind of actual commitment.

    Which is funny, because ID is just creationism without the conviction to tack on religious nonsense to their pseudoscientific pseudophilosophy. They prefer the religious nonsense to be tucked neatly behind the pseudoscientific psuedophilosophy, thank you very much.

  22. says

    anteprepro:

    Which is funny, because ID is just creationism without the conviction to tack on religious nonsense to their pseudoscientific pseudophilosophy.

    Well, yeah. It’s like a 3C homeopathic dilution of God’s wonder. It’s even more potent!

  23. totalretard says

    Don’t be so coy. We know the real reason you’re being so mean. You saw Klinghoffer’s name, and you’re secretly anti-Semitic. So secret that you don’t even know it (and neither does he, because he thinks he’s Christian).

    Furthermore, Dumbski made an honest mistake: he meant 50 years, and you’re just afraid you can’t prove him wrong!

  24. Azkyroth says

    Thanks. Is that really all that radically different from ID?

    In principle no, operationally and in terms of inhibition of science, yes.

  25. DLC says

    Wait, Klinghoffer complains that the science bloggers out there don’t pay any attention to ID, but can’t be bothered to use a simple search box ? How can I possibly respect the scholarship of someone who can’t even be bothered to do even the simplest web search? I’ve never written a biology paper in my life, and only was dimly connected once to a peer reviewed paper, but at least I know the basics of research.

  26. Tears of the Mushroom says

    First:

    You horrible atheists only go after Christians, you’d never pick on a muslim because you’re too afraid.

    …and then:

    Youre just picking on some muslim, like who ever heard of them anyway, you must not have the balls to go against our Christianity because you know its The Truth

    Are you perchance a tine bit confused or what?

  27. raven says

    Intelligent Design is becoming Zombified. Oh wait, it already was a Zombie. It dates back to the ancient Greeks before xianity was invented.

    It never did get far.

    1. There is no scientific theory of ID. According to Philip Johnson, who dug up the current version. Johnson thought if he attacked real science, in the meantime, the crack ID brigades would do some experiments, collect some data, and publish papers.

    Instead all they did was lie a lot and attack real science some more.

    2. These days ID is sinking back into its primordial ooze. A lot or most of them were YECs who claim the earth is 6,000 years old and Noah had a boatload full of dinosaurs.

    3. It’s too nebulous and sophisticated for most fundie xians. They don’t want to talk about an Intelligent Designer who did something, sometime, somewhere. They want to babble on about god, jesus, Original Sin, the Fall, fossils planted by the gods, and evil science and scientists going to hell.

    Dancing around their religion is nothing they like or understand.
    Now, hate and lies, they understand that really well. It’s the foundation of their cults.

  28. raven says

    How can I possibly respect the scholarship of someone who can’t even be bothered to do even the simplest web search?

    Klinghoffer isn’t a scholar. He is a propagandist, a liar, and a religious fanatic.

    1. One of his Big Lies is that Darwin killed the Jews in the Holocaust. Which rather ignores the fact, that it was really German Catholics and Lutherans.

    2. He once claimed that god is a Tea Partier, although he didn’t use those exact words. IIRC, he claimed god was “conservative”, which these days means ignorant kooks.

  29. janine says

    Tears Of The Mushroom, that does not even count as a Poe, suzysalaksartok was not trying to fool anyone. When PZ goes after a christion creationist, usually some christian godbotherer will whine that PZ, being a lib’ral, leaves islam alone. And when PZ goes after and islamic subject, some one will show up to accuse PZ of racism.

  30. says

    Nice shout out to the poly people! :) I’ve always wanted to see a post on SB or FtB about poly lifestyles- thanks for the link direct!

  31. peterh says

    “Why are people afraid of evolution? Because they believe it threatens their special position in the heart of God.”

    To my mind there’s the terror in IDers’ minds where they realize, down deep and underneath everything, that evolution is clearly, logically and surely pointing to their mortality & ultimate extinction. Happy thought? No. But undeniable. Reality is under no compunction to honor our tastes.

    Klinghoffer made some noise about theories “fighting back.” I submit that a coherent theory needs no fighting back, it merely stands there as a bulwark against ignorance and faulty reasoning. (Apologies for the metaphor.) A later, sufficiently coherent theory may replace it, (i.e., heliocentrism vs. geocentrism) but Klinghoffer seems totally unaware of how that’s properly done.

  32. says

    Let’s pretend that The Big Guy, who- or whatever that is, exists. Assuming that It could even relate to and possibly care about the concerns of sentient lifeforms, why would it be such a devious mindfucker?

    It’s saddening that faithtards of all stripes can’t even think of interesting questions, such as Why Are The Laws Of Nature The Way They Are? But we’re lucky they mostly don’t – imagine billions of Deepak Chopras, but scientifically competent, hijacking our sandbox.

  33. davidforrest says

    Heh, so Klinghoffer hold up his bouquet of ostensibly un-PZ-ed cdesign proponentsists:

    “I believe Dr. Myers when he says he read “all 58 pages” of Hamza Andreas Tzortzis’s manuscript on Koranic embryology. However when it comes to grappling with what sure looks like real science, from folks with heavy-duty academic backgrounds like Steve Meyer, Doug Axe, Ann Gauger, Jonathan Wells, and other ID advocates — sorry, no time for that!”

    You can link to your own Meyer and Wells criticisms above. And here’s one of yours for Gauger and Axe: http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2011/10/how-not-to-exam.html — This shows that you personally did indeed take the time to grapple with what he thinks smells like science.

    Klinghoffer is a fool.

  34. steve oberski says

    ‘Tis Himself, OM says:

    The Big Guy In The Sky™ set everything up with the potential for evolution.

    The Ken Millers of the world also claim that some time after TBGITS set everything up he stepped in and injected a non material soul into some ancestors of you and I.

    For example, the cretinous catlick kiddy raper enabler Edward Feser makes this sort of claim (http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/09/monkey-in-your-soul.html)

  35. raven says

    from folks with heavy-duty academic backgrounds like Steve Meyer, Doug Axe, Ann Gauger, Jonathan Wells, and other ID advocates — sorry, no time for that!”

    Huh? What!!!

    These are nobodies. Jonathan Wells is a Moonie who lies a lot. Meyer has no notable scientific background. The other two are religious kooks who dropped out of science in favor of lying a lot.

  36. craigore says

    @Raven
    Not only does Stephen Meyer not have a scientific background (I believe his is in sophistry – er philosophy) but we can be quite confident in labeling him a pathological liar (aren’t they all?). Hell, he even lied about giving an interview at cambridge university http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4l0T31ovP0

  37. davidforrest says

    @Raven:

    Even if they weren’t nobodies, PZ personally spent the time to read and respond to all four of Klonghoffer’s named heroes, which completely eviscerates his whole article about how some other nobody gets attention while these “stars” get “no time”.

  38. Ichthyic says

    david, Raven is just pointing out that in addition to lying about having addressed their arguments, the people who MADE the arguments are themselves irrelevant to science.

    so, he’s just pointing out that Klinghopper lied not once, but twice.

    well, at least in that one sentence, anyway.

    the number of lies that in a typical Klinghopper press release usually requires more than ones entire set of fingers and toes to count.

  39. lolalaserpistols says

    Darwinian scientists who blog — in other words, those whose comments are most readily accessible to us — may indeed not pay attention to ID arguments, but that’s certainly not because of any lack of “rigorous and persuasive ideas” on ID’s part. The proof is that Darwin defenders are typically very busy indeed picking on other arguments that no thoughtful and critical person would remotely regard as “rigorous and persuasive.” What those other arguments have in common is that, unlike ID, they’re too weak to effectively fight back.

    This from the people who falsely DMCA–i.e. commit perjury–YouTube channels into oblivion when they have the gall to make videos thoroughly, scientifically, beautifully destroy the DI’s claims.

    I am fucking stunned.

  40. phoenixwoman says

    Which is funny, because ID is just creationism without the conviction to tack on religious nonsense to their pseudoscientific pseudophilosophy.

    The whole reason ID was created was because creationism had just got its ass kicked in court. Because of this, creationism could not (and to this day still cannot) legally be taught as science in the science classes of American public schools, as it was ruled, rightly, to be a religious concept and not a legitimate branch of science.

    ID tries to dress up creationism in various sorts of weasel words to obscure its reliance of Judeo-Christian theology, but this move fools only the most casual observers; sooner or later, the Deity the IDers try to hide from the unbelievers must be brought forth in some form — and that’s when the lawyers pounce, using this to show that ID is just creationism in pretty Latinate ribbons.