There’s gall, there’s flaming dishonesty, and then there’s the Discovery Institute

Wow. As reported at the Panda’s Thumb, the DI is puffing up and getting pissy about a misattribution of a quote to one of their own. How dare we ‘Darwinists’ promote such blatant falsehoods!

Today there is another urban myth building up a head of steam, and being helped along by Darwinists, about Discovery Fellow Paul Nelson. Gaurdian reporter Karen Armstrong reports: ‘Great shakings and darkness are descending on Planet Earth,’ says the ID philosopher Paul Nelson, ‘but they will be overshadowed by even more amazing displays of God’s power and light.’ And yet this is pure rubbish because Nelson never said anything like this, and it turns out that Armstrong never even interviewed him. Nelson points this out in his letter to the Guardian demanding a correction.

Unfortunately for their sense of false outrage, the fact of the matter is that that wicked ‘Darwinist’, Nick Matzke, is the one who actually caught and reported the bogus quote, and called for its retraction. Matzke noted that it didn’t sound like anything Nelson would say out loud, and traced the quote back to a source that doesn’t seem to have any connection to Nelson.

Ooops. That’s what they call ‘helping along an urban myth’ over at the DI?

Note to self: if Rob Crowther is found bleeding in the street, just walk away. He seems to be one of those guys who’ll sue you if you try to give him first aid.


  1. frank schmidt says

    Actually, this babble proves that DI is not a religiously-based organization, since they didn’t recognize the name of one of the most popular contemporary writers about religion.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    And they can’t even get their gripes right: Karen Armstrong is an independent author who wrote an op-ed for the “Gaurdian”, not a Guardian reporter.

    No doubt she will also have an iron-clad alibi should Rob Crowther be found bleeding in the street.

  3. says

    “…if Rob Crowther is found bleeding in the street, just walk away”

    Actually, unless he was capable of stopping me, I’d grab a sample of tissue (blood, most likely). Then it’s off to the lab to test the hypothesis “He’s a delusional fuckwit because of a large heterozygous deletion”.

    It’s only unethical if anybody has any reason to care about the subject’s feelings.

  4. Ginger Yellow says

    I was going to mention the “reporter” issue. If you’re going to criticise someone for misattribution, it’s always a good idea to make sure you get their identity right. That said, I’m willing to cut them some slack on the “Gaurdian” front – the paper is commonly known as the Grauniad, as it used to have a reputation for typos and it runs a prominent corrections column pointing out said typos and other errors.

  5. Keanus says

    In the DI’s mind anyone who takes issue with their positions is in cahoots with the devil or is the devil himself. Ånd like the late majority leader of the US House, Tom Delay, they KNOW you cannot compromise with the devil but must do him in. Civil discourse, honesty and common courtesy–to say nothing of honest debate–are simply not warranted when dealing with the devil’s minions, so why should Rob Crowther behave any differently now? In his eyes Nick Matzke is evil and has always been.

  6. quork says

    Ånd like the late majority leader of the US House, Tom Delay, they KNOW you cannot compromise with the devil but must do him in.

    You seem to be implying that Tom Delay had suicidal tendencies.

  7. NJ says

    So, where is Jason the Troll? Isn’t it time for him to drive by with an non-sequitur comment implying that evolutionists/liberals/people with non-zero IQ’s are out to get him and his ilk?

  8. azkyroth says

    So, where is Jason the Troll? Isn’t it time for him to drive by with an non-sequitur comment implying that evolutionists/liberals/people with non-zero IQ’s are out to get him and his ilk?

    On the off chance he actually posts something intelligent, will you offer a civil retraction?

    (For the record, I have no sympathy whatsoever for Jason, but object to anything resembling a “guilty until proven guilty” mentality on principle.)

  9. Scott Hatfield says

    Is it just me, or is the DI getting noticeably less competent? I have a hard time believing that any of their suaver types would have written an article that fails to properly identify Karen Armstrong, not to mention the “Gaurdian”. The level of discourse on their site seems to have taken a dump since they adopted Mr. Luskin, in my opinion.

    Here’s a hopeful thought: perhaps this scrabbling over facts, and general insolence of tone, signifies that the scholarly types are preparing to jettison the DI. The gravy train may be on the last stop. Consider:

    1) Dembski has apparently ‘moved on’ into a theological sinecure and seems increasingly disinterested in talking about the DI, the “Wedge” or the even more pitiful “Vise”

    2) Bruce Campbell converted to Catholicism, apparently. I’m sure that’s not what Howard Ahmanson had in mind.

    3) Philip Johnson is issuing bleats to the effect that the legal struggle appears futile, and good riddance. If the ‘father of ID’ has thrown in the towel here, what’s left of the ‘Wedge’ to fund?

    4) After getting waxed in Dover, and now likely having lost in both Ohio and Kansas (and they spent some money in Kansas, it appears), will the DI ever win anything in the public eye? And if not, why should private fundy zillionaires bankroll such a venture, when their dollars could be better spent in the churches?

    So, my guess is, you can stick a fork in the DI as a public policy enterprise. Expect some new creationist entities to emerge, or reemerge with new marketing. Let’s be vigilant, but focus more attention on educating the public, pressuring the politicians and evangelizing (dare I say it?) the pews.


  10. says

    So, my guess is, you can stick a fork in the DI as a public policy enterprise.

    Scott, from your lips to er… FSM? IPU? The object of your faith in which you find solace even though you have no rational basis for…nemmind, none of my biz.

    Gosh, I hope you’re right.

    Oh, and Azkyroth, read Jason’s PZ stalking blog in which he criticizes PZ for things the DF predicts he’ll say. Turnabout’s fair play, but the pathetic little schmuck is constitutionally incapable of retracting any of his nonsense, having earned more scorn and derision than most folks have time to spare. No need to summon the lil twerp though–he’ll pop up in some manifestation more obnoxious than anybody’d care to speculate about, so why bother.

  11. Lixivium says

    2) Bruce Campbell converted to Catholicism, apparently. I’m sure that’s not what Howard Ahmanson had in mind.

    Bruce Campbell?

  12. says

    Keith – Are you suggesting that FUCKWIT (+) is an additive polygenic trait? How shall we find the answer? Luckily, some people in the south have been conducting backcrosses for several generations, that should give the research a head start.

  13. Scott Hatfield says

    Kristine: Oops! I meant to type “Bruce Chapman”. That’s what I get for posting at nearly 3 in the AM.


  14. Brian Dewhirst says

    Unfortunately, this sort of distorted reporting of facts is a very effective tool in propaganda. This is why ‘equal time’ is dangerous when one ‘side’ is deliberately presenting positions they know to be false.

    People, in general, don’t evaluate the strength and weakness of each side. They gravitate towards emotional arguments, and assume that if they’ve heard it 200 times on the news there must be something to it.

  15. Ulyanov says

    Actually, personal attacks and smears are quite effective.

    KCFS proved this as they portrayed opponents in the harshest light possible, and denigrated religion while pretending it was all about science education.

    Real assholes.

  16. says

    Religion denigrates itself when it sees science education as such at threat that it works to induce the State to displace it with pseudoscience.

  17. Ulyanov says

    Ken,who says SCIENCE education is a threat?

    Not me.

    The threat IS from propaganda and smears presented under the cover of science education.

    Just look at Dawkins, Dennet, Harris and other hate mongers and then read what KCFS says about scientists denigrating religion.

    Jack Krebs will tell you with a straight face that science has nothing to say about religion. He doesn’t even know how hollow his claim is.

    Of course, Krebs in not even a scientist, so maybe that explains it.

  18. Ulyanov says

    Oh, and of course Krebs knows about PZ Myers and his constant spewing of bile, so, come to think of it, perhaps Krebs is not being, shall we say, totally candid with the people of Kansas?

  19. JakeB says

    “Just look at Dawkins, Dennet, Harris and other hate mongers”

    Well, it is true that they all hate stupidity and irrationality.

    Guess I’m a hate monger too.

  20. subterranean kryptonite says

    “Ulyanov” was the name of a poster banned at KCFS about a week ago for aggressive off-topic posting. The name has been linked to the “Legion” troll operating from somewhere in the metro Kansas City area.

  21. Scott Hatfield says

    Hmm. Ulyanov, Christensen, Goldstein, JC and now ‘Legion.’

    The last one makes me wonder if, in fact, the IP address is associated with a herd of swine. After all, THEIR name if ‘Legion.’


  22. Christensen says

    Just dropped in to throw in my two cents.

    I am none of the above, although several of us use the same computers, so I can’t say for sure about the others.

    But you know what?

    Who gives a shit? This stuff coming from a freak who calls himself “subterranean kryptonite”? We all know who he is.

    Reminds me of a strange phone call we got a couple of days ago.

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm??? Been using that locator you bragged about, “Craptonite”?

    Why don’t you just BAN me Myers, it would be the liberal thing to do, you know, shut up the oppositon.

    After all, that is what you called for a while back at KCFS.

    Or you have forgotten already?

  23. Carlie says

    It amazes me how some people have so much hate and vile in their hearts. Must be hard for the trolls to sleep at night, being all pissed off and indignant and grudging. Do they realize that no one cares what they have to say?

  24. Christensen says

    I agree. The atheist spew under the cover of science is getting hard to take.

  25. Steviepinhead says

    If it’s too hard to take, little C, you can always take yourself/yourselves elsewhere. No one here is gonna care, one way or the other.

    Be seein’ ya.


  26. kdn says

    Hoping to hide behind plausible deniability, C has removed all doubt instead. Posting from the same computers, yet not being aware of each others’ posts?

    Nota quoque:





    An amazing amount of patience has been devoted here, perhaps even to the point of indulgence, but certainly more than was ever deserved.

  27. Christensen says

    S Kvn Nybrg drps by! H Kvn, hws Grdn Cty?

    Y hv bn fllwng m rnd th ntrnt fr mnths thrwng n yr lttl ngry cmmnts.

    And I dd nt sy I dd nt knw tht thrs hv pstd, I jst hvn’t kpt trck f thm.

    S th fck wht?

    I’d rthr b n thr sd thn n wsl lk yrs.
    Y knw, th typ f gy wh brgs bt hw bttr h s bt hw ppl t chrch wr mn t hm, nd wh lvs t mk ccstns bt ppl vr t KCFS.

    And thn rns wy frm bckng thm p.

    Y r gs, Kvn.

    I’d rthr b n thr sd thn n th sd f

  28. Christensen says

    By th wy Kvn, I gt rl kck t f yr tryng t hd bhnd th “kdn”.

    Evrybdy knws y sgn yr psts tht wy vr t KCFS.

    Y slppd p, ld by!

    And ntc hw th gys crtszng s s nms lk “sbtrrnn kryptnt” nd “kdn”?

    Evn MY rny mtr s ff th scl n tht n!


  29. kdn says

    Hardly a slip-up, moron. Look at the entry windows. They’re slip-up-proof. I sign with my initials regularly. It cuts down on internet stalking by people like you.

    Oh, PZ: that reminds me–

  30. Carlie says

    Oh, I feel like troll bait today. So, Cristensen, or whatever your real name happens to be, would you please enlighten me on how science is used simply as a cover for propaganda? With references, thanks kindly, and it would help if you begin by stating what training you have in evolutionary biology that allows you to be an informed and knowledgeable contributor to the subject.

  31. Christensen says

    Kvn, y’r s fnny whn y gt md!

    Bt y nd t rmn clm; y nd t rmmbr tht vry tm y gt n pssng cntst wth m y strt lsng nd wnt t rn t th wbmstr…ps! Lks lk y lrdy hv.

    And t s scrm t hr y whnng bt “stlkng”.

    JUST s prdctd…s bv…y r strtng n wth yr ccstns.

    YOU r th n wh fllwd ME vr hr, rmmbr…IDIOT!

    In th mntm, I s tht by yr dvrsnry tctcs…t prsnl ccsttns s sl nd d nsm…y hv cncdd tht mny scntsts r USING scnc s cvr fr thr thstc prpgnd.

  32. kdn says

    It’s hardly a whine to point out one of your frequent violations of bb etiquette; you hide behind ad hominem whenever you’re feeling pressured, and have been doing it for a long time.

    It’s what gets you banned, remember? And it’ll be what gets you banned this time, too. Then you can do your own whine about your violated freedom, and you’ll repeat it all over, like a scratched CD.

    Why don’t you answer the other poster–that is, if you can.

  33. CHRISTENSEN says

    nd Crl, dd nt sy tht scnc s sd smply fr prpgnd.

    Wht m tlkng bt s hw sm scntsts S scnc fr thr thstc prpgnd.

    vr t KCFS thy tll m tht scnc sys nthng bt rlgn, nd tht scntsts dn’t mk clms tht t rgs fr thsm.

    Thy hd t d tht, t b ccptbl t th Knss vtrs. (f crs, t ddn’t hlp n f thr wn ldrs n Jhnsn Cnty.)

    Bt whn pnt t thr, s hr, tht scntsts sch s Dwkns, Dnnt, Hrrs nd Shrmr mk thr thstc rnts ndr th cvr f thr rl s scntsts vrybdy gts pst!

    nd Kvn, y r n t tlk bt d hmnms; y knw y hv bd hbt f mkng ccstns nd thn thr 1. rnnng wys, nd/r

    2. cllng fr th bnnng f th n wh tlks bck t y.

    Mk ll th thrts y wnt. Nthng nw. Y r bnth cntmpt, y r FNNY!