Consider the source

The usual suspects of Intelligent Design creationism came out with a book a while ago honoring the patriarch of the movement, that sneaky rascal Phillip Johnson. They had to shop around for someone to puke up some happy blurbs about the book; Duke Cunningham demanded too much money, Charles Manson had some standards, and Roy Cohn was both gay and dead, so they had to scrape the bottom of the barrel of sleazy criminals and came up with Chuck Colson. I have no idea how much he was paid, but they didn’t get their money’s worth.

This feisty Berkeley law professor became the unlikely spearhead of the intelligent design movement with the publication of his book Darwin on Trial, in which, from the perspective of a skilled lawyer, he examined and cross-examined Darwinism and found gaping holes.

From the perspective of a skilled lawyer, holes were found in the OJ Simpson case, too. If only Johnson knew something about, oh, I don’t know, biology…??!?

As geophysicist Stephen Meyer puts it, the best Darwinists can put forth is “a panoply of euphemism and wishful thinking masquerading as evidence.”

That’s some promotion. Meyer worked for an oil company with an undergraduate degree in physics and geology; his advanced degrees are in, as we’ve come to expect from those fine minds at the DI, philosophy. I once bussed tables in a hospital cafeteria, so you must henceforth refer to me as a brain surgeon.

I suspect there has to be a Ph.D. in Irony in Meyer’s background somewhere, too, in order for an Intelligent Design creationist to be able to accuse evolutionary biology of lacking evidence with a straight face.

Just the list of authors who have contributed to Darwin’s Nemesis shows the effectiveness of Phil’s approach. It’s full of essays by distinguished scientists and philosophers who support the intelligent design movement.

The list of authors includes Stephen Meyer, Michael Behe, Jay Wesley Richards, Thomas Woodward, Francis Beckwith, Timothy Standish, David Berlinski, Michael Ruse, David Keller, Jonathan Wells, Scott Minnich, Nancy Pearcey, Jay Budziszewski, Marcus Ross, Paul Nelson, Henry Schaefer III, Wesley Allen, and Walter Bradley, edited by William Dembski, with a forward by Rick Santorum. The usual culture warriors of the Right with a few weirdos thrown in. It’s a bit shy on the “scientists” part, and “distinguished” is a stretch, unless he means distinguished by an exceptional degree of lunacy.

Praise from an ex-con and ethically deficient lawyer like Colson fits in perfectly with that rogue’s gallery. Say…how much science do you think Colson understands?

There’s no doubt that Phil’s willingness to encourage the work of scientists and help create a network for them has allowed the movement to flourish.

See above. Scientists are practically nonexistent in his ‘network’.

This book really shows just how far the intelligent design (ID) movement has progressed in a relatively short time, despite the best efforts of many Darwinists to shoot it down–because, as is becoming clearer and clearer, ID has the evidence on its side.

Heh. It certainly shows that: ID has made no progress, has encouraged no new research, has inspired no new investigators…it has no evidence, and has bestowed upon us a legacy of increasingly frantic press releases and failed legal maneuverings.

he has shown how one informed and dedicated individual can literally shape the course of history—just one more lesson from Phil Johnson’s work from which we all can benefit, and one more reason why he’s one of my personal heroes.

Wow. A crackpot lawyer with a cynical scheme to circumvent the separation of church and state is shaping the “course of history”? I guess that level of hyperbole is appropriate for a movement that also hosts the Isaac Newton of Information Theory and another clown who considers himself a 21st century Galileo.

Please, oh please, I never want to be a personal hero to a scoundrel like Colson.


  1. Russell says

    Now, PZ. Duke Cunningham would charge. He was convicted of bribery, after all. Roy Cohn was a lawyer, and for all we know, he is still generating billable hours.

    Chuck Colson is a true ideologue. He writes nonsense for free.

  2. Russell says

    BTW, there really needs to be a study of the ID movement. It represents a quite interesting evolution of anti-science religion. A hundred years ago, it was enough for a preacher to argue that where science refutes religious doctrine, God must prevail. That didn’t work. Fifty years ago, the arguments were different: where science seems to refute relgious doctrine, the science must be bad science. That didn’t work.

    Now we have religion masquerading as science. And the masquerade has become quite detailed. Papers are written emulating the style of scientific papers. Institutions are established emulating the appearance of scientific institutions. Colloquia are held. Advocates are referred to as scientists. Research is being done, in some secret south Pacific laboratory. This is quite an interesting cultural phenomenon. It has nothing to do with science. But it says something about modern American culture, and modern Christian fundamentalism.

  3. says

    One of the Watergate Seven, eh? That’s real class. The Disco Clowns sure know how to pick’em.

    Now I’ve got all these images in my head of creationists in chains, “Caged Heat” type ripoffs starring my Disco boys. Ooh, nasty. “Prison Fellowship” indeed! Better not go there.

  4. Ichthyic says

    with a forward by Rick Santorum

    …who was seen running away from his previous stance on ID with his pants around his ankles after the Kitzmiller trial.

    I do wonder why the DI never mentioned Santorum’s public abandonment of ID after the trial?

    real puzzler.


  5. says

    This book really shows just how far the intelligent design (ID) movement has progressed in a relatively short time, despite the best efforts of many Darwinists to shoot it down–because, as is becoming clearer and clearer, ID has the evidence on its side.

    Funny . . . that’s not what Johnson himself thinks:

    I also don’t think that there is really a theory of intelligent design at the present time to propose as a comparable alternative to the Darwinian theory, which is, whatever errors it might contain, a fully worked out scheme. There is no intelligent design theory that’s comparable. Working out a positive theory is the job of the scientific people that we have affiliated with the movement. Some of them are quite convinced that it’s doable, but that’s for them to prove…No product is ready for competition in the educational world.

  6. Stogoe says

    In their minds, Watergate wasn’t a real problem. The ‘seven’ was framed, they was! It was those Demmy-crats, who demanded public accountability from the elite.

  7. RBH says

    Russell wrote

    BTW, there really needs to be a study of the ID movement. It represents a quite interesting evolution of anti-science religion.

    Um, Creationism’s Trojan Horse. Barbara Forrest? Kitzmiller expert witness? ‘Member her? :)

  8. says

    Santorum was actually running away from ID back in August 2005:

    Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, a possible 2008 presidential contender who faces a tough re-election fight next year in Pennsylvania, said intelligent design, which is backed by many religious conservatives, lacked scientific credibility and should not be taught in science classes.

    …so I, too, was surprised to see he had written the foreword. I’d be interested in comparing what he has to say there versus what he said in 05. I’d never go so far as to say he’s a duplicitous political hack… well, ok, I probably would.

  9. says

    So, then, does this mean ID is going to put out a book about placoderms and other arcane creatures of the fossil record?
    Or, should I set my sights on something much lower, like, say, hoping that Lindsay Lohan will marry Oprah?

  10. fusilier says

    Sometime around 2003/2004, Charles Colson was quoted in one of my favorite on-line rags, The Federalist*. He was discussing the decline in science in the Islamic world and – please disconnect your irony meters from the power supply, thank you – blaming it on the rising insistance for a literal interpretation of the Q’ran.

    *Unfortunately, you cannot search any archives at that website – they charge for the service.

    James 2:24

  11. says

    Remember, you’re dealing with people from the Bizarro World, where up is down, in is out, and the Watergate criminals were patriots.