I like Seattle. I grew up near there. But it’s got two things that annoy me: Starbucks coffee (OK, but overpriced and a little too pretentious) and the Discovery Institute (unspeakably vile inanity). Unfortunately, the proximity of those two institutions seems to encourage them to ooze into bed together and spawn expensive coffee with stupid ideas. They’ve done this before, publishing tripe from Wesley Smith on their cups, and now they’ve gotten worse, smearing lies from Jonathan Wells across the cups.
“Darwinism’s impact on traditional social values has not been as benign as its advocates would like us to believe. Despite the efforts of its modern defenders to distance themselves from its baleful social consequences, Darwinism’s connection with eugenics, abortion and racism is a matter of historical record, and the record is not pretty.”
Dr. Jonathan Wells,
biologist and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design
Man, it’s awfully hard to take Wells seriously. What kind of idiot would think those three things are the product of or in any way inspired by a publication from 1859? What kind of illogical nitwit would think the consequences of an idea have any bearing on the truth of that idea?
Eugenics: Eugenics was not the invention of evolution, but was inspired by animal husbandry and genetics. Darwin was a smart guy, but he did not invent the domestication of animals.
Abortion: Likewise, Darwin was not the first abortionist (or any kind of abortionist, for that matter), and I suspect that as a proper Victorian gentleman he would have been horrified to consider it. I don’t know of any writings by the guy on that subject; if there were, I wouldn’t be surprised if he were against it.
Starbucks has a disclaimer — “The opinions put forth by contributors to ‘The Way I See It’ do not necessarily reflect the views of Starbucks” — and they put a wide range of nonsensical quotes in there, but they admit that they invited these contributions from “notable contributors from various fields”, so I have to hold them culpable for promoting IDiocy. It might be a good idea to use their contact form to express your disapproval and suggest that they might go looking for intelligent and informed contributors, rather than intellectual frauds from that clown circus at the DI.
It is another interesting example of the DI’s willingness to pursue oddball PR moves, though…and I have to say that I think it would be a good idea if scientists and scientific organizations were to do likewise. Hey, NCSE, you’re a much better source of thought-provoking quotes and ideas than the creationists—why not contact Starbucks and send them a few thousand good quotes they can use?
We’re hoping to take a vacation and visit Seattle this summer. At least one other very nice thing about that town is that there are plenty of alternatives, practically on every street corner, and you don’t have to give Starbucks your custom. We won’t.