Some of you may recall the exchange I had with Casey Luskin in early 2005 about ID advocates comparing evolution advocates of being Nazis, and vice versa. It started when he wrote an essay for the IDEA club website (this was before he went to work for the DI) screaming bloody murder about folks on our side comparing ID advocates to holocaust deniers. I pointed out that Luskin was barking up the wrong tree, throwing a fit about us comparing them to holocaust deniers while the ID advocates he admires and, now, works for have long been comparing us to actual Nazis, not to mention Stalinists, the Taliban or Pol Pot.
I listed numerous examples of such comparisons being made by prominent ID advocates like Jonathan Wells, William Dembski, John Calvert, Mark Hartwig and Phillip Johnson. What I listed was only a small sample. I also pointed out that it is far better to be compared to holocaust deniers than to those who perpetrated the holocaust. And I pointed out that when we accuse them of being like holocaust deniers, we are comparing the types of arguments used. Both ID advocates and holocaust deniers tend to use very similar arguments (claiming that their tiny minority of believers has the Real Truth, that their work is ignored or worse by the “orthodoxy” of mainstream scholars, that there’s a conspiracy to keep their views out of the schools, that virtually every scholar on the subject is wrong except them, etc), and it’s hardly unreasonable to point that out.
Shortly after that, I got an email from Casey. He claimed to be totally unaware that any ID advocates had ever compared us to Nazis or Stalinists, which frankly strained credulity a bit but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. He went back and edited his essay and added an addendum saying that he condemned those instances as well, and he said he was totally sincere in wanting both sides to stop such comparisons. He even waxed eloquent about his ancestors in Poland during Hitler’s time and interviewed a holocaust survivor to sum up how shameful it was to make such comparisons.
Well what a different 15 months makes. Now Luskin works for the DI and his latest piece of propaganda is this essay engaging in the age-old practice of poisoning the well. And lo and behold, it’s about none other than Larry Darby, the vile halfwit I’ve been bashing for months on my blog. Darby is a holocaust denier. He’s also the founder of the Atheist Law Center and he apparently testified against a pro-ID bill in the Alabama state legislature. And despite Luskin’s almost tearful pleading for civility a year ago, now as a paid flak for the DI he’s suddenly found that it’s quite convenient to tie one’s opponents to holocaust deniers:
Although the Alabama Academic Freedom Bill does not mandate or call for the teaching of the theory of intelligent design, Mr. Darby has been a staunch critic of ID all along. He has been a featured speaker and participant at events sponsored by the “Atheist Alliance” that included emphatic denunciations of ID. Most interesting is Mr. Darby’s appearance at the Alabama “Rally for Reason,” alongside Jeffrey Selman. The rally was sponsored by the Atheist Law Center, of which Mr. Darby is apparently past-president. Mr. Selman is the ACLU’s plaintiff in the textbook sticker case against Cobb County School District near Atlanta, GA.
Jeff Selman is also Jewish himself. Do you really want to try and tie a Jewish man to holocaust deniers, Casey? The fact is that Darby’s repulsive and ignorant views on this question have only recently come to light. The further fact is that our side has been blasting that moron with both barrels from the first moment they did. The fact that he is opposed to ID and so are we is totally irrelevant and Casey damn well knows it. But he has a job to do now, and ethics be damned.
Who cares if he has in the past gotten weepy eyed about how tragic it is when those in this dispute exploit the holocaust to score political points. And to make things worse, he actually has the chutzpah to link to his article complaining about such comparisons with this line:
Unfortunately many leading Darwinists have also compared skepticism of evolution to Holocaust denial.
Yeah, and many leading ID advocates have compared opposition to ID to those who carried out the holocaust, as well as Stalin’s starvation of millions and the butchery of Pol Pot. Casey admits that in the article he links to, but he doesn’t say a word about that here. Why? Because it would be inconvenient, so he did what all paid flaks do – he conveniently ignored what he previously admits to and condemns. And frankly, I don’t think this is a game Casey really wants to play. He works for an organization that includes at least two AIDS deniers and one follower of Rev. Moon, a lunatic fascist who has helped fund the brutal dictator of North Korea. And if we want to broaden it out, as Luskin has, to those who are just anti-evolution, that list contains all sorts of unsavory characters. This is a game he will lose, and I think he knows it.
Casey, I have something to say to you and you’re probably not gonna like it. Over the years, you’ve corresponded with many of us on the other side of the evolution/ID dispute. You’ve even met some of us and most came away thinking that you were merely sincere but misguided. I gave you the benefit of the doubt last year over this exact issue and I publicly applauded your willingness to edit your original essay, admit that your side has done even worse, and condemn both sides equally. But now you’ve proven that such benefit of the doubt was unwarranted. I don’t know whether you were ever sincere in the first place or not, but it doesn’t matter. What you are now, clearly, is a professional liar and fraud.
So the next time you feel the need to email one of us with pleas of sincerity and civility and talk nobly about how we can all be friends despite our disagreements, save your breath. You just ripped off your mask and revealed your blatant hypocrisy and your willingness to do anything you can to score points for those who sign your checks. And I think I can speak for everyone on our side when I say that we are just done with you.
P.S. Let me also note that Luskin also has his facts wrong. He writes:
Mr. Darby’s vehement opposition to the Alabama Academic Freedom Bill was on full display at a House Education hearing back on April 29, 2004. According to reports I have received, committee chair, Rep. Yvonne Kennedy (D), did not allow citizens to testify for the bill. But for some reason she let Mr. Darby alone provide special commentary on it.
It should be noted that Yvonne Kennedy, chair of the House education committee at the time, was a supporter of the bill in question and voted for it at the April 29, 2004 hearing. Why on earth would she only grant the right to testify to one person from the other side? We also know that when the bill came back up the next year before the committee, there were 5 people who testified against the bill, 2 in favor and 3 opposed (Darby among them). And in fact, at the Senate Education Committee that year, only those in favor of the bill were allowed to testify.