Dispatches from the Creation Wars

The Wingnut Index

DevilsTower, with whom I had the pleasure of being on a science blogger’s panel at Netroots Nation, has a post at DailyKos that plays off the speech I gave there. My speech compared the rhetoric of the ID movement to John Baez’ crackpot index, showing that ID advocates behave just like scientific cranks when espousing and defending their claims. DevilsTower has created a new version of the Baez index: the wingnut index.

It works the same way, by assigning point values to the rhetorical claims of conservatives to determine whether they should be taken seriously or whether they are simply wingnuts mindlessly repeating the talking points (and one could do the same thing on the other side, of course). A few examples:

5 points
Each use of “Democrat Party.”
Each use of “liberal elite.”
Each declaration that kos readers should “leave America.” …

20 points
Each use of “DemocRAT Party.”
Each time the writer wishes the recipient would burn in hell.
Asserting the recipient belongs in Gitmo.
Each physical threat to the recipient’s family & pets.
Each use of the term “Darwinism.”
Each use of the term “algore.”

He’s got a good start, but there are many more possibilities. There should be a special section just for Ann Coulter, like 10,000 points for each book you write accusing liberals of being insulting while calling them traitors, terrorist sympathizers and lunatics. Or perhaps a section just for Bill O’Reilly, like 5000 points every time you claim to have won an award that you didn’t win (and an extra 20,000 points for lying and saying you never claimed to have won that award when there are multiple videotapes of you doing exactly that on national television).