Geniality, ID Style

Discovery Institute flak David Klinghoffer is getting all misty-eyed about the tenth anniversary of Jonathan Wells’ book Icons of Evolution. Doubtless you recall the book, which contained very little that was true. What struck me, though, was this statement from Klinghoffer:

When I say the book is sweetly reasoned, I don’t only mean that it’s well reasoned but that there’s an appealing geniality, a sweetness, to the man’s writing …

Geniality? Somehow that was not the word that came to my mind. Here’s Wells:

As we saw in Kevin Padian’s “cracked kettle” approach to biology, dogmatic Darwinists begin by imposing a narrow interpretation on the evidence and declaring it to be the only way to do science. Critics are then labeled unscientific; their articles are rejected by mainstream hournals, whose editorial boards are dominated by the dogmatists; the critics are denied funding by government agencies, who send grant proposals to the dogmatists for “peer” review; and eventually the critics are hounded out of the scientific community altogether.

In the process, evidence against the Darwinian view simply disappears, like witnesses against the Mob. Or the evidence is buried in specialized publications, where only a dedicated researcher can find it. Once critics have been silenced and counter-evidence has been buried, the dogmatists announce that there is no scientific debate about their theory, and no evidence against it. Using such tactics, defenders of Darwinian orthodoxy have managed to establish a near-monopoly over research grants, faculty appointments, and peer-reviewed journals in the United States. (p. 235-236)

How terribly genial.

See also Larry Moran’”s take on this.

Comments

  1. #1 Ian
    December 8, 2010

    Stephen Meyer is a friendly person, you can have a decent conversation with him. Dembski less so, but he’s ok. Wells though – not so much. “Appealing geniality” just isn’t a phrase I’d associate with him. More inclined to go with “condescending” and “arrogant”. (Those are the only three prominent IDists I’ve met)

  2. #2 Larry Yudelson
    December 8, 2010

    Doubtless he was comparing Wells’ geniality favorably to the scorched-earth (not young-earth, God forbid) rhetoric I used in my book, How Would God REALLY Vote: A Jewish Rebuttal to David Klinghoffer’s Conservative Polemic in which I showed that Klinghoffer understands Judaism about as well as he understands evolutionary biology.

  3. #3 Sam C
    December 8, 2010
    … evidence against the Darwinian view simply disappears…

    I think Michael Behe stole all the evidence against the Darwinian view and hid it underneath a postage stamp stuck on an envelope addressed to “anybody who will listen to nonsense” which he then hid between pages 7 and 8 of his Bible.

    It could make you cry; the poor ID folk seem so powerless against the oppression of the Darwinistas when they only have Truth(tm) and Almighty God on their side! Perhaps Jehovah is trying to tell them something? Like “sonny, your silly book doesn’t explain how I did it, try looking at the world and doing some science instead of reading old stories”.

  4. #4 SLC
    December 8, 2010

    I wonder how Mr. Klinghoffer reconciles his association with the Dishonesty Institute with the presence of a Holocaust revisionist like John West.

  5. #5 Jason Rosenhouse
    December 8, 2010

    Larry -

    Thanks for the link to your book. I’ll pick up a copy the next time I make an Amazon run.

  6. #6 derwood
    December 9, 2010

    Pardon my gutter talk, but when I read these people write of each other in this fashion – and it happens quite a bit, relatively speaking (I am reminded of Ray Bohlin all but stating that Phil Johnson gives him an erection in an essay he wrote in which he goes on about how handsome Johnson is..), I often get this uneasy feeling that there is a bit more spewing going on behind closed doors at the DI than just anti-darwin invective… If you know what I mean…

  7. #7 MacTurk
    December 9, 2010

    The video at one point proudly claims that the book has sold 50,000 copies, which is 5,000/yr. Not exactly a scorching bestseller, is it?
    I mean, the Bible gets how many? Playboy on a monthly basis sells how many?

    Then we have the counsel of the despairing conspiracy theorists;
    “In the process, evidence against the Darwinian view simply disappears, like witnesses against the Mob. Or the evidence is buried in specialized publications, where only a dedicated researcher can find it. Once critics have been silenced and counter-evidence has been buried, the dogmatists announce that there is no scientific debate about their theory, and no evidence against it. Using such tactics, defenders of Darwinian orthodoxy have managed to establish a near-monopoly over research grants, faculty appointments, and peer-reviewed journals in the United States”

    “..evidence simply disappears” implying that paleontologists are running around destroying every fossil they can find before the pure-hearted unbiased researchers from the DI can find them?

    “Once critics have been silenced and counter-evidence has been buried…” How come these idiots(sorry, see pure-hearted, etc above) are still allowed to survive? Why has no-one fire bombed the DI? The pogrom is just soooo not working.

    “..defenders of Darwinian orthodoxy have managed to establish a near-monopoly over research grants, faculty appointments, and peer-reviewed journals in the United States”. It gets worse, guys. It is not JUST in the USA, it is everywhere where science is based on evidence, not horseshit.

  8. #8 eric
    December 9, 2010

    “..defenders of Darwinian orthodoxy have managed to establish a near-monopoly over research grants, faculty appointments, and peer-reviewed journals in the United States”

    This is one of the classic signs of pseudoscience: they want the money before they show any success. Real scientists understand that funding is iterative. In grad school you make small advances off the school’s dime. You use that to get slightly bigger grants. And so on.

    The process is by no means perfect. I’m sure we all have our grant horror stories to tell. But no serious, credible scientist would expect to be handed money with no past success on his/her resume. In away, science is very similar to venture capitalism in that respect. If you want the money, you have to show more than just a good idea; you also have to demonstrate to the grantor’s satisfaction that you have a proven record of pulling off good ideas. Creationists have no such record because they do not do even small, noncontroversial experiments and research projects.

  9. #9 Orjin Krem
    December 11, 2010

    I agree with you:”When I say the book is sweetly reasoned, I don’t only mean that it’s well reasoned but that there’s an appealing geniality, a sweetness, to the man’s writing … “

  10. #10 Lenoxuss
    December 11, 2010

    “the evidence is buried in specialized publications, where only a dedicated researcher can find it”? Huh? I thought the evidence was everywhere and everything, the heavens declaring it and all that. Now it exists in scavenger-hunt morsels, like the evidence the characters in The Da Vinci Code pick up to gradually unearth a massive conspiracy…

    (See, all the species did in fact develop by an evolutionary process except for the one or two that God made but to which, for his own mysterious reasons, he limited access to biologists drunk on Darwin. All makes sense.)

  11. #11 Lenoxuss
    December 11, 2010

    @ 9 “doktor orjin” (no, I’m not going to take the bait): Ha, that’s the first time I’ve seen a spambot mistakenly “agree” with the original poster’s opponents. Someday, they will learn about blockquotes…

  12. #12 jimvj
    December 13, 2010

    So Wells is admitting that the folks at the DI are NOT “dedicated researchers”!

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