You’ve probably already seen this: it is a bunch of crazy home schooling creationists demonstrating that they are utter, incurable morons. In this video, they are seen committing child abuse. Again and again and again.

I stole it from Pharangula, he stole it from Sandwalk.


Chris and Matt do.


  1. #1 Laelaps
    March 25, 2008

    I should have waited for the YouTube video to come out before I threw in my 2 cents…

  2. #2 MarcH
    March 26, 2008

    Amazing. Thanks for posting as I hadnt seen this particular video yet (though I spend way to long on SB). As an aside, I grew up in this environment 25 to 15 years ago.

    Happily it never took and I dragged myself kicking and screaming out of it though it did take me some time. Having an entire family mired in this makes change very difficult.

    They are arguing against many truths. These disparities are visible to any kid that takes the time to look.

    So, as the curator says, there is hope for these kids.

  3. #3 Luna_the_cat
    March 26, 2008

    Greg, could we just clear something up?

    Neither Nisbet nor Mooney, nor any other advocate of framing, has EVER advocated not calling creationism anything other than a pack of lies. EVER. I happily challenge you to test that.

    Other people have claimed that they did, and then thousands of comments have proceeded as if those claims were true; which is absolutely appalling, given that this is supposed to be a population of people who are all about the evidence, man.

    They didn’t. They haven’t. I’m sure enough to bet real money that they wouldn’t. Please, let us actually be accurate about this.

    What they HAVE said, is precisely what a number of other people have said:
    1. Making the blanket statement that everyone who believes in God is delusional, is itself an untrue and unfair generalisation about a lot of normal people, and will quite understandably alienate those people;
    2. Saying that you cannot understand/practice/”believe in” science and also believe in God, is an untrue and unfair statement which was originally fostered by Fundamentalists in order to demonise science and scientists, and it harms the cause of science education.

    Framing isn’t lying. Framing isn’t pandering or appeasing, either. Framing is being aware of the attitudes, beliefs, and emotional values of your audience, and trying to get your message across without deliberately insulting and alienating them. Telling a moderate, educated Christian that in order to accept evolution, he HAS to disbelieve in God, is a fast track to a lose.

    Seriously, am I making sense here?

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    March 26, 2008

    I don’t think I’ve said anywhere that Chris and Matt have claimed that any specific ID or creation science claims are true.

    Framing can be lying, and it can be pandering, and it can be appeasing. For instance, one of the framing strategies that has been suggested is to ease up on criticism of the origin of life as involving divine intervention. Another is laying off the role of evolution in human history and prehistory . Both of these strategies are suggested by data indicating that a lot of people would accept evolution if only these areas were left alone, and thus, this could be a good framing strategy.

    Most science-accepting religious people (such as many moderate Catholics, for example) accept evolution because they water it down with these persepctives … god’s hand is a force guiding at least some aspects of evolution, perhaps setting up the rules, perhaps starting out the first life, perhaps ignoring most evolutionary change but getting involved with human evolution,and so on. All of these assertions are at odds with scientific thinking on evoltution. There is no way to incorporate these perspectives in a truly scientific view of evolution.

    Consider this:

    “…in today’s America, like it or not, those seeking a broader public acceptance of science must rethink their strategies for conveying knowledge. Especially on divisive issues, scientists should package their research to resonate with specific segments of the public. …. Do scientists really have to portray their knowledge as a threat to the public’s beliefs? Can’t science and religion just get along? A “science and religion coexistence” message conveyed by church leaders or by scientists who have reconciled the two in their own lives might convince even many devout Christians that evolution is no real threat to faith.”

    That would require appeasement and lies. Sorry.

    Oh, that was from Nisbet and Mooney’s washington post piece.

  5. #5 Luna_the_cat
    March 26, 2008

    First —

    You put in bold print on this blog post

    Chris and Matt do.

    What exactly is that, if not a statement that Mooney and Nisbet want to appease creationists and creationism?

    Really, what DO you mean? Did you mean what you wrote? That they want to appease creationists/creationism? Or were you trying to be rhetorical and you didn’t mean it that way? Colour me a bit confused. Looks rather like you are making the direct accusation that they don’t want to call creationism on its lies.

    Second — I know a lot of people who believe in God, who are perfectly comfortable with the sort of noninterventionist “Newton’s God” who brought about a universe in which the embedded physical properties and laws are sufficient to explain and understand all the physical phenomena — including life in all its variety — that we see. Given this, the proposal that science is completely incompatible with any religion or religious faith is patently untrue. Look, they coexist here and are not mutually incompatible; that simple observable fact does not require any kind of lie.

    Evolution does NOT mean that you “have” to stop believing in God. Any attempt to convince people of that will drive people deeper into a rejection of science and scientific conclusions, which is precisely why Fundamentalists use this argument — and I have personal experience with trying to teach people about biology which backs this up, although I do not have the resources or the time to do a formal study. This is an observation repeated by many, however. Fund me, I’ll do a formal study for you so that we have properly documented data. ;-P

    The idea that you need to tailor a message to the way that people see the world to avoid hot-button rejections is hardly either new or dishonest. That is what the WaPo piece is about, and is much in line with a lot of what Stephen J. Gould wrote. Just out of curiosity, because a lot of it may have happened out of my view, but did Gould get a lot of accusations of lies, pandering and appeasement, too?

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    March 26, 2008


    Yes, I am certain that Chris and Matt want to appease the creationists. I’m not sure how I can make that more clear than I have. I think that avoiding calling the creationists on some of their lies is very clearly part of their strategy. They are a little circumspect about it, but it is pretty clear.

    The Newtonian creationists do not make up the bulk of the demographic to which Chris and Matt refer. So that is not really too important here.

    I don’t think I’ve told anyone that they have to stop believing in god. But, the truth is that there is a conflict between almost every version of christianity and unadulterated science. What I prefer to tell people who have this problem is that they have to find a way to deal with this that does not require that the science be untrue. That is my story, and I’m sticking to it. This is where Matt/Chris and I disagree.

    Gould has been criticized for his dominion model of science and religion.

    It is interesting that you mention gould, as that is very relevant here. The version of science that avoids certain “hot button” issues …. like the origin of life or the evolution of human …. leaves open a huge gap for the teleological omnibus to drive through. Gould was very very against this. In this way, Gould and Matt/Chris differ to a very large degree.

  7. #7 Luna_the_cat
    March 26, 2008

    Ok. Reading back over this, I want to clear this up — in your first response to me, here, you say “I don’t think I’ve said anywhere that Chris and Matt have claimed that any specific ID or creation science claims are true.” Good, but that isn’t what I was asking about. Specifically, I had said “Neither Nisbet nor Mooney, nor any other advocate of framing, has EVER advocated not calling creationism anything other than a pack of lies.” — In other words, they have never advocated anything other than pointing out that creationism is lies and lying. So maybe you didn’t catch the specific focus of my first statement, and then I didn’t catch the specific focus of your response. Basically, though, you ARE saying that they don’t want to call creationism a pack of lies. Yes? No?

    You say that it is “clear” that Nisbet and Mooney want to both appease creationists, and not to call them on at least some of their lies. I can honestly say that I have not seen anything in what I have read of what they have written which would actually support that conclusion. Can you please point to specific examples? What, specifically, have they written which leads you to that conclusion? What is the logic which leads you from what they write to the conclusion?

    Sorry, I should make more of a response, but I can’t right now. I have some things I have to go do for my, you know, that day job thing.

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    March 26, 2008

    I definitely got the drift of your first comment, and that is why I specifically said what I said. There is an inconsistency in there, but it is not mine. Matt and Chris advocate watering down evolution. I quote them above. So while they would probably agree that it is incorrect from a scientific perspective that, for instance, replacing scientific theories with divine intervention at the origin of life or with human evolution, the do advocate reframing evolutionary biology to allow for these possibilities.

    “Do scientists really have to portray their knowledge as a threat to the public’s beliefs? Can’t science and religion just get along?”

    How is this not changing the science? In my view, science and religion can get along as long as the people with the religion are willing to deal with the inconsistencies between religion and science within their own realm. Chris and Matt are explicitly suggesting that the way science is presented address these conflicts. This is not a trivial difference!

  9. #9 Ro Betancourt
    March 26, 2008

    I can no understand why they are not send to prison for live, for poisoning children’s mains. It is sickening such a thing is happening in the 2001 century in the grate USA of America

  10. #10 Analiese
    March 27, 2008

    I have not yet watched the video (makes me think of that ABCWorldNews piece on Bible tours at the Chicago museum), but in reading your exchange with Luna I’m struck by the “good-faith” argument made by those in the God-and-Science-happily-together community in which scientists just quit being so emphatic about science and adopt a more give-and-take approach. That is, that science be taken just as faith, in convenient parts, as needed, in order that we all should get along (so long as we don’t ever talk).

    I ask you: how could such a faith-based framing ever allow for the incorporation of a method and body which is by definition all-inclusive (at least until the eventuality of conclusive exclusion)?

    Other than that, yeah, you’ve caused me to imagine that I might like a whole museum load of children again…immediately. Please.

  11. #11 Analiese
    March 27, 2008

    Oh! It IS that ABC piece…followed in programming by the feature film presentation of “The Ten Commandments”, btw.