Respectful Insolence

Michael Medved: Evolution scholar…

…apparently, that’s what the Discovery Institute thinks, as William Dembski proudly announces, for reasons that escape me:

Michael Medved, nationally syndicated talk radio host and bestselling author, has joined the Discovery Institute in the role of senior fellow. The position cements a longstanding friendship and recognizes a commonality of values and projects across a spectrum of issues.

“Michael Medved is an intellectual entrepreneur, a political and cultural polymath with great insights, judgment and wit. We are delighted to have this new relationship with him,” said Discovery Institute president Bruce Chapman.

The sixth largest talk radio audience in the country, 3.7 million listeners, hears Medved’s daily three-hour radio program, The Michael Medved Show. Michael’s show is carried on more than 200 stations across America. The author of several books, including Hollywood vs. America and a recent autobiography, Right Turns, the one-time “punk liberal activist” turned “lovable conservative curmudgeon” is currently at work on a book on The Ten Big Lies About America.

Medved sounds perfect for the Discovery Institute. He’s published a rather idiotic article entitled Six Inconvenient Truths About the U.S. and Slavery (and I do mean stupid) and is a “passionate believer” in Sasquatch.

It’s clearly a match made in Heaven.

Comments

  1. #1 Chayanov
    November 19, 2007

    “The position cements a longstanding friendship and recognizes a commonality of values and projects across a spectrum of issues.”

    Right-wing pseudoscience? I guess that’s not such a surprising move for the Disco Institute to make.

  2. #2 Mike O'Risal
    November 19, 2007

    Clearly scientific credibility is not a priority for Disco. At least not nearly so much as bringing crypto-zoology true-believers into the “big tent.” The tent needs to be big to contain all the bullshite they’re heaping up.

    That’s an awfully stinky tent they’ve got there.

    I wonder when it will start including equally well-credentialed organizations, such as Aryan Nation. Could it be that far off? Or maybe they’re already in the tent and the Disco Gang just hasn’t let on yet. Frankly, if they can include a genius like Medved, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

  3. #3 J-Dog
    November 19, 2007

    That Big Tent proves that ID belief and the DI can attract much more than Lyers For Jesus to the crusade…it can have Lying Jews For Jesus too!

    I’ll bet they can get even more members at the next Area 51 Convention.

  4. #4 Coin
    November 19, 2007

    Wow. It’s like they’re not even trying anymore.

  5. #5 Joseph Hertzlinger
    November 19, 2007

    That Big Tent proves that ID belief and the DI can attract much more than Lyers For Jesus to the crusade…it can have Lying Jews For Jesus too!

    Since when is Michael Medved, a Jew for Jesus?

  6. #6 Ex-drone
    November 19, 2007

    So can we re-establish the ancient and universal institution of slavery by subjugating Sasquatch if we find them? I’m led to believe that their descendants will thank us for it.

  7. #7 Rjaye
    November 19, 2007

    Actually, I think Michael Medved’s “passionate” belief in Sasquatch to be a redeeming feature…the rest of it, not so much.

  8. #8 Jerad
    November 19, 2007

    Yeah but who wouldn’t want to work with the guy who co-wrote The Golden Turkey awards?

    It looks like they are going to be pursuing a more populist approach what with the science taking a pasting recently. Or maybe, what with the publication of The Design of Life, they are thinking that a new book plus a new advocate will be a bit overwhelming. It will be interesting to see how/if Mr Medved’s radio show changes its approach.

  9. #9 Alan Kellogg
    November 19, 2007

    On Medved and Bigfoot

    Being wrong about asparagus doesn’t mean you’re wrong about tomatoes.

    Besides, considering their apparent intelligence* sasquatches will need some sort of conservatorship arrangement once we get around to actually making some sort of attempt to acclimate them to us. Much as Jane Goodall did with the chimps of Gombe.

    *Apparently smarter than an 8th grader, but dumber than a college freshman.

  10. #10 wolfwalker
    November 19, 2007

    Medved sounds perfect for the Discovery Institute.

    Indeed he does. I’ve yet to encounter a radio-talk-show host of any political stripe who knows anything about science. Likewise for the Disco boys. They oughta get along swimmingly.

  11. #11 AC
    November 20, 2007

    It’s obvious that there is a lot of emotion going on about this slavery thing. Knowing nothing of the two authors, I read both the original and the rebuttal; and it was the rebuttal that came off as much more strange.

    The slavery article seemed to be attacking the concept that America’s greatness is solely built on the blood of slavery. He seems to indicate that slavery has done America a lot of harm and that those who foreswore it first ended up much better off. This is entirely consistent with our modern enlightened view of slavery as being an evil force in the world and does show that America’s greatness comes from other sources.

    By contrast, the debunking article seemed to be engaging in quote mining – taking individual sentences out of context and letting their blood boil over it. Take that quote about the slave traders losing money on dead slaves. This is a perfectly valid point in the context of trying to prove that slave trading and genocide are not morally equivalent. Yet, the debunking article just took the one quote and fumed about it. I didn’t see one point constructively debunked in the article. The entire thing seemed to be a series of quotes and fumes.

    I live in Australia, so the closest thing to slavery we came to is the convicts who were shipped here in the beginning of the European part of our history. This is not to say that we don’t have blood on our hands – we have our own sad history with our native peoples. It’s just that slavery doesn’t seem to give the instant gut reaction that seems to effect the person who wrote the debunking article.

  12. #12 wrpd
    November 20, 2007

    A polymath???? I suppose in his case this means that he can both add and subtract.

  13. #13 ctb
    November 20, 2007

    I live in Australia, so the closest thing to slavery we came to is the convicts who were shipped here in the beginning of the European part of our history.

    Not quite. Blackbirding was practiced in Australia, which was effectively a form of slavery, even though slavery had been abolished throughout the British Empire.

  14. #14 SteveM
    November 20, 2007

    “Take that quote about the slave traders losing money on dead slaves. This is a perfectly valid point in the context of trying to prove that slave trading and genocide are not morally equivalent. Yet, the debunking article just took the one quote and fumed about it.”

    I too was not impressed by the “debunking”, a lot more could have been said rather than just “OMG I can’t believe Medved said that”. First, I don’t think I’ve ever heard slavery referred to as genocide. Clearly if you are trying to sell wheat, you don’t burn your fields. Second, as for the death toll on the slave ships, Medved completely misses the point that the losses were probably more than compensated for by the larger number of survivors. Part of the horror is that you are making these “spoilage” calculations on human beings, not potatoes. So whether it was genocide or not, the conditions of the slave ships was horrifying and reprehensible. Medved is completely ignoring that by saying the shippers lost money on every corpse and so would minimize those losses.

  15. #15 AC
    November 20, 2007

    I didn’t know about blackbirding. (I’d heard of the Kanakas, but not how they got here.)

    Thanks for pointing that out. It’s hard to discuss American history when you miss relevent details of your own history!

  16. #16 Alan Kellogg
    November 22, 2007

    The thing to remember is that there is no evidence supporting Intelligent Design, in contrast to the evidence supporting the existence of Sasquatch. Instead both ID and Sasquatch denial rely on special pleading, ignoring available evidence, misrepresenting evidence, misrepresenting what researchers have said respectively on evolution and Sasquatch, and flat out lies. Thus have creationists and Sasquatch deniers formed an alliance of convenience in the cause of ignorance and and obfuscation.

    Science is not about reinforcing your prejudices, science is about learning how the world is and how it works, regardless of how much that knowledge upsets what you were once convinced to be true.

    Remember, a mountain lion cuddled up next to you in bed has more weight than any zoologist insisting mountain lions don’t occur in your part of the woods.

  17. #17 Kristine
    November 25, 2007

    Medved actually thinks an argument about how the ancient Greeks and Mesopotamians practiced slavery are worth considering.

    Watch Medved on his first day on the job at the DI blat the old Jerry Falwell line that evolution was actually an “ancient, pagan” and blasphemous idea whereas creationism is new and scientific and “civilized” and a gift of Christianity.

The site is undergoing maintenance presently. Commenting has been disabled. Please check back later!