The Loom

Cut-and-paste creationism?

Yesterday I pointed readers to a column attacking evolution by Jack Kemp on the web site Town Hall. Today a sharp-eyed commenter pointed out that it is almost entirely identical to a column from Phyllis Schlafly from August 16 on the Eagle Forum. I don’t know if these pages are going to be pulled down or otherwise altered if word gets out, so here’s a screengrab of Kemp and of Schlafly. It looks pretty much word for word identical to me. You be the judge…

Update 2:50 pm: I wonder if Town Hall got its columnists jumbled. This page lists Kemp’s column and a piece by Schlafly right next to one another on Monday.

Update: 3:20 pm: What’s also funny is that several commenters on Town Hall have pointed out this eerie similarity as well, but apparently to no avail…

Update: 4:00 pm: Like a radioactive tracer flowing through the bloodstream, Kemp’s column spreads now to David Horowitz’s Frontpage. [Hat tip: Darwin Central blog.)

Update: 4:20 pm: MYSTERY SOLVED. “Chris,” who calls himself “Team Lead” at Town Hall informs us that:

FYI: This is not some conspiracy. Jack Kemp’s syndicators were substituting a column by Schafly because he is on vacation. Our system received the column by Schafly under Kemp’s name automatically, and the editor who marked the column live didn’t catch that it was a guest column.

Now the column appears under Schlafly’s name. Direct your critique of the column to her.


  1. #1 J-Dog
    August 24, 2006

    More evidence about the Liars and The Lying Liars That Tell Them. Congrats to your reader that caught this!

  2. #2 sharon
    August 24, 2006

    pla gia rism?
    [pley-juh-riz-uhm, -jee-uh-riz-]

    1. the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.
    2. something used and represented in this manner.

  3. #3 J-Dog
    August 24, 2006

    Further thoughts:

    If I were a news reporter, I would call both Kemp and Schlafly offices and ask how this occured? The options are that:

    1.) Schlafly plagerized Kemp.
    2.) Kemp plagarized Schlafly
    3.) They both lied when they put their name as authors on something that they did not write.
    4.) They are both idiots.
    5.) Points 3 & 4 are not mutually exclusive.

    Come on researchers! Come on reporters! Enquiring minds want to know! Personally, I am voting for 3 & 4.

  4. #4 Carl Zimmer
    August 24, 2006

    I’ve sent an email to Kemp’s Kemp Partners firm. I’ll let you know if I hear anything.

  5. #5 Gerard Harbison
    August 24, 2006

    We noticed the same thing over at Darwin Central.

    Better yet, the column has appeared again, on, under Kemp’s byline.

  6. #6 JuFuLu
    August 24, 2006

    I believe that Carl Rove would call it “Staying on Message”?

    *snicker snicker*

  7. #7 James Hrynyshynm
    August 24, 2006

    It looks to me that Town Hall mistakenly duplicated Kemp’s column on Schafly’s page. Schlafly’s archive list ( does not include the evolution column.

  8. #8 Gerard Harbison
    August 24, 2006

    Schlafly’s column appeared earlier on the Eagle Forum, her own web site, under her own byline. She – or her ghost writer – appears to be the original author.

  9. #9 Kristine
    August 24, 2006

    Kemp and Schlafly “lying” together? Oooh, J-dog, I didn’t need that image in my brain, thank you! 😉

  10. #10 quitter
    August 24, 2006

    What, you were expecting a high degree of moral rectitude from a woman who suggested we should start assassinating Supreme Court justices for being liberal?

  11. #11 somnilista, FCD
    August 24, 2006

    There is the innocent possibility that Schafly’s column was mistakenly attributed to Kemp; but if so, I would expect him to set the record straight loudly and soon.

  12. #12 Stefan Jones
    August 24, 2006

    Oooh, ooh, I know what happened!

    You know the saying “Great minds think alike?” Well, Kemp and Schafly are so totally brilliant that their thoughts are in total accord.

    It therefore shouldn’t be surprising that their essays about evolution appear identical. Indeed, it should make us even more confident in their beliefs.

  13. #13 Keanus
    August 24, 2006

    How does this differ from the repetitiveness of the press releases from the DI? I’m amazed that Schlafly is still going. I can recall reading screeds from her back around 1960 when I was still in college. Interestingly, she hasn’t learned a thing in the ensuing 46 years.

  14. #14 David
    August 24, 2006

    I went to copy the text in both instances so I could use my Differences Examiner to see how they differed, but unfortunately both appear to be jpeg images?

  15. #15 Chris
    August 24, 2006

    FYI: This is not some conspiracy. Jack Kemp’s syndicators were substituting a column by Schafly because he is on vacation. Our system received the column by Schafly under Kemp’s name automatically, and the editor who marked the column live didn’t catch that it was a guest column.

    Team Lead

  16. #16 Gerard Harbison
    August 24, 2006

    Better tip off David Horowitz, then! He’s still got it under Kemp’s byline.

    Of course, trash by any other name still smells as bad.

  17. #17 J-Dog
    August 24, 2006

    That was fun! Thanks to all that worked so hard to clear this up. As soon as I get that apology from Sclafly for writing such drivel, I’ll get right on to writing my apology to Jack Kemp.

    ps Kristine: Think happy thoughts!

  18. #18 somnilista, FCD
    August 24, 2006

    Keep us updated. When Kemp gets back from vacation, I want to know whether he disowns this piece of ****.

  19. #19 SLC
    August 24, 2006

    This is not supprising. The article sounding nothing like Jack Kemp who, for all his kooky ideas, does not go around bashing liberals, many of whom are friends of his.

  20. #20 Gerry L
    August 25, 2006

    So, is there any chance — any chance at all — that Kemp is not in that camp? I would love to see him write his own column setting the record straight. Nothing wishy-washy. A solid statement for science education.

  21. #21 Boyce Williams
    August 27, 2006

    The bad news is this kind of magical thinking that evolution (a.k.a. Darwinism) is in decline, ego modern liberalism is a common tread in the thinking among the far-right.

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