Pharyngula

A reader (who will be nameless, unless he wants to confess in the comments) sent me a chunk of Coulter’s book, Godless. It’s worse than I feared. It contains the usual stock creationist crap presented at a rapid pace, full of the usual bald assertions of outright lies, intentional misinterpretations, and lots and lots of quote mining. Seriously, it looks like every paragraph contains multiple falsehoods or screwy manglings of science.

She claims Darwin’s theory is “one step above Scientology in scientific rigor“, that it is a “tautology“, that there is “no proof in the scientist’s laboratory or the fossil record“, and the only reason it’s still around is that “liberals think evolution disproves God.”

That’s all in the first paragraph of chapter 8, which focuses on evolution. Go ahead and follow the links up there; each one is to a short, simple refutation of Coulter’s claim.

Now picture a whole 27 page chapter packed with the same nonsense. I could do a sentence by sentence dissection of this abomination, but I’d have to write nothing but Coulter exposés for the next month. Forgive me if I pass on that.

Not only is it wrong through and through, but Coulter is a plagiarist. This is the book that William Dembski thinks “will propel [their] issues in the public consciousness like nothing to date“—well, yeah. Let’s propel the idea that creationists are dishonest and stupid right into everyone’s consciousness.


I just saw Coulter and Carlin on the Tonight show. Carlin was bland and harmless; there was no confrontation. Coulter was contemptibly smug, and Leno was a wimp who tossed off a few lazy questions and let her slide by. Of course he didn’t bother to mention the gross factual inaccuracies in her book.

She also clearly had an audience of fans there. They ate up every sneer and lie. No one is going to call her on them.

Comments

  1. #1 PZ Myers
    June 15, 2006

    Yes, she was pretty good, and the nod to Woodie Guthrie was very nice.

    The contrast was good, too. Tunstall, with some real talent, and obviously a liberal; Carlin, with 50 years in the business, a revolutionary reputation, and definitely a godless liberal; and Coulter representing the right wing…and she’s a no-talent, dishonest hack.

  2. #2 Tiax
    June 15, 2006

    I thought Coulter and Carlin on Leno were rather dissapointing. Should get the two on Crossfire or something similar where they can rail on each other.

  3. #3 udargo
    June 15, 2006

    She claims Darwin’s theory is “one step above Scientology in scientific rigor”, that it is a “tautology”, that there is “no proof in the scientist’s laboratory or the fossil record”, and the only reason it’s still around is that “liberals think evolution disproves God.”

    Am I the only one who sees that these are not arguments, but taunts? I’m sure Coulter believes in evolution as much as anybody here. In fact, to my way of thinking the comments above prove that, in a perverse way. She is saying these things PRECISELY BECAUSE she knows every one of them is absolutely wrong.

    Arguing with Coulter is like agreeing to join your wife as a guest on the Jerry Springer show even after finding out the topic of the show is “Men Who Don’t Know Their Wives Used to be Men.” If you think the audience is there to learn something about the challenges faced by transexuals in marriage, you’re totally missing the point.

  4. #4 bad Jim
    June 15, 2006

    She looked like a stick figure. It’s hard to believe that she uses her legs for walking. Anorexia is a hypothesis I’d entertain.

    The audience may have been full of yahoos, or they may have been responding to the applause sign. She did say something self-gratifying about how her new book was making liberals howl.

    Her necklace was a cross.

    Were she just another fat male bloviator we’d probably just ignore him.

  5. #5 sockatume
    June 15, 2006

    ‘the only reason it’s still around is that “liberals think evolution disproves God.”‘

    I like the built-in assumption that the success of an English biologist’s theory depended on the support of some branch of US politics.

  6. #6 G. Tingey
    June 15, 2006

    Two poins:

    ONE: By Coulter’s defifnitions, the Archbishop of Canterbury is an atheistic liberal.

    TWO: WHY has no-one called Coulter a liar in public, and dared her to sue?
    Because she IS lying, and we all know it.
    I’m suprised she hasn’t call out over posts in blogs like this, quite frankly, since it is the written word, and, certainly in some juruisdictions is deemed to be equivalent to hard-copy, and therfore subject to the same laws.

  7. #7 Orac
    June 15, 2006

    No, but I had hoped that Carlin would have an opportunity to tangle with her.

    Why?

    The Leno show is about as mainstream, middle-of-the-road as you can get. I’m sure there were ground rules, and there may have even been an agreement that had to be signed about what could be talked about. George Carlin is a longtime show biz professional. He knews which side his bread is buttered on and he wouldn’t be foolish enough to go too far and risk not being invited back.

  8. #8 BigDumbChimp
    June 15, 2006

    It was as lame as any other Leno led show. I really didn;t expect for there to be any fireworks. However, it dod look like everytime MAnn touched Carlin’s arm he got a real bad case of the heebie jeebies.

  9. #9 proud-to-swim-home
    June 15, 2006

    i agree that ann coulter is stupid as the day is long, wrong in every word that she utters, a complete bigot, etc. etc.

    but why is it that critiques of her devolve into insulting her as a woman? why is it necessary to insult trangendered people by calling her “MAnn”? why is it necessary to insult fat or anorexic people to insult ann coulter?

    i know it takes a little more effort to insult someone properly, but hey, this is science blogs! we’re suppposed to be more intelligent than them.

  10. #10 aiabx
    June 15, 2006

    George Carlin is a longtime show biz professional. He knews which side his bread is buttered on and he wouldn’t be foolish enough to go too far and risk not being invited back.

    The George Carlin I knew and loved would have burned his Tonight Show bridges and roasted Ann Coulter over the ashes. He was a man who stood for things and wouldn’t have been afraid to be banned from a lame-ass talk show; in fact, he would have welcomed it. The George I saw last night is a weakling, and a sell-out. He may know about his bread and butter, but he’s forgetting the things that made people willing to buy his butter for him.

  11. #11 Molly, NYC
    June 15, 2006

    Did you notice her claim that, in lieu of hiring bodyguards, she traveled with conservative men?

    That would be those guys who figure that if they type stuff in support of a war, it’s the same as fighting in a war (there should be a name for these people).

    God help her if she’s ever really assaulted.

  12. #12 BlueIndependent
    June 15, 2006

    PZ, as I said a week or two ago when you lasted posted on obtaining her book and refuting it, and even now as you’re seeing in the flesh, don’t bother wasting your time refuting every little word. She’ll just keep loading the shotgun and putting a blindfold on as she shoots.

    I think it would be smart to formulate groups of well-informed professional people acting in unison to refute wholly dishonest, illogical, weak and slanderous arguments. I think a group of people saying “NO, we will not tolerate you and your crap” would have more weight than a single person here or there trying to refuting her and others in every conceivable way. In that sense, it becomes a “your word against hers” scenario, and those don’t work in court, and I’d wager they don’t work for our newly judgemental popular culture.

    Don’t forget that the whole point of hard-right “political activism” (or what could be more appropriately called “political mafiaism”) is to confuse the competition and/or its prospective customers, so they can’t focus on what’s really going on behind the red wizard’s curtain.

  13. #13 Bob O'H
    June 15, 2006

    ONE: By Coulter’s defifnitions, the Archbishop of Canterbury is an atheistic liberal.

    Well, he is CofE, so I wouldn’t rule that out. Bishop of Durham, anyone?

    My apologies to the rest of you who don’t know the context. But let’s just say that ID’s big tent has nothing on the Anglican Broad Church.

    Bob

  14. #14 LMWanderer
    June 15, 2006

    Molly, NYC:

    They are typically referred to as “Chickenhawks.”

    LM Wanderer

  15. #15 oku
    June 15, 2006

    I tivoed the show. Looks like I shouldn’t bother watching it…

    Btw, she made it even to the German news. For those who can read German: http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/gesellschaft/0,1518,421561,00.html

    The article has it mostly right.

  16. #16 Ann Homily
    June 15, 2006

    Re: “It’s all an act…”

    You might be interested in reading this recent Guardian UK article:
    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,1794552,00.html

  17. #17 PaulC
    June 15, 2006

    On the Guardian article: Now I finally get it. She was raised by Mr. and Mrs. Bridge. That explains how she could grow up in the Northeast and still be such an… Ann Coulter. Actually, I bet there’s a lot of rebellion in her schtick. She was raised by staid WASPs. She didn’t rebel against their bigotry or sense of upper class entitlement, but she rejected all of the mitigating factors such as having any sense of shame.

  18. #18 TulipTree
    June 15, 2006

    When Coulter is asked questions she doesn’t like she just hangs up, as demonstrated here: http://www.firedupmissouri.com/coulter_on_ktrs.

  19. #19 beervolcano
    June 15, 2006

    Did you notice her claim that, in lieu of hiring bodyguards, she traveled with conservative men?

    That would be those guys who figure that if they type stuff in support of a war, it’s the same as fighting in a war (there should be a name for these people).

    God help her if she’s ever really assaulted.

    Posted by: Molly, NYC [TypeKey Profile Page] | June 15, 2006 11:17 AM

    They are also called The 101st Fighting Keyboardists.

  20. #20 Stanton
    June 15, 2006

    If you ask me, Leno had Carlin take his medication early.

  21. #21 Arun Gupta
    June 17, 2006

    Of course, there has always been a yahoo element in the population, but at least in the past, most of them did not become rich and famous. We have reached a point in our present culture in which if anybody can make money, it’s OK, no matter how the person makes it. That’s probably inevitable in a society in which leadership has nothing to offer but materialism.

    Charley Reese on Ann Coulter
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/reese/reese287.html

  22. #22 tumbler
    June 22, 2006

    Have only just now read her column, off the Drudge menu; and it’s pure D Coulter.

    Also saw Mark Steyn’s review of Godless; as well as a number of others. Her book is being touted as spot-on, a WINNER! I may have to buy it just for the yucks. Don’t be afraid to read her weekly column, Amigos. It costs us nothing and may delight you after all. She doesn’t even mention Darwin, nor biology. I guess she got side-tracked onto fragging, of all subjects.

  23. #23 fulldroolcup
    July 5, 2006

    To Arun Gupta:

    You wrote, mindlessly:

    “Of course, there has always been a yahoo element in the population, but at least in the past, most of them did not become rich and famous.”

    Er…ummm…. in no society anywhere has most of the the “yahoo element” become rich and famous. That remains so today. If you have statistics or census data to the contrary, please produce it.

    If you would like to tell us how classy AND substantively correct Alec Baldwin or Sean Penn are, to use just a few examples of rich and famous people who shoot off their mouths on politics, then by all means do so.

    Still, you’re going to have to deal with a few facts: Coulter has a law degree. Do you? If not, just who is the yahoo here?

    Coulter passed a Bar exam. Did you? Did you pass any equivalent?

    Coulter did so well in law school that she was editor of the law review journal at her law school and clerked for a federal appeals court judge. Anyone who went to law school knows that puts her at the top or near-top of her class. Do you have any comparable academic accomplishments?

    No chickbleep about “intellectual” yahooism. At this point the onus is on YOU to offer point-by-point refutations AND to tell the world why Coulter is a yahoo, but you are not.

    I’m not saying you can’t do it, only that you didn’t bother to. One thing you can’t accuse Coulter of, is intellectual laziness.

    But that’s exactly what I will accuse you of, if you don’t start dealing in substantive argument — a phrase I fear you will have to look up.

    So enough of your drive-by slimings: stand and deliver!

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