Pharyngula

The creationist quote-mining reflex

The Paleyists at Uncommon Descent seem to be having a competition to find the most awful thing Darwin ever said. It’s not hard, actually; Darwin was a conventional 19th century Englishman, with all the standard prejudices of his day, tending to assume that Anglo-Saxons were superior in most ways to every other ethnic group on the planet. It’s darned easy to browse through the Descent of Man and find casual assumptions that make us cringe today. So what? We can recognize that Darwin was a flawed human being and a brilliant scientist.

What is bizarre, though, is how some creationists simply have to distort a quote. It’s like a compulsion, I guess, where they can’t be satisfied with anything, and have to make it all a little bit worse, no matter how dishonest their manipulations might be. Chief among the perpetrators of unnecessary quote-mining is slimy Sal Cordova, who left this little comment:

I beat a puppy, I believe, simply from enjoying the sense of power

Charles Darwin

Here’s where the quote came from, and it carries a rather different message than Cordova communicated.

Once as a very little boy whilst at the day school, or before that time, I acted cruelly, for I beat a puppy, I believe, simply from enjoying the sense of power; but the beating could not have been severe, for the puppy did not howl, of which I feel sure, as the spot was near the house. This act lay heavily on my conscience, as is shown by my remembering the exact spot where the crime was committed. It probably lay all the heavier from my love of dogs being then, and for a long time afterwards, a passion. Dogs seemed to know this, for I was an adept in robbing their love from their masters.

Why do creationists lie so? It must be something in their upbringing.

(At the link, you’ll also find a quote Dembski found from Darwin—it’s accurate, and it is Darwin happily citing a colleague’s damning stereotype of the Irish. It’s nowhere near as dishonest as Cordova’s misrepresentation, but it does require ignoring whether Darwin was better, worse, or just like his peers in his unthinking racism. I tend to think he was a little better.)

(via Richard Hughes)

Comments

  1. #1 Rich
    March 21, 2007

    *Cough Cough MOLLY Cough*

  2. #2 June
    March 21, 2007

    Assume Darwin was a despicable, racist pedophile.
    How does that help to confirm or negate Evolution?
    Does ID stand or fall on the purity of Dembski?
    Does the Geometry depend on whether Euclid beat his wife?

  3. #3 George Cauldron
    March 21, 2007

    Assume Darwin was a despicable, racist pedophile.
    How does that help to confirm or negate Evolution?

    If you remind yourself that ID is fundamentally just religious apologetics, this makes sense. In religious debates, dismissing everything a rival says based on nothing more than their ‘bad attitude’ is standard operating procedure, and is considered to be a ‘compelling argument’. Dembski is just carrying over that same methodology to his brand of ‘science’.

    At some level he probably knows what cheesy science this is, but hey, intelligent, educated people are not his target audience.

  4. #4 Alan Fox
    March 21, 2007

    As an observer of ID/Creationist machinations over the last couple of years, I am saddened to see the dichotomy between the agenda driven, like Sal and Dembski (and indeed Bill’s pitbull, Dave Springer who is nec plus ultra at ignoring “An Inconvenient Truth”) and real scientists who are naive enough to believe that integrity, truth and the search for supporting evidence are important goals.

    Well spotted, Richard.

  5. #5 Alan Fox
    March 21, 2007

    As an observer of ID/Creationist machinations over the last couple of years, I am saddened to see the dichotomy between the agenda driven, like Sal and Dembski (and indeed Bill’s pitbull, Dave Springer who is nec plus ultra at ignoring “An Inconvenient Truth”) and real scientists who are naive enough to believe that integrity, truth and the search for supporting evidence are important goals.

    Well spotted, Richard.

  6. #6 Alan Fox
    March 21, 2007

    As someone who should know better, I am saddened to see I have double posted. Mea culpa.

  7. #7 Rey Fox
    March 21, 2007

    And these are the same people who cry “ad hominem!” any time we get a little testy.

  8. #8 Alex
    March 21, 2007

    “How does that help to confirm or negate Evolution?”

    Clearly it proves that darwinian thinking leads to animal cruelty and eventually, the concentration camps and gulags.

    Not to mention killing babies.

  9. #9 George Cauldron
    March 21, 2007

    Clearly it proves that darwinian thinking leads to animal cruelty and eventually, the concentration camps and gulags.
    Not to mention killing babies.

    Which, of course, leads to dancing.

  10. #10 RBH
    March 21, 2007

    Never forget that Salvador is the fellow who was quoted in Nature as saying

    Since high school, Cordova had been a devout Christian, but as he studied science and engineering at George Mason, he found his faith was being eroded. “The critical thinking and precision of science began to really affect my ability to just believe something without any tangible evidence,” he says.

    That says everything you need to know about Sal. Once one has bathed in that Koolaid, what’s the problem with quotemining?

  11. #11 Bob O'H
    March 21, 2007

    *Cough Cough MOLLY Cough*

    ‘Tis Arguably Rich’s Destiny.

    *ducks*

    Bob

  12. #12 dukkamon
    March 21, 2007

    “Why do creationists lie so?”

    The end apparently justifies the means when you are trying to defend the Lord Jebus from the nasty evil-utionists. So much for “And the Truth will set you free.”

  13. #13 Kristine
    March 21, 2007

    *Cough cough eat my Sahara dust cough* 😉

    Note the incredible shrinking compassion of Dembski.

    He loves the unwashed masses.

  14. #14 Rich
    March 21, 2007

    Boo! You’ve already got one, you ‘Molly-Whore’!

    *points at Kristine*

    BURN HER SHE’S A WITCH!

  15. #15 notthedroids
    March 21, 2007

    It’s quite telling that Dembski’s supposedly damning passage was nine-tenths a quotation of somebody else.

    Darwin was in fact sympathetic to the abolitionist movement, if not a prime figure himself.

    There is a reason that the tone at uncommondescent.com has gotten increasingly unhinged and desperate:
    http://www.google.com/trends?q=intelligent+design

  16. #16 Brian
    March 21, 2007

    I’m sure it wouldn’t take long to find some tasty out-of-context quotes from 19th century religious leaders / anti-evolutionists to ‘prove’ how awful they were.

  17. #17 King Aardvark
    March 21, 2007

    Hmm, and Christianity falls because of Ted Haggard’s man-lovin’ meth-addicted adulterous hypocrisy, right?

    But seriously, getting back to Darwin: it was a very different time. Even then, though, Darwin was among the forefront in opposing slavery, which we can all agree is a good thing. He did have an affinity towards shooting things, which I believe was a result of his upbringing and the culture he grew up in; however, it’s not as if cruelty was part of his daily life.

  18. #18 tristero
    March 21, 2007

    I must strongly disagree with PZ when he states Darwin was a “flawed man” unless PZ’s point is that we are all flawed men and women to some extent. Because when you look at Darwin’s life and the entire corpus of his writings, one can only conclude that all human beings should aspire to have as few flaws as Darwin.

    I have just worked my way entirely through the transcriptions of Darwin’s Red and Transmutation Notebooks, about 600 published pages of notes. There are, as PZ says, some genuinely awful, cringe-inducing comments about race. But there are also statements, from the 1830’s, opposed to slavery and recognizing the essential equality of human beings. It’s a mistake to minimize the terrible things Darwin wrote regarding non -whites. But in no way do they detract from his achievement. I suspect that any other white English, American or European naturalist studying the origin of species in the 1830’s would have written far more racist comments, and far nastier ones, than Darwin did.

    Oh, and I can’t recc’d enough a reading of the Darwin Notebooks. Truly an incredible intellectual experience.

  19. #19 tacitus
    March 21, 2007

    We’re going to see a lot more attempts to besmirch the name of Charles Darwin in the lead up to the 200th anniversary of his birth and 150th anniversary of the publication of the Origin of Species.

    Just in the past few weeks Dembski and his dopes have been putting up posts attacking Darwin’s character, his scientific credentials, his beliefs, and they have mocked those who express any sort of admiration for the man. How long before they tell us that Charles Darwin is now sitting at the right hand of Satan?

    It’s all part of a rather pathetic “shoot the messenger” strategy. Having been unable to dislodge the fruits of Darwin’s labor from its rightful place as the mainstream scientific theory, all they are left with is some petty sniping and griping about a man who has been dead for well over a century.

    Babies, the lot of them.

  20. #20 King Aardvark
    March 21, 2007

    Brian, we likely won’t have to use out-of-context quotes to make 19th century religious leaders look awful. We don’t even need out-of-context quotes for religious leaders now.

  21. #21 PZ Myers
    March 21, 2007

    Of course we’re all flawed. Abraham Lincoln made a few remarks about race that make us squirm in our chairs now, too.

  22. #22 Stanton
    March 21, 2007

    tacitus said How long before they tell us that Charles Darwin is now sitting at the right hand of Satan?

    Something tells me that they’re going to do all in their power to tell us that Charles Darwin was sitting on Satan’s right hand.

  23. #23 themann1086
    March 21, 2007

    ‘Disproving’ evolution by via quote-mining is the definition of ad hominem. Priceless.

    “You’re wrong because you’re racist!” -ad hominem

    “You’re wrong, and a racist!” -not

  24. #24 slpage
    March 21, 2007

    I’ll bet Ted Haggard is a creationist….

    I guess that means creationism, even if true, should not be accepted because of the type of people that believe it…

  25. #25 tacitus
    March 21, 2007

    New funny from Dembski. He want us Brits to boycott the 10 pound note because it has a portrait of Charles Darwin on the back, which promotes racism…. (huh?).

    The funny part is that the Bank of England will soon be issuing a new 10 pound note anyway, and they always change the famous person on the back of the notes when they bring out a new series. Michael Faraday was “dumped” from the back of the 20 pound note in 1999, so Darwin’s days are numbered anyway, boycotts notwithstanding.

  26. #27 Scott Hatfield
    March 21, 2007

    PZ: Since you mentioned Lincoln, let me share how I deal with the ‘Darwin as racist’ trope in public debate. I note that Darwin shares a birthday with the Great Emancipator. Then I trot out Lincoln’s observation, expressed more than once, that Negroes were in the main inferior to Europeans. I then point out how ludicrous it would be to judge Lincoln with our modern sensibilities by that one remark alone: we must look at his entire life, and when we do, we find a heroic figure, worthy of honor. The same, obviously, is true of Darwin….SH

  27. #28 Rich
    March 21, 2007
  28. #29 Mrs Tilton
    March 21, 2007

    Darwin happily citing a colleague’s damning stereotype of the Irish

    Yes, well, he was a Sasanach, wasn’t he? As PZ notes, a brilliant scientist, but a flawed human being.

  29. #30 Alison
    March 21, 2007

    I am always amused at the fact that it’s all Darwin, all the time, as if he came up with the theory and nobody else in 150 years has done any reasearch, come up with any evidence, or published any books or papers on evolutionary biology or paleontology. That kind of thing just shows that they have no understanding of evolution whatsoever, and are just shooting from the lip.

    It fits the attitude, though. They have one book that is the be-all and end-all authority, and one God who calls all the shots and is never questioned, so everyone else must operate the same way, right? In fact, their assumption that everyone thinks the same way they do is a major downfall in most of their arguments, not only with the evolution debate, but all the other arguments they make to encourage a Christian theocracy.

  30. #31 Glen Davidson
    March 21, 2007

    Interestingly, Sam Wilberforce, the slimy debater of Huxley (nothing’s changed since then in the creationists’ “debate toolbox”) has rather better abolitionist credentials than does Darwin. Which tells us what about science? Nothing at all, unless you’re trying to supplant science with religion/morality.

    Quite arguably, Wilberforce’s anti-slavery views were as much anti-Bible as his anti-evolution views were pro-Bible, indicating the obvious, that the Bible has nothing to tell us about science, how to live, objective history, or even how to parse its contradictory messages. Not that Soapy Sam was a strict literalist, mind you, but without the Bible he’d have had nothing with which to oppose evolution, nor would he have even had a soap box from which to oppose slavery.

    The fact is that Darwin was enough of a Victorian for his science to be accepted, no matter that he had significant opposition (as well as much support). It is a sad fact that being something of an elite, with many of their prejudices (but he was understandably on the “liberal side” in education, science, etc., for what it’s worth), is what it took for his new science to be accepted, but that’s just how it was (well, in many ways still is). Wallace could not have prevailed on his own, but would have needed some ally like Darwin, Huxley, and the like.

    What we almost certainly can say is that the evolutionists were on the right side of most of areas of contention in their day, never mind the relatively cloistered (and sick) Charles Darwin. Thomas Huxley and company remained racist, however they pushed (and were fairly successful) reforms in education which were crucial to a more meritocratic (and non-religious) system of education. Darwin is well-known to have studied theology, which is largely due to the fact that universities were traditional religious institutions at the time. The theory of evolution became part of Huxley’s considerable efforts to reform that backward system, as it helped to demonstrate how science had answers that theology did not have (fortunately, many religious folk recognized as much).

    Of course it is the latter fact that the IDists continue to oppose. Education ought to remain under the heavy hand of “God’s agents”, and not an organ for societal change. Wilberforce’s side in Britain managed to turn abolitionism into a vehicle for colonialism (to stop the slave trade in Africa they imposed their forces, will, and religion), probably a step up from the slave trade itself, but far from what a more rational application of Western values would eventually produce.

    Wilberforce’s side did want to change certain policies, but not the system. Huxley’s side was happy to maintain oppressive policies that Wilberforce’s side enjoyed (in the name of religion), yet they helped to change the oppressive system to one more open to change (if hardly one of stellar openness).

    The constant drumbeat of morality and religion at UD, even stronger than it was in the past, demonstrates how badly they have lost in their bid to force their ancient metaphysics into the science class. You’ll never get an honest discussion of Victorian class, morality, and their oppressive policies at UD, any more than you’ll encounter an intellectually honest discussion of the science over there. This is in part due to their general ignorance about everything, however, don’t forget that part of it is because they retain Wilberforce’s desires for theocratic controls over education and society.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/35s39o

  31. #32 Roy
    March 21, 2007

    Why do creationists lie? They have to lie, or they’d have nothing to say.

  32. #33 Chinchillazilla
    March 21, 2007

    Ooh, I’m going to say some terribly quotemineable things now.

    When I was two, I stomped on ants for no reason at all. Then I saw one still squirming after I stepped on him, and I felt so horrible I’ve never killed anything else on purpose except a house centipede. I hate house centipedes. I would be very happy if all of them died.

    I sat on my chinchilla once, because he’s small, fast, the same color as the carpet, and a total moron. He was fast enough that he didn’t really get hurt, because he was almost out from under me by the time I sat down. Then he bit me.

    I didn’t feed my fish for six months because I’d been feeding him and he wouldn’t come up to the surface. And there was a lot of algae, and we couldn’t get rid of it because we’d done that before and it killed our other fish, so we just couldn’t see him at all. Also, somehow he lived.

    Obviously, I really, really hate animals.

  33. #34 windy
    March 21, 2007

    I beat a puppy, I believe, simply from enjoying the sense of power -Charles Darwin

    Is it wrong of me to think that this would look kind of cool on a T-shirt?

  34. #35 tristero
    March 21, 2007

    In re: Lincoln and his “racist” comments, see James McPherson, a well known Lincoln scholar, here: New York Review of Books. I’m not sure I entirely agree with McPherson – I’ve read most of the same quotes in context – but I’m willing to give Honest Abe the benefit of a doubt.

  35. #36 Jonathan Vos Post
    March 21, 2007

    “Does the Geometry depend on whether Euclid beat his wife?”

    No, but he was definitely interested in other women. Or am I misconstruing the line:

    “Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare”

  36. #37 Kseniya
    March 21, 2007
  37. #38 BC
    March 21, 2007

    These people are comparing Charles Darwin – your deity, doncha know – to Jesus Christ! Obviously, Charles Darwin fails in the comparison – he has human flaws, from puppy beating to racism. Jesus, on the other hand, is believed to have had no flaws whatsoever; he was perfect. This is really the way they believe – my god is better than your god, therefore I am better than you.

  38. #39 garth
    March 21, 2007

    the biggest thing is attacking darwin, the guy, for his idea. that’s their MO. They have no defense against the idea…first of all it barely brushes even the same area of their fables, which are based in how things started, and secondly, they believe weird made-up garbage with no basis in fact or reality.
    anyways, that’s always what people with no firm ground to stand on do.

  39. #40 Christian Burnham
    March 21, 2007

    “The careless, squalid, unaspiring Irishman multiplies like rabbits”

    OK, I hold an Irish passport.

    “Careless”- check.

    “Squalid”- check. My apartment looks worse than that of most meth addicts.

    “Multiplies like rabbits”- I may not be a mathematical genius, but I can certainly carry out multiplication better than bunnies. My long-division is pretty bad though.

  40. #41 Kristine
    March 21, 2007

    I am always amused at the fact that it’s all Darwin, all the time,

    Except when it’s Dawkins, Alison. Or Judge Jones and Farts. Or Barbara Forrest. Dembski picks on Forrest a lot. It’s downright creepy how he has it in for her.

    as if he came up with the theory and nobody else in 150 years has done any reasearch, come up with any evidence, or published any books or papers on evolutionary biology or paleontology.

    He didn’t even come up with natural selection by himself. For some reason, the people at UD will forget that, then scream, “They [us] keep ignoring Wallace!” Geez, can’t lose for winning.

    Which, of course, leads to dancing. You bet your boots it does. Hey Rich – burn this! Hahahaha!

    Richard is Molly material, absolutely.

  41. #42 Carlie
    March 21, 2007

    “Don’t bother me.” – Jesus.

    Luke 11:7

  42. #43 Zeno
    March 21, 2007

    tacitus: The funny part is that the Bank of England will soon be issuing a new 10 pound note anyway, and they always change the famous person on the back of the notes when they bring out a new series. Michael Faraday was “dumped” from the back of the 20 pound note in 1999, so Darwin’s days are numbered anyway, boycotts notwithstanding.

    Never fear! Once Darwin is off the 10-pound note, Dembski and others will announce that their boycott was a rousing success. (Maybe he even knows Darwin’s portrait is about to be replaced and this is evidence of actual foresight on his part. Uncharacteristic, I know.)

  43. #44 Tully
    March 21, 2007

    Hey, but Hitler was always kind to dogs?

    Now I’m truly facing a moral dilemma!

    Ad hominem, Ad hominem, Ad hominem.

  44. #45 Monado
    March 21, 2007

    Speaking of making it all up oneself, how many people worked on Dembski’s or Behe’s books? I was looking at Richard Dawkins’ “The Ancestor’s Tale” this morning, reflecting that I’ve only blogged about 2 of our 45 ancestors, and noticed that he did not pull it all out from under his hat.

    He credits two researchers, Yan Wong and Sam Turvey; critical readers Mark Ridley and Peter Holland; his editor, Latha Menon; Michael Yudkin, Mark Griffith, Steve Simpson, Angela Douglas, George McGavin, Jack Pettigrew, George Barlow, Colin Blakemore, John Mollon, Henry Bennet-Clark, Robin Elisabeth Cornwell, Lindell Bromham, Mark Sutton, Bethia Thomas, Eliza Howlett, Tom Kemp, Malgosia Nowak-Kemp, Richard Fortey, Derek Siveter, Alex Freeman, Nicky Warren, A. V. Grimstone, Allen Cooper, and Christine DeBlase-Ballstadt in his Acknowledgments. Others are acknowledged in the notes at the back of the book. He has an 18-page list of cited papers and reference books. The meat of the book is over 600 pages long. He didn’t just sit down and make up some rhetorical smart remarks. The book is packed with facts, new learning, charts, illustrations, and solid biological concepts along with evidence and discussion. It’s truly a tour de force.

  45. #46 Eamon Knight
    March 21, 2007

    And these are the same people who cry “ad hominem!” any time we get a little testy.
    Bah, anyone with a shred of integrity considers the argument ad hominem to be invalid and despicable — but fundamentalism baptizes it and makes it part of standard apologetics. “Darwin was a racist”, “You can’t see the evidence for Christianity because your eyes are blinded by your sins”, “Atheists are just people on the run from God”, etc, ad nauseum. Even internal disputes about doctrine get the same treatment (I was there and I know).

  46. #47 Brian
    March 22, 2007

    He didn’t even come up with natural selection by himself. For some reason, the people at UD will forget that, then scream, “They [us] keep ignoring Wallace!” Geez, can’t lose for winning.

    Right Kristine! That fact that Wallace independently, with different data sets, developed the theory of natural selection almost concurrently with Darwin. Knock Darwin down, Wallace pops up, and so on…

  47. #48 Brian Coughlan
    March 22, 2007

    Hmm, and Christianity falls because of Ted Haggard’s man-lovin’ meth-addicted adulterous hypocrisy, right?

    Actually I think that does hold. Science makes no claims to it’s proponents being imbued with the spirit and direction of the divine creator of the universe. Religion does. Yet the adherents of religions regularly act in direct contrast to the tenents of their religions. That’s a red flag that the whole premise is suspect.

  48. #49 Ed Darrell
    March 22, 2007

    The case that Darwin was racist depends on ignoring most of Darwin’s writing. We need to make an archive somewhere (hmmm. Maybe in a Bathtub) showing the reality.

    Here are a few things they ignore, which they need to be reminded of regularly.

    1. Remember the famous quarrel between Capt. FitzRoy and Darwin aboard the Beagle? After leaving Brazil, in their mess discussions (remember: Darwin was along to talk to FitzRoy at meals, to keep FitzRoy from going insane as his predecessor had), Darwin noted the inherent injustice of slavery. Darwin argued it was racist and unjust, and therefore unholy. FitzRoy loudly argued slavery was justified, and racism was justified, by the scriptures. It was a nasty argument, and Darwin was banned to mess with the crew with instructions to get off the boat at the next convenient stop. FitzRoy came to his senses after a few days of dining alone. Two things about this episode: First, it shows Darwin as a committed anti-racist; second, it contrasts Darwin’s views with the common, scripture-inspired view of the day, which was racist.

    2. Darwin’s remarks about people of color were remarkably unracist for his day. We should always note his great friend from college days, the African man who taught him taxidermy. We must make note of Darwin’s befriending the Fuegan, Jeremy Button, whom the expedition was returning to his home. Non-racist descriptions abound in context, but this is a favorite area for anti-Darwinists to quote mine. Also, point to Voyage of the Beagle, which is available on line. In it Darwin compares the intellect of the Brazilian slaves with Europeans, and notes that the slaves are mentally and tactically as capable as the greatest of the Roman generals. Hard evidence of fairness on Darwin’s part.

    3. Darwin’s correspondence, especially from the voyage, indicates his strong support for ending slavery, because slavery was unjust and racist. He is unequivocal on the point. Moreover, many in Darwin’s family agreed, and the Wedgewood family fortune was put behind the movement to end slavery. Money talks louder than creationists in this case, I think. Ironic, Darwin supports the Wilberforce family’s work against slavery, and Samuel Wilberforce betrays the support. It reminds me of Pasteur, who said nasty things about Darwin; but when the chips were down and Pasteur’s position and reputation were on the line, Darwin defended Pasteur. Darwin was a great man in many ways.

    4. Watch for the notorious quote mining of Emma’s remark that Charles was “a bigot.” It’s true, she said it. Emma said Charles was a bigot, but in respect to Darwin’s hatred of spiritualists and seances. Darwin’s brother, Erasmus, was suckered in by spiritualists. Darwin was, indeed, a bigot against such hoaxes. It’s recounted in Desmond and Moore’s biography, but shameless quote miners hope their audience hasn’t read the book and won’t. Down here in Texas, a lot of the quote miners are Baptists. I enjoy asking them if they do not share Darwin’s bigotry against fortune tellers. Smart ones smile, and drop the argument.

    5. One might hope that the “Darwin-was-racist” crap comes around to the old canard that Darwin’s work was the basis of the campaign to kill the natives of Tasmania. That was truly a terrible, racist campaign, and largely successful. Of course, historians note that the war against Tasmanians was begun in 1805, and essentially completed by 1831, when just a handful of Tasmanians remained alive. These dates are significant, of course, because they show the war started four years prior to Darwin’s birth, and it was over when Darwin first encountered Tasmania on his voyage, leaving England in 1831. In fact, Darwin laments the battle. I have often found Darwin critics quoting Darwin’s words exactly, but claiming they were the words of others against Darwin’s stand.

    6. Also, one should be familiar with Darwin’s writing about “civilized” Europeans wiping out “savages.” In the first place, “savage” in that day and in Darwin’s context simply means ‘not living in European-style cities, with tea and the occasional Mozart.’ In the second, and more critical place, Darwin advances the argument noting that (in the case of the Tasmanians, especially), the “savages” are the group that is better fit to the natural environment, and hence superior to the Europeans, evolutionarily. Darwin does not urge these conflicts, but rather, laments them. How ironic that creationist quote miners do not recognize that.

  49. #50 TheJerrylander
    March 22, 2007

    I beat a puppy, I believe, simply from enjoying the sense of power […] – Sal Cordova

    Sal Cordova beats puppies??? Well, he says so himself :p

    Just feeling a little silly today.

  50. #51 NC Paul
    March 22, 2007

    I think the point with Ted Haggard’s behaviour is that it’s about as hypocritical as you can get. Attacking Haggard for his behaviour isn’t an ad hominum.

    Just as whether Darwin liked puppies or not has no bearing on the validity of evolutionary biology, getting happy endings from male escorts and taking drugs has absolutely no bearing on the validity of Christianity. “God doesn’t exist because Ted Haggard got a hand job” is a pretty weak line of argument (not that anyone’s actually making that argument), unless you have a lot of belief in the Old Testament style god who likes to micromanage his smiting.

    However, getting happy endings from male escorts and taking drugs does have a lot of bearing on the credibility and moral authority of someone who regularly denounces homosexuals and drug users as sinners (and rakes in a lot of money doing so).

    If Darwin was head of PETA and turned out to be a puppybeater, then there might be some point to the IDiot’s quote mining (but it still wouldn’t undermine natural selection).

    Jesus quotemining could be fun though – off the top of my head: “Suffer little children”. Jesus was a child abuser? Who knew?

    Of course, the best thing about the Bible is that you don’t even need to quote mine to show that Yahweh’s a sadistic bastard.

  51. #52 Louis
    March 22, 2007

    I’ve made a terrible mistake. I’m going to make another.

    I’ve just read that Dembski piece about Darwin on the tenner. I shouldn’t have done this at work. I am now so angry that I am taking lunch early and going for a good walk. That’s the first mistake: never immerse yourself in the Tard. ATBCers I know disagree, but hey, there you go.

    The second mistake is this next sentence, very quote-minable one too: I’d like to smack the dishonest son of a bitch straight in the mouth. I’ve long had the impression that intellectual honesty in discussion could be improved by both participants knowing that should they stray from a very rigorous standard of intellectual honesty they will definitely receive a very stout kick in the bollocks (or ladyparts if female). I think Parliament would be immeasurably improved if, when for example lying about the sexed up dossier that took the UK to war recently, Tony Blair had to scurry out of the Commons with a hoard of his own party and others chasing him with hobnailed boots on. Each man-Jack (or woman-Jill) of them ready to administer a very sound hoof to his pods.

    Ok so I’m joking, despite my base urges kicking people in the bollocks (or ladyparts) is not very nice, nor is it conducive to civilised discourse. One could spill one’s tea. after all. But I dream of a better world where liars had their lies brought home to them immediately by a swift and violent impact upon their genitals.

    Louis

    (For the hard of thought, I’m not entirely serious, do grow up)

  52. #53 Tuomo Hämäläinen
    March 22, 2007

    Darwin was religious younger, right? So religious Darwin “beats puppies”, and nonbeliever -Darwin was sorry about that, right? With (wrong) logic of ID:er, that is what show how bad thing “believing in Christ” is; It leads you think that you are image of God and puppy is not, so ypu are superior and can beat them up.. Not wery wise way of “thingking”, but…

  53. #54 Tuomo Hämäläinen
    March 22, 2007

    Darwin was religious younger, right? So religious Darwin “beats puppies”, and nonbeliever -Darwin was sorry about that, right? With (wrong) logic of ID:er, that is what show how bad thing “believing in Christ” is; It leads you think that you are image of God and puppy is not, so ypu are superior and can beat them up.. Not wery wise way of “thingking”, but…

  54. #55 J-Dog
    March 22, 2007

    Louis Come Back! We miss you at ATBC!

  55. #56 DragonScholar
    March 22, 2007

    The sheer intellectual dishonesty always amazes me. I honestly have trouble imagining being this low.

    And yet, Dembski courts Coluter who says vicious and disgusting things, and no one at UD blinks an eye.

    Shriveled, tiny souls.

  56. #57 Louis
    March 22, 2007

    LOL thanks J-Dog. I miss you all too but standards is standards. Who knows I might abandon them in a small way for ATBC participation, I’m not sure what the odds of that are.

    Given that I do lurk and read occasionally (I see the usual suspects are up to their old tricks) I might come and play.

    Cheers

    Louis

  57. #58 Salvador T. Cordova
    March 22, 2007

    Why do creationists lie so? It must be something in their upbringing.

    For the record, I was brought up as a Darwinist in a Roman Catholic home because I attended public schools which taught Darwinism (even though mom was creationist, and Dad didn’t care).

    So if one wishes to suggest argue I had moral and mental deficiencies because of my childhood beliefs, one could argue it came from my public school upbringing in a Darwinist public school. 🙂

    Salvador
    PS
    For the record, I am no longer a Roman Catholic, but a member of the Presbyterian Church of America.

  58. #59 Steve_C
    March 22, 2007

    And you’re a nose, I mean quote miner.

    You have moral and mental deficiencies now.

    You lie now beacuse you think it serves your creationist purposes.

    Don’t worry. We’re used to it.

  59. #60 Rupert
    March 22, 2007

    I’ve always been unseemly proud of having Darwin on our tenners, because I imagined it annoyed the Creationists something rotten. Now I don’t have to imagine – I know. Yay.

    In any case, if they really want to find something to complain about on British currency, the other side of the note is far more interesting. That picture of the Queen? Go digging in the history of the British monarchy, and you’ll find far more meat…

    R

  60. #61 Louis
    March 23, 2007

    Slaveador,

    Brought up a Darwinist? BROUGHT UP A DARWINIST? Jesus tap dancing christofacist you’re a duplicitous…..{insert epithet of choice}!

    Evolutionary biology is not some religion one can be brought up in. It is simply a very well supported set of scientific theories. Your drivelling delusions to the contrary are irrelevant and insultingly dull. We know you lie, we can prove you lie. How about instead of providing us with more evidence of your lies you have the humility your tawdry little religion is claimed to inspire and wake up to your own dishonesty.

    Louis

  61. #62 DragonScholar
    March 23, 2007

    I see Sal showed up – and didn’t say anything on the dishonest quote mining done by himself and others. Not a single word on how he took one sentence out of context, nor the dishonesty of the other examples of quote mining.

  62. #63 PZ Myers
    March 23, 2007

    Of course he commented on it — he blamed it all on his wicked, sinful “Darwinist” upbringing.

    That is, he showed up to compound the lie.

  63. #64 Rey Fox
    March 23, 2007

    Please, don’t ruin his “gotcha” moment. It’s all they have.

  64. #65 Quote Miners R Us
    March 23, 2007

    “I […] moral and mental deficiencies because of my […] beliefs”

    Salvador Cordova

  65. #66 Sophist
    March 24, 2007

    “I am no longer a[…]member of the Presbyterian Church of America.” — Sal

  66. #67 Cedric Katesby
    April 2, 2007

    “Louis Come Back! We miss you at ATBC!”

    Hear hear!

  67. #68 donquixoteshorse
    April 5, 2007

    You don’t suppose cordova got confused and was really thinking of this guy:
    McCain Campaign Finance Chair Fred Malek Killed, Skinned, Cooked a Dog and Counted Jews for Nixon…
    n 1959: One of the men arrested in the incident, in which a dog was killed, skinned, gutted and barbecued on a spit, was Frederick V. Malek, 22, of Berwyn, Ill.
    Nixon summoned the White House personnel chief, Fred Malek, to his office to discuss a “Jewish cabal” in the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The “cabal,” Nixon said, was tilting economic figures to make his Administration look bad. How many Jews were there in the bureau? he wanted to know. Malek reported back on the number, and told the President that the bureau’s methods of weighing statistics were normal procedure that had been in use for years.
    I’m not sure exactly where I’m at with this thought but the coincidence was too much to ignore.

  68. #69 dale
    April 6, 2007

    James Dobson of Focus on the Family describes at length his abuse of his little dog in his book, “The Strong Willed Child.” He beats the little dachshund with a belt.
    This Dobson is a total whackjob.

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.