Stranger Fruit

Darwin’s Nemesis … despite Dover

The next big thing for the ID movement will be the publication of Darwin’s Nemesis: Philip Johnson and the Intelligent Design Movement in April. I have previously discussed this festschrift for Johnson here and here. Over at Uncommon Descent, Dembski – whose “retirement” from blogging doesn’t seem to have slowed his posting – is shilling the volume, noting that he managed to insert some comments on Dover into the preface. As you can imagine, Dembski manages to spin the decision into a good thing for ID.

Just as a tree that has been “rimmed” (i.e., had its bark completely cut through on all sides) is effectively dead even if it retains its leaves and appears alive, so Darwinism has met its match with the movement initiated by Phillip Johnson. Expect Darwinism’s death throes, like Judge Jones’s decision, to continue for some time. But don’t mistake death throes for true vitality. Ironically, Judge Jones’s decision is likely to prove a blessing for the intelligent design movement, spurring its proponents to greater heights and thereby fostering its intellectual vitality and ultimate success.

Um, yeah, whatever.


  1. #1 coturnix
    January 14, 2006

    He’s paid to say such things. I often wonder if he is still capable of actually believing it. Is he insane or a liar? What’s worse?

  2. #2 Dr. Free-Ride
    January 14, 2006

    Just as a tree that has been “rimmed”…

    Must … resist … rude … PUN!

  3. #3 John Lynch
    January 14, 2006

    Yeah, you can’t believe the restraint I showed when writing the original post 🙂

  4. #4 Zeno
    January 14, 2006

    Poor Dembski. Two doctorates and still he has a lousy vocabulary. There’s no excuse for using a risible expression like “rimmed” when “girdled” (sense 2) is handy and ready to go:

    Main Entry: girdle
    Function: transitive verb
    Inflected Form(s): gir-dled; gir-dling /’g&r-d&l-i[ng]/
    1 : to encircle with or as if with a girdle
    2 : to cut away the bark and cambium in a ring around (a plant) usually to kill by interrupting the circulation of water and nutrients
    3 : to move around : CIRCLE

  5. #5 Dean Morrison
    January 14, 2006

    In the UK we’d say ‘ringed’ or ‘ring-barked’.

    Doesn’t work on certain species like willows though – but then Dembski’s no biologist.

    What a strange allusion to choose?

  6. #6 keiths
    January 14, 2006

    Red Reader at Uncommon Descent reacts to the current discussion:

    “I followed the trackback to Stranger Fruit and read the comments. I suggest it be renamed to Stranger Fruitcakes.”

    Har, har. Bet you never heard that one before, John.

    Dembski’s optimism (or mendacity) is unbounded. This is how he reacted to the news, post Dover, that the National Forensic League (the nationwide organization that sponsors high school debate competition) had placed ID on its list of topics for 2006:

    “So, at the same time that the federal courts are outlawing even a one minute allusion to ID in high school biology classes, the high schools themselves can sponsor an extra-curricular activity where their brightest kids have to research the topic in depth. Perhaps design proponents have won the day after all.”

    That explains all the sad faces at the ACLU, AU and NCSE. My response was essentially, “The ACLU got exactly what they wanted. How is that a victory for ID?”

  7. #7 mark
    January 15, 2006

    Did Dembski say exactly how or who “rimmed” Darwinism? I’d say Judge Jones pretty much made toothpicks out of the tree of ID. Shall we compare the numbers of scientific publications for evolution and for IDiocy both before and after Dover? And speaking of rimming, was there any mention of casualties like Sen. Rick Santorum, who quit his position at the Sword and Shield of People of Faith, or the 8 Dover school bored members who were chucked out?

  8. #8 Inoculated Mind
    January 17, 2006

    I think Dembski’s “rimmed” analogy is VERY apt. But not in the way he has used it. It was Intelligent Design that was rimmed by the KvD decision. Although it looks alive and kicking, it is no willow tree.

  9. #9 J-Dog
    January 17, 2006

    Per your link to your April 2005 article about Johnson…

    The reason Debski is doing the forward, is that Rick “Former ID Supporter” Santorum WAS scheduled to pen the obligitory opening fulsome praise that all the ID authors suck up like a Hoover Vacuum.

    If you substitute “ID” for “Darwinism” in Dembski’s screech, you will on the mark. Oh what a happy fantasy world Buffalo Bill must dwell in!

    Bill. Come back to reality. Admit it! ID is dead. It has ceased to grow. It has in fact stopped breathing.
    ID’s passed on! ID is no more! It has ceased to be! ‘ID has expired and gone to meet ‘is maker! Bereft of life, ID rests in peace! If you hadn’t lied through your teeth ‘ID’d be pushing up the daisies! ‘Its metabolic processes are now history! ‘ID’s off the twig! ‘ID’s kicked the bucket, ID has shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible! THIS IS AN EX-Theory!

    HTH (With apologies to Monty Python)

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