William Dembski has been bragging for months about the fact that he helped Ann Coulter write the sections of her new book that are about evolution. Now he's promoting her book as "the wedge for the masses" with some thoroughly laughable rhetoric:
Ann is taking Phillip Johnson's message as developed in DARWIN ON TRIAL and REASON IN THE BALANCE and bringing it home to the masses. Critics will dismiss it for its hyperbole, lack of nuance, and in-your-face attitude. But she has the gist just right, which is that materialism (she calls it liberalism) dominates our culture despite being held by only a minority of the populace and has become an agenda among our elites (academy, scientists, media) for total worldview reprogramming.
The emphasis is his, not mine. What is "total worldview reprogramming"? He doesn't say, which is hardly a surprise - such idiotic catchphrases have to be vague or they aren't effective. The word "worldview" is meaningless enough, adding "total" and "reprogramming" to it just makes it sound ominous, but still vague, enough to make a really good slogan to fight against. And gee, I can't imagine anyone dismissing Coulter for hyperbole and lack of nuance, can you? Everything else she's written has been so subtly argued. (/sarcasm)
Close to half the book is devoted to science and evolution.
I doubt that. Half the book may be devoted to making ignorant statements about science and evolution, but that's not really the same thing.
I cannot help but feel that GODLESS will propel our issues in the public consciousness like nothing to date.
If your target audience is comprised of the ignorant and the braindead, you may be right. The fact that Dembski is now aligning himself with a cretin like Ann Coulter speaks volumes, doesn't it? Hell, he's got his own little Coulter wannabe running his blog, throwing around ridiculous rhetoric and pseudo-macho bluster, so this is hardly a big leap. The big difference between Coulter and DaveScot, of course, is that Ann's adam's apple is bigger.
But of course, all of Coulter's rantings about "liberals" will do nothing to change the validity of evolutionary theory one whit. She can rant and rave about evolution being a "godless religion" for "liberals", but to do so she has to ignore the existence of conservative advocates of evolution like Larry Arnhart, Charles Krauthammer, George Will and many others. The validity of evolution has nothing to do with the political views of some of its proponents. Someone interested in a serious discussion of the issues would know that, but Coulter is not a thinker, she's a bomb thrower. That Dembski has hitched his wagon to her is hardly a surprise.
It's time to start asking Dembski if he accepts Coulter's pronouncements generally. For example, does he agree that the widows of the 9/11 attack are simply publicity hounds who are enoying their husbands' deaths?
He's hitched his wagon to a sinking ship. I think it's now fair to make him defend or disavow every single asinine statement that his collaborator makes.
(He's got the right idea about Coulter being a wedge. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't see that she's becoming a wedge for his side.)
That Dembski is putting the official stamp of the rightwing evangelical political movement on intelligent design obviously shows he is desperate for an audience. An audience of scientists and philosophers has rejected the ID movement, so he's hoping to pick up traction with Coulter's people. However silly this may look to us or to anyone interested in science, it is a potentially dangerous development. Coulter has a huge following and big name recognition, not to mention her ability to connect with middle America. Most of those who read her book will be encountering evolutionary theory for the first time, and they will soundly eat up her "refutations". There will now be a virtual army of people who take Phillip Johnson's flawed arguments as truth. And so it is that each generation must fight this battle over and over! Don't underestimate the strength of the stupid. They seem ever-triumphant in this country.
This what happens when Christians like Dembski confuse "salt of the earth" for froth of the mouth.
Coulter is hardly a sinking ship; her books are flying off the shelves. But by all means, let's ask him if he agrees with violence against college professors and with calling for the death of a supreme court justice, while we're at it.
I don't see this as surprising at all. ID has been a political movement, and Dembski's behavior has been looking like this for some time.
But since this is largely a political issue, one should also be concerned. Elections are determined by fairly small numbers of votes these days, and Coulter has a significant audience. Politicians can distance themselves from her statements on some issues while showing sympathy for something like teaching ID and still reap votes.
This demonstrates the low regard in which Dembski holds everyone who is not Dembski.
But they do make a cute couple.
I'm telling ya, Coulter's a subversive. From RedState (a -very- conservative blog):
'It is high time to "excommunicate" Ann Coulter from the conservative movement.'
Look at the reply in comment #6 on the UD page promoting the book. I assume that WmAD is Dembski. He states: "I'm a great believer in divine concurrence, where the divine and the base work in tandem to achieve the divine purposes. Moreover, I regard the rhetorical enterprise as unconstrained by Marquess of Queensberry Rules -- sometimes one needs to put a bit of pepper on the gloves, a feat Coulter accomplishes nicely. -WmAD"
Unconstrained is right! Unconstrained by logic, evidence, and the rules of civilized discourse. Claims victimhood in that people do not take him seriously, but, by his own admission, one cannot engage in reasonable discourse with him! Wonderful admission of a fanatic.
"The fact that Dembski is now aligning himself with a cretin like Ann Coulter speaks volumes, doesn't it? "
Hasn't Dembski discredited himself already, only considering his ID work? This is like somebody who's repeatedly perjured himself on one issue, lying about another. No big surprise.
Wednesday night's Tonight Show w/Jay Leno should be interesting. Scheduled guests Coulter and Carlin (George that is)
In all honesty - they both just want to sell books and will make up any old rubbish to do it.
which is that materialism (she calls it liberalism) dominates our culture despite being held by only a minority of the populace
Well it seems to me this evidence would lead one to at least consider that perhaps 'materialism' isn't then held by only a minority of the populace. Despite what polls may say.
I doubt Coulter will convince anyone. She's mostly preaching to the coverted anyway. She's not saying anything most religious folk in this country haven't heard preached from the pulpit most of their lives.
And anyone who is swayed by Coulter's rhetoric is unlikely to be won over by logic and reasoned argument. She's welcome to them.
"...to do so she has to ignore the existence of conservative advocates of evolution..."
Why not? She's already ignoring religious liberals.
Where is Francis Beckwith? Surely Dembski's assault on philosophy, and his careless attempt to fuzz up the definition of what liberalism is, will not be tolerated by the honest philosophers of the political and religious right wing, not to mention honest philosophers of science.
Is Beckwith's situation resolved yet? Can he jump into the fray?
The big difference between Coulter and DaveScot, of course, is that Ann's adam's apple is bigger.
Goddamn, but that made me laugh...and the amazing thing is that it is probably true given what a coward DaveScot is.