Monday, July 31, 2006
Going Bump In the Night
Jerry Coyne has an article in The New Republic about Ann Coulter that is no more vicious than she herself is. Entitled "Coultergeist," it starts out:
H. L. Mencken once responded to a question asked by many of his readers: "If you find so much that is unworthy of reverence in the United States, then why do you live here?" His answer was, "Why do men go to zoos?" Sadly, Mencken is not here to ogle the newest creature in the American Zoo: the Bleached Flamingo, otherwise known as Ann Coulter. This beast draws crowds by its frequent, raucous calls, eerily resembling a human voice, and its unearthly appearance, scrawny and pallid.
After noting that Coulter clearly hasn't a clue about the "Darwinism" she rejects (in quotes because it isn't even of the same phylum as the scientific theories that sometimes go by that name), Coyne says:
. . . Coulter was tutored in the "complex ideas" of evolution by David Berlinski, a science writer; Michael Behe, a third-rate biologist at Lehigh University (whose own department's website disowns his bizarre ideas); and William Dembski, a fairly bright theologian who went off the intellectual rails and now peddles creationism at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. These are the "giants" of the ID movement, which shows how retarded it really is. Learning biology from this lot is like learning elocution from George W. Bush.After noting the usual distortions of evolutionary theory brought to the table by such IDeologists, Coyne comments that:
What is especially striking is Coulter's failure to tell us what she really believes about how the earth's species got here. It's clear that she thinks God had a direct hand in it, but beyond that we remain unenlightened. ...Maybe the truest shot that Coyne fires is this:
[W]hen faced with the real evidence that shows how strongly evolution trumps ID, she clams up completely. What about the massive fossil evidence for human evolution--what exactly were those creatures 2 million years ago that had human-like skeletons but ape-like brains? Did a race of Limbaughs walk the earth? ...
There are none so blind as those who will not see, and Coulter knows that myopia about evolution is a lucrative game. After all, she is a millionaire, reveling in her status as a celebrity and stalked by ignorazzis. I have never seen anyone enjoy her own inanity so much.And Coyne's parting words are fitting for the Queen of Mean:
Her case for ID involves the same stupid arguments that fundamentalists have made for a hundred years. They're about as convincing as the blonde hair that gets her so much attention. By their roots shall ye know them.
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