Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Fire Breathers

Another point about Don McLeroy's stunning article in The Austin American-Statesman is this bit of what has to be deliberate disinformation:

Words ["strengths and weaknesses"] that were uncontroversial and perfectly acceptable for nearly two decades are now considered "code words" for intelligent design and are deemed unscientific.
For one thing, McLeroy, in a presentation he delivered in 2005 at Grace Bible Church in Bryan, Texas about the 2003 textbook adoption process, himself complained that that there was controversy over what the "weaknesses" language meant:

But I want to tell you all the arguments made by all the intelligent design group, all the creationist intelligent design people, I can guarantee the other side heard exactly nothing. They did not hear one single fact, they were not swayed by one argument. It was just amazing. I mean all the, my fellow board members who were really not even the scientists in the group, they were not impressed by any of this. They said, "Oh well, it’s just two opinions." And there were only the four really conservative, orthodox Christians on the board were the only ones who were willing to stand up to the textbooks and say that they don’t present the weaknesses of evolution. Amazing.
To now claim these words were never controversial is the height of dishonesty. There may not have been as big a brouhaha back then but that was because the language was largely unimportant surplusage until recently. It was in 2003 that the problem with the "strengths and weaknesses" language really became acute, with the McLeroy-led attempt to force these phony weaknesses into biology texts.

Also, read that presentation McLeroy gave and see how closely he identifies the "strengths and weaknesses" campaign with Intelligent Design and judge for yourself if they are "code words" for creationism and ID (which he calls a "big tent" for creationists). Finally, take a look at how willing McLeroy is to counsel people to disguise their true motives.

Time to remember Judge Jones' opinion again:

It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.

Another stunning McLeroy speech:

In another video he talks about how there "has to be an answer" to "stasis", and then in another video he talks about "punctuated equilibrium" as though he doesn't understand that it is part of an "answer" to "stasis".

"Stasis is data" he keeps repeating all the time. He's hooked on a weird "stasis is data" mantra. Well yeah, stasis is data. Shrug!

That man just isn't capable of seeing very far beyond his religious beliefs.
He doesn't seem to be aware that scientists understand that there is more to evolution than "gradualism". I'm sure it's been explained to him a million times at the hearings, but he just won't let go of it. He seems to think that if he can disprove "gradualism", then he can disprove evolution. Or something. He's grabbing at straws of course.
From long experience with creationist thinking, I gather it is a variation on their own belief in the inerrancy of the Bible ... "prove" one thing wrong about evolutionary theory and you've disproved the entire thing. Never mind that that thing isn't really held by science or that there is a perfectly fine explanation for it, as long as you say that there is something wrong with it, that's good enough, both for the speaker and his like-minded audience, to activate Morton's Demon. Since there is no need to go further, it keeps being repeated like a mantra.
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