Monday, April 20, 2009
My irony meter melted ...
... went straight through the floor boards
... the concrete floor of the basement
... and, based on a blast of steam that just went through my living room, is now China-syndroming its way through the water table beneath my house.
What happened was I clicked on this article by David Klinghoffer, one of the Undiscovery Institute's chorus of "Darwin caused the Holocaust" dissemblers. This time he has chosen the announcement of Stephen Hawking's serious illness to chide the Catholic Church for actually having the intellectual integrity to invite Hawking to a conference at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. According to Klinghoffer, the Vatican was giving Hawking "a forum" for a challenge by "his work to a most fundamental tenet in any Biblically based religion -- that the universe had a beginning."
Never mind that just a little over a month ago Bruce Chapman, head dance instructor at the Disco Tute, was frantically saying that the similar Pontifical Council on Culture is not an office of the Vatican and represented neither the Vatican nor the Pope. The funny thing is this:
The great psychologist William James...observed that most of us arrive at our opinions -- whether on religion, politics or science -- based not on a judicious weighing of evidence, but rather on the prestige of the ideas in question. That is, the prestige they confer on us. Even Vatican officials aren't immune from such human tendencies, and the fact is that, the merits of his theories aside, Stephen Hawking is a very prestigious scientist. As I have come to realize from countless frustrating personal interactions, lots of religious folks feel a social need to affirm certain ideas, including scientific ones, outside the realm of their expertise. With their personal prestige at stake, they will not be dissuaded.
If they weren't doing so much damage to the country that they so often loudly profess to love, it would be really funny.
I was looking at the ICR Graduate School's complaint filed against the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (PDF at http://ncseweb.org/webfm_send/814) and I was wondering how often underlining and bold and italics are used for emphasis in complaints. I would think that most courts would consider it a bit insulting that you felt it necessary to hit them over the head with your points.