Friday, May 29, 2009


Unuseful IDiots

Here is another admission by the Discovery Institute that it perceives theistic evolution as a real threat to its version of creationism within its target audience. David Klinghoffer writes:

This [TE] is just what the Darwin Lobby needs, people of faith complacently casting their vote for a cultural force that undermines faith. Lenin is said to have called such people "useful idiots." He was not a very nice person.

You see the effect most poignantly in religiously and politically conservative circles. Conservatives should be the first to grasp that "ideas have consequences," as Richard Weaver put it. Darwinism's corrosive effects on faith, on belief in human dignity and the sacredness of human life; the sinister way Darwin's theory has had of inspiring social movements of organized evil -- these are solid reasons to go back and look again critically at the science. Does natural selection operating on random mutations really explain the history of life without the need for a guiding spiritual force outside nature? Did the software in the cell, DNA, really write itself?

For many of us who should know better, it's easier, whether intellectually, socially, or both, not to come too close to the edge of the sacred mountain of Darwinism.

Apparently "many of us" "religiously and politically conservative" "people of faith" are beginning to cotton to the notion that they can accept science without jettisoning "faith, [or] belief in human dignity and the sacredness of human life." Without that filter in front of their eyes, the DI knows that any "look again critically at the science" will result in their seeing just how vacuous ID is when it tries to turn science into just another "cultural force."

That Klinghoffer has to drag poor Lenin out of his tomb to fright the souls of the flock is a nice measure of the DI's sense of impending doom.

This, from the Wikipedia article "Useful idiots", probably comes as no surprise to you:

"The term is commonly attributed to Vladimir Lenin, sometimes in the form "useful idiots of the West", to describe those Western reporters and travelers who would endorse the Soviet Union and its policies in the West. However, no reference to a communist sympathizer or political leftist as a "useful idiot" was made in the USA until 1948, and not until decades later would the use of the phrase by Lenin be commented on in the west. In 1948, the phrase was used in a New York Times article in relation to Italian politics; it was mentioned again in 1961. Critics of the term assert that the expression "useful idiot" has never been discovered in any published document of Lenin's, nor that anyone has claimed to have heard him say it. In the spring of 1987, Grant Harris, senior reference librarian at the Library of Congress, said "We have not been able to identify this phrase [useful idiots of the West] among [Lenin's] published works."[1][2]."

Tom S.
Who exactly is this "Darwin Lobby"? I keep seeing this term from the Usual Suspects, but I've never seen it clearly defined.

You mean an IDer got his facts wrong? Say it ain't so! We know he couldn't be quote mining.

I had a vague itch in the back of my mind that there was something wrong with it but I couldn't stir myself to look it up.


The Darwin lobby consists of ... um ... well ... scientists who don't believe in god ... no, wait ... scientists and the media who don't believe in god ... hold on ... scientists and the media who don't believe in God or who believe that God didn't design the universe ... almost ... scientists and the media who don't believe in God and Christians who believe that God didn't design the universe in such a way as it can be detected by science ...

Oh, never mind ... the Darwin lobby is anyone who believes that science is a good thing.
I have to confess to an unworthy thought. When you mentioned impending doom, it made me wonder if this was the End Times for ID, that one day they would be spirited away to some supernatural - but carefully-designed - plane of existence leaving behind just empty suits - and sweaters. Then I wondered: would anyone notice the difference?
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