Friday, September 06, 2013


It's Nervous Time!

Woo Hoo!

The Discovery [sic] Institute is getting nervous.

With a small bump from me, Richard B. Hoppe noted at The Panda's Thumb the detailed review Smilodon's Retreat is doing of Stephen Meyer's Darwin's Doubt.

The DI has rushed out a contentless post by Donald McLaughlin (who?) that "objects" that what Richard "leaves out of his post is that 'Smildon' is also a self described atheist and skeptic." In point of fact, Richard linked to Smilodon's "About" page where Smilodon did that "self-describing." More importantly, if ID is a scientific argument and not religious apologetics, why would it matter if he is an atheist and skeptic? Once again , the DI lets the real purpose of ID out of the bag.

Then McLaughlin quotes Smilodon's introduction:
I fully intend to (somehow) acquire the references (if any) used by Meyer. I'll review them to see if Meyer reports them accurately and if the same conclusion is drawn. It's not that I don't trust Meyer… well… OK… it's that I don't trust Meyer. The people from the Discovery Institute are consummate charlatans.

I'll be perfectly honest, there isn't anything in this book that shows evolution is wrong or that ID has any supporting evidence. If there was, they would publish and then they wouldn't shut up about it. This is just book to lead the lay-person to the conclusion that science can't explain everything.

I may sound biased, and I am, a bit. The DI doesn't do science. Meyer doesn't do science. Behe has tried to redefine science. Dembski doesn't do science. How can one refute science when one does not do science?

That all being said, I will try my best to be scrupulously fair. I will let you, my readers, decide if I'm being fair or biased.
McLaughlin seems to think that stating up front your doubts about the author of the book you are reviewing and inviting the reader to examine the review in that light is somehow a bad thing. Did Meyer start his "review" of Darwin's work by revealing that he is a contributor to Focus on the Family's "TrueU" course "Does God Exist," described as "an apologetics training series" and invite his readers to view his criticism of evolutionary theory in that light? If not, who is the more honest?

The important thing is that Smilodon intends to counter any bias he has by acquiring and reviewing the references Meyer uses, out in the open, where anyone can see.

Also unsurprising is the sneering reference to Smilodon as the "Unknown Scientist" and the "comparison" to "the well-known 'Unknown Comic' from the 1980's."
I can picture "Smildon", sitting in his armchair, bag over his head, reciting his "scrupulously fair" review of Darwin's Doubt.
There is a long tradition in literature of anonymity in criticism. Elia anyone? Or maybe Charles Lamb was the "Unknown Essayist" with a paper bag over his head?

The utterly vapid nature of McLaughlin's post is an early indication of how little the DI has, even in these beginning stages, to counter Smilodon's criticisms and just how nervous they are about what he will reveal about Meyer's book.

Here's Donald McLaughlin's bio at the Disco 'Tute:

Donald joined Discovery Institute in August 2013, as a Development Officer and Regional Representative in the upper Midwest and Northeast regions. His areas of responsibility include cultivating and stewarding major gifts, and planned giving. Donald has had a successful career in development, including 8 years as a Regional Director of Advancement for Prison Fellowship Ministries, 2 years as National Director of Major Gifts for Teen Mania Ministries and 5 years as Regional Director of Advancement for Taylor University.

Donald is a 1975 graduate of Taylor University where he earned his BA in Speech and Drama. In 1977, he earned an MA in Clinical Audiology from Ball State University in Muncie, IN.

There's more at the link above, but those seem to be his core qualifications.
Thanks, Richard. I just used that information in my latest post.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

. . . . .


How to Support Science Education