Monday, November 20, 2006


Blogtime for Bozo

Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute is on quite a roll lately. First there was the sight of Luskin dissing poor old Phillip Johnson because he is merely a lawyer, not one of the scientists whose works you have to study "[i]f one wants to understand the theory of intelligent design." The problem is that Luskin is one of the most prolific, if not prolix, authors at the DI's blog, Evolution News & Views, most recently writing multiple articles about Carl Zimmer's piece, "A Limb Is a Fin Is a Wing," that appeared in National Geographic. Luskin advanced numerous "scientific" arguments in favor of ID but Luskin himself is ... wait for it ... a lawyer. To be fair, Luskin apparently has a B.S. and M.S. in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego and spent five years at Scripps Institution for Oceanography before discovering he had no aptitude whatsoever for science and instead opting for ID and flackery.

Intent on proving how little of his science training stuck, Casey perpetrated the Pinto ... um ... car wreck, wherein our intrepid boy wonder, in the course of his third article about Zimmer, managed to actually argue that suboptimal design wasn't a problem for ID by asking the question:

Was the Ford Pinto, with all its imperfections revealed in crash tests, not designed?
As noted by Joshua Rosenau at his euphoniously-named site, Thoughts from Kansas:

Apparently, the vertebrate eye is backwards because God decided it was cheaper to settle the lawsuits than make the cheap fix earlier implemented for the cephalopods.
Others who have been having some merriment at Master Luskin's expense include: PZ Myers, Coturnix and the supposed victim of Casey's logorrhea, Zimmer himself.

But now Casey may have topped even himself. Long a sycophant of William Dembski's, Luskin quickly picked up on Wild Bill's rant about Larry Moran's typically tart recommendation for what to do with biology students who believe in ID. As ominously as he could muster for all the breathlessness, Luskin warns:

Parents and students beware: the author of a leading college biochemistry textbook believes that pro-intelligent design students are not smart and should not be admitted to college.
He then quotes from Larry's article "Flunk the IDiots":

I agree with the Dembski sycophants that UCSD should not have required their uneducated students to attend remedial classes. Instead, they should never have admitted them in the first place.
Now here's the hilarious bit: after quoting the above and warning against those who think ID college entrants are dumb, Luskin feels it necessary to add helpfully:

It is also worth noting that Professor Moran called ID-proponents "IDiots" and "sycophants."
Uh huh. Larry said it in the paragraph right above that. Luskin, who should know his target audience, apparently thinks they need to read everything at least twice in order for it to have a chance to penetrate. But just in case there is any doubt about how Luskin assesses the abilities of those students who are supposedly ready for university, he gives them a little dictionary help:

A sycophant is "a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite."
Since he seems to think these paragons of learning neither know the word nor can find their way to a dictionary, maybe Luskin should have also given an illustration. A picture of Sal Cordova or DaveScot would have done nicely.

A picture of Sal Cordova or DaveScot would have done nicely.

Sal, by all means. He's head and shoulders above DaveScot in the sycophancy and general fawning departments.
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