Thursday, June 25, 2009

Strip Clubs and David Klinghoffer

I guess David is a true believer in the adage that if you repeat yourself often enough, people will believe something is fact. Here is an example. In his BeliefNet column he repeat something he wrote about 11 years ago. It is as wrong today as it was 11 years ago, but that doesn't stop David. Here, you tell me.

"Materialism . . . in a philosophical context it means a world view where only material reality counts, an outlook which denies that human existence has a spiritual component, and certainly denies the religious outlook in which existence is all spirit with material reality thrown in mainly to confuse us. Two famous examples of materialism in ideological form are Marxism and Darwinism, both of which maintain that ultimately life can be explained in terms of molecules bumping up against one another. "
The first thing he does is define Materialism. I don't have a problem with that definition. It's a re-statement, but one I think is pretty accurate, the definition of materialism in the philosophical sense of the word. However I disagree with Marxism and Darwinism [you already know of my issues with the term 'Darwinism'] are examples of materialism.

'Darwinism', or more accurately the Theory of Evolution, is part of the science of Biology. Biology, like all natural sciences use a philosophy of methodological naturalism. In other words it does not assume that nature is all there is; it merely notes that nature is the only objective standard we have. Supernaturalism is not ruled out a priori; it is left out because it has never been reliably observed.

Anyone else here see the difference that David can't seem to grasp? The whole concept of the Supernatural being deliberately left out because it cannot be tested, it is not objective, it is not predictable! This does not make Evolution an example of the philosophy of materialism. There is nothing in the Theory of Evolution that denies spirituality, nothing!

Here is where I think David makes his underlying mistake. Many people's belief system attributes specific action to a Deity. People once believed that God brought the rain, good harvests, the sun rose because of God's will, the Earth was flat, the sun revolved around the Earth, lightning was Zeus' weapon of choice or God playing Nine-Pins. What science has done is offer natural explanations for many of the phenomena that used to be attributed by God.

We have learned so much and we have use these natural science explanations to do so much. But David can't keep from putting God in a tiny box and his way of keeping God in that box is to attribute specific actions and deny a whole branch of science because it doesn't fit in David's box. He does this not by proving that the science is incorrect, but by making snippy comments, like defining Evolution as materialism and telling you how bad Materialism is . . . oh and gee since Evolution is materialism, it must be bad. He also does it by using the pejorative 'Darwinism', which while an accepted use of the word to describe Evolution from Darwin's point of view in ENGLAND, here in the US only people with an ax to grind against the Theory of Evolution use it. David isn't from England is he?

Oh and if you haven't clicked on the link to his article and missed the Strip Club reference, let's just say that David went to a club in LA and claims he went in because he didn't want to be a party-pooper (he was with a group) and while he was there he spent the entire time framing the visit in terms of why 'Darwinism' is a bad thing. Sure David, sure! And you never inhaled either?

He did this with his usual brand of less-than-subtle jabs with his other little diatribe to convince you that Evolution leads to racism. Funny has David never commented on the killing of Dr George Tiller? It would be easy to miss, after all David posts a lot but seems to say very little. He just keeps re-hashing on a tired theme.


  1. Typical Klinghoffer: construct a hypothesis from ideas that nobody is promoting, throw in "facts" that don't exist, add incomprehensible analogies stretched to the breaking point and voila! - total bullshit.

  2. So in other words we could take your comment and substitute any name form the Discovery Institute Rogues Gallery and it would still work. I am thinking Luskin, Meyer, and Nelson for starters.