Friday, January 6, 2017

Balancing the Scales . . . Artificially!

If you bothered to read "You Already Support Goliath with Your Tax Dollars; Won't You Consider Balancing the Scales?" you know what it is . . . even if you don't bother to read it, you can tell just from the title.  The Discovery Institute (DI) is begging for money, something they do regularly.  This time asking anyone who reads it to 'balance the scales'.

Let's talk about that for a minute.  Actually we already have in previous posts.  Let's place this in perspective.  There are Federal and State tax dollars being used for a variety of actions dealing with discrimination.  So let us balance the scales and donate money to groups like the Ku Klux Klan, after all, it would be balancing the scales, right?

I know, you think I am equating the DI to the KKK, but if you read what I actually wrote, I am not equating those two organizations.  What I am saying is that 'balancing the scales' is a pretty foolish idea unless the two opposing positions are equivalent in some fashion.  Does anyone believe anti-discrimination efforts by government organizations and the efforts to discriminate by the KKK are equal?  No, they are not, therefore there can be no balancing of the scales by any means.

It's the same thing for the DI.  Is their pet religious proposition, currently called 'Intelligent Design (ID)', the equal of Evolutionary Theory?  Not in any way shape of form!  I have asked many times for them to present the scientific advances that can be traced back to their pet concept.  There aren't any!  Yet evolution has led to advances in medicine, ecology, and environmental sciences -- just to name a few.  Evolutionary theory is a real, actual scientific theory, not pseudo-scientific religious babble.  Without such equivalency there can be no balancing of the scales.

The DI is just using this  . . . balancing . . . as another marketing concept to raise funds.  I guess their other sources might be drying up a bit, especially considering their lack of progress in advancing their religious agenda.  Think about what they are actually saying:  "Feel sorry for us because no public schools are taking us seriously, so no tax money supports our efforts."  But shouldn't you ask yourself why no public schools teach Intelligent Design (ID)?  The DI spins all sorts of excuses, but take it down to it's most fundamental, what has ID accomplished?  Nothing!

Depending on which posts from the DI you read, ID is either as old as Ancient Greece or too new to have had much of an impact on modern science.  So they are either asking you to donate to something that has been totally ineffective for centuries or just totally ineffective for decades, your choice.  To me it would be the same thing as donating money to a Numerologist since Math teachers in public school are supported by tax dollars.  It makes just as much sense.

There is another reason tax dollars don't support it, and one we have explored numerous times, it's called the US Constitution.  Should our tax dollars be used to promote a religion?  You need to remember that's all ID is -- a religious viewpoint.  It says so in their own guiding document:

" . . .reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions."
In other words they want to replace science with a religion without worrying about minor details like whether or not it actually does anything.  There is the rub, science works without having to invoke any of the thousands of deities mankind has created for themselves over the centuries.  And that just pisses people who insist on forcing their religion onto everyone else off!  Cars run, aircraft fly, medicines work . . . because of the scientific work that supports then, not because you prayed to one particular deity or another!

The rest of the post is nothing outside of the usual.  Someone said something negative about ID and the DI just has to respond.  I think that sort of knee-jerk reaction is built into their DNA.  Remember the quilt, here is part of something I wrote up about a year ago:
"The DI are masters at Public Relations and Marketing.  Anyone who says something negative about the DI or Intelligent Design is automatically a target.  Do you remember little gem from 2006: "Canadian Quilters Attack Intelligent Design" from Evolution 'News' and Views and "“ID is a Myth” Quilt Wins National Contest" from Uncommon Descent.  Yes, a quilter . . . a single quilter did a quilt that made fun of Intelligent Design . . . and she is suddenly part of a cabal of Canadian Quilters who are attacking ID.  See my point?  They can't even allow someone to make a little fun of their pet version of Creationism without trying to gain some PR mileage out of it.  A humorous quilt is suddenly an attack!"
In this case it was a biology professor who had the audacity to review the actual court documents instead of . . . here let me quote davey 'klingy' klinghoffer's post:
"Herron's "research" appeared to consist of downloading a court document from the website of the Darwin-lobbying National Center for Science Education. If he had consulted any of our copious analysis here, by Casey Luskin and others, from the months around the Coppedge trial, that was not reflected in his post."
Yes, according to klingy, Mark Herron (Senior Research Scientist in the School of Biology at Georgia Tech) downloaded the court documents instead of reading the DI's spin on the Coppedge case, something klingy has been spinning on a lot lately.  How dare Herron go to the source!  What Herron did in his own blog post (Lies of omission and straight-up lies) was highlight many of the things klingy has been omitting from his recent spinning of Coppedge.  I wrote a bit about it here, but let me quote Herron a little, I added the underlining for emphasis:
"So Klinghoffer’s version of events is, at the very least, grossly oversimplified, failing to mention either the negative performance review or the history of customer complaints. Furthermore, Coppedge’s claim that the 2009 performance review “…was the first indication of me being at fault for communications problems” contradicts his own notes, which indicate complaints going back to 2004. 
The biggest problem for this bit of revisionist history, though, is that the annual performance reviews were not considered in the layoff process."
"Klinghoffer’s omission of relevant information goes well beyond spin and into dishonesty. His articles at Evolution News and Views never mention that everyone knew layoffs were coming or that another system administrator was laid off at the same time. It doesn’t sound quite so sinister when you know that Coppedge was part of the 40% of system administrators laid off due to budget cuts, does it? Klinghoffer also fails to mention the history of complaints from “[e]very office..Even [his] own team members,” or that Coppedge was ranked fifth out of five in skills relevant to the extended Cassini mission. His claim that Coppedge was “fired” entirely for lending out DVDs doesn’t even match Coppedge’s version of events. 
Coppedge might just be deluded, but Klinghoffer is lying to promote his “Anti-Intelligent Design Persecution” narrative."
The other whine, and the one that leads to the plea for funds, is that Georgia Tech is a public university, therefore Herron's work may be funded by tax dollars . . . so since tax dollars do fund real science, klingy wants to 'balance the scales' by asking for donations to fund pseudo-science.  Of course Herron may be funded by other sources, that's how real science funding works, not that I would expect klingy to understand that.

If you are a supporter of ID, then go ahead and support it.  But don't do it because of this artificial idea of balancing the scales.  The only way the scales can be balanced is if ID proponents get off their marketing asses and get into a lab and perform real science.  They have to offer scientifically valid data, not conjecture and wishful thinking.  ID is currently getting all the tax support it deserves, None at all.  Until ID proponents manage to find actual supporting evidence through scientific methodology that can be validated and verified, then their religious proposition remains religious.

The only thing I plan on doing is adding Mark Herron's blog "Fierce Roller" to the list of blogs I read regularly.  You can find a link over on the right if you wish to join me.


  1. Haven't you heard? The Wedge Document is an urban legend.
    The Discovery Institute has been trying so hard for so long to distance themselves from the Wedge Document, I'm surprised they haven't changed their name.

    1. I know, an 'Urban Legend' that at one point Stepen C. Meyer, of the Discovery Institute, claimed was stolen from the DI. How can an urban legend be stolen? (