Saturday, August 7, 2010

Klinghoffer -- Discovery Institute shill

Lauri Lebo wrote an article, "Creationism: Don't use the 'C-Word'", about the cowardly Discovery Institute's efforts to distance themselves from a situation of their own making down in Livingston Louisiana. I commented on it in my own post "The Two Faces of the DI". Well she caused a pretty typical response form the DI, from one of their more dishonest shills, David Klinghoffer. I found it interesting that when she addressed a specific post to Klinghoffer's misrepresentation of Darwin and Hitler ("The Dark Side of Darwin") he was conspicuously silent. I mean she really tore him apart, calling into question his ability to research a topic and his integrity. She pretty much made him look like an idiot. Yes, I did enjoy her post on that subject. I also enjoyed her post on the DI fleeing the scene of their crime in Louisiana.

The reason I call Klinghoffer a shill is because he obviously doesn't know how to read. He is toeing the party line of the DI by repeating the claim that the Louisiana Science Education Act forbids teaching Creationism -- yet forgets to mention how that part of the law was not addressed in the implementation standards, which the DI helped write. He forgets to mention the Wedge Strategy, the guiding document of the DI, makes it very clear one of their goals is "To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God." (Scan of the original Wedge Strategy from the Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture).

So we have an organization with this as one of it's stated objectives, who set the stage for exactly this in the science classrooms of Louisiana, and then tries to take to task someone who realizes exactly what they are doing and why. Yup, sounds like a shill to me!

As I read the article I got the feeling that if Lauri was standing right next to Klinghoffer he would be patronizing her with a pat on the head. I mean he said:

"Ms. Lebo, a journalist who wrote a whole book about the Kitzmiller v. Dover case"
A 'whole' book . . . Wow! Does this imply that she did something amazing by write an whole, entire book? Obviously he didn't read the whole book or he would realize that like Barbara Forrest, Lauri Lebo knows exactly what she is talking about. He was certainly damning with faint praise with:
"Giving Lauri Lebo the benefit of the doubt on this score -- she seems bright enough"
'Bright enough'? Who the hell is he to make such a judgment? This is the man who cannot do 30 seconds of research to realize his Darwin and Hitler comments have no support what-so-ever! David, she's plenty bright enough to see through your BS, isn't she? Which means she is considerably brighter than you -- which isn't much of a compliment because I think a cabbage has an intellectual leg up on you. So let me be clear. I read Lauri's book "The Devil in Dover" and enjoyed it for its professional and personal insight into the Dover trial. I have enjoyed reading her occasional updates on her Facebook page and I have certainly enjoyed her comments on the this whole subject. She is knowledgeable, writes well, and always supports her work! David, you should take lessons rather than try and patronize her!

Klinghoffer really does stick with the marketing line from the DI in his response, but he fails in typical fashion. Lauri Lebo is well up on the tricks, tactics, and lies told by people like Chapman and Klinghoffer. She has the journalistic integrity to call them on it. Klinghoffer's response is nothing more than a knee jerk reaction to having another set of lies and disreputable tactics exposed to the light of day. Read in that light, it's actually pretty funny.

This type of reaction is more something I would have expected by Luskin, but then it's really getting hard to tell these guys apart just by reading. Well as much fun as watching Klinghoffer squirm, I have a few other things to do today. I wonder who is the next DI mouthpiece to comment? One thing is for sure they are not going to actually address the DI cutting and running out on Louisiana -- they would much rather attempt to attack Lauri Lebo. But then, that seems to be their normal way of doing business.

Just in case you aren't clear, the language in BOTH the Louisiana Science Education Act and the instructions for implementing the act open the door for non-scientific alternatives to science to be brought into the classroom as if they were science. The first school district in Louisiana to actually do so will be facing an expensive lawsuit -- and you can count on the DI to hide as far away from the action as they can. It's not a guess, it's based on their history.


  1. The DI must believe that the following LSEA sentence constitutes is the key to "a law that unambiguously countermands teaching creationism":

    This Section shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.

    That argument didn't fly in the Supreme Court, in re: Edwards v. Aguillard:

    While the Court is normally deferential to a State's articulation of a secular purpose, it is required that the statement of such purpose be sincere and not a sham.

    Everybody knows that the LSEA doesn't have a legitimate secular purpose that's wasn't previously available to public school teachers. Rather, the LSEA's purpose is to protect the interest of religious conservatives, by protecting criticisms of ideas that tweak such people.

  2. They certainly are relying on that line -- what's typical of their tactics is that they ignore the fact the implementation guidelines fail to address that specific line. Which means a teacher can pretty well bring in anything they want and anyone who complains has to go through a long and convoluted system designed (pun intended) to make sure complaints die on the vine.