Monday, September 7, 2015

I think the Discovery Institute has been enjoying Washington's new Marijuana Laws

That's about the only explanation I can come with to explain this 'gem' "For Your Labor Day Weekend Consideration: Alfred Wallace Russel, Scientist and Working Man".  We all know that the DI likes to re-baptize folks as some sort of Intelligent Design proponents, of course well after they are safely dead so they can't possibly defend themselves.

If you want to learn more about Alfred Wallace Russel, I certainly do not recommend anything from the DI, especially their self-published bio by Michael Flannery.  An interesting blog post was done back in 2008 by Olivia Judson:  "Wallace Should Hang".  There are many great references for the contributions, a little Googling brings up tons.  I would suggest starting with a site that I am pretty much the DI dislikes, which is always a positive reference:  "Natural Selection:  Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace Russel".

OK, why do I always seem to stall before reading DI stuff.  I guess experience would be the best reason.  It's nice and late, just a few minutes before Labor Day, so I think a good belly laugh is a great way to end the day and get a little sleep, so here goes.  For some reason they open with "impact of labor on the development of evolutionary theory" . . . which has me scratching my head.  Russel spent years collecting samples and documenting his results, as did Darwin.  What does 'labor' have to do with it?  They both worked incredibly hard.  But let me guess, will to DI try and portray Russel as working harder than Darwin?  Maybe, since they tend to canonize one while vilifying the other.

Oh for pities sake, they are claiming that since Wallace came from the middle class and Darwin had family money, OBVIOUSLY that makes Wallace better for some stupid reason.  They have a video, but is it really worth watching?  They quote their in-house 'historian' Flannery, so this looks like nothing special, just stuff they have been saying before.  One of the many negative reviews about Flannery's book was:

"If you're looking for a creationist take on evolution and Wallace, this is the book for you. This is not an in-depth biography of a complicated, wonderful person but a short treatise on why evolution must have had an intelligent designer behind it."
Under the Alfred Wallace Russel website, Flannery's book is listed not under the biographies, or scholarly work, but under the heading of 'other'.  Plus Flannery is identified as an ID proponent on the site, which would certainly be a red flag to anyone who wants to know more about Wallace.

At the end they take a swipe at a Disney movie coming out that features a young Charles Darwin.  I have to assume the movie will present Darwin in a positive light, which would annoy the DI to no end.  Since I don't expect historical accuracy from Disney movies, my expectations for such a movie would normally be pretty low, but if the DI wants to start whining about it months/years before it's released, I have to raise my expectations.  I mean anything that makes the DI act as if someone pissed in their cornflakes has got to have many redeeming features!

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