Saturday, October 17, 2015

When Spin starts with a Lie, is it still Spin? I don't think so!

A couple of days ago little davey 'klingy' klinghoffer told a lie.  I know that probably surprises few people, but it typically made me laugh.  First off, let's discuss the lie, then we can discuss the rest of his post "Countering Arguments You Don't Like, the Passive-Aggressive Way".  Klingy discusses an article by Kristin Powers on assisted-suicide.  Well more accurately he was talking about comments made about the article by another Discovery Institute talking head.  So it is possible that klingy was just repeating a lie?  Maybe, but that would just mean that he failed to do his homework and validate the facts before repeating a lie.  Here is what klingy and his buddy Wesley Smith, another senior fellow at the DI, said:

"The article by Kirsten Powers is all about public policy, and about language -- how "verbal cloaking is the stock in trade of the 'right-to-die' forces" -- not religion. There's no mention of religion or anything to do with it, but the newspaper published the piece under the prominent heading, "Religion."" 
It's a real article, published by Washington Post under the prominent heading of 'Religion'.  Klingy's whine is that since the article didn't mention 'Religion' it shouldn't have been published under that heading.  I can see his point, since ID does it's best to distance itself from religion, obviously anything else labeled as religion must be in error if it fails to use the word 'religion'.  But is that a viable position?

I Googled for the article and found it at the Washington Post, I also saw that the source of the article was listed right there as the 'Religious News Service'.  Here's the screenshot:

I also found the article at USA Today, "Kirsten Powers: Suicide by any other name", they listed it under 'Opinion'.  Most of the sites I saw the article, or discussions of the article, were under the heading of Religion.  So I think the whole whine by klingy and Smith is nothing but a spin.  They have an unsupportable objection and then klingy has to try and use it to his advantage.  To me this spin attempt is basically a lie.

Now to his whining.  His angle is he doesn't like the fact that places like Barnes and Noble put Intelligent Design books in places like "Religion" or "Christian Living".  So he basically tells a lie and then tries to use that as justification for putting ID in the science section in the bookstore.  Does that make any sense to you?  I find it more humorous than anything else.  

So why would booksellers put books like "Darwin's Doubt" and "Signature in the Cell" under Christian Living? 
  • Could it be that most books about ID are published by religious imprints like Harper-One?  That would be one clue.  
  • Could it be that Intelligent Design has been found to be a religious argument in Federal Court?  In fact any defense put up by the DI during the Dover Trial failed to separate ID from Creationism in any way.  That might count as part of the reason.  
  • Could it be that ID has yet to do any of the scientific methodology that would earn them the designation of 'Science'? 
How about all of the arguments from the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at SMU, Dr. Mark A. Chancey that I have posted about before in  "So there is nothing religious about ID? Part IV".  In fact let's repeat of a few of those and see a list of reasons ID might be well deserving of it being filed under 'Christian Living':
  • Intelligent Design originated within certain religious circles
  • [ID] has credibility only within those same circles-mostly theologically conservative Christian groups that find aspects of evolutionary theory threatening
  • Many ID proponents with academic positions work at religious institutions devoted to promoting particular theological views
  • IDers sometimes publish books-but most of these are with religious, not academic, presses
  • ID research is not rigorous, substantial or convincing enough to be published in genuine academic venues
  • Unable to publish their work in legitimate academic venues, they nonetheless present it as cutting-edge science
  • They deny or obscure the fact that ID is grounded in a particular religious worldview and yet regard it as a tool to promote socially and theologically conservative Christian positions.
Klingy use another phrase I am not sure he understands:
"B&N would undoubtedly be smarter to shelf Darwin's Doubt under Science where it belongs, rather than under "Christian Life,""
Would that be smarter?  Taking a religious argument and positioning under 'Science' would give their 'work' a validity they have yet to earn through scientific work.  I've made this argument before, just like the error journalists make by assuming two opposing arguments deserve equal time in an effort to appear unbiased.  When you artificially inflate any argument and make it appear equal to another argument, you are in fact being biased and granting them a position they do not deserve.  Putting books like 'Darwin's Doubt' in the Science section would be granting it a level of validity that it has yet to gain through honest means.
Now from my point of view, I think Barnes and Noble put it under Christian Living because they do not have a section called 'Pseudo-Science'.  Now that would be much more honest and much smarter.  But imagine the hue and cry from klingy and his buds if Barnes and Noble did just that!  I think that would be absolutely hilarious.

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