This is a continuation of a post from yesterday, where I took great pains to introduce something no one else has figured out: that the Discovery Institute not only is filled with people who are dead wrong, but is a tremendous font of dishonesty, too.
Witness John West, unrepentant serial liar:
One has to wonder whether the Dallas Morning News reporter even attended today’s meeting of the Texas State Board of Education. It’s hard to tell from the garbled account the paper just published, which pretty much claims that the evolution dogmatists won everything … Most egregiously, the article fails to mention that the final standards preserve amendments added in January requiring students to “analyze and evaluate” the evidence for major evolutionary claims such as natural selection, common ancestry, and mutations.
West posted three separate entries on Friday complaining that the media failed to emphasize the “analyze and evaluate” nonsense. Yes, we get the point–West wants the media to do his job for him and behave as though there exists scientific controversy over whether evolution occurs. But there’s a problem with West’s perseverating, because if you repeat something over and over, even people sold on your bullshit from the gate are going to eventually expect some evidence backing up what you’re saying or implying. West, of course, does not offer any links, anywhere, to scientific evidence refuting evolution, in whole or in any part. He just leaves the idea of it floating around out there, the same great rank intellectual fart as always, hoping no one will notice that what he and his fellow prevaricators continue cheerfully waving in everyone’s faces smells like anything but roses.
Then there’s West’s most hilarious whopper–the basis for the “concern troll” reference in the title of this post and its partners:
Geraldine Miller (Dallas) [has] crusaded against the “strengths and weaknesses” language and supported the Darwin-only crowd pretty much down the line. In defense of her views, Mrs. Miller launched into a remarkable speech about how she is a Christian and “a student of the Bible,” as if her personal religious beliefs have any relevance to what should be taught in science classes … Once again, a defender of evolution has appealed to religion rather than science to justify his or her views. Mrs. Miller is certainly entitled to her religious views, but she wasn’t elected to serve on a state board of theology.
That’s right–the DI is all about science and not at all about religion, so no one should even have mentioned it during this Texas kerfluffle! Of course, it’s clear to anyone with any brainpower at all that Ms. Miller was emphasizing that she was standing up for proper educational standards in spite of her religious beliefs, but people like John West don’t let facts however obvious, stop them. When there’s a quote to be mined or a concept to be misrepresented, these guys are on it faster than a starving doberman on a sirloin steak. Seeing West churn out this kind of stuff is like watching Cookie Monster start complaining about someone chewing with his mouth open the moment ol’ Cookie has finished clearing the last of his crumbs from the reach of the camera.
Now witness Robert Crowther, even less artful in his lying then West:
In a huge victory for those who favor teaching the scientific evidence for and against evolution, Texas today moved to the head of the class by requiring students to “critique” and examine “all sides of scientific evidence” and specifically requiring students to “analyze and evaluate” the evidence for major evolutionary concepts such as common ancestry, natural selection, and mutations.
Discovery Institute has long endorsed the idea that evolution should be fully and completely presented to students, including its unresolved issues.
Crowther here has said even less than West. Note the difference, though, between “evidence against evolution” and “unresolved issues.” The former is arrant bullshit, while the latter, though a hazy concept when phrased in the manner Crowther has phrased it, is trivially applicable to all facets of life science. Of course there are unresolved issues in evolution, just as in physics, cosmology, climatology and other disciplines; that’s why scientists continue to study them, and that’s what makes it not only necessary but fun. What’s the role of sexual selection versus natural selection? Is there any meaning to the term “saltation” and how does it affect ideas about gradualism? And so on. One can imagine two physicans disagreeing on the pharmacological particulars of how to treat a case of acute congestive heart failure without reckoning that CHF cannot be treated.
I’ll wrap this up in the morning.