Another Toronto journalist takes swat at Darwinists (or Darwinoids)
One of the most interesting journalists in Toronto is a friend of mine, David Warren, who - as if he did not have enough troubles - has gotten sick of bloviating Darwinists and decided to take them on. At least I am not alone. Far from it.
Writing to friends, Warren notes, "I have been remiss. I have allowed several months to do by without taking another kick at the Darwinoids. I endeavour to correct this oversight in my column for Sunday," whereupon he directs us to his recent column for The Spectator:
I get such apoplectic letters, whenever I write about "evolutionism," that I really can't resist writing about it again. This is not, of course, because I have any desire to tease such correspondents. Perish the thought. Rather, when a writer finds he has hit such a nerve, he can also know that he is approaching a great truth.Not to be missed.
In this case, we must ask ourselves why so many people get so excited about an area of science that should not concern them. For most of these correspondents know precious little science, and haven't the stamina to engage in detailed argument. They are simply shocked and appalled that anyone would dream of challenging what they believe to be the consensus of "qualified experts," whom they assume are a closed camp of hard-bitten materialists, with no time for religious or poetical flights.
The answer to this question is clear enough. People without a stake in a controversy pay little or no attention to it. They will hardly be vexed by assertions of one party or another, when the result of the controversy cannot touch their lives. It is rather when a person does have a stake, that he begins to care.
It follows that my most apoplectic correspondents have a stake in evolutionary controversies. They imagine themselves to have an impersonal interest in defending science against "religious superstition," and the dangers to society that the latter might present. They in fact have strong and uncompromising religious beliefs of their own, which they are loath to have questioned.
Much of the "star chamber" atmosphere, that has accompanied the public invigilation of microbiologists such as Michael J. Behe, and other very qualified scientists working on questions of design in organisms and natural systems, can only be explained in this way. The establishment wants such research to be stopped, because it challenges the received religious order, of atheist materialism. Any attempt, or suspected attempt, to acknowledge God in scientific proceedings, must be exposed and punished to the limit of the law; or by other ruthless means where the law does not suffice.
An author friend asked Warren recently,
Suppose Lemaitre had offered his Big Bang idea in our current intellectual climate, rather than in 1931. Would he be denounced as a crypto-creationist, trying to dress up the Christian doctrine of creation ex nihilo in scientific garb? After all, a universe that has always existed does not need a God to create it; that is why the eternality of the world has been a cardinal tenet of those who do not need the hypothesis of God. Once the eternality of the world is no longer accepted, then we are right back to Leibniz' question, "Why is there something rather than nothing," and this question has dangerous theological implications.
and he replied,
For sure, Lemaître would have died an ignominious intellectual death in our time. But then, he never tried to call attention to himself, & even now, everyone has heard about Einstein & Hubble, & no one about the man who went "behind & beyond" them.
When I asked Warren if he realized that he would be vilified, as neurosurgeon Mike Egnor has been vilified, he merely replied,
Well, as someone says on your blog (maybe it was you), the way the news on ID gets out, is by all these Darwinoid idiots drawing attention to it. Pravda used to make the same mistake. Nobody realized there'd been a riot in Gorki, until Pravda denied anything had happened.
Yes, that was me, David. I said that the Darwinists have done far more to promote the intelligent design guys' theories than the evil Discos could ever have done. In fact, I remember listening to a Toronto Darwinist announcing to a media person that the Discovery Institute was very well funded. When I pointed out to him that Discovery's Center for Science and Culture (the ID think tank) is actually quite small - and that it relies largely on converting the negative energy generated by people like himself into positive energy - it was obvious that he didn't believe me.
How about that! There he was, actually demonstrating the phenomenon, and he still did not believe me. David, I am afraid there's no help for people like that.
Oh, and, Warren also writes,
Meanwhile, entirely unrelated, my time is taken up answering in detail the most ridiculous allegations against me, against Prof Michael Behe, & against God, by correspondents to the Tottawa Zit [Ottawa Citizen].
Let me give you JUST one example of the sort of sh*t I'm dealing with.
There was a show trial in Dover, Pennsylvania, two years ago, in which a local school board was prosecuted by the Darwinoids for having permitted the teaching of "Intelligent Design." This was publicized by the gliberal media as, "Another Scopes trial in America!" The defence called Michael Behe, so the plaintiffs brought very high-powered attorneys, to lure him into traps. One of them, a certain Eric Rothschild, made tendentious points on the definition of "science." Prof Behe wouldn't play, & noted only, & rather dryly, that if the official definition of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences were used, almost every major advance in modern science would have to be ruled illegal. Rothschild then paraphrased Behe's position as, "So you believe astrology is valid science." Needless to say, Behe does not.
This was reported, in e.g. the New Scientist, as, "Behe forced to admit that astrology is valid science according to his definition."
And now, in letter after letter to the Zit, the Darwinoids have simplified this to, "Behe also believes in astrology."
Note: If you are looking for the story about the major film about the ID guys, starring Ben Stein, go here.