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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Intelligent design and popular culture: Chucking Johnson?

A friend sends me this item from Urban Dictionary:
Chuck Johnson

Verb: related to Godwin's law and Godwinism's. To 'Chuck Johnson's' is to label a person, group or philosophy with the reductio ad Hitlerum* tag as means to close down debate.

Chuck: transitive verb, meaning to a: toss , throw, Noun: Short for Charles

Johnson: refers to the owner of the news aggregating, formally conservative, anti jihad site and now anti-creationism pro Darwin website Little Green Footballs. Which has become synonymous with personality cults, blogtatorship and calling previous colleagues and acquaintances of long and respected standing fascists, Nazis, Racists or ID'er (derogatory term for a belief in creationism. For simply having web links or opinions on their own personal web pages which he/CJ disapproves of.
I must confess, I don't really understand "little green footballs" at all.

I did not start covering the intelligent design controversy because I was especially right wing, had a hidden agenda, or was in anyone's pay, but because the legacy mainstream media was doing such a lousy job that any well-informed freelancer** with a blog could do better.

I do, however, remember the weird moment when "Chuck" (the "biggest" little green football?) decided that the scientists who think the universe shows evidence of design were somehow allied with Islamic fascists. I commented on that here.

The reality is quite otherwise. Muslims who want to grow in their faith, while divorcing the politics of extremism, are attracted to intelligent design precisely because it demonstrates that the universe is both God-guided and rational. However, that is entirely independent of conspirazoid claims about the Discovery Institute in Seattle.

A Muslim friend reminds me, at times, that traditional Muslim families in his neighbourhood love "Little House on the Prairie" reruns, but definitely do not admire "Sex in the City." Well, I share their tastes. And anyone who wants to make a conspiracy out of that can go right ahead.

By the way, if you want to know what's going on in Canada's political culture, your first stop should be Deborah Gyapong's blog. Gyapong, a reporter at the Parliamentary Press Gallery, knows the score.

[*reduction ad Hitlerum = Tell the world that your opponent in some dispute would have endorsed Hitler and the Holocaust. It is an excellent way to seriously complicate and throw confusion into a discussion about, say, which firm should get the contract for fixing potholes on paved highways (come spring) or whether a doofus dressed up as an erect penis should be lecturing about sex at a girls' high school. People used to say "He's the Devil's man!" Now they say "He's Hitler's man!" It amounts to the same thing, really. It is not, in itself, an argument.]

**freelancer = see PayPal button. This is an independent news desk. Support is always appreciated.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

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