Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design

For sheer smarminess, this one is hard to beat . . .

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Here’s an email I received today that gave me a chuckle and that I thought might amuse the readers of this blog:

From: RJDownard@snip
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2006 14:11:02 EDT
Subject: Ann Coulter’s New Book
To: william.dembski@snip

Dear Bill

I see that you, Michael Behe, and David Berlinski are commended by Ann Coulter in her new book apropos the “generous tutoring” she obtained at your hands. I am presently in the process of analyzing her anti-“Darwiniac” arguments point-by-point at Talk Reason (with courtesy postings at Panda’s Thumb as well) , and so naturally am curious about the extent and content of those tutorials, and to what degree those tutorials could have contributed to her written conclusions.

I also notice that you “take all responsibility for any errors in those chapters” (Uncommon Descent for April 26, 2006).

In Parts I & II posted so far I have noted Coulter’s remarkable unfamiliarity with the range of the ID controversy and apparent unawareness of the biogeographical underpinning of speciation, as well as a consistent inattention to any of the available fossil information. Am I correct in surmissing, for example, that you did not communicate any of the content of Cavalier-Smith’s review of Behe’s book, or the particulars of biogeography to Coulter, or the relevant fossil taxa in matters paleontological? Hence that you would not be legitimately liable for her views relating to those points?

Regarding upcoming analyses, there are a host of terms and concepts which do not figure in Coulter’s treatment, so I wish to know whether any of these came up in the tutorials (either through her own questions or on your initiative). A sampling of terms, in more or less connective order:

homeobox genes
tunicate larvae
Conservation Lagerstatten
plate subduction
Mesozoic birds
dentary bones
mammalian developmental biology

Any comment or information concerning this will be of considerable assistance in clarifying the extent to which Coulter has accurately reflected her tutorial experience.

Jim Downard

In the interest of propriety, I won’t list the host of terms and concepts that came to my mind as I read this email.

11 Replies to “For sheer smarminess, this one is hard to beat . . .

  1. 1
    Charlie says:

    Perhaps, in lieu of a refund, those who thought they were purchasing a biology textbook could be mailed a photocopied glossary as a supplement to Coulter’s popular treatment.

  2. 2
    Jon Jackson says:

    Sounds like a classic case of argument by over complication.

  3. 3
    lucID says:


    If I might be so bold as to suggest a small sampling of terms, that you send to Jimbo to put in his smug pipe and smoke it, in more or less connective order:

    imbecilic impudence
    visual impairment
    archaeopteryx hoax
    evidence subduction
    truth erosion
    imaginary developmental biology
    victorian myths
    myopic dissonance
    specified complexity
    mathematical improbability
    scientific method
    irreducible complexity

    Any comment or information concerning these will be of considerable assistance in clarifying the extent to which Jimbo & Co. have accurately reflected their religion

  4. 4
    Scott says:

    *stands and applauds lucID.

  5. 5
    lucID says:

    Oh and a few more I missed out:

    Haeckelian Artistry
    Eugenic Sophism
    Peppered Lepidoptera mimicry
    Peking malarkey
    masquerading LaMarkery
    migratory red herrings

  6. 6
    lucID says:

    Thanks Scott – I’m killing myself too 🙂

  7. 7
    lucID says:

    Oh and the last one:

    faux amorphous silicon dioxide abiogenesis

    Bill if you are so inclined, please compile the above into a list and send it to the relevant party informing them you’ll get back to them with their requested list when they satisfactorily get back with your list.

  8. 8
    russ says:

    A whole documentary has been produced about Jim & Co. by a former evolutionary biologist(?): http://www.flockofdodos.com.

    It’s basically a reality show about evolutionists’ inability to communicate with regular people.

  9. 9
    Mung says:

    Conservation Lagerstatten

    A great German beer. Highly recommended.

  10. 10
    Larry Fafarman says:

    This guy is a complete idiot. He has a nerve asking you for help in criticizing Coulter’s book. As for that list of technical terms, Coulter wrote a book for the popular market, not an encyclopedia.

  11. 11
    glennj says:

    “Creationism is a theory that’s been around about 150 years.”
    Well, that shows how wrong I can be sometimes….I thought Moses was waaaay older.

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