Intelligent Design

FOR RECORD: I object — a “tour of shame” concerning well-poisoning strawman tactics joined to denial of abuse of design theory proponents at TSZ

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Sometimes, it is necessary to point out some pretty unpleasant matters.

Sometimes, that has to be done to people who have been caught up in denial and enabling power- games and associated rhetoric or propaganda. Short term, that is very unpleasant and may trigger denial in the face of painful reality (no, it is all cooked up . . . it can’t be true . . . )

This is one of those times.

A few days ago, Dr Sewell again highlighted the sordid tale of how his recent article was suppressed (as was his right of reasonable reply), even as the same journal hosted a manipulative, strawman tactic rebuttal:

[youtube vRLSwVRdNes]

Similarly, Bergman recently documented what was done to Gonzalez, which may very well have crossed the border into illegality. For instance, clipping:

In the spring of 2007 Iowa State University (ISU) President Gregory Geoffroy denied Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez’s application for tenure, which means he was terminated. In contrast to Gonzalez’s supporters, the president of Iowa State claimed that Gonzalez was not denied tenure due to his research into the view that the earth holds a very special place in the universe, a hypothesis called the Privileged Planet theory. A review of the e-mails from Gonzalez’s department colleagues, though, clearly proves otherwise. The attitude expressed toward intelligent design by many ISU faculty eloquently documents the fact that Gonzalez was evaluated unfairly on illegal criteria and denied his academic freedom.

The evidence also labels a lie Gonzalez’s department chair, Eli Rosenberg’s claim that “the decision had nothing to do with Gonzalez’s support of intelligent design” (Green, 2007, p. 15). Rosenberg himself said in Gonzalez’s tenure dossier that Gonzalez’s problem is “Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory” and the “fact that Dr. Gonzalez does not understand what constitutes both science and a scientific theory disqualifies him from serving as a science educator” (quoted in Green, 2007, p. 15). [ –> On this ID is not science assertion, cf the WAC’s at UD from here on, the discussion of the design inference filter here, and the discussion of the cosmoslogical case for design here on. Etc. etc. etc. What is really meant is that such do not go along with a priori materialism that has latterly been inapporpriately inserted into the definition of science and its methods, by ideologiues in lab coats. who should know better. KF]

 Bruce Harmon wrote that:

Under medication I decided to watch “The Privileged Planet” last night. [–> Cf here] Wow. Really glossy, professional filming, with a nice British accent to add authority. It saved the message until the last minute, when the argument became “all this neat stuff just could not happen by accident … there must be an intelligent designer; now we can rejoice that there is a meaning to everything.” I suspect that is how primitive humans explained things, and then rejoiced. It is a long way from science, although the package is disguised to copy a Disney approach to dispensing science to the public. Gonzalez is right up front, nearly holding hands with the Discovery Institute guru. This one could approach a  supernova during and particularly after the tenure meetings. I bet ISU even makes the international press (how many days?). Maybe we should help Eli gird his loins before he loses them. (E-mail dated July 20, 2004)

My response is 90 percent of Americans believe there is an intelligent designer, and it seems the only view Dr. Harmon will accept is dogmatic atheism. He later wrote that he knows full well what he and his peers are doing is illegal:

I was very pleased to see you, “produced the best letter to the editor on intelligent design.” It is a topic that is simmering in my blood …. I am uncertain of how best to react. He will be up for tenure next year, and if he keeps up, it might be a hard sell to the department (but maybe not so difficult for his lawyers, who will certainly be retained by the Discovery Institute) (E-mail dated September 23, 2005).

Unfortunately, despite patent cases like this, many objectors to design theory are in denial of the reality of undue censorship and expulsion of dissidents from the halls of science.

In that general context, I have drawn attention to a key historical case, where ordinary German people from towns near death camps at the end of the 2nd World War, were made to take forced tours of what had been going on next door, so that they could not ever after deny what they had been enabling.

Here is a revealing, famous picture of a woman from Wiemar on such a tour of shame, averting her eyes in shock and shame, at Buchenwald; near to that famous town from which the post WW I German republic overthrown by Hitler in 1933 had taken its name:

Here, too, is a newsreel at the time, the first to reveal the horror of the death camps beyond all doubt:

[youtube z-6tCERMLv4]

Enabling?

Yes, this is what the White Rose movement martyrs had to say to their nation — at the cost of their lives — about enabling by going along with evil, in the middle of the war:

WR, TRACT II: Since the conquest of Poland three hundred thousand Jews have been murdered in this country in the most bestial way . . . The German people slumber on in their dull, stupid sleep and encourage these fascist criminals . . . Each man wants to be exonerated of a guilt of this kind, each one continues on his way with the most placid, the calmest conscience. But he cannot be exonerated; he is guilty, guilty, guilty!

WR, TRACT IV: Every word that comes from Hitler’s mouth is a lie. When he says peace, he means war, and when he blasphemously uses the name of the Almighty, he means the power of evil, the fallen angel, Satan. His mouth is the foul-smelling maw of Hell, and his might is at bottom accursed. True, we must conduct a struggle against the National Socialist terrorist state with rational means; but whoever today still doubts the reality, the existence of demonic powers, has failed by a wide margin to understand the metaphysical background of this war.

(These tracts had been picked up by the Allies, and had been printed in large numbers and dropped all over Germany, from bombers.)

That’s extreme!

Yes.

So benumbed have we become to what is now going on, on so many fronts, that we need to be shocked into seeing — truly seeing — what we are doing.

What is that?

Enabling by going along.

Those who have indulged or gone along with blame the victim tactics in the teeth of the sort of cases documented above, and many more in something like the movie Expelled — whatever its defects, need to wake up:

[youtube V5EPymcWp-g]

And, they particularly need to recognise what going along with or making excuses for activists indulging in evil is: enabling.

This brings us to a live case, one implicating a commenter at TSZ, and unfortunately, the blog owner.

This is what I found myself having to respond to here at UD, day before yesterday, in reply to a wretched post by a certain OM there at TSZ:

On skimming recent remarks at TSZ, I note that any reasonably informed person who is unaware of the dogmatic imposition of ideological evolutionary materialism among the intelligentsia of our civilisation is willfully blind; which last attitude was precisely the indictment of the general German populace by the White Rose movement in pamphlets 2 and 4 — as I QUOTED (but of course, it was so much easier to set up a convenient strawman . . . ). And, any such distorter of the truth who imagines that “both the Nazis and KF think that homosexuals are immoral and/or deviants” should know that, post 1 Cor 6:9 – 11 — “9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[a] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[b] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” [cf. my remarks here on recovery from life dominating, addictive, destructive, sinful practices and habits through 12-step methods . . . ] — the notion that I or any serious Christian would be trying reimposition of OT covenantal laws as a part of some imagined right wing theocratic agenda, is more than sadly mistaken. Such a person also needs to ask himself why Hitler said the red in the Nazi party colour indicated its stance, and just what the National Socialist German Workers Party was about in terms of statist political messianism. (Hint: contrary to popular notions, Fascism is essentially an ideology of the LEFT, of state domination with a messianic political leader, cf. here. Political messianism — of any species — is essentially idolatrous and introduces a counterfeit messiah, so it is inherently and inescapably Anti-Christian, whether nominally left, right or centre. For those who need the truth, politically I am a convinced, principled small-d democrat and a practical monarchist as a citizen of the Commonwealth who views the Queen as a public relations asset to a tourist industry region. That is why it was great news for the Caribbean region when The Jamaica Regiment recently took its turn guarding our Queen at Buckingham Palace in London. News, world news, not advertising: priceless!) Instead, I hold the obvious — obvious to anyone not taken in by the vicious, toxic and manipulative games and amorality now running rampant across our civilisation, and in line with the longstanding consensus of principled thinkers on morality across the world down the long ages: such behaviour (YOU raised this, not me; cf here for a corrective briefing . . . ) is a blatant perversion of the obvious creation order for sexuality, marriage and family; but there are those who will become so endarkened and benumbed that they will put darkness for light, bitter for sweet and evil for good, and will indulge or enable or approve or demand approval. Such need to wake up and lay off the conscience benumbing indoctrination, come to their senses and repent. Thankfully, as noted, 1 Cor 6:9 – 11 speaks true and a 12-step approach offers hope to those caught up in The Spin Zone that now dominates our civilisation. And yes, having witnessed Russia send a delegation of apology to Jamaica c. 1990 [ten years after the mini civil war], I am confident that there will come a point where the willful blindness to the evil of our day will meet with a “tour of shame.” By then, it will be too late to undo the wrongs. And, it should be obvious that I am pointing out the censorship and expulsion tactics that are now so evident, at the hands of champions of the evo mat reigning orthodoxy; cf. case in point — Gonzalez — here. Calling me a Nazi by invidious association, for pointing out things like this — notice the documentation of what was done to Gonzalez in the case in point — Omagain, is shameful; and, allowing it to stand is shameful, Dr Little. Do you wonder why I see no reason to dive into such foetid waters?

Let’s roll the tape from TSZ, screen capture A:

And, B, a little lower in the same comment by OM:

 

Let me respond on points:

1 –> What we need to highlight first of all is the clever little well-poisoning twist by OM of what I did say, into something very different:

AF, 56, to BA77: [BA] asks:

And then why in blue blazes are you not up in arms about Darwinian gestapo tactics to silence dissent from their atheistic viewpoint?

[AF:] Don’t accept your premise, [BA]. If there were some ID science and it proved useful and correct, it would be embraced. What gets rejected is pseudo-science. And the issue was that ID proponents wanted to inveigle some of this pseudo-science into school science classes. That had nothing to do with freedom of expression and falls also into the category of false advertising (my version).

KF, 66: Forgive my doubts on your declarations, but on strong evidence from your own pen you have no credibility on such declarations. Just so, the “good” Germans were unaware of the Holocaust while it was going on, even when there were signs all around that something was amiss. And the White Rose movement were hunted down and kangaroo courted to get rid of them for the crime of exposing a snippet of what was going on in print. People by and large refused to believe what [t]hey had said, which was reproduced in Allied leaflets and dropped on Germany. Don’t put yourself in the place of the Germans who had to be marched through the camps in their neighbourhood after the defeat.

AF, 67: G: You are speaking in riddles. The White Rose was indeed a very small beacon of enlightenment in a dark time and place. The courage shown by those few is to be greatly admired. You’ll have to clue me on what you are driving at.

KF, 108: The light of grace, by which the members of the White Rose movement spoke in the teeth of willful blindness, numbness and intimidation, with words that were paid for in blood, Christian martyrs’ blood:

WR, Tract II: Since the conquest of Poland three hundred thousand Jews have been murdered in this country in the most bestial way . . . The German people slumber on in their dull, stupid sleep and encourage these fascist criminals . . . Each man wants to be exonerated of a guilt of this kind, each one continues on his way with the most placid, the calmest conscience. But he cannot be exonerated; he is guilty, guilty, guilty!

WR, Tract IV: Every word that comes from Hitler’s mouth is a lie. When he says peace, he means war, and when he blasphemously uses the name of the Almighty, he means the power of evil, the fallen angel, Satan. His mouth is the foul-smelling maw of Hell, and his might is at bottom accursed. True, we must conduct a struggle against the National Socialist terrorist state with rational means; but whoever today still doubts the reality, the existence of demonic powers, has failed by a wide margin to understand the metaphysical background of this war.

KF

PS: The echoes of our own day of putting darkness for light, bitter for sweet, evil for good, and of pretending that all is right, save those who complain oh so unjustly are all too sadly plain. [Cf. on the march-past that I alluded to above, here. Also note here and here.]

 

2 –>Notice, how the issue  in comment 66  in the TSZ thread — as Exhb A plainly shows, is that I spoke to how ordinary Germans were taken to the camp after the defeat of the Nazis, to see what they had been enabling. And that has patently been my concern, in the face of a pattern of censorship and expulsion sustained by widespread blame/scapegoat the victim tactics and associated enabling passivity. As is documented above.

3 –> Now, see what OM — commenting at TSZ — twists this into as captured above:

What KF is saying is that people like Alan Fox (AF) and the posters here are like the Nazi party, fully aware of the horror they are inflicting but who don’t particularly care, no doubt because of the lack of morals.

4 –> By right of fair comment, this is a willful case of speaking in disregard of duties of care to truth, hoping to profit by the false being seen as truth, and from the associated demonisation and well poisoning. In one word, a lie. (Cf. linked definition.)

5 –> Now, look at the propaganda tactic of the twisted about, false accusation OM then resorts to, here loaded with the slander that design thinkers are pursuing a right wing, Creationist theocratic totalitarian agenda, compounded by invidious association with Nazism on the notion that only a Nazi — how ignorant of history this is! — or fellow traveller could object to the notion that homosexual behaviour is a right rooted in unchangeable and essentially benign characteristics:

And at what point is it KF that you expect to march Alan around the camps? When your religious war is won and the immoral atheists defeated?

I’d go on but I’m afraid I may say some things that would not be compatible with the general purpose of the thread or indeed civility.

I would like to note however that both the Nazis and KF think that homosexuals are immoral and/or deviants. So draw your own conclusion as to who’ll be marching who round what camp if they get their way.

6 –> As has long been on record in the UD weak argument correctives [there is no excuse for such false accusation based smears at this stage . . . ] , (i) design theory is not to be conflated with Creationism, and (ii) it is not associated with right wing theocratic agendas. (NB: This last is a twist-about intended to distract from the well-rooted observation and warning that radical secularist and amoral, nihilist agendas and ruthless domineering factions and ideologies that have — as a plain and recurrent matter of history —  been repeatedly associated with the philosophy of evolutionary materialism, since the days of Plato, and within living memory have led to horrific results in totalitarian states.)

6b –> U/D, May 1: On the concerns on homosexualisation of marriage front — a bit off topic for UD but relevant to this particular smear tactic, I suggest that onlookers examine the current KF post here (and onward links), by way of right of reply to smears in the penumbra of hostile sites. The following ABC Australia audio clip presented as a YouTube video (the whole audio is here, warning on language) will serve to show to any fair minded onlooker that there are indeed serious and sobering questions of principle at stake, not just Nazi-like bigotry as the invidious comparison just above is maliciously intended to suggest:

[youtube n9M0xcs2Vw4]

7 –> It also bears noting on a matter of easily shown fact, that (iii) Nazism and fascism were/are LEFT wing ideologies, just not as far left as Marxism-Leninism, aka Communism.  (U/D: This curious historical fact is needed to correct a propagandistically convenient tendency to assume or assert Nazism to be a “right wing” phenomenon and then tag any perceived right wing opponent as a Nazi, of course, often with particular reference to Bible-believing Christians. So ill-informed is this tendency that in recent years, attempts to revive the Communist Party in Russia were viewed as “right wing” as that was “conservative.”)

8 –> The invidious association OM made of course intends to imply that only a Nazi could object to homosexualism. That itself speaks volumes on the demonisation of principled objection to homosexual behaviour as patently disordered and damaging to self and community. The intent of such tactics of guilt by improper association, is to use well-poisoning tactics to shut down reasonable discussion of a serious matter and its implications for the future of our civilisation.

9 –> Which, is exactly what I was complaining about on how design theory is being treated.

10 –> That is, the uncivil tactics we are complaining here of have a tendency to become habitual.As shown by concrete example provided by OM.

Now, the problem does not stop with OM.

Observe what follows:

[RTH:] One reason to make a stand is the though of a society being run by people like [KF — outing tactic used]. I’m sure it would a return to old testament laws, people being tried as witches, religious police, etc – the American Taliban.

That is an outrage, by unwarranted invidious association with a one sided litany of the usual cases miscast as representative of the Judaeo-Christian view and its overall effects on and contribution to our civilisation. [Notice, how my addressing of the sins of Christendom here on and my discussion of the important contribution of Christianity to the rise of modern liberty and democracy here in context were simply not brought up . . .  the caricature was too tempting.] The compounded well poisoning and — let’s use EL’s term: tribalistic — polarisation  then culminating in the utterly false projection that Christians are somehow equivalent to the Taliban.

The Taliban are not even representative of most Muslims!

This sort of misbehaviour is an outrage, and it is a capital example of the sort of bigotry, hostility and malicious stereotyping and abuse of the other supported by enabling behaviour that I have been warning against.

And so, OM, RTH and AF are hereby taken on a tour of what has been going on.

The hostile reaction tells us that they are reacting to something they know deep down is wrong, by pretending that “you’re another.”

Patently, not so.

But, I cannot stop here, there is something else, which harks back to a longstanding pattern with Dr Liddle that needs to again be pointed out and corrected.

For, shortly thereafter, we see the owner of TSZ continuing with business as usual and the pretence that liberty gives license to exercise bigotry, slander and enabling of abuses, as though nothing serious and wrong had happened just above in the thread from two of her commenters:

[EL:] . . . Well, I chose the name, and the strapline, so I’d better explain what I meant: I meant this site to be a place where people with radically different fundamental assumptions about the world could drill down to find the essence of where they really differ, with as little interference as possible from tribal adherence to their own priors. Difficult to do in practice, but a worthy ambition, I still think.

That is why I am reluctant to ban anyone from the site, and do not do so, unless they make the site unsafe for people’s computers (risk their browing history, expose them to malware). Comments that seem to overstep the boundary between disputation and tribalism and get moved to Guano (not deleted, not removed from public view).

So, what is done about a case of uncivil conduct and outing tactics just above?

Nothing.

Other than, apparently pretend it didn’t happen on her watch.

That speaks volumes, loudest volumes, on what is wrong with the blog, The Skeptical Zone.

With all due respect, by right of reply and on the doctrine of fair comment: it is time to do better, Dr Liddle. END