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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Location: Surreality, Have Fun Will Travel, Past Midnight before a Workday

Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Anti-Flapdoodle Superheroes Defeat the Wicked Wells

UPDATED: Taken from Chapter 15. “Wells’s screed certainly purports to be a subversive and revolutionary book that advocates “intelligent design” using freethinking arguments: the title is The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, the pages are peppered with callouts like “Books You’re Not Supposed to Read” and “Websites You’re Not Supposed to Visit”, and much verbiage is spent positioning “intelligent design” as this underdog, upstart idea that just needs a fighting chance and reasonable people willing to think forbidden thoughts to support it, thereby allowing “intelligent design” creationism to get a foothold and find its success over the inferior “Darwinism”.

“This book is not revolutionary. Wells is writing in a highly conservative fashion. Wells is not a freethinker. When Father Coyne put forward what he stated to be an inarticulate best effort to describe his feelings about God, feelings which were in keeping with the best available science but necessarily conflicted with Schöenborn’s anti-evolutionary position, Wells derided him as one who had “the arrogance to lecture a pope and a cardinal on Catholic doctrine”. Frankly, it is inconsistent of Wells to beg for open-minded thinking and posture as a revolutionary when it comes to “intelligent design” and turn right around and disagree with that person’s theology on the basis that the person was arrogant for disagreeing with a religious leader in the first place....

“Wells is not writing this book in isolation. When the creationists in Kansas tried to change the definition of science to allow in supernatural causation, only the naive would fail to recognize that those changes were at the behest of the Discovery Institute. The creationists who rejected the recommendations of experts, which includes the authors and contributers of this book, would have us return to a time where every earthquake and disease was a reason to fear God and science was practiced with no restrictions to testable claims—the Dark Ages."

“Setting aside Wells’s thinly veiled spin of “revolutionary thinking”, what is really going on is that the writer of this chapter—hard to believe it is Wells given his beliefs—takes deep issue with theologies that are not “traditional” and with any science that contradicts those preconclusions. Pseudo-Wells, in any other language, is highly conservative; he or she should have included a callout in the margins of a page in this chapter, “Thoughts You’re Not Supposed to Think” and put “Theistic Evolution” or “Any Thoughts About God, Bourne of Personal Experience with Science that Happened to Conflict With Religious Dogma, with Which I Disagree....

"At the beginning of my review, I mentioned that Catholics don’t allow Protestants to take communion. I close this chapter’s review with an important point to understand about fundamentalism. Depending on how sharply you define “Traditional Christianity”, one may exclude just about anyone. “Keeping Christianity traditional” could mean anything from shunning those who think that God used evolution as His tool to shunning those who think women should be allowed to have a leadership role in the church. But if we took this argument—pseudo-Wells’s argument—to its logical conclusion, we could conceivably roll back the clock to a time when a notion of “Traditional Christianity” included the belief that sickness was not caused by agents doctors can treat today but by demons. Pseudo-Wells, for all his pained traditionalism, might likely be considered as much of a heretic as Kenneth Miller by the “Traditional Christians” of that day, if he happened to take a Tylenol for a headache.”

Certainly writing such as this cures the headache I get from the current intelligent design hysteria. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Okay, I admit to having a split personality.

One minute I’m telling Dan, “Richard Dawkins is confused by creationism in America, but I’m not,” because I really did grow up around creationist attitudes. I debated my father about it, back when the Little Rock trial was prominent in the news.

But the next, I’ll read some re-eaten, re-regurgitated stomach-pie from Jonathan (“More hairballs to come”) Wells…

…and Charlie Brown here is screaming: “Augh! My stomach hurts! What the &*$#@*&? How the $^(&@ can anybody believe this %^$@)#? Where the %*@#$ does this %&*# come from!!! PZ, Tara, Sherm, Dawk, Eugenie, Ernst, Barb, SJ, Chris! Save us, save us!” [Lies down on pitcher mound.]

So I guess I really am confused by creationism in America. And scared and outraged by it, because I don't work in science, or regularly rub elbows with scientists, but with people who “don't believe that a dog can turn into a cat,” (yeah, well, neither do I!), people for whom I don't have instant answers.

But never fear, the Wicked Wells is no match for the folks at
Panda's Thumb.


Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Welcome to the blogroll :)

August 29, 2006 8:32 PM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

Congratulations on making the cut. I have not been asked yet. I guess I'm not topical or militant enough. I'm joking here. Sometimes I parody a whiner too well.

You have more intestinal fortitude than I. I cannot stomach this bilge long enough to read more than a few pages. It sounds to me like this ass clown was inspired by "Steal This Computer Book", or maybe some time share condo scam. "I'm not supposed to tell you this but...." Same old huckstering scam, different day. The day I walk in on two pocket watches making babies, I'll accept their arguments. I love the Charlie Brown reference. He is fast fading from the social consciousness.

August 30, 2006 7:35 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...


The day I walk in on two pocket watches making babies, I'll accept their arguments

Breakerslion, that's really funny! May I steal that?

I always wanted to be Linus, myself. None of the girls in "Peanuts" were characters that I could relate to. (Too mean!)

I'll probably continue blogging--about my homework--I wonder how many Library/Info Science blogs are out there. Maybe I can make it interesting.

I really can't stomach this creationist sludge either. Time share scam is a good analogy. Sometimes I think that I'm still arguing with my Dad, who is no longer with us.

August 30, 2006 8:59 PM  

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