Saturday, March 11, 2006

Sanity makes an appearance

Leonard Pitts nails the moral hypocrisy of biblical literalists. And DarkSyde interviews Barbara Forrest, the woman whose decades-long debunking of creationism, intelligent design, and the "wedge strategy" of the Discovery Institute folks helped bring about last year's court victory in Dover, PA.

DarkSyde: So, is there even a theory of Intelligent Design?

Dr. Forrest: No. A scientific theory is a well-established scientific explanation of natural phenomena using abundant data acquired through rigorous scientific testing and research. ID proponents have produced absolutely nothing except a spate of books aimed at the popular audience. They have produced not one scintilla of scientific data because they have no scientific research program. ID is nothing more than a slightly repackaged extension of pre-Edwards creationism, advanced through the Discovery Institute's political connections, lucrative donor funding, Religious Right allies, and a slick public relations program. The Discovery Institute recently hired Creative Response Concepts, the same PR firm that represented Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Which is reminiscent of the larger Republican strategy for victory, no?

I was a bit surprised to find their analysis as compelling as I do, given that I'm no far left ideologue. But when you think things through and realize that the Selfish Right Wing spent more than 40 years after the 1964 Goldwater debacle building up its infrastructure, it becomes a lot clearer how the GOP can keep winning---not only elections but arguments.

Let me offer an example. If you wanted to prove the world was flat, and you sent some shill to MIT for five years to help him come up with a compelling, syllogistic theory as to why the world is flat and give him a PhD in WorldIsFlatology, and then put him in a televised debate against me, he'd probably win. But he'd still be flat out wrong.

That's about what has happened. The Left became complacent, and the Right, well-funded but shut out of power for most of the 20th century, was hungry.

The latter quote is from a review of Crashing the Gates, by the way. Highly recommended. (Read the reviews here but don't buy from Amazon if you can help it.)

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