Discovery Institute: Bunch of liars

Posted: August 7, 2007 in Atheism, Blogs worth reading, Evolution, Religion

For a long time, it has been regarded by many that proponents of Intelligent Design are at best ignorant and at worst actively seeking to deceive the general public.  The inability of such folk to understand the requirements for something to be a recognised scientific theory, the reliance on arguments that have been critically demolished and even massive defeats in courts of law.   One of the main websites seeking to promote Intelligent Design seems to have been caught out performing an act of dishonesty by another blogger; one ‘Dale Husband’ in his post ‘A fake evolution site’.

At a casual glance, ‘Evolution News and Views‘ is set up in an attempt to be an unbiased site reporting on events regarding the Scientific Field of Evolution Study.  However, it the charade soon becomes undone to anyone who takes a decent look at it.

For starters, the Discovery Institute is well known for gross misrepresentation of data and facts for some time now and therefore the inclusion of their name in the header images does nothing to encourage feelings of credibility.  The site also boasts an advertisement for a book by Michael Behe – a proponent of Intelligent Design whose own credibility is shockingly low, stemming from the his own statements where he claimed knowledge but had not actually read much material, his holding on to claims of ‘irreducable complexity’ when not one example has yet to be found and so on.  In short, the Dover trial at which his arguments and theories were more or less obliterated also did the same to any credibility he may have previously had.

But the real killer is when you look at the type of articles being produced at the Evolution News and Views website itself.  All such stories clearly possess varying degrees of bias, to the point of the rediculous. Dale Husband covers this area quite nicely in his blog already, no point repeating the same points here.

In short; the site, Discovery Institute and whoever made that laughably biased website are either ignorant, liars or deceivers depending solely on your perspective.

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Comments
  1. Dale Husband says:

    Thank you for this ringing endorsement of my own efforts! Science education has been one of my greatest concerns for most of my life, and I need all the help and support possible!

  2. Just as one should approach any discussion of religion with a certain amount of rational skepticism, so should one approach dogmatic atheism with the same sense of cautious skepticism. The fact that most religious fundamentalists are idiots does not prove that there is no such thing as a higher power, it simply proves that they’re idiots.

    I remain as suspicious of the radical atheist as I do of the radical fundamentalist. I suppose you could describe me as an agnostic in the truest sense of the word: I don’t KNOW, nor do I claim to know. I for one have no problem believing that this amazing, complex universe did not happen entirely by accident, but I will not make the mistake, as so many others do, of claiming that my belief is anything but a belief, and certainly does not rise to the level of a science.

    But atheism is itself nothing more than a belief. Any assertion to the contrary is to claim that one has discovered all there is to know about the universe, a logically indefensible claim. In that sense you and I are not all that different.

    -smith

  3. evanescent says:

    murderofravens said:

    But atheism is itself nothing more than a belief. Any assertion to the contrary is to claim that one has discovered all there is to know about the universe, a logically indefensible claim.

    I completely disagree. One doesn’t have to be omniscient to make certain claims about the universe.

    One doesn’t have to study every elephant in the world to disbelieve in a theory of flying elephants.

    Atheism is just lack of belief in a deity. That’s all. It is lack of belief, not belief. And there is no burden of proof on such a position.

    Of course, some atheists also actively deny the existence of certain gods (like I do) which incurs a burden of proof, but we are more than happy to meet this burden by showing that certain concepts of god are irrational and impossible.

    Total absolute knowledge is irrelevant. Inasmuch as we can use the word “know” in it’s every sense, we can say with honestly “I don’t know if there’s a god” or “I know this god cannot exist”, just as I can say “I know square circles don’t exist.”

  4. Evanescent, you may be surprised to learn that I sometimes have this argument in reverse with born-again Christian types and other religious fanatics. My premise is the same: you believe (which is fine) but you don’t KNOW. The reason this distinction is important is because while one is certainly entitled to one’s beliefs, one does NOT have a right to impose them on others. We’re not even sure God exists, and these people act like they’ve got his cell phone number. Arguing religion with a born again Christian can give one a massive headache. Yes, I do believe in God, but I’m perfectly comfortable with the idea that I may be wrong, so while I’m quite free about expressing my beliefs, I don’t insist that anyone buy into them.

    So my argument with you is not a religious one, but rather a logical one. There are some rather substantive flaws in your logic, which leaves you in the same position as the aforementioned born again Christian: you believe, but you do not KNOW. To wit:

    “I completely disagree. One doesn’t have to be omniscient to make
    certain claims about the universe. One doesn’t have to study every elephant in the world to disbelieve in a theory of flying elephants.”

    So your argument runs thusly: “I can disprove the existence of flying elephants. Therefore I do not have to disprove the existence of God in order to assert that he does not exist.” Hmmmm. Doesn’t quite hold up, does it? The reason it doesn’t hold up is because we humans know pretty much everything there is to know about elephants, and are therefore more or less qualified to make such a statement.

    On the other hand, we know next to nothing about the universe. Any scientist will tell you what we know is but a tiny fraction of all there is to know. So when you start making statements about the nature of the universe, and God’s possible place in it, you are on much shakier ground than when you’re discussing elephants. We know a lot about elephants. We know next to nothing about the universe, certainly not enough to be making blanket statements about it.

    By the way, there was no evidence of the existence of the coelacanth, either. It was believed (there’s that word again) to be extinct until they found one swimming around in 1938. As it turns out there’s quite a few of the little buggers out there.

    “Atheism is just lack of belief in a deity. That’s all. It is lack of belief,
    not belief. And there is no burden of proof on such a position.”

    Ahh, the old “I don’t have to prove a negative” argument. This doesn’t hold up very well, either. If you simply say “I don’t believe in God” and leave it at that, then I’m forced to agree with you, because as I freely admit, I can’t prove he does. But once you ASSERT that there is no God, once you claim this as a FACT, now there is indeed a burden of proof on you, because now you’re claiming that your belief (or lack of belief, if you insist) is not a belief at all, but a fact. And if you call it a fact, you have to prove it.

    “Of course, some atheists also actively deny the existence of certain
    gods (like I do) which incurs a burden of proof, but we are more than
    happy to meet this burden by showing that certain concepts of god are
    irrational and impossible.”

    There is certainly enough silliness to go around in organized religion. Most “gods”, including the petulant Jehovah of the Old Testatment, acted more like spoilt children than worshipful deities. But again you seem to be falling into an old trap here. Your argument seems to be that because you can blow holes in religious dogma you have somehow disproven the existence of God. All you’ve proven is that a lot of so called holy men were full of shit. But this in no way proves that God doesn’t exist.

    My argument is not with your religious beliefs (or lack thereof), but rather with your logic. Yes, I happen to believe in God, but I also acknowledge that my belief may be mistaken. I understand and accept the fact that my belief is just that, a belief, and nothing more.

    If you, on the other hand, believe that there is no God, obviously I will respect your belief. But you need to understand that, like me, you don’t KNOW. You simply believe it. And as such, your beliefs are as unprovable as those of any religious fanatic.

    In any event, why worry about it? One of us IS right. We just don’t know which one. Soon enough we will both know. In the meantime, enjoy life. And if it turns out that I do happen to be right, I’ll put in a good word for you. ;>)

    And as always, thank you for taking the time to read this.

    -smith

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