Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ignorant, Liar, or Lunatic? Limbaugh gives Expelled a Thumb's Up

Sorry Rush fans, but there is no getting around this one. Rush Limbaugh is either an idiot, a liar, or a lunatic, for he has seen Expelled, and he obviously drank deeply of the Krazy Kool-Aid. One cannot make the kinds of “mistakes” he makes without having serious issues with reality. Of course, in classic Rush irony, his initial statement is actually true, but not for the reasons he thinks:

”The premise is that Darwinism has taken root, taken hold at every major intellectual institution around the world in Western Society, from Great Britain to the United States, you name it.

Right away we see the term of dishonesty, “Darwinism”, used instead of “evolution”, to poison the well and portray science as another form of religion. It would seem intellectual honesty is something that drains from everyone who gets involved with the Intelligent Design crew. Needless to say, yes, modern evolutionary theory does dominate the biological sciences all over the world. It’s recognized by scientists in varied cultures and religious settings. This is a characteristic of powerful scientific theories, and one would think a rational person would give such some credit. But instead, Limbaugh falls for the lazy conspiracy theories, and of course, the mischaracterizations of the proponents of science.

”Darwinism, of course, does not permit for the existence of a supreme being, a higher power, or a God.”

If ever there was a statement that reveals Limbaugh’s lack of professionalism as a journalist (and I realize I’m being kind), this is it. As I mentioned earlier, evolutionary theory is accepted by scientists all over the world, atheists and non-atheists alike. This is a fact that one can verify with a mere 5 minutes on google, and there is simply no excuse for Limbaugh not knowing it. One can also verify in 5 minutes on the net that the evolution=atheism canard is a favorite propaganda technique among anti-evolution cranks.

But Limbaugh doesn't stop there. Not only does he continue his ignorance of the basics, but he adds a little humor in his ability to completely miss the point and mistakenly think he's caught the scientists at something.

The condescension and the arrogance these people have, they will readily admit that Darwinism and evolution do not explain how life began.

How pathetic. Here is Limbaugh, complaining about someone's condescension and arrogance, while simultaneously illustrating his own. Darwinism AND evolution? I think it is high time any time someone uses the term "Darwinism", they be called on the carpet to explain EXACTLY what they mean by that. It seems to be a term they use in a Humpty Dumptyish way to mean what ever they need it to mean at the moment. It's a dishonest tactic that ought not go unchallenged.

Also, it is yet another basic fact Limbaugh is apparently ignorant of that yes, modern evolutionary theory does not cover how life began. That is a field called abiogensis, a related but different field than evolution because of the different nature of the problem. Limbaugh's comment is akin to criticizing those who study why dominoes fall in a row for not knowing what caused the first domino to fall.

And what kind of twisted logic leads Limbaugh to label someone condescending and arrogant for admitting not knowing the answer to some question. Does claiming to know something you don't strike Limbaugh as humble and noble? That would explain a lot. Or worse, is Limbagh falling for the black and white view that once one admits to ignorance in one area, one must pretend to ignorance in all? As is SOP for Limbaugh's crowd, they can't ever complete even the simplest premise, premise conclusion logical argument. Everything is half statements and insinuation.

Rush also apparently learned his lessons well from his new Intelligent Design friends. He's learned to quote mine:

One of these professors said it might have been that a hyper-
intelligence from another planet came here and started our race. This from some professor either in the UK, I forget where it was, but can't be God.

This was of course Richard Dawkins explaining that even if there was some sort of intelligent design in our DNA from aliens, we would still be left trying to explain where the aliens came from. It's the problem of the infinite regress, a problem obviously far too difficult for Limbaugh to deal with.

These people are so threatened by the existence of God, they will not permit intelligent design to be discussed.

I guess Rush missed the memo that ID people aren't supposed to mention the "G" word. Nonetheless, this is standard ID propaganda: conflating scientific research and science classroom behavior. No one is keeping ID from being discussed. There simply isn't anything scientifically to discuss! And until then, it will be rightly not permitted as part of a science curricula.

Professors have been fired, blackballed, and prevented from working who have deigned to try to combine the whole concept of evolution with intelligent design

And here Rush repeats the lies of the movie makers without bothering to check the facts. ID proponents have simply been kept from introducing pseudoscience as if it were science, the same as astrologers and phrenetics practitioners would be if they tried the same stunts. When and if IDers put together a coherent, testable scientific theory, complete with corroborating experimental data, then they will be admitted to the scientific table along with everyone else. They avoid the peer-reviewed scientific literature like the plague and instead publish their opinions in popular books. They want an exception from the rigorous scientific process, and they aren't going to get it. This is not persecution. This is the way science distinguishes between sense and nonsense. Rush could obviously use a primer on that, because he's been royally had.


ollie said...

Actually, I think that you are a bit off base here. True, your individual arguments are good (as usual) but your headline: "ignorant, liar or lunatic". I'd say in this case: "none of the above".

Basically, he, to paraphrase Al Franken, is a political/social pornographer. He tells losers what they want to hear and he makes a ton of money doing it.

ScienceAvenger said...

I hear you, but that just makes him a politically topical, capitalistically successful liar.

Anonymous said...

Lol Ollie, you are a dumbass. Good article Avenger, it's really unfortunate that Americans aren't more rigorously trained in scientific epistemology in our schools; it's the bedrock of intelligent, logical thinking, and I think it's very important to our country's future. I mean seriously how the fuck someone like Sarah Palin be a popular candidate?!?!? Only in America.