Ann Coulter and Creationist Demagoguery

Via the Commissar comes this annoying bit of news.

Though liberalism rejects the idea of God and reviles people of faith, it bears all the attributes of a religion itself. In Godless, Ann Coulter throws open the doors of the Church of Liberalism, showing us:

Its sacraments (abortion)

Its holy writ (Roe v. Wade)

Its martyrs (from Soviet spy Alger Hiss to cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal)

Its clergy (public school teachers)

Its churches (government schools, where prayer is prohibited but condoms are free)

Its doctrine of infallibility (as manifest in the “absolute moral authority” of spokesmen from Cindy Sheehan to Max Cleland)

And its cosmology (in which mankind is an inconsequential accident)

Then, of course, there’s the liberal creation myth: Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

For liberals, evolution is the touchstone that separates the enlightened from the benighted. But Coulter neatly refutes the charade that liberals are rationalists guided by the ideals of free inquiry and the scientific method. She exposes the essential truth about Darwinian evolution that liberals refuse to confront: it is bogus science.

Also an extended review can be found here that veifies my worst fears,

Writing with a keen appreciation for genuine science, Coulter reveals that the so-called “gaps” in the theory of evolution are all there is — Darwinism is nothing but a gap. After 150 years of dedicated searching into the fossil record, evolution’s proponents have failed utterly to substantiate its claims. And a long line of supposed evidence, from the infamous Piltdown Man to the “evolving” peppered moths of England, has been exposed as hoaxes. Still, liberals treat those who question evolution as religious heretics and prohibit students from hearing about real science when it contradicts Darwinism. And these are the people who say they want to keep faith out of the classroom?

Liberals’ absolute devotion to Darwinism, Coulter shows, has nothing to do with evolution’s scientific validity and everything to do with its refusal to admit the possibility of God as a guiding force. They will brook no challenges to the official religion.

For example, Piltdown Man. This actually shows that science works not that it doesn’t. Scientists actually came to the conclusion that Piltdown Man was a hoax and it was removed as evidence in favor of evolutionary theory. And as has been noted by myself as well as an army of others every scientific theory has gaps. According to the above logic they should all be rejected.

Like the Commissar, I’ve never really been a fan of Coulter’s. I have been, at times, mildly amused by her ability to send liberals into a frothing rage with her rhetoric. However, the idea that believing in evolutionary theory is a liberal belief is just stupid. Evolutionary theory and evolution itself are a scientific thoery and fact (respectively). This is like saying that the theory of gravity is really a commie plot. It is just stupid.

Now just to be clear, my view isn’t that believing in Creationism is what makes Coulter a moron. No, it is the use of Creationism in politics and the desire to politicize science. I find the latter in general to be contemptible. And Coulter’s stance appears to be 100% unadulterated anti-science. Yet, oddly enough this might be the one and only book by Coulter I buy and read. I’m morbidly fascinated by how dimwitted she can be on this topic.

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Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.

Comments

  1. Jamie says:

    Coulter is not known for subtlety, but she is making a similar argument to yours. You believe bringing creationism into a political discussion is bad. She believes bringing Darwin into politics is nad. I can’t disagree. Social Darwinism has justified slavery, eugenics, and genocide. That’s what she is upset about–that evolution turns men into just another animal.

  2. Steve Verdon says:

    Nice bit of conflation there Jamie. Social darwinism is not evolutionary theory. To deliberately conflate the too and then say we shouldn’t teach scientific theories and facts is…well scary.

  3. Christopher says:

    Way to go, Steve! You have proved evolution is a fact! Good job!

    Wait…really? You have proved it? Well, I guess if you did you did. Um, can you give us your proof? Just a minor technicality I now, and I hate to be a bother. I don’t want you to think that by asking I doubt you, but you know how it goes.

    Please provide the proof…

  4. mannning says:

    Well, Steve, the atheists I know almost to a man rely upon Darwin’s Theory to validate their belief system. Most Leftwingers I know are atheists or agnostics. It would seem that the underpinnings of the Left are atheism and Darwin, hence by definition they are bringing Darwin into politics when they rant. Even A. N. Whitehead admitted this.

  5. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Steve, so where is the link between modern man, and what ever came before? Mutations are usually in tiny steps. There should be a fossil record. After all, we are just talking about a few 10ks of years. Way to many holes in evolution to be taught as anything other than theory in school. I think you are a kind of pocket liberal anyway.

  6. Steve Verdon says:

    Christopher,

    Living organisms change overtime, it is an observed fact. Example, bacteria and resistance to anti-biotics. Bacteria that can eat nylon. Q.E.D.

    manning,

    I rely on Bayesian inference to validate many of my beliefs…is that sub-area of mathematics a religion also? People also use facts in their everyday life to verify their beliefs. For example, I’m using today’s gasoline prices to verify my belief that tomorrows gasoline prices will likely be about the same price. Should we simply call all information and data religion?

    Zelsdorf,

    Sure mutations and evolution progresses at a very slow rate. But primates have been around for millions of years. And there is a fossil record of hominids. And as noted primates have been around for millions of years not 10s of thousands.

    Also, everything taught in science classes are theories. Theories are the best explanation for the facts and the facts are that living organisms change over time and do so via mutations, natural selection, genetic drift, etc.

  7. mannning says:

    I suppose Operationalism is as good as any approach: tomorrow’s weather will be like today’s, unless it isn’t.

    Seems rather more like Chaos==>Mathematical Constructs==>Chaos Again. One merely has to stay in the Mathematical Membrane to be sane. Good luck!

  8. Roger says:

    Nicely stated, Steve.

  9. floyd says:

    “appears”only to the jaundiced eye, steve.

  10. RJN says:

    I was getting tired of Coulter. Today you have revived my respect for her. Well said Ann.

  11. cian says:

    Maybe I’m reading too many of the wrong kinds of blogs, but the America the rest of the world once looked to for guidance and hope is becoming an increasingly scary place. That someone like Coulter is considered a serious commentator, accepted and feted by those in power, is appalling, and not because her ideas are wrongheaded or foolish, but because they are so hate filled.

  12. Bithead says:

    Thank you, Steve, for proving that Evolution, too, like liberalism, is a religion. Your devotion to it, in this piece, which amounts to nothing more than the chanting of mantra, will not go unnoted.

  13. Steve Verdon says:

    Bithead,

    That was a pretty stupid thing to write. evolutionary theory is not any more religious than meteorology, chemistry, etc. Evolutionary theory has no adherents–that is many people who believe in evolutionary theory describe their religious beliefs as something other than evolutionary thoery (e.g., Hindu, Christian, etc.).

    If you call anything pursued with zeal and conscientious devotion then sure evolutionary thoery is a religion…but so is stamp collecting, video game playing, and just about any other hobby.

    Really, read the Creationist Claims FAQ before posting, it will make you look less uninformed.

    For example,

    Religions explain ultimate reality. Evolution stops with the development of life (it does not even include the origins of life).
    Religions describe the place and role of humans within ultimate reality. Evolution describes only our biological background relative to present and recent human environments.
    Religions almost always include reverence for and/or belief in a supernatural power or powers. Evolution does not.
    Religious ideas are highly static; they change primarily by splitting off new religions. Ideas in evolutionary biology change rapidly as new evidence is found.

  14. Bithead says:

    Not in the least was it stupid, Steve, and you’ve just proven my point.

    Explain to us, please how YOUR reaction to evolution being challanged, is in any way different from the reaction of anyone else’s religious beliefs being challanged. You can’t because there IS no difference.

  15. Steve Verdon says:

    Bithead,

    I don’t mind evolutionary theory being challenged, but ID isn’t it. ID is medival psuedo-scientific clap-trap. The fact that I find such psuedo-science objectionable is a damn weak argument. I take similar view to those opposed to market economies and favor command economies…I gues that makes market economies a religion.

    Like I said, it was a stupid thing to write Bithead.

  16. Dave says:

    I guess this is appropriate. Coulter seems to thrive on phrasing everything in terms of politics, religion, and moral indignation. The earth obviously does not move and is flat and the sun moves above it — only a liberal federal judge could believe otherwise. If the Bible says languages exist because of an ancient tower in Babel then just accept it as true. Don’t question. Don’t be a stinking liberal. If the Bible says God created the universe in six days just accept it as true. Don’t be a stinking liberal. If Noah saw two of every animal and he didn’t see any dinosaurs then dinosaurs didn’t exist, just accept it as a fact. Don’t be a stinking liberal.

  17. Bithead says:

    I wasn’t speaking of fact versus fiction, Steve. Indeed at the moment that doesn’t even enter into the conversation. I said nothing about the facts involved. What I pointed to was your reaction to the argument. It takes on every aspect imaginable of someone whose religious beliefs have just been challenged.

    And I’m willing to bet you still don’t understand what I’m driving at, though I suspect better than half the people reading this do.

  18. Steve Verdon says:

    Bithead,

    Evolution is a fact. It has been observed. Living organisms change over time at the genetic level. Things like sexual reproduction combine two different genetic codes to get a unique genetic code and that is one of the drivers of evolution. Evolutionary theory (the “just a theory”) is what combines all these observed facts about evolution and tries to make a coherent structure/view of what is taking place. ID on the other head wants to turn that concept on its head and say, “Some unknown designer, with unknown goals, in some unknown way, created some stuff.” That isn’t science it is junk.

    As for my reaction is stems from the above. Ignoring the facts, the scientific method, and also in no small part due to the dishonesty of the ID proponents (by and large) in supporting their anti-science views. Look, you seem to be a guy somewhat in favor of market economies. Lets try an analogy.

    Suppose we have the following, a person who argues:

    1. Command economies are efficient.
    2. Market economies are inefficient.
    3. He ignores all evidence contradicting 1 & 2.
    4. Concocts his own flawed theories to demonstrate 1 & 2.
    5. The flaws have been pointed out by a host of experts in fields related to the study of market economies.

    Would you consider the person in question is a bit of kook? Suppose further, this person is actually a group of people, who are well funded and having a fairly high profile impact on policy.

    Get the drift.

    Just wait, when nationalized health care rolls around again as a topic de jure I’ll be arguing precisely the same way I am now about ID. The only difference then will be you’ll agree with (my guess), and you wont be calling me some sort of religious fanatic then.

    In short, your bias, which you seem oblivious too, is showing very clearly. I favor sound science and that is all there is to it.