Home » Constitution, Courts, Education, Laws, Legal » (Culture War) The Final Rout of the Left Has Begun

(Culture War) The Final Rout of the Left Has Begun

South Dakota just passed a law making abortion a felony except in case of medical emergency. It’s now just a matter for the governor to sign it which everyone expects him to do. The law is designed to force the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade. The present Supreme Court is unlikely to hold up Roe v. Wade which is based on a made up out of whole cloth (mythical) constitutional guarantee of privacy. It will become again a matter for states to decide for themselves. This is as it should be. A bunch of politicians or judges in Washington have no business defining the moral standards that the good and free people of South Dakota or any other state must live with. Legislated moral values not explicitely enumerated in the constitution are simply something the federal government has no business dictating to the states.

This is the eventual path that ID in public schools will take – each state will decide for itself. I almost feel sorry for the vocal minority that refuses to allow a school board to insist that students be informed that evolution is a theory, not a fact, and as such should be carefully studied and critically considered. In so doing they’ve allowed us to frame them as atheist zealots out to censor any interpretation of empirical data that doesn’t conform to an atheist worldview. Framed in that manner a vast majority is alienated. Now they’re discovering to their elitist academic intellectual chagrin that they live in a democracy. The NCSE’s desperate push to recruit churches onto their side is a real knee slapper as Pim Van Meurs’ headline shrieks US Scientists enlist clergy in evolution battle. That’s just SO hilarious. :-)

In the culture wars, there’s no doubt that NeoDarwinian evolution is a rallying point for the liberal left and ID is a rallying point with the conservative right. It’s also amusing that Panda’s Thumb author Reed Cartwright announced PT’s nomination for best community award without mentioning in the headline it’s the Koufax Award which only goes to websites promoting “progressive politics” which of course is code for the politics of the liberal left. It’s named the Koufax Award after Sandy Koufax the famous LEFT-handed baseball pitcher. Is Reed trying to make the nomination out to be more than it is or is he trying to bury the fact that NeoDarwinian evolution is a rallying point for the leftists?

As I’ve been saying on blogs for over a year now, the only thing propping up the NeoDarwinian fairy tale today is judicial fiat and that last leg is about to be kicked out from under it. ID will be presented alongside RM+NS and the two will have to compete in the open on a level playing field for the hearts and minds of a new generation. All of us here I think are quite comfortable letting ID and RM+NS compete on a level playing field. That’s because we understand that ID is a strong idea able to compete and win. The NeoDarwinian dogmatists also understand that ID is a strong idea able to compete and win which is why they desperately oppose even mentioning its name to a student. I sometimes wonder if they realize how transparent they are.

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35 Responses to (Culture War) The Final Rout of the Left Has Begun

  1. “The present Supreme Court is unlikely to hold up Roe v. Wade which is based on a made up out of whole cloth (mythical) constitutional guarantee of privacy. It will become again a matter for states to decide for themselves.”

    This is simply not true. Roe was firmly 6-3 before O’Connor and Rehnquist left, which only changes one vote if both Roberts and Alito vote to undermine Roe. As all the legal commentators, left and right, recognize, Roe is not currently in danger (unfortunately). It’s 5-4 for Roe. What is in danger is Stenberg and Partial Birth Abortion, which Justice Kennedy will vote to cut back on (as he did in Stenberg).

    Your point still stands about states being able to decide for themselves should Roe be overturned, but it’s just not going to be overturned until there are additional changes in the Justices.

    You’re about 20 years out of date. Roe v. Wade was last reconsidered by SCOTUS in 1992 in Planned Parenthood v. Casey where it was upheld by a 5-4 decision and came within a hair’s breadth of being overtuned as Justice Kennedy changed his vote at the last possible instant. If it’s reconsidered by the Roberts court it will likely be overturned by a 5-4 vote as O’Connor’s vote to uphold will be replaced by Alito’s vote to overturn. Hasta la vista, Roe. -ds

  2. Darwinists are constantly lamenting the fact that the vast majority of people don’t buy their unguided, unplanned, purely materialistic narrative about the origin of life and its historical development. They often claim that they must not have made their case well enough, and that America’s students just aren’t well enough educated about Darwinism.

    They have made their case as well as it can be made, and people still don’t buy it, not because they are not well enough educated, but because they have more sense than they are given credit for.

    Darwinists have had a complete monopoly in public education for more than half a century, and they haven’t changed very many minds. They fear ID with a passion, and for obvious reasons — they know they will lose on that level playing field.

  3. “They have made their case as well as it can be made, and people still don’t buy it”

    Even more so, they have made their case without giving these people access to other ideas, while leaving out all of the tough stuff. Usually, when only one side gets to present an argument, and they know they can do so without a retort from the other side, it is pretty clear which one wins. But in this case, even without having the opposing view taught, they are still losing.

    I think I’ve asked this before — what is it that happens to people in academia that causes them to lose all ability to think rationally?

  4. “As I’ve been saying on blogs for over a year now, the only thing propping up the NeoDarwinian fairy tale today is judicial fiat and that last leg is about to be kicked out from under it.”

    I’m sorry – are you seriously suggesting that the only reason the vaaaaaaaaaaaaaast majority of scientists are quite happy with the theory of evolution as the best current explnation of the diversity of life is because judges told them they had to believe that? Even if ID was miraculously (no pun intended) allowed into schools (by a judge, court, whatever), do you really, honestly think that scientists would suddenly drop what they’re doing and approach science completely differently?

    Excuse me if I am incorrect, but my undertsanding was that the Scopes trial and the Dover trial were the two major court cases dealing with evolution in the classroom in the last century. Since Dover only happened a few months ago, was the Scopes trial the one that “NeoDarwinian fairy tales” were propped up on?

    Scientists are a tiny part of the population. They have failed miserably to convince a significant number of people that the NeoDarwinian story is true. The only thing left propping it up is that it enjoys legally enforced exclusivity in public schools. Judicial fiat is the only thing maintaining its exclusivity. If you think it’s so robust why not let it be taught? Surely no one will believe anything else. What are you so afraid of? -ds

  5. But its okay for the states to legislate moral values? Making abortion legal is not legislating moral values but making it illegal is. I for one hate the idea of abortion and consider it a black and white issue the vast majority of the time. That said I do not think it right to impose my morals on others. Obviously the issue turns on your conception of the sanctity of human life and just when that life is “human.”

    Most laws are the imposition of someone’s morals on themselves and others. That’s life. Get used to it. -ds

  6. Had Dave not mentioned Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, I would have come out with it, but you already touched on it. Still, I’m not entirely certain that court will overturn Roe. Note that it would probably be the most radical change since Brown v. Board of Ed overturned Plessy v. Ferguson (in terms of impact). Despite what some think, justices do consider the ramifications for American society when they make their decisions.

    That said, I did wonder about one thing you wrote.

    “A bunch of politicians or judges in Washington have no business defining the moral standards that the good and free people of South Dakota or any other state must live with.”

    But you think that it’s okay for state-level politicians to do the same thing? I think I need clarification on that.

    Lastly, I know that some are of the opinion that if the court were to overturn Roe, it could trigger a liberal uprising (not rioting, I mean a swell of support for the left). Do you have a prediction on that?

    I have a lot less of a problem with states writing their own laws. If people don’t like the laws in their state they can easily move to another state. If you don’t like federal laws it’s not so easy moving to another country. Just ask Alex Baldwin. The constitution reserves all powers not explicitely granted to the federal gov’t to the states and the people. This is almost non-existent today with the federal gov’t forcing the states into all kinds of things. They do this primarily in one of two ways: 1) usurious federal income tax rate snatches a significant portion of the income of state residents then the feds offer it back to the states with strings attached. This is how, for instance, a nationwide 55mph speed limit was done in the past. The feds offered the states money for highways but only if the state had a 55mph speed limit. Of course the money they offered was involuntarily taken from the residents of the states in the first place. 2) anything ostensibly effecting interstate commerce can be controlled by the feds. An example of how this is abused is having a gun within 1000 feet of a school somehow effects interstate commerce. Don’t ask me how, I’ve forgotten what rationalization was used. On the liberal uprising – you mean they didn’t already rise up? I could’ve sworn they did and not it’s the right that’s rising up in response. -ds

  7. While we’re on this topic, let’s remember that prediction is hard, especially about the future…

    “Judge John E. Jones on the other hand is a good old boy brought up through the conservative ranks. He was state attorney for D.A.R.E, an Assistant Scout Master with extensively involved with local and national Boy Scouts of America, political buddy of Governor Tom Ridge (who in turn is deep in George W. Bush’s circle of power), and finally was appointed by GW hisself. Senator Rick Santorum is a Pennsylvanian in the same circles (author of the “Santorum Language” that encourages schools to teach the controversy) and last but far from least, George W. Bush hisself drove a stake in the ground saying teach the controversy. Unless Judge Jones wants to cut his career off at the knees he isn’t going to rule against the wishes of his political allies. Of course the ACLU will appeal. This won’t be over until it gets to the Supreme Court. But now we own that too.”

    DaveScot, Sept. 30, 2005

    Unless Judge Jones wants to cut his career off at the knees he isn’t going to rule against the wishes of his political allies.

    Judge Jones hasn’t been promoted. If he is I’ll be wrong. Until then I’m not. The defense rests. -ds

  8. This gave me an interesting idea. If a bunch of states ban abortion and a bunch of states allow abortion, we could get some interesting data and the American people can make a more informed decision about abortion. Will crime rates climb in states that ban abortion or will the respect for life lower crime? Will social services buckle under the increase in population, or will economies swell with greater manpower? Will the health of women really fall (as some seek out back-alley abortions)? I don’t think we should overturn RvW till we get a few years of A/B data to look at. But maybe half (the conservative half, obviously) of the states could follow South Dakota’s lead.

    Collecting data from a pile of dead humans is a helluva thing to do. You wouldn’t be an atheist would you? We can start collecting some data on what percentage of atheists think killing a healthy unborn child in a callous inhuman manner should be a personal choice. I’d bet abortion on demand is rather popular among atheists. Want to bet? -ds

  9. MattDean: “Not to sound insulting, but have you ever heard of the 14th Amendment?”

    Oh, I’ve heard about it. I think it’s time to repeal it. It’s useful is no longer needed to address its intent (stopping Reconstructionist states from discriminating against freed slaves), and has been the source of untold judicial excesses over the last 30-40 years. The way it is currently interpreted, we are very far removed from being a ‘federal republic’, and much more closer to being a simple democratic ‘state’ (forget the 50 states; it’s only 1 state–the federal government).

  10. It’s this kind of partisan political argument that undermines–or at least weakens–the position of ID. On the one hand, we’re told repeatedly that it’s all about the science. But then we read here that what it’s all about is the “culture wars,” the rights of the “good and free people of South Dakota” to not be dictated to by the federal government, and the hope that eventually Roe v Wade will be overturned. (Never mind that if that happens, the entity that will do the overturning is itself an arm of the federal government…)

    Dr Dembski is without a doubt one of the top ten nationally known advocates of ID. If the views expressed in this post represent his views (and after all, it’s his name and image in the header, not DaveScott’s), maybe there’s some validity to the critique of ID that it is merely a politically-inspired “wedge movement” after all.

    Say it isn’t so…

  11. SteveB: “Say it isn’t so…”

    I would hope you’re able to distinguish arguments for the 14th amendment from those of ID. Dave Scott’s point is in reference to the Dover decision and to what’s now going in, I believe, Wisconsin. Tell me, Steve, does it not strike you as a bit bizarre that a clash between scientific hypotheses is being protected by state governments, which is taking a ‘side’ in the case?

    Why don’t you ‘google’ “The Velikovsky Affair” to see what depths the scientific community will descend to protect its materialism. You’ll then see that it’s the “wedge strategy” versus the “sledgehammer strategy”.

  12. PaV: Are you saying you are a follower of Velikovsky? Trust me… that isn’t a tree you want to be barking up.

  13. I think it is important to point out in this regard (in response to SteveB’s post) that the scientific argument for ID stands (or falls) completely independently of the views, goals, or intentions of its proponents. This has been extensively addressed by Dembski and others. Darwinian views of evolution aren’t incorrect because the atheists who support orthodoxy are atheists. They are weakening because there are serious objective gaps in the theory’s explanatory power. If you spend any meaningful amount of time reading this blog, and the extensive discussions and disagreements which occur over more philosophical aspects of ID, you should be quickly disabused of the notion that it is some kind of conspiracy of the conservative christian right. There are serious dividing issues at the philosophical level, and as one contributor put it ‘the real foodfight begins after Darwinism falls’ (not an exact quote, sorry) But the idea is overwhelmingly true: even if supporters of ID overwhelmingly agree that the evidence of nature speaks strongly of intelligent design which is objectively detectable, there is where the agreement ends!

  14. PaV:
    “I would hope you’re able to distinguish arguments for the 14th amendment from those of ID.”

    Indeed I can. It would seem, however, that Mr Scot cannot.

    “Dave Scott’s point is in reference to the Dover decision and to what’s now going in, I believe, Wisconsin.”

    That’s a generous inference at best. His post said nothing about either Dover or Wisconsin.

    In the end, the standard-issue right wing issues that he refers to (abortion, states’ rights…) have nothing at all to do with ID as science . Nothing at all.

  15. I’m a bit frustrated with this. I’ve had doubts about Darwinism for 20 years or so. I’m also someone who tends to be a bit left-wing. My Christianity is esoteric and I distrust the whole right-wing desire to interfere with people’s sex lives while empowering corporations to mess with absolutely anything for profit.

    So I can only be interested in dissent from Darwinism if I’m right wing? Is there a political/religious screen in place for all those scientists who’ve signed the Discovery Institute dissent statement? If not, why not?

    Personally, I don’t see a direct connection between scientific questions and political questions and strongly distrust anyone who does see such a connection.

    Deborah

    It’s a simple observation that ID is a rallying point for the conservative right and NeoDarwinian evolution is a rallying point for the liberal left. Is it a requirement? Of course not. But it’s still a truism. It would be nice if we were never judged by the company we keep but in real life we are and denying it doesn’t make it go away. -ds

  16. SteveB:
    DaveScott’s post sure seems logical to me. A supreme court that overturns RvW would also likely fall to the right of center on the next big issue in the current culture war: truth in advertising by the scientific community. This is a supreme court that would not allow protection of science under the first amendment: that sience should stand on its own objective truth and not need to be shielded from scrutiny as the ACLU and Darwinian Activist Army would have. Let the ID v RM+NS debate happen in the laboratories and classrooms all across this great nation. Let the strengths and weaknesses of both be explored and analyzed and considered ad-nausea until their proper positions in the world of knowledge are found. This supreme court is likely to agree that, as DS says “the only thing propping up the NeoDarwinian fairy tale today is judicial fiat..”. As science, Darwinian evolution by RN and NS does not qualify for protection by the force of law. Equally important, as religion, Darwinism cannot be sponsored by force of law. Nor should ID, for that matter. But DS’s main point (seems to me) that the supreme court is likely to level the scientific playing field is right on.

  17. “A supreme court that overturns RvW would also likely fall to the right of center on the next big issue in the current culture war…”

    That’s what SteveB was getting at: “On the one hand, we’re told repeatedly that it’s all about the science. But then we read here that what it’s all about is the “culture wars,” the rights of the “good and free people of South Dakota” to not be dictated to by the federal government, and the hope that eventually Roe v Wade will be overturned.”

    He’s saying that DaveScot is polluting the ID scientific message by bringing up the whole “culture war” aspect.

    I might remind everyone that it wasn’t our side that dragged ID into a courtroom. -ds

  18. johnnyb wrote: I think I’ve asked this before — what is it that happens to people in academia that causes them to lose all ability to think rationally?

    Abstraction

  19. Okay, I just realized this. Tell me why the vote would not go by the following pattern:

    Uphold Roe: Souter, Stevens, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer
    Overturn Roe: Thomas, Scalia, Alito, Roberts

    Because Kennedy initially voted to overturn Roe in 1992 and was talked out of it in the eleventh hour by O’Connor. People tend to become more conservative as they get older and O’Connor is no longer part of the equation. Souter too was rumored to have been persuaded by O’Connor. So we basically have four votes to overturn, three to uphold, and two wildcards. Moreover, Stevens is 86, Bush has 3 years left in office, and it will probably be 2 more years before this case makes it through SCOTUS. The odds aren’t looking very good. -ds

  20. Why don’t you ‘google’ “The Velikovsky Affair” to see what depths the scientific community will descend to protect its materialism.

    I know this is off-topic, but do you think Velikovsky could be adopted by the ID Movement?

    I don’t know a whole lot about his theory, but I gather that he had a hypothesis that involved planets careening around like billiard balls, disgorging rains of manna (carbohydrates) or plagues of frogs, pretty much the way things were described in the book of Exodus.

    Velikovsky’s theory struck me as unlikely, but if there were some sort of Intelligent Orbital Mechanic, then the whole thing could have been planned in advance. And it’s reasonable to assume that this is the same as the Intelligent Designer.

    So evidence for Velikovsky could be used as evidence for ID.

    I’m *really* looking forward to seeing a front-page article on Velikovsky so we can discuss this more fully!

    I think you should go discuss it on a different blog. Along with anything else you want to discuss. -ds

  21. “johnnyb wrote: I think I’ve asked this before — what is it that happens to people in academia that causes them to lose all ability to think rationally?”

    My guess is “in-breeding” and the insularity of the academy. Applicants who hold non-politically correct, or otherwise unorthodox views are probably screened out of universities or choose to avoid such positions. Professors spend most of their time presenting their views to students—who by definition are unlikely to challenge their teachers. Surrounding oneself with like-minded peers and unquestioning underlings is an effective way to shield one’s dumb ideas from criticism.

  22. johnnyb: The president of Harvard University just got run off the property for stating what millions of ordinary people have figured out from simply getting married, having kids, or having opposite-sex siblings: “Men’s and women’s brains seem to work differently”. The professors all agreed this was false because there is no diversity of ideas at Harvard.

  23. The remnants are the left are tumbling down even as doomsayers are proclaiming an ever-advancing secular, “progressive” society.

  24. Re: DS at comment #18

    I might remind you that it WAS the DI that advocated “the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies.” (“Wedge” document)

    You can make your future reminders at After The Bar Closes. I think you fit in better there. -ds

  25. Sparrowhawk says: “He’s saying that DaveScot is polluting the ID scientific message by bringing up the whole “culture war” aspect. ”

    On the contrary, DS is saying that the science of ID (there is no “scientific message” of ID) isn’t being allowed scientific consideration because of political and judicial edict. Somebody here’s missed the boat, and it isn’t DaveScott.

  26. Sparrowhawk: “PaV: Are you saying you are a follower of Velikovsky? Trust me… that isn’t a tree you want to be barking up.”

    What did I write that made you think that? It’s one thing to subscribe to his theories–which are quite fascinating, you must say–and another to find rather despicable the way in which the scientific community treated him. It was a real eye-opener to see what the ‘scientific community’ is capable of. Very heavy-handed.

  27. Most laws are the imposition of someone’s morals on themselves and others. That’s life. Get used to it. -ds

    Legal abortion is imposed on those who can’t morally allow it. Affirmative Action is imposed on more qualified candidates who get passed over for less qualified candidates, Taxes are imposed on unwilling Taxpayers to fund PBS of all things. Building Codes are imposed on developers. THere are two sides to that issue. Dave is absolutely right here.

  28. No matter how you feel about abortion, Roe v. Wade is bad legal thinking. Fetuses have different rights in each trimester. If the human gestation period was a prime number, how would have Blackman changed his decision?

  29. Someday someone will stand up for the reproduction rights of men.

    IOW somewhere a woman will get pregnant and want an abortion. But the man will not.

    As for ID, the following sums it up rather nicely:

    Considering the alternative to ID is multiple atomic accidents, coupled with multiple chance collisions, coupled with multiple lucky events, all wrapped up in multiple universes, who in their right mind would say that ID isn’t scientific?

  30. DaveScot said: “All of us here I think are quite comfortable letting ID and RM+NS compete on a level playing field. That’s because we understand that ID is a strong idea able to compete and win.”

    But of course. However, ID proponents are at present unable to get the playing field leveled, mainly because of prevalent culture, not so much, within society in general but because of culture in scientific establishments. PaV, rightly pointed out the case of “The Velikovsy’s Afair”. It is clear that the tactics used to enhance power within the scientific establishment include bringing in power from the outside. The most obvious external networks activated in the recent cases were the economic and the political.

    Very insightful article by Alfred de Grazia is titled “THE SCIENTIFIC RECEPTION SYSTEM”. Mirror of how ID is treated today. Note that Velikovsky’s theory is not an issue here.

    http://www.quantavolution.org/.....air_06.htm

  31. DS

    I want Roe to be challenged and overturned, but I don’t think now is the time to challenge it, because I am not confident that we have the votes. Counting on Kennedy to vote to overturn Roe is quite a gamble, and if the gamble doesn’t go in our favor we’ll be in worse legal position than we are now because Roe will have been directly reaffirmed twice, setting a “super” precedent. A legal defeat now could set us back years in the legal landscape.

    Personally I don’t think Kennedy would vote to overturn Roe for two obvious reasons. First, he is fairly liberal in his constitutional philosophy, and Roe rests on that sort of an approach to constitutional interpretation. Secondly, and most importantly, he has already voted to uphold Roe in the past, even if the decision was at the last minute. So even if he wants to overturn Roe now, he is fighting against two precedents: Roe, and his own vote in Casey. Not only does he have the negative pressure of casting a vote to overturn a well-established precedent that millions of women have come to rely on, but he also has the pressure of admitting that his past ruling was mistaken. I think those two hurdles combined are too much for him to overcome, even if he thinks Roe should be overturned (and that is only speculation itself).

    jasondulle

    Good points. -ds

  32. Just a sidenote, but listening to ABC news in the car last night, the Gov. of S. Dak. is indicating he’ll probably sign this bill.

  33. DaveScot:
    You say because scientists are a tiny part of the population we can ignore what they say about evolution? Car mechanics are a tiny part of the population too, and so are priests, but I have never heard anyone claim that this is a reason to distrust their judgment.

    That’s not what I said. Here is what I said and if you want to continue commenting here you will not try to put words in my mouth again causing me to waste time correcting them again.

    Scientists are a tiny part of the population. They have failed miserably to convince a significant number of people that the NeoDarwinian story is true.

    If car mechanics make claims that a vast number of people reject then there is cause to distrust them too. I’m not aware of any such claims by mechanics. Are you aware of any? If not then your point is without merit and mine stands.

  34. Come to think of it, biologists appear to be in the only major profession that has failed to convince the majority of the public that they’re right. I don’t see many gravity deniers around.

  35. 35

    Just to correct your erroneous correction to the first comment, Casey came down 5-4, but Justice White was on the court in dissent. He has since been replaced by Justice Ginsburg, who would shift that Casey outcome to 6-3. Roberts replacing Rehnquist keeps the holding 6-3. Alito replacing O’Connor shifts the outcome to 5-4. Otherwise, I entirely agree with the comments above that neither Kennedy, nor especially Souter, will be swayed to overturn Roe, particularly since Casey stands in the way.

    Be that as it may, Stevens is 86 and Bush has 3 years left in office. Do the math. -ds

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