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Intelligent design and popular culture: Chucking Johnson?

A friend sends me this item from Urban Dictionary:

Chuck Johnson

Verb: related to Godwin’s law and Godwinism’s. To ‘Chuck Johnson’s’ is to label a person, group or philosophy with the reductio ad Hitlerum* tag as means to close down debate.

Chuck: transitive verb, meaning to a: toss , throw, Noun: Short for Charles

Johnson: refers to the owner of the news aggregating, formally conservative, anti jihad site and now anti-creationism pro Darwin website Little Green Footballs. Which has become synonymous with personality cults, blogtatorship and calling previous colleagues and acquaintances of long and respected standing fascists, Nazis, Racists or ID’er (derogatory term for a belief in creationism. For simply having web links or opinions on their own personal web pages which he/CJ disapproves of.

I must confess, I don’t really understand little green footballs at all.

I did not start covering the intelligent design controversy because I was especially right wing, had a hidden agenda, or was in anyone’s pay, but because the legacy mainstream media was doing such a lousy job that any well-informed freelancer with a blog could do better.

I do, however, remember the weird moment when “Chuck” (?) decided that the scientists who think that the universe shows evidence of design were somehow allied with Islamic fascists. I commented on that here.

The reality is quite otherwise. Muslims who want to grow in their faith while divorcing the politics of extremism are attracted to intelligent design precisely because it demonstrates that the universe is both God-guided and rational. However, that is entirely independent of conspirazoid claims about the Discovery Institute in Seattle.

A Muslim friend reminds me, at times, that traditional Muslim families in his neighbourhood love “Little House on the Prairie” reruns, but do not admire “Sex in the City.”  Well, I share their tastes. And anyone who wants to make a conspiracy out of that can go right ahead.

By the way, if you want to know what’s going on in Canada’s political culture, your first stop should be Deborah Gyapong’s blog. Gyapong, a reporter at the Parliamentary Press Gallery, knows the score.

[*reduction ad Hitlerum = Tell the world that your opponent in some discussion would have endorsed Hitler and the Holocaust. It is an excellent way to seriously complicate and throw confusion into a discussion about, say, which firm should get the contract for fixing potholes on paved highways, come spring, or whether a doofus dressed up as an erect penis should be lecturing about sex at a girls' high school. People used to say "He's the Devil's man!" Now they say "He's Hitler's man!" It amounts to the same thing, really. It is not, in itself, an argument.]

Also at the Post-Darwinist:

Science and popular culture: Guy pays for recommending vitamin D, finds new job

Eugenics in Canada: Forthcoming book by journalist historian

Intellectual Freedom in Canada: Fire. Them. All. News Roundup (Thanks to all who have discouraged me from apologizing for the fact that I love my country, which is why I started the Fire. Them. All. News Service, to help restore civil rights in Canada. Which we will.)

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7 Responses to Intelligent design and popular culture: Chucking Johnson?

  1. Now they say “He’s Hitler’s man!” It amounts to the same thing, really. It is not, in itself, an argument.

    Paging Walt Ruloff. Walt Ruloff to the white courtesy phone, please.

  2. Charles Johnson became famous when he exposed the fraud that Dan Rather did on his TV show concerning the Texas Air National Guard duty of George W. Bush. Rather said he had documents that pointed to Bush neglecting his TANG duties and they were shown to be forgeries primarily by Johnson and the Powerlineblog people. Charles Johnson showed how the type on the Rather documents were a recent font and not available in the early 1970′s.

    A lot of conservatives or libertarians are anti ID because they associate it with creationism or junk science. They fail to discern the difference, and any attempt to do so with them get shouted down or mainly just ignored. The only way they would actually learn what is so is for them to read about the difference and they would probably say they do not have the time. They will not listen to anyone because they believe anyone who defends it is a kook.

  3. Well, that is certainly a help. But more to me than to them.

  4. A lot of conservatives think the conservative cause or the libertarian cause is undermined by the pseudoscience of creation science since they tend to support conservative political causes. This was evident as Democrats tried to paste pseudo science on the Republicans. So there is a knee jerk reaction of a lot of conservatives and libertarians to ID which is identified with creationism.

    I would be interested where that urban dictionary definition came from. It sounds like a liberal attempt to get at Charles Johnson.

    Glen Reynolds of Instapundit is another person highly critical of ID because he also conflates it with creationism and he believes Darwinian evolution. Though I doubt if either he or Charles Johnson know the nuances of the differences of just what ID believes or understands the problems with Darwinian macro evolution. If asked they would both probably cite micro evolution for their belief.

    A person who Glen Reynolds respects a lot is Jerry Pournelle who is one of the more interesting characters on the planet. Here is a description of Pournelle’s ideas from Wikipedia

    “Pournelle has expressed support for several viewpoints that differ from the general scientific consensus. These include skepticism on a significant human contribution to global warming and on evolution, and he has advocated research to directly investigate Peter Duesberg’s controversial views on the cause of AIDS. He emphasizes that in some cases, particularly when the effects of wrong decisions could be disastrous, contrarian research by competent researchers is valuable as insurance.

    Although claiming not to be a proponent of Intelligent design, he argues (in opposition to many critics) that it can generate falsifiable hypotheses that contribute to the understanding of evolution. He regards proposals to teach Intelligent Design in public schools as less damaging to education than the expert-dominated, centralized educational systems he sees as a prerequisite for banning such proposals.”

  5. Jerry, I quite agree with Pournelle on one point: the biggest danger today is the epidemic of false knowledge – the things we know that ain’t so.

    Like: “Self-esteem drives achievement.” Remember that one? Remember “self-esteem courses”? A huge waste of public time and money.

    Lots of criminals in jail are jam-packed with self-esteem – as cocky as a rooster with fifty hens. And they’re NOT putting it on. They really do believe in themselves!

    They’re totally wrong, of course, and they have achieved nothing except the loss of their freedom at considerable public expense.

    And the nerd who is posthumously awarded a prize (= he committed suicide because he thought he had found a mistake in his work, but when others looked at it, it didn’t turn out to be a mistake after all … )? Lack of self-esteem didn’t stop him from achieving something, though it obviously shortened his life.

    So, I am not saying self-esteem isn’t important. Self-esteem is important for a feeling of well-being (and for preventing unnecessary victimization* or other unfortunate events, like suicide). But it is not important for achievement, which is a different matter.

    The world if full of false knowledge right now, and the best advice I can offer is, check the details.

    Later, I will try to write on false knowledge in a more organized way, but one way you can detect false knowledge is that it is easy.

    True knowledge says that you may need to practice 1000 times before you gain mastery of a skill. False knowledge says you can do it in ten seconds, using a special formula. You be the judge.

    *This is especially important for girls. A girl should always know that she is valuable, loved, and wanted, by someone, somewhere. If a guy is bashing her around, it is his fault and his problem. Not her fault or her problem.

  6. Denyse, did you see the article at New Scientist on being “primed for belief in creation”? Seemed like something you’d be interested in. (as well as an inane article by Amanda G. on ‘how to detect a hidden religious agenda’ i.e. creationism hidden in ID and academic freedom moves of course)

    Anyway, the study is pretty amazing in that it openly expresses the belief that there is no purpose in the universe. And, that those with teleological expectencies or ideas are ‘mis-educated’.

    From what I could read of it (my browser kept crashing whenever I went to their site) they also feel that something needs to be done to rid people of this crazy, false idea that earth, or anything in it, exists for a reason!

    Hard to believe but true. The materialist fundamentalist fanatics will do anything – including pretending to have a purpose in this study of theirs! – to fool people into believing that there really is no reason for existence. Oh, excuse me – except the one you make up for yourself, which by their own logic, is still meaningless.

    Go figure. :-o

  7. Fundamental foolishness, Borne. Not only does the study ape having a purpose, but one has to question whether the non-evolutionary make-over could have a purpose anything other than the enforcing preference of a vocal minority?

    The skepticism that death is too blunt an instrument for fine-tuning should cut across all evolutionary optimism. It should inspire skepticism against the fitness of brains, derived by natural selection (or death). But it doesn’t. They can find as many “defects” as they want in the content of a vast majority of other people brains and believe that their brains were honed in the fires of Natural Selection.

    It allows, Dennett to make the evolutionists’ appeal to mystery that reads “Evolution is cleverer than you are.” Not cleverer than the Brites, mind you. They can strip down and rebuild our evolutionary predispositions like ace mechanics.

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