Wesley R. Elsberry posted Entry 1228 on July 18, 2005 07:14 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1226

Last week, Reed Cartwright posted a news item here about Jon Buell, director of the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE), who testified that FTE was not a religious organization and that an early draft of the FTE supplemental textbook, Of Pandas and People, that used the word “creationism” still did not imply religious entanglement:

Buell said the word creationism was a “placeholder term.” The definition of creationism changed to include a religious context after the draft was written, so the writers changed the word, he said.

Buell is apparently referring to the 1987 SCOTUS decision in Edwards v. Aguillard as the event that tagged “creationism” as religious. So what are we to make of Buell’s own words in a 1983 publication from FTE that links “creation” and “theism”?

Molly Ivins had a memorable phrase for all those folks who worked in the Reagan Administration and testified before Congress in the Iran-Contra affair. As witness after witness repeatedly told the Congress that they had no memory of what they were being asked to testify about, Ivins deftly termed them victims of “Republican Forgetful Syndrome”.

So here are Charles Thaxton and Jon Beull telling us in 1983 all about creation and how it is theism’s answer to evolution.

How does all of this relate to the teaching of biology in the public schools today? Evolution has served as the vanguard of this larger system of ideas-naturalism-and has been the critical way that it has been promoted in the schools. It is doubtful that naturalism could have gotten anywhere in the school systems had it been introduced through its position on morality. But it found a back-door acceptance by its association with evolution, especially since evolution is taught almost exclusively. Creation is theism’s counterpart to evolution, and if taught alongside evolution, it would be an effective antidote to the indoctrination of a particular world view.

[…]

That’s why Christians - in fact all theists - must insist that whenever origins are discussed, public schools allow the teaching of the evidence for creation alongside instruction in the naturalistic concept of evolution. If the scientific rationale for both creation and evolution were taught, there would be an equality demanded by the symmetry of the two metaphysical views, theism and naturalism. If both are not taught, it is not just the subject of origins that is affected. The whole of naturalistic thought is given privileged status by the state, with the de facto result that young minds are prepared to reject theistic approaches to morality and religion. At the same time, they are prepared to receive both moral relativism and the various naturalistic religions, such as Unity, Buddhism, Scientology and Religious Humanism.

In summary, we discern the primary conflict in the public schools to be in the realm of metaphysics, between theism and naturalism. The concern about origins and moral values should not lose sight of this. The exclusive teaching of evolution is a major force of modern naturalism which, if not checked, will remove every trace of theistic thought from the public sector. Therefore, we should recognize that even if we are not individually interested in the origins question, the creation issue touches us all. The exclusive teaching of evolution ushers in moral relativism and inclines young minds toward naturalistic religions. But a call for censorship is not appropriate. Instead, the emphasis in our efforts to counter the naturalistic indoctrination in the public schools and public sector should be to restore balance in the free expression of ideas. Let us remember that Jesus also told us to be “wise as serpents but innocent as doves.”

(Charles Thaxton & Jon Buell. Excerpted from The Foundation Rationale, Vol.1, No.1, 1983, published by the "Foundation for Thought and Ethics, P O Box 721, Richardson, TX 75080.)

(Hat tip to Pim Van Meurs for the cited article.)

It would be consistent with past performance that Buell will either take refuge in a “Forgetful Syndrome” of his own, or, more likely, blame the above text entirely on Thaxton, perhaps going so far as to claim that it was published without his knowledge or consent, despite his co-author status and the inconvenient fact that his own foundation distributed it. While Thaxton and Buell quote Jesus above, if Buell does take either of those options, he would be taking his lead from Ananias instead.

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Comment #38562

Posted by steve on July 18, 2005 9:25 PM (e)

So ‘creationism’ was Global-search-and-replaced to ‘intelligent design’, but the terms have nothing to do with each other. And his critiques of evolution have nothing to do with religion, yet every time evolution comes up he advocates criticising it with religion. And something something ‘naturalistic religions’.

One is reminded of the wise Mr. T.

“Ain’t got Time, for no Jibba-Jabba!”

Comment #38564

Posted by Joseph O'Donnell on July 18, 2005 9:36 PM (e)

You know, creationists don’t need opponents they end up hanging themselves. The only thing anyone needs to provide is a suitable length of rope.

Comment #38565

Posted by Albion on July 18, 2005 9:44 PM (e)

Well, he’s changed his mind, obviously. And anyway, he said creation, not creationism. Makes all the difference, you know.

Comment #38566

Posted by steve on July 18, 2005 9:56 PM (e)

Comment #38564

Posted by Joseph O’Donnell on July 18, 2005 09:36 PM (e) (s)

You know, creationists don’t need opponents they end up hanging themselves. The only thing anyone needs to provide is a suitable length of rope.

Yeah, I don’t loiter here out of some fear that ID will ever accomplish anything. I just find them amusing as they contradict themselves, deny things, ‘disprove’ Special Relativity, deny their Creationist lineage, behave like they are in Dover, etc.

Creationist: “I ain’t come from no monkey!”
ID ‘Theorist’: “I ain’t come from no creationist!”

Comment #38578

Posted by PvM on July 18, 2005 10:55 PM (e)

Albion: Well, he’s changed his mind, obviously. And anyway, he said creation, not creationism. Makes all the difference, you know.

If he changed his mind, why did he not state this. Instead he seems to be blaming his lawyers for the ‘mistakes’ on the IRS papers and the Texas incorporation forms.
What’s the impact of such ‘mistakes’ anyway? Other than embarassing in its truth?

Comment #38580

Posted by Hiero5ant on July 18, 2005 11:39 PM (e)

I can prove that macroevolution happens. You see, Christianity demands that Christians condemn loudly and unequivocally this kind of malicious lie. One can hear them doing so this very moment – it’s just that they’ve evolved into crickets, which is why the thunder of their chirping is so loud.

I can also disprove ID, because no one in their right mind could possibly describe Buell’s transformation as “intelligent”.

Comment #38583

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on July 18, 2005 11:57 PM (e)

Hiero5ant wrote:

You see, Christianity demands that Christians condemn loudly and unequivocally this kind of malicious lie.

Er, that’s why I posted it.

Did that not come through?

Comment #38584

Posted by Hiero5ant on July 19, 2005 12:10 AM (e)

Mea maxima culpa. I misread the article attribution.

Please leave both this comment and the previous one as a testimony to and cautionary tale of the consequences of hyperactive hostility and careless proofing.

Comment #38585

Posted by EmmaPeel on July 19, 2005 12:33 AM (e)

So here are Charles Thaxton and Jon Buell telling us in 1983 all about creation and how it is theism’s answer to evolution.

Oooooh, get those guys on the witness stand. Make them read that passage under oath!

Comment #38599

Posted by SEF on July 19, 2005 3:03 AM (e)

Joseph O'Donnell wrote:

creationists don’t need opponents

Yes, they do. If creationists just had the sort of non-thinking religious 1984-style zombies they want, then they would be able to get away with their outrageous lies (just as they do within their zombie communities/flocks). It is only because a few people are capable of critical thinking (ie their real opponents, not some other rival religionists or a legal system), and are thus aware and capable of checking and remembering and pointing out the facts and the inconsistencies between those and the subsequent creationist lies, that the rope for their necks exists at all. Otherwise they would be blithely skipping down the path into the valley of deception without a rope dangling round the rugged rocks of reality or tied to a physical evolutionary tree to hold them back.

Comment #38603

Posted by Richard Wein on July 19, 2005 5:00 AM (e)

The problem for the current generation of creationists is that they only adopted their don’t-mention-the-C-word strategy late in their creationist careers. Twenty years down the road we’ll have a generation who’ve learnt the strategy from childhood.

Comment #38604

Posted by SEF on July 19, 2005 5:31 AM (e)

They probably still won’t be able to restrain themselves from lying and boasting about it though. Look at Leonard: who voluntarily went to the Kansas Kangaroo Kourt and gave the game away on how long he’d been up to no good (through not realising just how much his actions condemned him and that people would cross-check the information). Isn’t he already one of the younger generation of which you speak?

Comment #38606

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on July 19, 2005 6:57 AM (e)

They probably still won’t be able to restrain themselves from lying and boasting about it though. Look at Leonard: who voluntarily went to the Kansas Kangaroo Kourt and gave the game away on how long he’d been up to no good (through not realising just how much his actions condemned him and that people would cross-check the information). Isn’t he already one of the younger generation of which you speak?

That is the fatal flaw with the entire anti-evolution movement. Any hope of success demands that, no matter WHAT they call their, uh, “theory’, they must keep absolutely quiet, indefinitely, about the one thing they care most about in the world – their religious opinions.

They can’t do it. They don’t WANT to do it.

Comment #38619

Posted by Flint on July 19, 2005 9:24 AM (e)

Buell seems to be undertaking Winston Smith’s profession: rewriting history to fit current practical requirements. But Smith’s efforts would have been a waste of time if his readers were not complicit with his activities. Buell’s tactics work because his target audience WANTS them to work, and willingly go along with it.

Sure, we can laugh at how clumsy and obvious Buell’s prevarications appear. We are not the target audience. Remember that those suffering “Rubublican Forgetful Syndrome” walked away unpunished (and mostly with fat wallets). In support of Jesus, one is *supposed* to lie. If the legal landscape changes, we can be confident Buell’s story will change as required. And his target audience will carefully not notice the slightest discontinuity, as usual.

Comment #38626

Posted by Les Lane on July 19, 2005 11:38 AM (e)

Could “creationist” be a placeholder word for “m—n”?

Comment #38630

Posted by Albion on July 19, 2005 12:26 PM (e)

That is the fatal flaw with the entire anti-evolution movement. Any hope of success demands that, no matter WHAT they call their, uh, “theory’, they must keep absolutely quiet, indefinitely, about the one thing they care most about in the world — their religious opinions.

Not indefinitely. Just until two more Supreme Court justices have been replaced in Scalia’s image. At that point it won’t be so much a matter of whether teaching creationism is illegal, we’ll be worrying about whether it becomes compulsory.

Comment #38663

Posted by steve on July 19, 2005 5:20 PM (e)

I don’t care if creationism does become legal w/r/t science classes. Scientists will go on doing real science, typical people will go on believing in Puff Of Smoke (POS) Theory, and yea, there are no new things under the sun.

Comment #38683

Posted by Matt Inlay on July 19, 2005 6:32 PM (e)

Maybe they should call it LSS syndrome, where the ‘L’ stands for ‘lying’, the 1st S for ‘sack’, and well, I’ll let you guess what the last letter stands for.