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Wherein mcc says clever things

EchoEcho staring is caringModerator mod
edited August 2006 in Ancient Forum Knowledge
mcc wrote:
mcc wrote:
Tiemler wrote:
mcc wrote:
I should totally try to come up with a generalized theory of astrology that shoves a bunch of numerology bullshit together with a gemateria-ish reading of astrophysics from which you can derive the astrology charts for the traditional planets as well as generating new astrology rules which take arbitrary and as-yet-undiscovered new Solar System objects into account.

...seriously, I almost wonder if I could wring a Llewellyn book deal out of this or something.

Write a book called 'The New Earth' about how the world is only 5,000 years old. Should be easy, you won't have to be accountable for your "facts" and the only references you need to site are The Lord Jesus Christ, Mel Gibson, Peter's dad on Family Guy, the Pope, and The Guys Who Wrote All Those Shitty Tribulation Novels.

Easy ten million bucks. You'll be banging supermodels two at a time by this time next year.

Well, YEC is coming back into fashion with the utter PR disaster that "Intelligent Design" creationism has become in the last year or so.

Has it really taken that much of a hit as of late?

Well, objectively they're totally fucked. They've had three major losses in the course of just the last year, each one on a different front and in a different arena. In Dover they lost a battle of basic definitions and legality, covering things like "is Intelligent Design science or religion", in the medium of a lost federal court case. In Ohio they lost a battle over the mere act of putting stickers on textbooks saying "EVOLUTION IS JUST A THEORY", in the medium of a local school board chickening out and voluntarily withdrawing an ID policy in fear of ongoing legal threats. And in Kansas they lost a battle over ID's ability simply to exist as a political entity, in the medium of voters rejecting their candidates. It's hard to imagine if there are any fronts left for them to lose on, and I can't imagine anything the ID movement could try at this point where the people they'd need to drag to follow along with them wouldn't take note of these three huge failures and sense that they risk being dragged into a fourth failure if they go along.

More important than "objectively", of course (remember, we're basically discussing a movement that's about reshaping objective reality; they have no more qualms about misrepresenting journalistic and historical fact than scientistific fact) is how they're doing in public perception. And here is where the really important problem for Intelligent Design is: In the last nine months since the Dover decision, and more and more rapidly with the defeat in Kansas, the Intelligent Design creationists have lost control over the public face and media naarative of the creationism movement. This is a subtle thing, but if you know what to look for it's unmistakable.

For a short time before the Dover trial concluded last year, ID finally managed to get everything together where they could present a coherent story all nicely packaged up for the media-- and the media even bought it, or at least treated it as one of a series of valid alternatives (the omnipresent "but some critics say that..." at the end of every news story). The ID movement could present themselves as the successors to creationism (except on days they were pretending not to be creationists) and the "alternative" to evolution, and not only would the media honor this but so did all the pundits. Everyone with creationist leanings, from Fox News pundits on down to bloggers, could bite their tongue about the age of the earth and stick to the Intelligent Design movement's talking points. The ID movement spent ten years getting to this point. But as soon as the the Dover decision was handed down, this all started to unravel. The media stopped treating them as a serious intellectual movement and just another bunch of creationists with obvious flaws in their arguments that it's okay to baldly point out. And the right-wing commentators finally started showing cracks in the party line, forgetting what the rules of ID were and allowing themselves to phrase anti-evolution arguments in openly religious terms. And things have just gotten more and more disorganized since then.

The Discovery Institute, the people who control ID, are of course ignoring all this and plowing right ahead just as before. But it doesn't really matter-- they're no longer the ones in the driver's seat. The fact the media no longer buys their message uncritically is bad enough, but the fact they've lost control of the greater creationism movement is the big problem. ID is based around the premise that creationism can be most successful if it hides its motives-- if it goes all Dont Ask Dont Tell about biblical literalism and instead concentrates on being as specific as possible about whatever it is about evolution they're complaining about this week, and as vague as possible about what their alternative to evolution is. The wider fundamentalism movement bit their tongue and went along with the charade for awhile as best they could, because it seemed to be working. But after Dover, and more and more lately, it's been demonstrated that this chrade isn't any more effective anymore than just being upfront about the literal truth of the Noah's Ark story. Creationist sympathizers no longer seriously believe that they have to hold back, and more and more, they're not. A year after Dover really got going, Ann Coulter or Phyllis Schlafly are now more likely to be presented as the public face of creationism than someone like Michael Behe, and they don't understand they're supposed to shut up about their Christian intent at all.

The reason why this is a problem is, Intelligent Design can basically ignore all reality and keep putting out press releases as long as the money spigot from fundamentalist donors keeps coming. But if the money spigot stops, or starts being diverted somewhere else, they're fucked. And now that ID has lost the monopoly on attention and funding, and that brief united "big tent" front is dead, I think it's most likely that the next significant wave of creationism is going to come from somewhere much closer to the YEC camp.

....okay, I don't get it. Why the hell is it I can ramble out nonsense like this on a moment's notice with just the flimsiest of promptings without even trying, but when I actually tried to start an actual blog and write things for it regularly, I couldn't ever get motivated?

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