This isn’t helping

Partisan hack Paul Krugman attacks the president and the neo-cons on Intelligent Design today:

I’d like to nominate Irving Kristol, the neoconservative former editor of The Public Interest, as the father of “intelligent design.”

Duh, it’s not going to convince anyone, even with Panda’s Thumb drooling all over it.

Krugman is probably the least credible columnist writing in America today. The Lying in Ponds website has consistently ranked him number 1 or 2 on their objective partisanship scale. Any column he writes that mentions Bush or the Republicans in connection with any subject at all is properly understood simply as unprincipled political bashing, because that’s the dude’s raison d’etre.

So Krugman beating up on Bush over ID isn’t helpful to those of us who oppose ID. Similarly, Dawkins is getting carried away with his political partisanship, attacking Bush constantly even though he’s not an American. He went so far as to say that all Bush voters are “stupid”. And his work in the ID wars has lately become more and more soft.

The people best situated to attack Bush on ID are those who generally support him on the war, the economy, school choice, and that whole set of issues. And there’s been no shortage of attacks from this sector of the political spectrum (center and right) on the suggestion that ID be taught in biology classes. See Krauthammer for a good example:

Evolution is one of the most powerful and elegant theories in all of human science and the bedrock of all modern biology. Schönborn’s proclamation that it cannot exist unguided–that it is driven by an intelligent designer pushing and pulling and planning and shaping the process along the way–is a perfectly legitimate statement of faith. If he and the Evangelicals just stopped there and asked that intelligent design be included in a religion curriculum, I would support them. The scandal is to teach this as science–to pretend, as does Schönborn, that his statement of faith is a defense of science. “The Catholic Church,” he says, “will again defend human reason” against “scientific theories that try to explain away the appearance of design as the result of ‘chance and necessity,'” which “are not scientific at all.” Well, if you believe that science is reason and that reason begins with recognizing the existence of an immanent providence, then this is science. But, of course, it is not. This is faith disguised as science. Science begins not with first principles but with observation and experimentation.

And see any of the RINO blogs (Balloon Juice, Ace of Spades, Roger Simon, Jeff Jarvis, Protein Wisdom, Don Surber, etc.)

The fact is that politics by its very nature is the enemy of science, and neither side of the political spectrum has been immune to the abuse of science in the pursuit of its agenda. The junk social science that’s been churned out of left-leaning universities is a scandal of major proportions, much bigger than funny games with climatology or the work of the tiny little Disco Institute club.

Let me suggest that people who want to take on the cause of fighting ID would do well to check their other partisan beliefs at the door, lest they be confused for Unprincipled Krugmans. Similarly, religious people who want to spread their gospel would do well to stay out of science classrooms, because (as Krauthammer explains:)

To teach faith as science is to undermine the very idea of science, which is the acquisition of new knowledge through hypothesis, experimentation and evidence. To teach it as science is to encourage the supercilious caricature of America as a nation in the thrall of religious authority. To teach it as science is to discredit the welcome recent advances in permitting the public expression of religion. Faith can and should be proclaimed from every mountaintop and city square. But it has no place in science class. To impose it on the teaching of evolution is not just to invite ridicule but to earn it.

Criticisms of Christianity from snake-handling Buddhists carry no weight, and criticisms of evolution from those who reject science wholesale are similarly ephemeral.

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13 Responses to This isn’t helping

  1. Steven Thomas Smith says:

    From the Lying in Ponds (great name!) FAQ:

    Isn’t a columnist who’s always right but criticizes only one party better than one who is always wrong but attacks both parties equally?

    Well sure. The Lying in Ponds rankings are not intended to be a comprehensive evaluation of the pundits; the intention is to carefully analyze only partisanship. A columnist could theoretically be substantive and accurate and and witty and wise, yet highly partisan. I’m very skeptical about that, but anyone is free to argue that a particular columnist is partisan but good.

    Either Krugman is right or he’s wrong. In this case, he’s right, and on an important point.

  2. Richard says:

    Krugman is wrong on his linkage of junk science to the neo-con cause, and that linkage seriously undermines his attack on ID and Bush.

    The left has been using junk social science to advance its anti-family agenda for years, and neo-cons aren’t religious. Krugman is so blinded by his ideological campaign against neo-conism that he misstates basic facts. And on his footnote about right-wing think tanks, given that the left controls virtually social science in virtually every American university, it’s not too surprising that they’d have to set up an alternative apparatus.

  3. Russell says:

    Krugman is “beating up on Bush over ID”? Did you actually read Krugman’s column? Can you quote anything from it that would back up your characterization?


    The left has been using junk social science to advance its anti-family agenda for years


    Speaking of, um, discrediting oneself with partisanship… “anti-family agenda”? What the hell does that even mean? Is it anything like the “homosexual agenda”? Honestly, I don’t get it – you seem like a reasonably reality-based individual (witness your commendable defense of science against this ID silliness), so how can you buy into that kind of nonsensical wingnut mumbo-jumbo?

  5. Richard says:

    In America today, 70% of black children are born out-of-wedlock. As recently as the 60s, the percentage was in single digits. OOW births are sharply rising in other groups as well.

    This phenomenon is anti-family, and it’s bad for kids, because we know that kids in single-parent families are much more vulnerable to child abuse and every sort of social pathology than children raised by their own natural parents living together as a married couple.

    I believe, based on the research I’ve read, that the re-norming of the unwed family didn’t happen by accident, but rather is the result of very deliberate set of step-by-step policies from the Left. The family is always a target of any movement that seeks radical change in society; both the Commies and the Nazis went after it.

    Do the math.

  6. Ruth says:

    Let’s see, where does Frist fit into this ID schema? With snake-dancing Buddhists?

    And really, Richard, you’re way off the edge with this “very deliberate set of step-by-step policies from the Left. The family is always a target of any movement that seeks radical change in society.” Maybe you’re listening to too many of the far-right equations of liberal political views with communism and other conspiracry theories. I suggest as antidote you watch Pat Robertson praying for ‘new vacancies on the Supreme Court’. Now there’s pro-family thinking for you??

  7. Richard says:

    Actually, it’s not a matter of listening to the right as much as listening to the left. I used to lobby the California legislature on family law, and I had to read the bills introduced by the feminist left very closely. I saw a pattern in their program that promoted family breakup, by immunizing women from its bad consequences, and over-indulging the selfish and narcissistic tendencies we all have in some degree.

    Surely you don’t argue with the premise that destroying the family has been a goal of every radical or revolutionary social movement on the left and the right; it’s one of many things the Nazis shared with the Stalinists.

  8. Insider says:

    From Paul Krugman on why everyone who doesn’t agree with him is disingenuous…why is it that liberal columnists think so lowly of the people in the real world? Does Krugman really think every bogus study with “numbers and charts” will confuse large numbers of people? Say what you want about conservative writers but at least they give their readers credit for an ounce of intelligence.

  9. bi says:

    Oh no! The Feminist Left(tm) are in cahoots with the baby-eating, anti-Semitic Stalinists(tm) and Nazis(tm)! Throw in some al-Qaeda members and Scientologists for good measure, by the way.

    About the blog entry proper, I’ve already replied here.

  10. Ruth says:

    Nope, I do not agree with the goals you ascribe to radical movements. If you find a quote establishing that feminists of any stripe actually mean to ‘destroy the family’, or for that matter, any movement does, I would definitely be interested. But I see nothing to that effect in any of my own readings which include a lot of Maryland and U.S. legislation.

  11. Richard says:

    Look up the Hitler Youth and the Young Pioneers.

  12. Ruth says:

    Lazy, are we? If you find such a quote, I’d be interested.

  13. Richard says:

    I only have so much time to educate you, and it’s baseball season.

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