You know the syndrome: Someone is caught in a scandal relating to sex, and then they take an offer to pose nude for pornography, and end up merely as a naked embarrassment to everybody.
Same syndrome, but mercifully, without the nudism (yet): Creationists taking it just a bit too far. Two examples.
Example 1: Don McLeroy, newly appointed to the chair of the Texas State Board of Education, was embarrassed by the release of tapes of a talk he gave in a church, demonstrating for anyone who didn’t already know that he’s opposed to teaching science in biology, especially if that science involves evolution. Bad enough?
He’s posted a transcript of the tape on his own website. It almost appears he’s hoping for an appointment as a “fellow” of the Discovery Institute.
McLeroy may have posted the transcript to try to correct a statement the transcripts say he made: “”Remember keep chipping away at the objective empirical evidence.”
At McLeroy’s website, it’s listed like this: “Remember keep chipping away with the objective empirical evidence.” It’s a subtle difference, but it suggests McLeroy is ill-informed enough that he thinks there may be evidence to support creationism, rather than devious enough to urge the denial of reality. Bob, at Hot Dogs, Pretzels and Perplexing Questions, wrote:
I’m not quite sure what to make of all this. Was it a Freudian slip? Did he innocently misspeak? Or could it be that he edited the text after the fact? Either way, I don’t think it makes that much of a difference. They have no objective empirical evidence of their own to chip away with, just the objective empirical evidence they stubbornly attempt to chip away at, and to no avail. I’ll leave the discovery of any other discrepancies as an exercise for the reader, at least for now.
McLeroy shows no desire to appear neutral, as employees of TEA are now required to be toward science — or “neutered” toward science, as one might say.
Example 2: McLeroy’s Islamist partner, Adnan Oktar ( aka “Harun Yahya”), is a continuing embarrassment. This isn’t news, but I stumbled across the actual images he pirated — and they are impressive.
The Atlas of Creation purports to show that no evolution has occurred between a few fossil forms and modern forms of animals — therefore, Oktar concludes in his book, evolution could not have occurred at all. Oktar couldn’t sell the book, so he sent copies of the thing to school libraries across Europe, and then to selected people and school libraries across North America.
The book is beautifully printed and bound, with hundreds of full color plates — it must have cost a fortune to produce.
And so, Oktar had to make economies somewhere. He chose to plagiarize photos and not bother with lawyers to procure rights to print the photos. He also chose to abandon the use of fact checkers, it appears.
And so we get embarrassments, like Oktar comparing this caddis fly, below, to one caught in amber, and concluding there’s been no evolution. The problem, as you can plainly see from the photo I borrow from Forbidden Music, is that the “living” example is actually a fishing lure; Oktar has plagiarized a photograph of one of Graham Owen’s wonderul fishing lures.
Jesus urged his followers to become “fishers of men.” McLeroy and Oktar have confused such imprecations, horribly, with the hoax P. T. Barnum line, that there’s a sucker born every minute.
Owen’s lures are designed to fool fish. If McLeroy and Oktar have their way, Texas school children may end up as ignorant as the fish, and as easily fooled.