"...I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me..." [Deuteronomy 5:8-10]

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

St Denyse of O'Leary Blows Off

Reading Denyse O'Leary is like watching a four year old play fight. She's constantly swinging at enemies which don't exist except in her head.

Over at Uncommonly Dense (and linked farmed, natch, at every one of her 31 other blogs), Denyse takes a pop at

"The currently raging Darwin cult".
She actually calls her post Preach it, brother! A regular shower of blessings from Saint Charles Darwin.

What the ____ is she talking about?

What Darwin cult?

Where is there a Darwin cult except in the mind of Mrs O'Leary?

Here's a clue - it doesn't exist.

Most of O'Leary's post is made up of a lengthy quote from Hiram Caton, author of a new book on the "real" Charles Darwin.

To be sure, Caton makes fun of Richard Dawkins and militant atheism... But there is nothing about Dawkins' personal reverence for Darwin which pretends that he's anything other than human.

Further, Dawkins doesn't talk for all scientists, yet alone all atheists. O'Leary actually has Caton saying as much (my emphasis):
"Dawkins thinks... Natural selection has given us the big brain capable of emancipating ourselves from our apelike past... Well, not all evolutionists agree. There is another point of view at his own Oxford University, where the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion is in the midst of an extensive, well-funded investigation of the evolutionary origins of religion."
Here's the problem. In the fantabulous world of Denyse O'Leary's head, evolutionary science is an unchanging religion called "Darwinism", with Charles Darwin as its prophet and Richard Dawkins as its High Priest. O'Leary apparently genuinely and sincerely believes that the personal failings of Mr Darwin or Mr Dawkins lessen the validity of evolutionary science. In her febrile imagination, "Darwinism" is about to crumble, and Intelligent Design Creationism will magically replace it by default.

This is, of course, utter bull____.

In Caton's view, religion has played an important role in human development, and Dawkins overplays the ability of Darwin's explanations to answer life's questions.

So what?

Denyse O'Leary is being fundamentally dishonest with herself and her readers by pretending that Caton thinks evolutionary science is itself in any way under threat.

He himself writes on the website plugging his book:
"This is not to suggest that we discard Darwin as a hero of science and secularisation. Far from it. But since our commitment to rationality obliges us to get it right, let’s replace the legendary Darwin by the real man and his times."
Memo to Denyse O'Leary: this does not help Intelligent Design Creationism.

The Sneer Review published a graphic this week which Mrs O'Leary and her readers would do well to dwell on.

And yet still, St. Denyse fights on...



Nada Platonico said...

Denyse might even be crazier than Larry Farfromsane (you had a link to his mostly worthless blog -- mostly because it's good for a laugh at someone's stupidity, so I'm sure you're familiar with it). He too thinks Darwin has been made a saint by supporters of modern evolutionary theory. Maybe she got the idea from him. That's scarier than what she writes.

I'm glad someone can read her crap and point out its many flaws. It's something I can't do. (shivers)

ptet said...

Cheers Nada!

Yeah, I did link to Fafarman's batshit crazy blog... But I'm rethinking my whole linking thinking, as it were.

I shoud really have said in my rant that Denyse (I'm sure) thinks she was being funny... But I do think she actually believes that anything that hurts "Darwinism" benefits ID... Which is, of course, more than a little trippy :)