Saturday, April 02, 2011

A repeated lie

It's okay if it's for Jesus

The Institute for Creation Research likes to honor its founder, the late Henry M. Morris, by reprinting his articles in Acts & Facts magazine. The April 2011 issue recycles Morris's essay on “Defending the Faith.” According to the tag at the end, the article was originally published in January 1997. I presume the following paragraph was carried over intact from Morris's initial version:
The excellent book Of Pandas and People was written to present biology in terms of “intelligent design,” without any reference to God, the Bible, or creation, hoping that it could be adopted as a high school biology textbook. Again, nothing doing! It was merely a sneaky way of getting creationism into the schools, said its opponents, and they won.
How closely must one have followed the creation/evolution argument to laugh at Morris's claim? Anyone who has paid even a modicum of attention to the attempts by creationists to subvert public school science is aware that Pandas and People was not written as a intelligent design textbook. The original manuscripts conclusively demonstrated that “in the beginning” it was overtly a creation-science book. This was amusingly revealed during the Kitzmiller trial, when the search-and-replace revision of the manuscript was shown to have produced “cdesign proponentsists” as the undeniable intermediate form between creationists and intelligent design advocates.

We can try to be charitable about Morris's blatant mischaracterization of Pandas and People. It's possible that he took the published 1989 ID-based edition at face value and was innocently unaware of the book's true origins. It is not, after all, an ICR publication. However, what excuse does ICR have for republishing Morris's misrepresentation—deliberate or not—in 2011? Kitzmiller occurred in 2005. The current editorial staff at Acts & Facts has had more than five years to absorb its lesson. Nevertheless, they reprinted “Defending the Faith” without so much as a footnote to indicate that Morris was mistaken about Pandas and People. A decent respect by Christians for their own cherished scriptures should prompt them to pay attention to the injunction against bearing false witness.

They have no excuse.

6 comments:

Ian said...

Change "written" to "edited" and it's more or less true, at least if by you read "without reference" to mean "without explicit reference. :)

Zeno said...

True, Ian, but at ICR they couldn't even be bothered to do that much. Perhaps they think Morris's words are also sacred scripture and they fear to change even one jot or tittle.

Kathie said...

1. "...the manuscript was shown to have produced 'cdesign proponentsists' as the undeniable intermediate form between creationists and intelligent design advocates..."

Sounds like a description of the *cough* *cough* evolution of that manuscript.

2. "Kitzmiller occurred in 2005. The current editorial staff at Acts & Facts has had more than five years to absorb its lesson."

Their faith automatically precludes absorption of anything contradicting their dogma.

Kathie said...

"Perhaps they think Morris's words are also sacred scripture and they fear to change even one jot or tittle."

Stop the presses!!! Are you (or they) now saying Morris is Pope?

Zeno said...

Now let's be fair, Kathie. Catholics don't think that the words of the pope are sacred scripture, although they do think that he can formally pronounce dogma by speaking ex cathedra. (I'm talking about Catholics who know their own religion, of course, as opposed to those who do think the pope's every word is infallible.) The ICR folk, however, are treating Morris as though his writings are sacrosanct. I suspect if he were still alive today he would not be averse to a little after-the-fact tidying up. Creationists like to mock scientists for changing their minds or amending their hypotheses, but the anti-scientists are no slouches at rewriting the past when it suits them.

drmathochist said...

"Intermediate form" HAH! Well-played.