Wednesday, November 25, 2009


On October 11 Governor Schwarzenegger signed a bill designating May 22 as Harvey Milk Day—the date on which California schools will be encouraged to perform “suitable commemorative exercises” based on the late San Francisco Supervisor’s life and contributions. That word “suitable” deserves close scrutiny.

What most Californians know about Harvey Milk is based overwhelmingly on the movie for which Sean Penn won an Academy Award. As is typically the case, Hollywood and reality have little in common.

“Metrosexual” British journalist Mark Simpson puts the disconnect this way: “the famously horny middle-aged sexual libertarian in 1970s Free Love San Francisco, who combined cruising and political campaigning—and had a taste for men half his age—is presented in ‘Milk’ as a serially monogamous chap looking for The One to make house with.”

Simpson’s witty observation is based largely on the respected Milk biography by the late gay activist, Randy Shilts. “The Mayor of Castro Street” provides a detailed portrait that’s far from the “pasteurized” Hollywood hagiography. Shilts not only recounts Milk’s fondness for boys as young as 16 but also the martyr’s radically non-monogamous views about sexuality:

"As homosexuals, we can't depend on the heterosexual model. We grow up with the heterosexual model, but we don't have to follow it. We should be developing our own lifestyle. There's no reason you can't love more than one person at a time."

Those words weren’t spoken by Milk during a pre-AIDS conference on gay culture. Rather, according to Shilts, they were directed toward a San Francisco lover while explaining the existence of another boyfriend in Los Angeles.

I can’t think of a “suitable” classroom commemoration for that bit of wisdom. A third grade reading of “Heather has Four Daddies” seems a stretch even for “progressive” Californians—especially in an era when inconvenient political truths are rigorously censored.

Fortunately, no one would know, based on Sean Penn’s Milk, that the slain Supervisor’s life was decidedly more risqué than the serial debauchery celebrated on CBS’s “Two and a Half Men.” Nor would they know that Milk was (in John Podhoretz’s reading of Shilts) an “aggressive, purposely offensive, press-savvy” fellow “who believed the cause of gay rights would be advanced if there were riots in the streets of San Francisco.”

Reality has long been packaged in Hollywood and swallowed by lazy consumers without the wit or backbone to investigate matters for themselves and to stand up for principles not embraced by Oprah Winfrey.

Harvey Milk Day has come to pass based on a Tinseltown deception—just as Americans’ views of JFK’s assassination have been largely shaped by Oliver Stone’s even more egregious cinematic fabrication.

Few are inclined to study (or even to ponder) the actual facts—including those from ancient Greece that give the lie to PC propaganda about homosexuality as a “purely” genetic predisposition akin to eye color.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Obama's Radical Rogues Gallery?
November 20, 2009
by Phyllis Schlafly

Another kooky Barack Obama appointee became publicly known this month and quickly was thrown or voluntarily threw herself under the bus. Anita Dunn, the White House communications director (who led Obama's war on Fox News), said that Mao Tse-tung was one of her two favorite "political philosophers" whom "I turn to most" for answers to important questions. History identifies Mao as a ruthless savage, not as a philosopher. He probably holds the record for ordering the mass murder of more people (50 to 100 million) than anyone else in history. Dunn tried to claim that her statement was a joke, but anyone can look at her actual statement on YouTube and see that she spoke in deadly earnest. Dunn was part of Obama's inner circle and a senior media adviser during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Dunn's husband, Bob Bauer, an expert on campaign financing, fundraising, and voter mobilization, is Obama's personal lawyer. He has just been appointed White House Counsel where he will be in charge of vetting Obama's appointees. Obama's Green Jobs Czar, Van Jones, had to exit in disgrace after he admitted that "I was a Communist." We can thank Glenn Beck for exposing him.

See the entire rogue's gallary of Obama appointees at this link:

Friday, November 13, 2009


It is becoming increasingly clear that Anonymous has not read (and apparently does not intend to read) anything that David Berlinski has written. The book by Berlinski that prompted my original post focused on the "Scientific Pretentions" of "Atheism" as promulgated by individuals like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. The book is overwhelmingly one of philosophical analysis done at a reasonably popular (though fairly sophisticated) level--so that it corresponds roughly to the atheistic offerings of Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens. Unlike these three participants in the debate over God's nonexistence, Berlinski actually has a Ph.D. in philosophy (from Columbia). Harris didn't have even an advanced degree in philosophy when he wrote the widely acclaimed The End of Faith. (I don't think he has had time to pursue further degrees amid the rush of publicity and good fortune that has subsequently been his.) Dawkins has no advanced training in philosophy (and apparently no particular inclination to seriously pursue philosophical issues, content as he is that his unscrutinized naturalism and Darwinianism constitute a basis for understanding as unassailable as the fundamental standards of Aristotelian logic). Hitchens is a journalist with a British education--not a philosopher. By the standards set up by Anonymous for scholarly debate, only Berlinski should be allowed to make comments on matters that are essentially philosophical. Thus, the books by Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens that transcend their areas of expertise, should have warning labels: "NOT A 'PROMINENT SCHOLAR' IN THIS FIELD." Curiously, there has been no popular demand for such a warning label when it comes to the promulgation of naturalism, scientism, and atheism.

The issues that Berlinski and his interlocutors address are not purely disciplinary issues. They concern philosophical issues that transcend the disciplines of physics and biology. Anonymous seems to be unaware of this fact or to believe that the philosophical presuppositions of a Dawkins are only challengable by those who work within a community that dogmatically embraces those assumptions and excludes from their disciplinary communion anyone who doesn't accept those presuppositions (e.g. Gonzales).

At least the "prominent" biologist Richard Lewontin was willing to engage in public intellectual discourse with a non-scientist with significant intellectual and scholarly credentials (Philip Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial). The debate at SMU some years ago even got Lewontin to admit or to recognize the degree to which his philosophical presuppositions (naturalism and materialism) informed his 'scientific' analysis of data (an insight that should be familiar to anyone who has read and understood Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions). Here are Lewontin's words, quoted The Devil's Delusion: "We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories...we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door." Such honesty, as Berlinski notes, is refreshing.

Berlinski highlights in The Devil's Delusion the philosophical foibles of Dawkins and Harris. Berlinski is, after all, a philosopher and a polymath--whereas Harris is a callow Southern Californian (without a doctorate) whose forays into intellectual history and culture seem confined to information culled from articles that appear in the L.A. Times. Berlinski notes, devastatingly, how Harris succeeds in blaming the Jews themselves for the Holocaust--and dismisses (along with Christopher Hitchens) its secular roots. In this regard Harris echoes the sentiments of Hermann Goring and David Irving. (The link between Berlinski's book and the Holocaust becomes ever more relevant as "direct" links between Darwinism's social manifestations and Nazism are articulated and even echoed by Darwin's modern defenders. See From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, by Richard Weikart.)

Anonymous seems to assume that the philosophical and theological assertions of Dawkins et al. are products of their scientific specialities. Berlinski clearly shows, for those who care to read him, that this assumption is preposterous. The idea that Berlinski is a religious shill is simply an ad hominem argument that ignores the fact that Berlinski is a secular Jew, a "seeker" (in his own words), and even a critic of Intelligent Design. The fact that Berlinski criticizes scientific pretensions--along with everything else--is apparently too much for Anonymous, tied as he/she apparently is to the dogmas of secularism.

As for my presumed "religious" bias (Anonymous excels in ad hominem argument--in this case genetic ad hominem), anyone who actually READ my posts and columns over the last 15 years would know that I have never appealed to religious authority in ANY article. On the contrary, my perspective on things scientific and "divine" are primarily informed by and largely congruent with the writings of Alfred North Whitehead--whose book Science and the Modern World (written in 1925) still accurately denounces the materialistic dogmatism that permeates the scientific establishment. Here is the most succinct relevant comment in SMW for Anonymous--whose standards for authorized commentators should include Whitehead (as a seminal thinker in mathematics before he moved his intellectual focus to philosophy):

"There persists, however, throughout the whole period the fixed scientific cosmology which presupposes the ultimate fact of an irreducible brute matter, or material, spread throughout space in a flux of configurations. In itself such a material is senseless, valueless, purposeless. It just does what it does do, following a fixed routine imposed by external relations, which do not spring from the nature of its being. It is this assumption that I call 'scientific materialism.' Also it is an assumption which I shall challenge as being entirely unsuited to the scientific situation at which we have now arrived.... Thought is abstract; and the intolerant use of abstractions is the major vice of the intellect."

Berlinski exposes the intolerant use of abstractions by Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and others (especially scientists who pretend that their disciplines reveal much much more than they do and have accomplished much much more than they actually have). I commend to Anonymous, and to anyone who wishes to question the philosophical pontifications of "scientists," Berlinski's devastating statistical response to Steven Pinker's philosophical (not scientific) declaration that science has created for the world a "shockingly happy picture." See Chapter 2, "Nights of Doubt," The Devil's Delusion.

Friday, November 06, 2009


Anonymous asks me to justify the use of the word “prominent” in describing David Berlinski’s scholarship. The term “prominent” covers a wide range of meaning from “noticeable” and “widely known” (which Berlinski is by virtue of his writings) to someone who is “favorably known” within a particular discipline (which Berlinski is not by reason of his dissent from regnant Darwinian Orthodoxy). I provide a list of books written by Berlinski along with his educational and professional background as evidence that Berlinski is qualified to make observations worthy of consideration—which is the point of presenting his material on my blog.

Anonymous then says I am using an illegitimate appeal to “authority” by responding to Anonymous’ own objection about Berlinski’s qualifications to participate in this discussion.

Oddly, Anonymous fails to provide his/her list of qualifications that qualifies him/her to sort out who can participate in the discussion of evolutionary theory. Heck, Anonymous fails to provide a name. Nevertheless, Anonymous suggests that I am not on an intellectual level that would permit me to post Berlinski’s criticism of Darwinism. Well, at least I have some graduate school and post-graduate background in the topic (which Anonymous is somehow aware of but, unsurprisingly, discounts). What I wish to know are the credentials that qualify Anonymous to fill the august role of Pontificator of Legitimate Evolutionary Discourse.

The “argument from authority” is Anonymous’ fallacy, not mine. I never said Berlinski is right or wrong because of his educational background. I ask folks to listen to his well-articulated and succinct statement of basic arguments—which are not unique to Berlinski. They concern the patently dishonest “evolutionary tree”--which any honest participant in the discussion knows is a fabrication that doesn’t remotely reflect the actual fossil record. These arguments also concern the statistical improbability of emergent life and macro-evolutionary changes, given the fundamental Darwinian belief in the random alignment of protein-chains within DNA. Berlinski adds that computer programs based on algorithms honestly consistent with evolutionary presuppositions produce nothing but gibberish.

Anyone familiar with the historical debate about Darwinism knows the degree of deception and intimidation that is employed by Darwinist Orthodoxy to squelch debate. (Cf. the ontology / phylogny hoax of E. H. Haeckel that continues to be found in biology textbooks; the denial of tenure to anyone outside the Orthodox Darwinian establishment, e.g. Guillermo Gonzales; the after-the-fact pulling of articles from prominent science publications if they are critical of Darwinian orthodoxy.)

Given that record of intimidation and dishonesty (a tradition with which Anonymous seems quite comfortable) it is entirely appropriate to note the obvious connection between Darwinian thought (which was “prominent” in Germany prior to Hitler) and the Holocaust that directly affected Berlinski’s extended family—a “link” that may help explain his courage in speaking out in the face of "academic" intimidation.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

David Berlinski: The Devil's Delusion & The Deniable Darwin

Here is a succinct (but detailed and precise) summary of the fatal flaws of Darwinian evolution, presented by a prominent scholar and critic of the theory. Berlinski, it should be noted, is a (self-described) secular Jew--not a "religious partisan."

Here is a link to a article published in 1996 in Commentary Magazine and included in the recently released anthology of essays: THE DENIABLE DARWIN. The last section, "On the Derivation of Ulysses from Don Quixote," is priceless--a literary tour de force.