The way to make a concept impregnable is to use rhetorical devices to render competition out of bounds, and then nationalize the favored view. An AP story demonstrates how this is done with evolution.
John Hanna’s report on PhysOrg about draft science standards in Kansas renders any competitors to Darwinian evolution off limits. “Kansas is now among 26 states helping to draft new science standards alongside the National Research Council, with the goal of creating standard, nationwide guidelines,” he wrote. Here’s how the last sentence portrays evolutionary theory:
The first draft of the multi-state standards declares that evolution and its underlying mechanisms are “key to understanding both the unity and the diversity of life on Earth.” The standards also say evolution is among a few core concepts in life sciences that “have a long history and solid foundation based on the research evidence established by many scientists working across multiple fields.”
The only ones opposing this view, according to Hanna, are conservative Republicans, except for one “moderate Republican,” who ousted a conservative Republican in 2006. She said “she’s comfortable with the language in the draft standards.” It doesn’t appear that the one conservative Republican on the board, who believes “the draft embraces naturalism and secular humanism,” will get very far with his argument, “They are preferring one religious position over another.” Who would ever want to throw away the key to understanding?
This article illustrates several propaganda tactics evolutionists use to present themselves as scientific and Darwin skeptics as religiously motivated. It’s worth reviewing these again (get out the Baloney Detector):
• Put “intelligent design” in scare quotes. (Scare-mongering)
• Don’t define intelligent design, but imply that whatever it is, it is against science. (Association)
• Define evolution as a “key to understanding.” (Big Lie)
• Portray evolution as a “core concept.” (Loaded Words)
• Assert that it “has a long history”. (Glittering Generalities, Half Truth– so does belief in design)
• Assert that it has a “solid foundation”. (Suggestion)
• Claim that the solid foundation is “based on research evidence”. (Bluffing, Glittering Generalities)
• Say evolution has been “established by many scientists working across multiple fields.” (Bandwagon)
• Worry readers that opposition to evolution “invited some ridicule” (Fear-mongering).
• Scare readers that opposition to evolution could prevent students from competing in “a global job market” (Scare-mongering, Non-sequitur).
• Quote the politician who believes “the board should defer to scientists, science educators and business leaders when considering changes.” (Appeal to authority).
• Present the “scientists, science educators and business leaders” as a unified front all supportive of evolution. (Bandwagon, Intimidation)
• Call their views “mainstream”. (Bandwagon, Euphemism, Either-Or Fallacy)
• Give the opposition a statement but no chance to explain what he means. (Card Stacking)
• Quote the “moderate” party member as the one promoting “common sense”. (Euphemism)
• Present the “conservative” party as the one inviting ridicule. (Scare-mongering)
• Appeal to the views of the National Research Council. (Appeal to Authority)
Darwinism is one of the most successful, longest-running propaganda scams in the history of science. Its mandarins and publicists rule through simple, easy-to-understand, cute, fallacious catch-phrases that stop thinking and put their opponents in clown suits. Now, they want to nationalize their power, taking control from local school boards and deferring to the Darwin Oligarchy to impose nationwide authoritarian rule over what students are allowed to hear.
Only by understanding their rhetorical tricks and calling them on the carpet for self-serving talking points can opposition leaders hope to level the playing field and return the debate back to where it should be: the evidence.