The "Culture War" At National Review


Over at National Review Online, John Derbyshire does an interesting take-down of George Gilder, creationism and the Discovery Institute.

See also my "Origin of the Specious" for an explanation of why some conservatives embrace creationism.

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  1. Now that’s entertainment!

  2. Gilder is just goofy. He offers a wedding cake metaphysics but no epistemology. You can’t ask science to reject empiricism unless you are proposing something better to use in its stead.

  3. Well, I’m just glad that Gilder has moved on to something more productive. He could be giving out investment advice, which he did in a previous incarnation.

  4. derbyshire is a homophobic, barely crypto-racist nut, but he does a nice bitchslap, and he knows a lot about prime numbers. I’ve got a real soft spot in my heart for the derb.

  5. The Derb strikes again-

    Gilder = 0wnz0r3d

    I agree with him- for once I’d like to see some of these Creation Science folks do some, y’know, real science…

  6. John Derbyshire is in greater need of a Mystical Magic Mushroom Experience than any other self-loathing homosexual in history.

  7. I realized that George Gilder wasn’t worth paying attention to when I read an essay of his wherein he predicted that as people became evermore connected to the internet, and as information flowed more quickly, it would signify the death of things like pornography.

  8. mediageek,

    Ha ha ha. 🙂

  9. Also, I will note that “Discovery Institute” and “Center for Science and Culture” fail the Fancy Ketchup Test.

  10. “To adhere to religious metaphysics, on the other hand, you actually have to belong to one of the established religions, all of which require belief in things (resurrection, transubstantiation, reincarnation,…..”

    Holy philosophy of language, Ron.Some folks on the University of Woolamaroo faculty would style those rigid designators in the null set.

    By Kripke, mate , maybe you should get a copy of Van Quine’s “Words and Things” and pass it on to George Gilder.

  11. Gilder’s one of these dudes who can be completely wrong, all the time, about everthing, but he still gets paying gigs. 36,000 Glassman and Kudlow are other examples.

    I can’t help loving der Derb either. He’s not long for NRO I’d think.

  12. Derb is a true independent thinker and you have to respect him for it even if you don’t agree with him.


    I believe Paul Erlich would fit into the group you just mentioned and would be president and CEO of the group.

  13. Oh gee. I just RTFA and find that I am in 100% agreement with John. I mean one hundred percent, point by point and in that order. I even laughed out loud at every diminutive punch-line. I feel so dirty.

    How can this possibly be reconciled with everything else I’ve ever read by Derbyshire? (Admittedly a small sample, perhaps a half-dozen articles and two dozen Corner posts. Oh, and also one or two CSPAN appearances.) Ahh I know, this is the first time he never once used the word buggery.

  14. Ok, I gotta ask because it’s the 3rd time you’ve used it mediageek. WTF is the Fancy Ketchup Test?

  15. He didn’t consider the theory that electrons orbiting atoms are little planets with really tiny people living on them.

  16. I can’t help loving der Derb either. He’s not long for NRO I’d think.

    Me too, and I’ve wondered that myself after the spat he and Ponnoru had a while back. He *is* on board with the whole keeping down the gays – and Mexicans – thing, but he doesn’t praise the accomplishments of Roman Catholicism at every turn like the rest of them. I used to read NR as a kind of hypercorrection for reading so much NYT in the past – now, the Derb is the only writer there I can stomach. Which is odd ‘cos he really, really pisses me off sometimes.

  17. If you, like me, don’t subscribe to NR Digital, Gilder has a version of the original article here.


  18. Mediageek:
    I was about to ask as well – WTF is the Fancy Ketchup Test?

    And, for the record, I have nothing against religion or those who are faithful. I have a problem with people choosing to close their mind and not think. That really pisses me off.

  19. “Ok, I gotta ask because it’s the 3rd time you’ve used it mediageek. WTF is the Fancy Ketchup Test?”

    I was looking at one of those ketchup packets, and written on it in a kind of scripty looking font were the words “Fancy Ketchup”

    And I thought to myself “You know, if they actually have to tell you that this ketchup, is fancy, well, then it probably isn’t.”

    I mean, if you were eating in a Five-Star restaurant, and the waiter brings out a crystal bowl to serve your ketchup out of, he doesn’t need to tell you that it’s fancy.

    Applying the Fancy Ketchup Test is easy: Look at the name/label/designation of something. If that designation is blatantly trying to convince you that it’s something it isn’t, then it fails The Fancy Ketchup Test.

    Examples of this would include:
    McDonald’s Fancy Ketchup
    The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
    The Great Society
    The Democratic Party
    And on and on.

    Basically, people who name things that fail The Fancy Ketchup Test are assuming you’re too stupid to be able to tell when something isn’t what it’s claimed to be.

    Ok, that was waaaay too long-winded of an explanation.

  20. I thought that was a good explanation, mediageek.

  21. mediageek, isn’t “Fancy Ketchup” actually Heinz? That’s the king of mass-produced catsups/ketchups/tomato-based sauce in my book. No, wait, it’s objectively the best.

  22. Suddenly, Dijon Ketchup just popped into my head…

  23. I wonder if this will cause the same cry of rage that happened with WFB first wrote against the drug war. NR lost some subscribers that time.

  24. The fundamental problem of Christianity is that the message of Jesus is too simple for Creationists to believe in.

  25. So what, exactly, is “wedding cake metaphysics”?

  26. Jim,

    I’ll probably drop off the page here, but I just made up the term. Gilder sets up a metaphysics in layers, like a wedding cake.

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