Feminist academic journals: naive and gullible

This is the story of a hoax article that was submitted to a feminist academic journal. The article had passed the peer review process as well; it was written by a certain Helen Wilson. The feminists couldn’t realise what was going on, and it took a writer from the Wall Street Journal to outlay the truth:

The existence of a monthly journal focused on “feminist geography” is a sign of something gone awry in academia. The journal in question—Gender, Place & Culture—published a paper online in May whose author claimed to have spent a year observing canine sexual misconduct in Portland, Ore., parks.

The author admits that “my own anthropocentric frame” makes it difficult to judge animal consent. Still, the paper claims dog parks are “petri dishes for canine ‘rape culture’ ” and issues “a call for awareness into the different ways dogs are treated on the basis of their gender and queering behaviors, and the chronic and perennial rape emergency [that] dog parks pose to female dogs.”…

My email to “Helen Wilson” was answered by James Lindsay, a math doctorate and one of the real co-authors of the dog-park study. Gender, Place & Culture had been duped, he admitted.

I also found the original academic article in question, and read through it online; I couldn’t believe that the feminists accepted paragraphs like this:

Human companions took active roles in intervening in incidents between dogs, providing an avenue for insight into the gendered status of the a-/moral paradox in human interpretations of domesticated canine behavior. Humans made some attempt to intervene in dog fights 99% of the time, by raising voice(s) (91%), attempting to physically intervene (19%), and other behaviors (29%) including shocking dogs who wore electric dog collars, swinging leashes, pulling out food, blowing horns, and in rare cases singing at the dogs or (once) doing jumping jacks next to the dogs, presumably as a distraction.

Blowing horns, singing, and jumping jacks? Hilarious! When will feminists learn?

Quote source

Melchior, J.K. (2018). Fake News Comes to Academia: How three scholars gulled academic journals to publish hoax papers on ‘grievance studies.’ Wall Street Journal. Available https://www.wsj.com/articles/fake-news-comes-to-academia-1538520950. Last acccessed 11th Oct 2018.

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Atheist trapped by his own logic

These excepts are from a discussion between Bob Enyart and Rusty Carter, when they and a group of homeschoolers visited the Denver Museum of Nature and Science:

And down closer to the floor, they have artwork aimed at children..and they had a cartoon of a fish looking at a man smiling with a big set of teeth…

It [the caption] says ‘Your teeth came from scales’…

Yeah, your scales evolved into teeth…with a cartoon to children, saying to kids that this is a fact, that we know, as scientists, that scales—fish scales—evolved into teeth…

There would be enormous debate among evolutionists—there’s no way evolutionists would all agree that scales evolved into teeth; I mean, it’a wild stretch, it’s a wild theory…

And I asked Dr. Kirk Johnson [the atheistic chief curator of the museum], ‘How can you say that, as though it were a fact? How can you possibly present that?’

And his answer was, ‘Well, there’s a lot in our culture that we believe, that we don’t know to be facts’—and so it was a very unscientific answer…

And so he [Kirk Johnson] was objecting that we [Christians] believed in certainty. He didn’t like that, as a scientist. So I asked him if he believed in truth, and he was equivocating. He wouldn’t answer directly that he believed in truth.

So, I said, ‘Well, Kirk, do you believe that you exist?’ I thought that we could find some common ground and there at least, if he knew he existed, then he’d believe that was true…

He said, ‘Well, I don’t know – I think so, but I don’t know.’

And I said, ‘Kirk, if you don’t know that you exist…well, first of all,’ I said, ‘you’re being intellectually immature.’ Because no-one that doesn’t exist can assert that they don’t exist, that they doubt that they exist – I think, therefore I am…

And I pressed him, ‘Do you exist? You’re just playing a game with us?’ And he could not answer that he knew he existed.

And we pointed out, this is what atheism and evolution does – it leads people to gross ignorance. Because when you don’t have a foundation on God, you have no foundation for science or knowledge or reason.

Quote source

Enyart, B. (2006). RSR: Denver Museum Curator Says He Might Not Exist [podcast]. Available https://kgov.com/denver-museum-curator-kirk-johnston-might-not-exist. Last accessed 1st Oct 2018.

California homeschooling victories—ten years apart

I’ve finally racked up 1,000 quotes on this blog for flogging humanism and its corollaries. Let’s celebrate with this judicial victory from 2008:

From 2000 to 2008, California parents with valid teaching credentials could homeschool their children. Parents who did not have teaching certificates were permitted to homeschool their children by establishing their own private schools, making them exempt from truancy laws.

In February 2008 the Court of Appeals for the Second Appellate District ruled that a homeschool is not a legitimate form of private school, effectively making most of California’s homeschools illegal. One family put together a legal defense team made up of representatives of the United States Justice Fund (USJF), the HSLDA, and the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and was successful at having the ruling overturned in August 2008.

And let’s keep the celebrations going, with this victory that occurred 10 years later:

In a stunning late-night victory for California homeschoolers and parental rights, [Assembly Bill] 2756 was defeated in the Assembly Education Committee late Wednesday, April 25. The decision only came after committee members listened to hundreds of homeschoolers, one by one, give three hours of testimony against the bill. In the end, not one member of the assembly committee voted for the bill…

“What we saw tonight was a massive victory for homeschool families, parental rights, and government by consent of the people,” said Jonathan Keller, president of California Family Council. “Thanks to the thousands of homeschool families and supporters who flooded the Capitol, legislators were reminded that this building is still the people’s house.”

Authored by Democrat Assembly member Jose Medina from the Riverside area, AB 2756 originally demanded all homeschool families in California submit to involuntary home inspections.

I think Pastor Roger Jimenez of Verity Baptist Church was one of the people who testified before the Assembly Education Committee. If that’s correct, I’m glad that he took part. I love it when homeschoolers mobilise like this.

Quote sources

  1. Ingersoll, J.J. (2015). Building God’s Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstruction. Oxford University Press, New York, p. 101
  2. LifeSiteNews (2018). California bill demanding homeschool families submit to involuntary home inspections defeated. LifeSiteNews. Available https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/california-bill-demanding-homeschool-families-submit-to-involuntary-home-in. Last accessed 24th Sep 2018.

Evolutionists guilty of the “Gish Gallop”

According to the Speaking of Research website:

Gish Gallop is a technique, named after the creationist Duane Gish who employed it, whereby someone argues a cause by hurling as many different half-truths and no-truths into a very short space of time so that their opponent cannot hope to combat each point in real time. This leaves some points unanswered and allows the original speaker to try and claim his opponent lacks the counter-arguments.

But surely the evolutionists wouldn’t stoop to that level…

Kenneth Miller is an ardent evolutionist and anti-creationist. He has a long history of debating scientific creationists, and is credited with being a crafty debater. One of his techniques is known as ‘spread debating’, i.e. reeling off a series of arguments (many of them straw men) in rapid succession that can’t all be refuted in the time available, leaving the naïve in the audience with the impression that the creationist can’t answer them all…

Miller falsely claims that creationists seek God in the gaps of knowledge, but creationists always say that evolution is discredited precisely because of what we do know, e.g. information theory. It’s also notable that an author praised for his logic argues from his faulty premise about creationists and commits a beginner’s mistake in logic as follows (p. 266):

‘If a lack of scientific explanation is proof of God’s existence, the counterlogic is impeccable: a successful scientific explanation is an argument against God.’

This is an example of the fallacy of denying the antecedent. Compare:

‘If a suspect’s absence from the city where a stabbing occurred is proof of his innocence of the stabbing, then the counterlogic is impeccable: proof that he was in the city is an argument against his innocence.’

We’re just glad that the local police don’t use Millerian ‘logic’ on us every time someone is stabbed in our area.

Quote sources

  1. Speaking of Research (2012). Gish Gallop. Available https://speakingofresearch.com/2012/09/11/gish-gallop/. Last accessed 24th Sep 2018.
  2. Woodmorappe, J. & Sarfati, J. (2001). Mutilating Miller: A Review of Finding Darwin’s God. Creation Ministries International. Available https://creation.com/review-finding-darwins-god-by-kenneth-miller. Last accessed 24th Sep 2018.

Christian Reconstruction influencing evangelicals

This is Wikipedia’s take on Christian Reconstruction:

The movement declined in the 1990s and was declared dead in a 2008 Church History journal article, although Christian reconstructionist organizations such as the Chalcedon Foundation and American Vision are active today.

But can’t the biased (or uninformed) editors of Wikipedia do better than that? At least (the somewhat less biased and more informed) Julie Ingersoll can do better. This is her take on the 2012 documentary Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure:

Based on prerelease film clips and interviews, many people, myself included, pointed out the ties between the people [host Kirk] Cameron was relying on as experts (especially David Barton and Herb Titus) and Christian Reconstruction. I went to see it at the theater, and I was stunned at how thoroughly the film was shaped by the worldview articulated by [Christian Reconstructionist R.J.] Rushdoony. I never expected to see “my folks” (as ethnographers often call the people we study) on the big screen in an overflow movie theater presenting R. J. Rushdoony’s worldview to evangelicals, homeschoolers, and Tea Partiers, who never heard his name nor knew that he was the source for much of what was presented in Cameron’s film…

The point is not that Kirk Cameron is secretly working toward the reestablishment of biblical law. But this illustrates nicely the gradual and subtle influence of Rushdoony’s work in the broader culture, in places where his name is completely unknown. Cameron affiliates with Christian Reconstructionists, supports their organizations, and promotes their theological framework. And he does so in a rather unidentifiable way among mainstream evangelicals and Tea Partiers.

Quote sources

  1. Wikipedia (2018). Christian reconstructionism. Available https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_reconstructionism. Last accessed 24th Sep 2018.
  2. Ingersoll, J.J. (2015). Building God’s Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstruction. Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 208, 209, 2012

The insidious downside of ‘diversity’

But diversity has a downside which is less often noted. Increased emphasis on diversity in America has not led, as one might expect, to a greater diversity of opinions, but to greater conformity. For example, almost all college campuses now have diversity codes and diversity offices, but the effect of these diversity programs has been to limit thoughts and expressions to those that are officially sanctioned. As anyone who has spent much time on a college campus knows, there is far more freedom of speech in a taxicab or a hair salon than in the average college classroom.

When pursued to its logical conclusion, multiculturalism leads to monoculturalism, and eventually to a monochrome society. That’s because without a common culture to unite them, multicultures break down into competing subcultures. When this happens, the ruling authorities step in and make laws outlawing “hate” and “insensitivity” in the hope that everyone can be forced to respect everyone else.

Quote source

Kilpatrick, W. (2017). ‘The Day the Music Died’ in Crisis Magazine. Available https://www.crisismagazine.com/2017/day-music-died. Last accessed 24th Sep 2018.

Everett Sileven’s stand for church autonomy

On Friday, September 3, 1982, a sheriff in Louisville, Nebraska, entered the sanctuary of Faith Baptist Church to arrest its pastor, Everett Sileven, as he preached to gathered schoolchildren. Just over one month later, the sheriff returned to physically remove a praying congregation and put a padlock on the church door…the congregation…had been involved in a three-year legal battle that began when the state of Nebraska passed legislation requiring private religious schools to hire state-credentialed teachers.

The church argued that the separation of church and state prohibited the government from regulating ministries of a church, including its Christian day school. They also refused to comply on the grounds that the church was God’s property.

Fundamentalists and evangelicals across the country followed the case. Christianity Today carried images of the padlocked church and Christians being carried away by authorities as they prayed. Some three hundred people, many of them pastors, had come to support Faith Baptist. The pastors in the group vowed that, one by one, they would assume leadership of the church and school. As soon as one pastor was arrested, another would take his place. A year later Pastor Sileven published a letter to the Nebraska legislature in the form of a small book entitled Dear Legislator: A Plea for Liberty in Christian Education

The Sileven case was finally settled in 1984 when the legislature included an exemption for religious schools that provided “alternative evidence” that their schools were educating students properly…

Legal scholar Neal Devins argued that this case was a turning point because the ability of Christian school supporters to mobilize as they did was a serious deterrent to other states considering regulations. The church’s supporters forced the state of Nebraska into “a game of chicken,” in which the state went to the graphic extreme of arresting a pastor and padlocking a church. The fact that other states did not want to pay that price to regulate private Christian schools has allowed those schools (and homeschooling parents as well) to retain a significant degree of autonomy.

Quote source

Ingersoll, J.J. (2015). Building God’s Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstruction. Oxford University Press, New York. pp. 91, 93