06 June 2006

Ann Coulter: Court Jester

Via the J-Walk Blog and John Lynch's Stranger Fruit, comes the latest eruption from Ann Coulter, who's got yet another book out today. I've always considered Coulter one of the wackier examples of right-wing winnuttery, but worth paying attention to because so many other people do just that.

I don't know what to think of her latest comments on evolution, as told to her ideological compatriots at the Cybercast New Service. If they came from anyone else, I'd dismiss them as parody. So convoluted are her answers that we'd best take them one a time.
Cybercast News Service: Most people consider evolution to be a branch of science, or at least a scientific theory, yet in "Godless," you refer to it as a "cult" and a "fetish." What is your basis for calling it that?

Ann Coulter: There is no evidence that it is true. The fossil record contradicts it, and it is a theory that cannot be disproved. Whatever happens is said to "prove" evolution. This is the very definition of a pseudoscience, like astrology. (Of course, I would say that. I'm just a Capricorn, aren't I?
Rarely has there been just a sweeping dismissal of an entire field of knowledge. No evidence at all. Usually we're just told that the evidence is weak. We don't have enough fossils, the missing links are still missing, that sort thing. But not Ann. There is no evidence. Period.

Then we're told it's not disprovable. We all know that's not true. But I must at least acknowledge that Ann may be familiar with the Popperian notion of falsifiability. She doesn't understand it, but she must have read it somewhere, and that puts her ahead of most of the creationists.

Part two, now:
Cybercast News Service: Creationism is not considered a science because it can't be observed or empirically tested. You assert in your book that the theory of evolution has the same problems. Why then has the U.S. public school system been willing to accept the theory of evolution, but snubbed creationism?

Ann Coulter: Because evolution is the official state religion. Although it is possible to believe in God and evolution, it is not possible to not believe in God without believing in evolution -- otherwise, atheists have no explanation for why we are here. Thus, it's very important for the liberal clergy to force small school children to believe in a discredited mystery religion from the 19th century -- evolution -- in order to prepare them to believe in the nonexistence of God, one of the main goals of the American public education system.
Hmmm. First, it would appear that evolution has a lock on the public education because, well, it has a lock on public education. A tautology at least is easy to analyze. But then we learn that it is not possible to not believe in god without believing in evolution. So everyone who doesn't believe in god must believe in evolution. So if you are too young or too poor or too ignorant to know about evolution, you have to believe in God? Wow. That's amazing. What a great way to get rid of atheists: just stop teaching them anything.

Or maybe I just don't understand Ann's diabolical logic. Maybe I'll have to buy her book and parse her arguments. Right.

I'd rather stick needles in my eyes.

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