The latest example:
The charge that ID is part of some creationist conspiracy was recently reiterated by Larry Arnhart, the author of Darwinian Conservatism. Arnhart, a professor at Northern Illinois University, writes in a recent post about the "Rhetorical Blunder in Ben Stein's 'Expelled'," a blunder which has to do, he thinks, with what is really behind Intelligent Design.
The first thing you should do when you write about someone else's blunders is not to make them yourself in the process of doing so. It just looks silly. But Arnhart makes one that he repeats throughout his entire discourse on the inadvisability of blunders.
Arnhart makes the following statement about "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed":
This movie is the latest project of the Discovery Institute in promoting the political rhetoric of "intelligent design theory" as the alternative to Darwinian evolutionary science.
It is? In fact, Discovery Institute did not produce the movie. It was included in the movie, but so was Richard Dawkins, who, last time anyone checked, wasn't involved in the production of the movie either. If he had been, he would have had one less excuse not to know what the movie into which he walked with both his eyes wide open was about. The movie was actually produced by Premise Media, which has no organizational connection with Discovery.
But Arnhart's main objective in the article is to bolster the "It's a Creationist Plot" theory about Intelligent Design. "The folks at the Discovery Institute," he asserts, "have made a big mistake in their production of this movie." The mistake (which Discovery doesn't make) in making this movie (which it didn't make either) is a contradiction Arnhart claims to have detected:
On the one hand, the rhetorical strategy of the Discovery Institute is to say that "intelligent design" is not a creationist religious belief but pure science, and therefore teaching "intelligent design" in public high school biology classes does not violate the First Amendment's prohibition on establishing religion. On the other hand, the popular success of the Discovery Institute's rhetoric depends on appealing to Biblical creationists who assume that "intelligent designer" is just another name for God the Biblical Creator.
In other words, Arnhart is asserting that a position should be judged on the basis of who supports it, not by what it actually holds. This is rather strange reasoning for someone like Arnhart to use. If we applied this logic to Darwinism, of course, we could conclude that it is really atheism in disguise, since atheists unanimously support it. But if we did that, people like Arnhart would fuss and fume, and point out that a position should be judged on the basis of what it asserts, not who supports it.
Darwinists have clearly not developed a sense of consistency. Maybe Nature is saving that for the next step up in the evolutionary progress of their species.
In "Expelled," which Discovery made but really didn't, this contradiction, says Arnhart, is on full display:
When Bruce Chapman — President of the Discovery Institute — is interviewed by Stein, Chapman says that journalists distort the true position of intelligent design by saying that it's a creationist religious belief, because the "intelligent designer" is clearly God. Chapman vehemently denies this. But then for the rest of the movie, it's asserted that anyone who denies "intelligent design" is therefore an atheist who denies the existence of God!
Asserted by whom? Chapman? Maybe Arnhart could provide some evidence of this. I've seen the movie twice, and I don't recall this assertion being made by anyone in the movie. I could see, if the assertion was really made, that it wouldn't matter who made it, since Arnhart is operating under the assumption that the whole thing was produced by Discovery, and therefore any such assertion could be laid at the feet of Chapman, who is Discovery's director. But then we have already determined that that assumption is erroneous, haven't we?
I think what Arnhart means to say here (I'm trying to bail you out here, Larry) is that the movie claims that anyone who is a Darwinist is an atheist who denies the existence of God. But note that it isn't proponents of ID who make this claim in the movie, but proponents of Darwinism in the form of people like Richard Dawkins. This has, of course, sent the ID critics into paroxysms of indignation because they seem to think that casting Dawkins in a lead role is somehow misrepresentative of the public debate over Intelligent Design[!]