Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Breaking News: A Creationist Dishonestly Doctors a Quotation

Yes, I know it is not really breaking news. Creationists have been dishonestly doctoring quotes for years. But still, each new episode can be breathtaking in its chutzpah.

The latest dishonesty comes from that paragon of boot-licking virtue, Salvador Cordova. In a recent post at Uncommon Descent, he says of intelligent design

Some critics claim that it’s ‘creationism in a tuxedo’. My response to them is: what’s so bad about being in a tuxedo?”

Although it's true that some people have called intelligent design "creationism in a tuxedo", the original citation is the far more damning appraisal that intelligent design is "creationism in a cheap tuxedo". I can understand why ID advocates would want to omit the modifier "cheap". After all, if your tuxedo is expensive, almost anyone can look good. But a cheap tuxedo demonstrates the wearer to be a poseur.

The phrase originates with Leonard Krishtalka, a professor at the University of Kansas and director of the Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center. He used it in a presentation held in 2000 at the Lied Center at the University of Kansas. His use of it is documented in this article from November 2000 by Kansas physicist Adrian Melott, who would later go on to use it as a title of an opinion piece in Physics Today.

So, yet another example of creationists doctoring a quotation to make themselves look better. Stop the presses!


Anonymous said...

Speaking of Slavedor, he is dropping your name over at The Design Paradigm.

Karl Haro von Mogel said...

Hey Jeff Shallit,

I thought you or someone else might be interested in Dembski's latest attempt at supporting ID with bad math: