Rosenau, Programs and Policy Director for the National Center for Science Education, is mortified by a recent Evolution News and Views blog post.
A nakedly sexist attack from the creationist Discovery Institute
I know Richard Weikart. He is an honest man and a gentleman, and a meticulous historian. If he says he has spoken with Darwinists who admit that, I believe him. I even believe the intelligent Darwinist part, but only on Richard's word.
After Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Faye Flam took the Discovery Institute to taskfor their Hitler obsession and constant violations of Godwin's law, Disco. 'tute fellow Richard Weikart struck back, insisting, "I have spoken with intelligent Darwinists who admit point-blank that they do not have any grounds to condemn Hitler."
This is patent bullcrap, but that's nothing new for the Seattle-based belief tank. Weikart didn't, of course, say which scientists he'd heard say this, so there's no way to independently verify his claim.Ask all of the intelligent Darwinists, Joshua. Shouldn't take long.
Flam flew to the fracas again, wondering why creationists insist on using the inaccurate and pejorative term "Darwinist,"What's pejorative about "Darwinist"?
and pointing out that Weikart is wrong about how evolutionary biologists regard human life.
Evolutionary biologists hold many views on human life, as befits a large group of people. The dominant view is the atheist-Darwinist view, which is that there is no God, there is no Source of objective morality, and we are animals evolved by a ruthless struggle for survival in which superior individuals and races by nature destroy inferior individuals and races.
That viewpoint of course had no appeal to the Nazis.
In response, the Disco. 'tute trotted out an unsigned blog post that fairly drips with misogyny.Ooooo.... I can't wait to find out the dripping misogyny...
Riffing off of Flam's blog post title, the Disco. DJ scratches his crotch and grunts:
"Ms. Flam, if we had in fact spanked you, you would know it."
That's hardly misogyny. After all, Ms. Flam is the one who invoked the spanking metaphor to begin with. The title of her post to which the DI was responding was
"I get spanked by creationists for accepting reality and being a "Darwinist""Her corporal punishment wasn't exactly corporal. It was actually a thoughtful and meticulously reasoned reply by Dr. Weikert to her original article.
The unsigned ENV post in reply to Ms. Flamm's "spanked" essay pointed out that Ms. Flamm was incorrect in her invocation of "spanking".
Rosenau is nonetheless horrified:
Let's be grateful that he didn't add: "Now fetch my dinner."
How can I be so sure the unsigned post was written by a man? Because there are no active female bloggers at the DI blog (Anika Smith is still listed as a contributor, but DI's Casey Luskin assures me that she's moved on). Indeed, of 50 fellows and staff listed as being associated with the Disco. 'tute's creationist wing, only one fellow (Nancy Pearcey) and 5 staffers are women. One of the 6 women listed is Anika Smith, again, who is no longer at the 'tute. One of the women is their education coordinator, two are involved in fundraising, another is involved in sales and marketing. Perhaps their positions don't require them to deal with whichever misogynist penned this latest screed, or maybe they've just bought into the evangelical notion of wifely submission.Quite an indictment. Rosenau knows a lot about the women working at the DI. A lot. Like he's done a lot of... um... research. He has investigated the number of women working at the DI, which ladies blog, and the job descriptions of the others. How would someone who doesn't work there know such details about women employees? Why would he know such details? Is it part of his official investigation into... spanking? And he speculates that the women working at the DI are 'wifely submissive'.
"Spanky" Rosenau now does his summation for the jury:
Since no one signed the piece, it's fair to assume that all the ENV authors endorse this sort of casual humor about sexual assault. If not, I'd urge them to publicly distance themselves from this boorish behavior, and tell us which of their cowardly colleagues was willing to post this, but not put his name on it.Here's the even funnier part. Faye Flam herself pops up in Spanky Rosenau's combox.
I introduced the word “spank” into the conversation by using it in the title of one of my own blog posts. I don’t see why this word is sexist. As far as I know anyone of any gender can spank anyone of any gender. This kind of thing trivializes real sexism.Ouch.
Ms. Flam again:
As for the Discovery Institute’s threat that I’ll feel it if they really spank me, I say bring it on guys. Or gals.Rosenau, in reply to his... err... err... spanking:
[To] Faye Flam: I know that you brought the word "spank" into the discussion, but I think that the way the Disco. 'tute used the term smacks of the casual sexism of the Mad Men era, the fanny-pinching, domestic-abuse excusing era. I think they shifted the idiomatic context from a neutral "I got spanked," which you see in sports and other non-sexual contexts, to a more sexual and frankly threatening context, but others are free to see other things in it.Interesting Rorschach test. In response to a little rhetorical repartee, the first thing that comes to Rosenau's mind is sexual violence. As for Rosenau's obsession with naughty sexual metaphors, may I suggest to the NCSE that a bit of internet blocking software may help Spanky Rosenau keep his mind on his work.
I'll blog more on the real controversy-- the viewpoints of Ms. Flam and Dr. Weikart.
For now, kudos to Ms. Flam for putting Spanky Rosenau's fevered mind to rest.
N.B. I had originally inaccurately used "misogamy" instead of "misogyny". Thanks to commentor bachfiend for the correction.