Thursday, December 17, 2015

#1547: Robert DiSilvestro

Robert DiSilvestro has a PhD in biochemistry and is a Professor of Nutrition at Ohio State University. He is also a hardcore creationist affiliated with the Christian Leadership Ministries, where he for instance publishes materials (containing all the standard creationist canards) to help students challenge their biology teacher (no, he doesn’t do research, he helps students to Jesus). The materials are, of course, fundamentally dishonest and misguided, but they are probably helpful for people who wish to snow their teachers, and hey: If you lie for Jesus, it doesn’t count.

And yes, it’s predictable stuff: the Miller-Urey experiment (the familiar creationist distortion), Appeals to the Bible, fine-tuning, macroevolution has never been observed, Darwin was wrong on the fossil record, misunderstanding punctuated equilibrium, and Haeckel’s embryos were wrong … yes, Haeckel’s embryo, no less (he admits that Haeckel presented them “a while back.” Indeed). And apparently this guy fancies himself to have any kind of intellectual integrity. Yes, the intellectual dishonesty is pretty staggering, and no: a scientist – he has publications in unrelated fields – who pushes Haeckel’s embryos as an argument against evolution is not an honest person!

DiSilvestro is of course a signatory to the Discovery Institute’s list A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism, and has been in the game for a while. He witnessed for the side of anti-scientific dishonesty at the Kansas Evolution Hearings, and was also one of the central characters in the Bryan Leonard affair. His attempts to defend Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box did not impressanyone remotely knowledgeable about the field.

Diagnosis: Straightforward, old-fashioned liar for Jesus. The kind of guy the expression was invented to describe.

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