Monday, April 15, 2013

#509: Ray Bohlin

Raymond Bohlin is a Research Fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture, and thus deeply involved in pushing intelligent design creationism as a scientifically valid alternative to evolution for America’s school children (not as a scientifically valid alternative to evolution for scientists, since that would require, you know, science and evidence and research and stuff, and these guys aren’t into that). That ID is a scientific rather than religious alternative can be seen from the illuminating quote young-earth-creationism-sympathetic Bohlin offered on Grand Canyon here.

Bohlin is also head of Probe Ministries, which deals with thorough scientific treatments of a variety of issues, such as “Is masturbation a sin?” (the answer is “yes”). The connection between the blatantly fundamentalist Probe ministries and the Discovery Institute is actually telling; they also got Heather Zeiger from that one; though they never inform anyone of the connection, of course. Both Zeiger and Bohlin were called to testify before the Texas Board of Education in their capacity of religious fundamentalists that the deranged members of the Board could pass off as expert witnesses on science.

Ray’s wife Sue has also done some research on such profound scientific questions as whether pole dancing is OK for believers (answer: only within the confines of marriage).

Bohlin does admittedly have scientific credentials. Before becoming a fanatic church leader he was a molecular biologist, and had a few real science publications. That, of course, is what has made him one of the leaders of the ID movement. He is known for his claims that gene duplication cannot increase biological complexity, as well as the standard creationist canards – one of his books (written with one Sharon Sebastian) is called “Darwin’s Racists” – you probably see where it’s going (three steps: first attempt to blame Darwin for Hitler; then confuse the consequences of believing a claim with the truth of that claim to infer, by the powerful inference rule “wishful thinking” that Darwinism is unsupportable (and evolutionists are evil)). Bohlin is also a global warming denialist who likes to cite people like Fred Singer. Because of his global warming denialism he likes to play himself as a huge fan of environmentalism in order to convince people that his global warming denialism “really” is based on science and concern for the environment.

Diagnosis: It has become rather hard to come up with new characterizations of these people by now, since they all trot out the same fallacies and talking points for exactly the same reasons. Bohlin’s influence, however, should not be underestimated.


  1. Bohlin is also one of the guys that the Texas Board of Education has turned to in their attempt to revive the Texas schoolbooks and evolution wars.

  2. Because of his lack of scientific acumen, Bohlin was reinvited to be part of the review panel for textbooks by the Texas Board of Education. Fortunately the side of lunacy seems to have failed once more.