The Discoveroids have a new essay up at their creationist blog. It’s by Granville Sewell, who is highly regarded for arguing that Mt. Rushmore Is Designed, Therefore …, and also for telling us about Two Darwinist Fallacies. One of those two “fallacies” is the also subject of his latest essay, which we’ll get to in a moment.
Granville isn’t a Discoveroid “fellow,” but they publish him, and Wikipedia informs us that he’s a signatory to the Discovery Institute’s “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism” petition. Perhaps the most important thing about Sewell is that he’s very keen on using the Second Law of Thermodynamics as an argument for creationism — see Discovery Institute Gives Us Their Best Argument.
Okay, you know what we’re dealing with. Here’s Granville’s newest offering: Why Evolution Is Different. He says, with bold font added by us:
In the current debate between Darwinism and intelligent design, the strongest argument made by Darwinists is this: In every other field of science, naturalism has been spectacularly successful, so why should evolutionary biology be different?
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Observe, dear reader, how Granville attempts to transform the “debate” — which doesn’t exist except in the minds of creationists — into a controversy about naturalism. Presumably, that’s in contrast to the superlative explanatory power of supernaturalism — which explains nothing, other than by declaring things to be miracles. Science doesn’t deal with the supernatural. That’s not because science is inherently atheistic, but because there’s nothing about miracles which the methods of science can examine. If you don’t understand that, see Bring Me An Angel Detector!
When creationists declare something to be a miracle, they are saying that it’s impossible to have happened by natural means. In some cases — especially involving biology — what science is able to do is demonstrate a plausible natural mechanism by which the thing may have occurred. That’s sufficient to negate the assertion that the phenomenon in question is impossible and must therefore be a miracle. What creationists do then is dismiss the natural explanation as “inadequate” and insist that a miracle is the “better” explanation. Really, that’s their whole game. Watch, you’ll see. Granville tells us:
Many people believe that intelligent-design advocates just don’t understand how science works, and are motivated entirely by religious beliefs. Well, I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind with the following discussion, but I hope it will at least help ID critics understand why some of us who do understand how science usually works, and who are not religious fanatics, feel that evolution is fundamentally different from other scientific problems, and requires a fundamentally different approach.
Okay, Granville, we’re listening. Tell us why evolution is fundamentally different:
Below is a set of pictures of a neighborhood in Joplin, Missouri. The first was taken just before the May 22, 2011, tornado hit. The second was taken right after the tornado. [Photos omitted, but they're just what you'd expect.] Fortunately, another tornado hit Joplin a few days later, and turned all this rubble back into houses and cars, as seen in the third picture. [It's a duplicate of the first picture.]
Granville is attempting to be creative, by giving us his own version of Fred Hoyle’s junkyard tornado that assembles a Boeing 747. Let’s read on:
If I asked you why you don’t believe my story about the second tornado, you might say this tornado seems to violate the more general statements of the second law of thermodynamics, such as “In an isolated system, the direction of spontaneous change is from order to disorder.”
We wouldn’t bother to give such a polite response, but mentioning it allows Granville to discuss the second law of thermodynamics, which he regards as his “best” argument against evolution. He continues:
To this I could reply, Joplin is not an isolated system, tornados receive their energy from the sun, so the decrease in entropy in Joplin caused by the second tornado is easily compensated by increases outside this open system.
[*Sigh*] There are times when we still wonder: Do the Discoveroids really think like that? Or do they know better, but have so little regard for their followers that they’re confident they will be impressed by such arguments?
Granville’s next argument leads us to believe that he really does think like this. It’s about a civilization of intelligent beings who evolved and built cities, but then their star went supernova. Granville describes the results:
[A]ll the intelligent beings died, their bodies decayed, and their cells decomposed into simple organic and inorganic compounds. Most of the buildings collapsed immediately into rubble. Those that didn’t crumbled eventually. Most of the computers and TV sets inside were smashed into scrap metal. Even those that weren’t gradually turned into piles of rust.
Yes, when your sun goes supernova, it will have that effect. BWAHAHAHA! What’s Granville’s point in this second scenario? He tries to explain it, but we can’t make any sense of it. Maybe you can. He concludes the whole mess with this:
Can you not now at least understand why some of us feel that evolution is a fundamentally different and much more difficult problem than others solved by science, and requires a fundamentally different approach?
No, Granville. We don’t understand it. But if your supernatural approach to things makes you happy, that’s fine with us. However, if you want to remain happy, we suggest you stop trying to convince competent scientists that you have anything to offer — other than a philosophical wrecking ball.
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