Discovery Institute: What Are They Thinking?

We confess to being completely baffled by the newest post at the blog of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).

This is their title: If a Puddle Woke Up. There is no author’s name assigned to it, so it’s the thinking of all of them. Virtually the entire post consists of this quote from Douglas Adams:

Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, “This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, [it] must have been made to have me in it!”

They don’t say where that quote comes from, but it appears to part of a speech Adams gave in 1998 to Digital Biota in Cambridge, U.K. You can read the entire speech here.

What do the Discoveroids say about Adams’ words? Not much, really. This is the rest of their post:

Well, if a puddle actually woke up and thought anything, it would be entitled to that opinion.

So what are the Discoveroids saying? To us, it’s obvious that Adams is spoofing a certain style of defective reasoning. We’ve done it ourselves (see Intelligent Design: The Dung Beetle’s Tale). Such “thinking” is at the heart of geocentricism, the anthropic principle, and yes — creationism and intelligent design. The whole universe was created for a purpose, and that purpose is us!

Did the Discoveroids post about Adams’ ego-maniacal puddle to ridicule themselves? Not intentionally, yet that’s exactly what they’ve done. They’re literally presenting Adams’ jocular parable as a great bit of reasoning that supports intelligent design. You think we’re imagining things? Not at all.

At the end of their post they mention that it’s cross-posted at their “research” shop, Biologic Institute, It’s right here. And there, next to the Adams quote, they say:

The more we learn about life, the more clearly it reveals design.

They’re serious! And they have no clue that their post is a stupendous demonstration of institutional lack of self-awareness. What’s their next move — promoting William Paley’s watchmaker analogy? Why not? If they can unknowingly make fun of one of their core arguments, why not the other too?

See also: Discovery Institute: Are They Thinking At All?

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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15 responses to “Discovery Institute: What Are They Thinking?

  1. Ceteris Paribus

    Geez, I sure don’t know what it means. May be it’s a trick. Hey, wait, was anybody from the Discovery Institute there to actually SEE the puddle wake up? Maybe it’s just a metaphysical illusion.

  2. It seems the Disco-tute has discovered New Age “thinking”, and is clumsily trying to apply it to ID “thinking”.

    I wonder what kind of tree ID would be if ID were a tree.

  3. docbill1351

    Entitled to an opinion by whom? OMG, is the Disco Tute supporting Entitlements? Perhaps they are supposing that their unemployed sys admin, Coppedge, was entitled to drive people crazy.

    In fact, that’s what Coppedge’s attorney, Becker, argued. JPL didn’t have a policy prohibiting employees from making other employees feel uncomfortable. Yep, no “rule” against being a jackass. Well played, Disco Tute!

    Oh, here comes the Sun. Looks like the puddle is getting dried up. Pity that.

  4. Jack Hogan said:

    I wonder what kind of tree ID would be if ID were a tree.

    Or a whale. Imagine that it was a ballistic missile fired up into the air then, in a fit of infinite improbability, it turned into a sperm whale. Imagine its thought process on the way back down:
    “Hello! What’s this? Where am I? Who am I? What is this thing? Croatianism? Creechinism? Creationism? Yes, that sounds good. I shall you call “creationism”. And what is this coming up towards me? Ebullient malign? No, that’s not right. Irreverent stopsign? Nope. Intelligent design? Yes! That sounds good! So, “creationism”, meet “intelligent des…
    SPLAT!

  5. Well, if a puddle actually woke up and thought anything, it would be entitled to that opinion.

    …..until some smarter puddles, doing real research, discovered how holes were made and where puddles actually come from.

  6. Stig's Mate

    Surely a more fitting quote from Douglas Adams would be;
    “well that just about wraps it up for god”

  7. Remember … today is 4/20.

  8. Are they trying to make fun of themselves??? Do they really think that the hole in the road was designed in the perfect size and shape to fit the puddle and not the other way around?

  9. Pete Moulton

    I think DA would’ve absolutely loved this! It’s a shame he didn’t live to see it. Doesn’t anyone at the Disco-tute know anything about Adams, his life and career, or the fact that he introduced the lovely and talented Lalla Ward to her husband, his old and dear friend, Richard Dawkins?

  10. Tomato Addict

    @Spector567: Yes, they do think this way, and it’s not the first time I’ve seen DA quoted for this purpose. That Adams is writing humor, is completely beyond them.

  11. If the Discoveroids woke up . . .

    Naaaaaahhhh. Not going to happen.

  12. Irony deficiency.

  13. Absolutely priceless. A classic. Amazing.

  14. retiredsciguy

    Jack Hogan asks, “I wonder what kind of tree ID would be if ID were a tree.”

    Redwood. Highest form of life. (Well, that’s one definition, anyway.)

  15. I don’t know what the Disco ‘Toot is thinking about, and kind of doubt that they are thinking at all. When I see a puddle illustration, I think first of the argument in David Mills’ book “Atheist Universe,” pages 219-223, which is the best refutation of the anthropic principle that I know of.