Category Archives: Science

Discoveroids’ Calvary Church Revival Meeting

A few days ago the Discovery Institute announced another creationist revival meeting. The title of the thing was Faith, Science and Culture: Does God Still Matter?, and it was heralded as: “An Evening with Dennis Prager, John Stonestreet, Dr. Stephen Meyer, and Hugh Hewitt.” As with so many of their allegedly scientific discussions, this one was held at a religious venue — Calvary Church of Santa Ana.

Well, what happened? How did it go? There’s no need to wonder, dear reader. The Discoveroids have just posted a breathlessly gushing report of what a splendid event it was. You can read about it at their creationist blog: Stephen Meyer and Panel Attract a Large Southern California Audience.

Wowie — a large audience! What does that mean? In Southern California, one could easily attract a far larger audience for a “scientific” presentation of the case for Bigfoot or The Time Cube.

The Discoveroids’ account of the event is filled with the usual blather, such as:

A rough count of 1,500 people — sizeable for a workweek evening — came to a large church auditorium in Santa Ana this past Thursday … . The lively discussion covered many topics and none of the panelists was ever at a loss for words. In the broad mix of subjects, ranging from terrorism to classical music, from pornography to the Cambrian explosion, everyone had something interesting to say.

Isn’t that wonderful? But then it gets good. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Even though belief in God was a prevalent subtext, Meyer was able to explain the scientific evidence underlying the intelligent design position cogently and effectively.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! In spite of the fact that everyone was thinking and talking about God — not surprising at a Discoveroid revival meeting — Meyer explained the “scientific evidence underlying the intelligent design position.” How did he do that, considering that there is no such evidence? Let’s read on:

Meyer was asked if he thought there was evidence for a transcendent designer. He recounted the indisputable evidence for design from astrophysics and the fine-tuning of the constants of physics, then used that evidence to support the view that the designer must be beyond the universe. The sudden origin of the universe also argues for a pre-existent designer.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s it. That’s their entire case. As we’ve pointed out so often before, aside from their bizarre claim that Darwin inspired maniacs like Hitler (which we decisively debunked here), all they have is a god of the gaps argument and William Paley’s watchmaker analogy — which was popular in the days before Darwin, but which David Hume rebutted long before Darwin published his theory of evolution.

Do the Discoveroids say anything else worth repeating here? Let’s see … ah yes, how about this:

He [Meyer] stressed, however, that the intelligent design argument does not concern the identity of the designer, but only whether intelligent causes can be inferred from the effects, using the well-known uniformitarian principle that causes we see producing effects today can be used to infer the causes at work in the past.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s another Discoveroid favorite — see Mt. Rushmore Is Designed, Therefore …. It’s amazing that despite the brilliant reasoning that supports intelligent design “theory,” the scientific community continues to regard the Discoveroids as a fringe, religiously motivated, pseudo-science movement. Here’s more about Meyer’s presentation:

Critics of ID, he pointed out, are quick to accuse advocates of religious motivations, but never refute the design argument scientifically. They belittle the messenger instead of responding to the message.

It’s so unfair! Especially in the case of someone like Meyer, whose scientific reputation is impeccable. He’s not only the Vice President of the Discovery Institute, and one of their and Senior Fellows, he was a central figure in the infamous Sternberg peer review controversy, and as we reported here, Meyer was one of three creationist “experts” who were on the 6-member panel selected by Don McLeroy to testify before the Texas Board of Education regarding standards for science education.

Here’s a final excerpt, which illustrates the power of the Discoveroids’ message:

The importance of ID to college students and young people was not lost on any of the panelists. Prager and Stonestreet described the boredom and purposelessness of many young people today, who (unlike previous generations) perceive themselves as consumers rather than producers. They gave examples of young people, taught all their lives that they are nothing but animals evolved from lower life forms, who turned to suicide or terrorism in response to the nihilism of our culture. When asked what was responsible for this cultural decline, Meyer did not hesitate to claim it was Darwinism. The other panelists nodded in agreement.

What a great event it must have been — with lots of that ol’ fashioned, down-home, foot-stompin’, hand-clappin’, psalm-singin’, floor-rollin’, rafter-shakin’, old-time creationism. What a pity that you missed it! Not only that, but the Deluge of Drool must have had a beneficial effect on that region’s drought.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Casey Says: Science Needs Checks and Balances

Casey Luskin — our favorite creationist — is making a guest appearance at a website called The Blaze. We know nothing about them except that they’re willing to publish Casey’s material — and they’ve done so in the past. There’s no need to know anything else.

This is Casey’s article: Defenders Of The Evolutionary ‘Consensus’ Could Benefit From More Fact Checking. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Hey — The Blaze gives some biographical information about Casey: They inform their drooling readers:

Casey Luskin is an attorney with graduate degrees in both science and law, giving him a unique combination of expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. … For his day job, Luskin works as Research Coordinator at Discovery Institute, where he has worked since 2005 helping scientists and educators to freely investigate and discuss the evidence for intelligent design.

Casey’s bio goes on at great length. That alone is worth clicking over to The Blaze. The way they put it, he’s a Renaissance man! But somehow they failed to mention Casey’s greatest achievement — see Casey Luskin Is Named a Curmudgeon Fellow.

That’s enough introductory material. You’re eager for us to leap into The Blaze to inform you of what it says. Okay, here are some excerpts from Casey’s guest column, with bold font added by us:

One of the dangers of enforcing “consensus science” is a lack of competition. Just as in business, when competitors aren’t allowed, the quality of the product suffers. Anyone who has dealt with a local cable company understands this truth.

This is soooooo bad. Hey, Casey: You can’t compete if you don’t know how to play the game. If you want to try, we urge you to read this: Advice for Creationists. Let’s read on:

In science, this same principle can translate into a failure to adequately fact-check arguments. When defenders of the consensus try to squelch and ignore those who disagree with them, their arguments often become sloppy.

We’ll skip Casey’s examples of what he claims have been “sloppy” attempts to refute various Discoveroid arguments. We don’t know why anyone would waste his time that way. If the Discoveroids ever have a good point to make, it will be carefully considered. Until then, our preferred response is ridicule. At the end, Casey says:

Additional examples could be given, but the point is clear: Without checks and balances from dissenting voices, defenders of the consensus can become overzealous and promote false information. Competition from skeptics helps everyone better evaluate the truth of these important scientific questions.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, Casey. You Discoveroids have been a great help. We really appreciate it.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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WorldNetDaily: Beware Another Supermoon!

Buffoon Award

Again and again you’ve been warned. As recently as last month we posted: WorldNetDaily: Beware Saturday’s Supermoon! Before that we posted Prepare To Meet Thy Doom, Part 4, and there were warnings before that.

But you continue to ignore the clear signs, foretold by ancient seers who had the divine gift of prophecy. You blind fools! Very well then. In what is probably a hopeless endeavor, we shall warn you this one last time.

This final effort is due to the Drool-o-tron™, which signaled us with its blaring sirens and flashing lights. The blinking letters of the wall display said WorldNetDaily (WND). As you know, WND was an early winner of the Curmudgeon’s Buffoon Award, thus the jolly logo displayed above this post.

WND’s headline is Summer’s 2nd supermoon looming. Now please, dear reader, pay attention! We don’t know how many more warnings there will be. When The End comes, it will be too late to mend your evil ways. WND begins by quoting one of those foolish scientists at the U.S. Naval Observatory:

There’s a part of me that wishes that this ‘Supermoon’ moniker would just dry up and blow away, like the ‘Blood Moon’ that accompanied the most recent lunar eclipse, because it tends to promulgate a lot of misinformation.

There are always unbelievers. Then WND says, with bold font supplied by us for emphasis:

On the other hand, Pastor Mark Biltz, author of “Blood Moons” and the inspiration for a documentary movie of the same name, sees the names as significant. He wants people to pay attention to the “signs in the sun, moon and stars” promised in the Bible and try to understand what they mean.

Verily, the rev is a man who knows things! Let’s read on:

“As calamities around the globe mount and things seem to be unsettled on every front, I hope we will remember that it is a God of grace who warns and signals and is calling people to His nail pierced hand that is stretched out still,” he explained in a newsletter. “The Lord is surely speaking. Are we rejoicing that God warns us in these amazing signs in the heavens? Are we listening and watching and praying and warning and teaching others the things we have been taught? It is time,” he said.

Well, dear reader, are you finally paying heed? WND continues:

Sunday’s event is the second of three such supermoons this summer – in July, August and September. Biltz and his team at El Shaddai Ministries want believers to take these signs in the heavens to heart.

Aaaargh!! The Supermoon will be visible on Sunday! Here’s another quote from the rev:

“All these signs, coming together at one time, are potentially the culminating signals that God is closing this chapter of human history,” Biltz said. “This could be the final curtain call before the Great Tribulation mentioned in the Bible. God has always wanted to warn His people, and the rest of the world, before He intervenes. What better way to communicate to us than through the universal language of heavenly signs that speak to every tribe, tongue, and nation?”

Aaaargh!! This could be the final curtain call! In case it is, we bid you farewell and close with this:

Thats all folks

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Discoveroids: SETI and Intelligent Design

In their ongoing effort to show that their “theory” can detect the existence of a transcendent designer of the universe by using William Dembski’s Design Inference, the Discovery Institute has posted a sad series of articles claiming that other sciences are already using their brilliant methods, so their “theory” is actually confirmed and widely accepted. A few of their attempts are: Chapman: Computers Are Designed, Therefore …?, and also Rock Mounds Are Designed, Therefore …, and also Mt. Rushmore Is Designed, Therefore …, and also Discoveroids: SETI Uses Intelligent Design Theory, and also Intelligent Design Is Science: Cryptology Uses It. That’s enough. You get the idea.

Their latest involves SETI (the Search for extraterrestrial intelligence), a topic they despise because they fear that one day it will be their undoing, but which they nevertheless claim is using their methods. You can read all about it at their creationist blog: Intelligent Design in Action: We Could Detect an Alien Civilization by Their Pollution, Astrobiologists Say.

Oooooooooh! What a title — intelligent design in action! In truth, ID “in action” is nothing more than the Discoveroids flinging poo at science, but let’s be open-minded long enough to see what they have to say. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Methane is produced naturally in a number of ways. For years, astrobiologists have thought that spectra indicating methane on alien planets might provide a biosignature of microbial life. According to NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine, however, SETI researchers might be able to use methane as a sign of intelligent life, by differentiating between natural and fabricated methane signatures on distant planets: [quote omitted].

Okay, that seems reasonable. What has the Discoveroids all excited? They say:

What does “fabricating” imply? Intelligent design, clearly.

Ooooooooooh! Intelligent design! Wowie! Anything else? Yeah, there is:

It takes machinery to produce certain atmospheric signatures, and machines are fabricated by minds for a purpose. Natural causes cannot burn methane to make smog. Nor do they generate the CFCs that damage our ozone layer. So here’s an indirect way to make a design inference, without having to scan the stellar radio dial for intentional broadcast messages.

Ooooooooooh! A design inference! The Discoveroids were right all along! What are CFCs? They sloppily didn’t bother defining those initials, but they refer to chlorofluorocarbons. Let’s read on:

Unless [the] astrobiologists contend that our civilization is the result of unguided natural processes sans intelligence, they are implying that intelligent causes can be inferred from, of all things, pollution! It’s actually very instructive for ID theory. Who would have thought a blonde’s hairspray is a sign of intelligence?

Ooooooooooh! Hey, we’re getting the hang of it. If we see: (a) a rotting tree lying on the ground in the forest; and (b) a log cabin, we can actually imply an intelligent cause for the cabin. Yes — it’s all starting to make sense! Those Discoveroids really do have a valuable scientific tool we can use. We’ll overlook their remark about blondes — a rare lapse in their customary good taste. They continue:

If we could detect these particular CFCs someday, the point is, an inference to intelligent life would be inescapable. Intelligent-design theory never claims that phenomena worthy of a design inference are wise! They just need to go beyond the capabilities of chance and natural law.

Quite so. No one disagrees. But the problem the Discoveroids have is in persuading anyone with a brain that life, the Earth, and the whole universe are also “beyond the capabilities of chance and natural law.” They may get around to that some day, but this obviously isn’t that day.

There’s more to the Discoveroids’ article, but we’ve already hit the fun parts — except for their last line. Here it comes:

What was that about intelligent-design theory being a cover for creationism?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, it’s a cover. A cheap, flimsy, totally transparent cover.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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