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.
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.
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