The Stupid-Driven Life — Part XV

Welcome to our “Stupid Driven” series, in which we offer disconnected observations we’ve made while reporting on The Controversy between evolution and creationism. These nuggets are usually taken from our earlier articles, but all of them were inspired by reading and analyzing the “work” of creationists. And yes, our title is a crude spoof on The Purpose Driven Life.

The last one of these was a year ago: Part XIV. It has a link to the previous episode, and so on. Everybody ready? Okay, here we go:

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Discoveroids are always saying that because of all their blog posts, self-published books, podcasts, etc., the mere volume of what they’re cranking out is evidence of a genuine debate about their “science,” so it should be taught in the schools. It’s their Teach the Controversy campaign. However, if you add up all the stuff that’s been produced about astrology, the volume is probably even greater. But no one thinks there’s a scientific controversy about astrology that deserves to be taught in our schools.

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You should always be on the alert for examples of what we call the Creationist Scientific Method:

1. Select a conclusion which you hope is true.
2. Find one piece of evidence that possibly might fit.
3. Ignore all other evidence.
4. That’s it.

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Last year we posted Don’t Forget ’15 Answers’ from Scientific American. It’s still good advice. The full title of their article is 15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense. It was published eighteen years ago, and it still debunks most of what creationists are claiming.

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And now, a little poem to announce what you’ve all been waiting for:

Mars is red, Uranus is blue,
This is a Free Fire Zone
Just for you.

You know the rules, dear reader. Have at it!

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Is This the Discovery Institute’s Greatest Podcast?

This one at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog is brief, but it’s also beyond description. Their title is Tour to Meyer: Make Your Best Case for the Theory of Intelligent Design, and it has no author’s by-line.

We’ll give you some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this] — but first we’ll remind you who “Tour” and “Meyer” are.

Tour is one of the courageous signers of the Discovery Institute’s Scientific Dissent From Darwinism, which we described here. This is his writeup at Wikipedia: James Tour.

A few years ago at the Jack Chick newsletter we found: World-Famous Chemist Says Peers Hide from Explaining Evolution! Yes, that’s right — the Jack Chick organization praised Tour. And that’s not all. Three years ago we wrote Discovery Institute Praises James Tour. Creationists love the guy, so it’s not surprising to find Tour featured in another Discoveroid blog post.

As for Meyer, here’s his write-up in Wikipedia: Stephen Meyer. His Discoveroid job description has changed over the years, but as their bio page indicates, he’s one of their senior fellows and currently the Program Director of their Center for Science and Culture — that’s their creationism shop. It should not be forgotten that Meyer was a central figure in the infamous Sternberg peer review controversy. According to the Discoveroids’ 2016 Tax Return, Meyer’s salary was $250K.

Okay, now that you’re oriented, let’s dive into the Discoveroids’ post.

On a new episode of ID the Future [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!], Rice University chemist James Tour and Discovery Institute philosopher of science Stephen Meyer continue their conversation about the origin of life and intelligent design.

Try to imagine what a profound discussion that must be. Then try to grasp that stuff like that happens all the time at Discoveroid headquarters. It sounds heavenly! But let’s not get sidetracked. The Discoveroids then say:

They assess an exchange about the former [the origin of life] between physicists Brian Miller and Jeremy England, and Tour notes his hesitance about ID.

Who are Miller and England? Brian Miller’s name doesn’t come up very often around here. He isn’t a Discoveroid “fellow,” but their bio page for him says:

Dr. Brian Miller is Research Coordinator for the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute. He holds a B.S. in physics with a minor in engineering from MIT and a Ph.D. in physics from Duke University. He speaks internationally on the topics of intelligent design and the impact of worldviews on society.

We wrote about Jeremy England only once before. It was six years ago — see Dr Jeremy England: Life Is Inevitable. Also, here’s his Wikipedia writeup: Jeremy England and his page at MIT. He doesn’t seem to be a creationist.

Okay, let’s get back to the Discoveroids. Their post continues:

Professor Tour asks Dr. Meyer to make his best case for the theory of intelligent design. Download the podcast or listen to it here. [Link omitted.]

Wowie — Meyer’s “best case” for intelligent design! That ought to be a great podcast! The Discoveroid post ends with this:

The episode is excerpted from a longer interview Dr. Tour conducted with Dr. Meyer as part of his excellent new video series, The Science & Faith Podcast: Follow the Evidence. [Link omitted.]

Okay, dear reader. You’ve got a lot of videos to look at. Go ahead and look at them — if you’ve got nothing better to do. Then let us know what we’re missing.

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Hambo Tells Us How To Choose a US President

Probably no one in the United States is confused or undecided about the Presidential election coming up soon. But in case you are confused, we have some advice today from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

At the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), Hambo’s creationist ministry, he recently posted Are You Republican or Democrat? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Sometimes I’ve had conversations while out shopping where a store employee asks if I’m Republican or Democrat. My answer? I tell them I’m a Christian, and as a Christian, I build my worldview on the Bible. Then I explain that I will use the Bible as my absolute authority and judge politicians’ beliefs and promises accordingly. This will direct the way I vote.

Hambo is so wise! Then he says:

I’ve had Christians tell me that they grew up in a home where their parents always voted Democrat or Republican, and so they also will always vote for that party. But shouldn’t we as Christians instead judge the worldview of each candidate against the absolute authority of God’s Word? We should then use this to determine who is the best candidate for whom to cast my vote.

What is Hambo saying — we should vote for the candidate who believes in Noah’s Ark? Has he ever heard of the US Constitution? Skipping a couple of paragraphs of scripture, he tells us:

It seems to me, when it comes to politics, many people express their opinions about candidates’ personalities, how they say things, and so on. But as Christians, we do have an absolute standard by which we are to judge, and we should use that same standard to judge others regarding what they believe and say. Yet it is a fallen world, so everything will not be black and white. So we must judge based on the absolute authority of God’s Word. This way we can be much more discerning in deciding who gets our vote.

No doubt about it — Hambo really does want a candidate who believes the same stuff he preaches. His political advice continues:

I consider these things to be very important in guiding my voting: freedom for Christians to witness, preach God’s Word, and freely exercise their faith [No candidate opposes those things!]; the need to put an end to abortion [That’s an issue in this year’s Presidential election?]; and stances on other moral issues. Our responsibility is to research each political candidate, judge their worldview against God’s Word, and pray earnestly for the sovereign God to guide us to the decision we need.

It’s becoming rather clear what kind of candidate Hambo wants. Fortunately, the Constitution pretty much keeps his concerns from being national political issues. Well, there’s the 1973 Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade, but neither candidate is talking about that. (If they are, we’re unaware of it.) Let’s read on:

You can find certain voters’ guides to help you know what each candidate believes and where they stand on various issues at the following websites: [two links omitted]. This pdf from the National Right to Life Committee [link omitted] compares the two primary presidential candidates’ views regarding abortion and the right to life.

Hambo is amazing — he thinks US Presidential elections are all about abortion. And now we come to the end:

So as you vote, don’t be a Republican or Democrat — be a Christian and vote for the best imperfect person who stands a good opportunity of getting elected. Then pray that they will pass policies that don’t hinder the spread of the gospel and will help save babies!

Okay, dear reader. That’s Hambo’s advice. Your Curmudgeon’s political views are known, so we won’t bother telling you what we think about the election. You don’t need our advice, and we don’t think you need Hambo’s either — but that’s your decision.

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Discovery Institute Explains Tushie Evolution

In your Darwinist ignorance, you probably blunder through life thinking the Discovery Institute never produces anything of scientific value. Well, dear reader, prepare yourself for a shock. At their creationist blog, they just posted Doctor’s Diary: No “Butts” About It.

Their author is physician — Geoffrey Simmons. Wikipedia says: “Simmons has written nine books, four fiction, two medical spoofs, and two books about the creation-evolution controversy, published by a Christian publishing house and promotes intelligent design.” In addition to all that he’s a Discoveroid fellow. Here’s their bio page for him.

The last time Geoffrey was featured in our humble blog was The Heavenly Gift of Fear. Now you have the opportunity to learn from him again. Here are some excerpts from his new post, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

“How did human butts evolve to look that way?” [Link omitted.] So asks Darcy Shapiro, a PhD in evolutionary anthropology from Rutgers University, writing at the site Massive Science.

We must admit that we’re a bit — ah — behind in our reading on that subject. Geoffrey says:

Shapiro’s article is intriguing, entertaining, yet falls short. She writes that the evolution of bipedal-walking primates was primarily caused by the shifting of select bones and muscles in the pelvis. Why these bones shifted and changed shape is not clearly stated. But that is just the question. … Whatever the case, the process resulted in the larger, more desirable human buttocks (I mean, desirable in a strictly scientific sense, of course).

Geoffrey seems determined to get to the bottom [Ahem!] of this mystery. He tells us:

Consider the striking and symmetric increase in adipose tissue in each cheek, which is unique to us. [A splendid feature indeed!] Apes barely have this. Their butts are mostly flat. Other differences include the following: many primate butts (not ours) can change at mating time to a violet red color and swell to several times their normal size. [Yuk!] I’ve not seen this phenomenon in humans, not during my four years in medical school, my rotations during specialty training which included OB, nor during my more than 44 years of practice. Some primates can also get markedly enlarged perianal glands, bulging from the rectum and giving the buttocks, I’m sorry to say, a rather unappealing appearance. Fortunately, we didn’t inherit that trait, either.

Humans are so fortunate! Geoffrey continues:

Shapiro comments that our large brains and the use of language with symbols are distinguishing human features, but not nearly as distinguishing as our butt. Honestly? Seriously? Perhaps that is tongue in cheek [Hee hee!], but one can’t be sure. I agree all butts are important, and, as I age, maybe sitting down has become more important to me, but I’m inclined to think that our intelligence remains the most important quality.

Obviously, opinions vary. Now we’re skipping a few paragraphs, which is no loss to you because we know you’ll be clicking over to the Discoveroids to read the whole thing. Okay, we’ve skipped enough. Let’s read on:

In seriousness, Shapiro commits a classic error [Error?]: she identifies a set of features needed for some function, but conflates that with evidence for evolution, constructing a just-so story to account for its origin when that could be equally well explained by intelligent design.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Failing to consider intelligent design is a classic error! Another excerpt:

After all, designers use foresight and goal-oriented thinking to piece together multiple features and components that work in coordination to perform a function. As Shapiro explains, this coordination is exactly what we see in the carefully crafted shape of the bones, muscles, and fat tissue of our butts to allow us to efficiently walk upright, and also to do something that evolution could never have anticipated: sit for long periods of time and do intelligent work at our desks.

Ooooooooooooh! And now we come to the end (so to speak):

This coordination is not evidence of blind and unguided evolution but rather of purposeful action by an intelligent agent. Design is implied, no “butts” about it.

What do you think of all this, dear reader? And please, keep your remarks tasteful.

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