Discovery Institute: Ignorance is Strength

ONCE AGAIN, DISCOVEROID Casey Luskin, a lawyer on the staff of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, demonstrates that he is one of the most clueless people on the planet when it comes to understanding science.

In his latest blog article, Casey “critiques” some adjustments to the Tree of Life which seem to be required by recent studies. As is typical of creationists, he gleefully leaps upon his (second-hand) discovery of science “errors” to bolster his ooey-gooey feeling that the fairy tale of Intelligent Design creationism is better than science because it never needs revisions:

In his blog entry More Troubles in the Tree of Animal Life, Casey says:

In late 2005, three biologists published a study in Science which concluded, “Despite the amount of data and breadth of taxa analyzed, relationships among most [animal] phyla remained unresolved.”

In 2008, the relationships among animals are still controversial. A recent news release at Science Daily highlights a new study, “Tree Of Animal Life Has Branches Rearranged.” The story reports, “The study is the most comprehensive animal phylogenomic research project to date, involving 40 million base pairs of new DNA data taken from 29 animal species.”

According to the article, the study yielded surprising results: “Comb jellyfish — common and extremely fragile jellies with well-developed tissues — appear to have diverged from other animals even before the lowly sponge, which has no tissue to speak of. This finding calls into question the very root of the animal tree of life, which traditionally placed sponges at the base.”

Fine. These jellyfish and sponges will eventually be well enough understood to be properly classified. One thing is absolutely certain — Casey has no clue about how to arrange this constantly-growing body of evidence. No one at that “think tank” of his has a clue, and the research needed to figure this stuff out won’t be coming from the Discoveroids, because they don’t engage in research. (Why bother? They’ve already got Genesis.)

As scientists diligently labor to increase their knowledge, enabling them to correct past errors, creationists scoff from the sidelines and snicker that they’re way ahead of the scientists, because creationists never have to make corrections. Of course not — there’s no way to test their “knowledge” so they can cling to it forever. They trumpet the persistence of their folk-tales as a virtue: “You can trust us. We’ve always been idiots; and we’ll always be idiots!”

Oh, we should mention one more bit of silliness from the Discoveroids in that blog entry. They assume that all scientific evidence is chaotic (much like the chaos in their own minds), and therefore it leads to no verifiable conclusions. Here’s how Casey (the genius) concludes his article:

But using this many-gene method might be like someone who asked for directions to Atlantis, but failed to find the lost continent after trying to follow the directions. So instead they asked 50 people for directions to Atlantis, expecting that any conflicts and contradictions in their various bits of advice will all average out, and by combining their accounts – pass the river, go 50 stadia – wait no 45 stadia, then left at the canyon – no then right, then paddle for 3 days towards the north star – no you paddle 2 days west – and you’ll somehow find Atlantis. The other possibility is that there is no Atlantis to find and that people are mistaken in their various theories about how to find Atlantis.

Hey, Casey! If that were really what the evidence looks like — if it never converges into coherent patterns leading to testable conclusions — then all of science would be impossible. And it certainly wouldn’t speak well for the abilities of your Intelligent Designer. Here’s a bit of advice — avoid trying to use analogies. You need to understand the material before you can play that game. Aside from that, nice try.

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