FOR your weekend contemplation, we bring you the view from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — truly the fountainhead of creationist wisdom. Even by their standards, this time they have a really ridiculous new article at their website: Human Communication: Chance or Design?
It’s only fair to advise you: We are about to embark on a journey into the deep dark forest of fallacious argumentation where no man has gone before. You still want to continue? Okay, but you’ve been warned. Here we go:
Human speech requires precisely organized body parts and biochemicals that are certainly complicated enough on their own to have warranted their special creation. But a new study indicates that gestures also play a key role in interpersonal interactions. So many factors must combine in human communication that it would be far too improbable for them to have been integrated and coordinated without a purpose-minded builder.
You know where this is going, and you can easily spot the erroneous thinking involved. We humans struggle to make the most of the organs we’ve inherited. We’ve manage to do an adequate job of communicating with mouths that were evolved for eating and breathing. One does what one can with what’s available. But it’s obvious to everyone — well, almost everyone — that we’ve been communicating much better since we began to design and build our own equipment.
Okay, you know the value of this AIG article, but we’re already here. Let’s read on — if only to see how far the author is willing to go:
The human ability to speak is unique and amazing. Just before a person speaks, for example, raw thoughts are edited using areas of the frontal lobe. Then, jaw, lip, cheek, tongue, diaphragm, rib, and larynx muscles are precisely innervated to produce information-rich sounds, which are only effective if the hearer has a complete set of the appropriate auditory hardware and software, including knowledge of the language spoken.
Hey, yeah! What good is it if one can flap his jowls and speak like Demosthenes, if no one has ears, or if no one speaks your language? Jeepers, it’s all got to come together. The author has a point! [Cough, groan, guffaw, snort, slap knee, etc.] We continue:
But where do integrated systems come from? Could humans’ unique, multi-faceted speech abilities have been generated through random processes? Such a conclusion would defy observation and experience, which demonstrate that randomness produces disorder, not function.
Before you click away in disgust, we ask you to consider this: Does anything in the entire effort to promote Intelligent Design have any more merit than this hapless essay? If we didn’t know the source, we might suspect that we’re reading a spoof. Poe’s Law comes to mind. While your head is spinning as you ponder that, we’re not stopping. Here’s more:
Thus, humanity appears uniquely outfitted to use voices, bodies, and subtle facial gestures in seamless coordination to communicate. These “well fit” features speak clearly of their design in general. But the fact that humans appear to be well fit in these particular ways speaks just as clearly of their having been designed to communicate, as though they were made “in the image” of a God who communicates.
There’s more to the essay, but it’s more of the same, so that will be our last excerpt. If you’re worried that we left out something that might be worth your time, click over to ICR and search for it. But by now you should have learned to trust us in such matters.
Okay, having seen what ICR thinks, what can we say? How about this — If we really had a purposefully designed communication system, wouldn’t we be outfitted with some kind of speaker, like our TV sets have? Speakers can produce all necessary sounds, and they have no wet and sloppy moving parts. They could operate using signals sent directly from the brain, which would be far more efficient than our lung-driven system of slapping sounds together with our teeth and lips and tongue.
If the designer had given the matter just a little bit of thought we could be communicating in symphonies. Instead, with membranes flapping, we squeak and hiss and bark out words, breathing all over each other, and sometimes we get carried away and add a spray of saliva. Yuk! What’s so great about our system of speaking?
Anyway, now you’ve seen the sort of argument that inspires creationists to be all they can be. If you’re disappointed because you were expecting something at least somewhat better, well … we warned you ahead of time. This is creationism. Don’t blame us.
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