We’ve finally figured out the biggest problem facing the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).
Their problem is that they really don’t have anything to say. Oh sure, they can repeat a bunch of mumbo-jumbo about irreducible complexity, but there’s never been any substance to that slogan; it must be getting tiresome even for them. And it must be especially tiresome to keep boasting about the vast hoards of scientists who are supposedly rallying to their cause, when they always seem to be the same half-dozen people, and all of them are long-time Discoveroid “fellows.”
What else can they talk about? They can always get out into the country and visit their fellow-travelers, especially those in places like Louisiana where the creationism is thick and pungent — like the crawfish gumbo. There they can greet their followers and say things like: “Howdy, retard!” Well, it would be bad politics to actually say that, so such conversations must be very awkward affairs.
But things may be looking up for the Discoveroids. Now they have a serious adversary they can talk about. BioLogos, a theistic, pro-evolution group of scientists, has been generating immense discomfort among creationists, and it’s getting difficult to keep up with it. We’re witnessing a whole new development — quarrels among splinter groups of creationists, and also quarrels among religionists over evolution and creationism.
Our last post on this topic was More Denominational Discord Over Evolution. That’s about the latest in a series of disputes within the faith community over evolution, an issue BioLogos seems only too willing to confront — unlike a large number of religious denominations that accept science but won’t debate with their co-religionists who are science-deniers.
We can understand the shock that creationists must feel — especially young-earth creationists — to confront the fact that a group of their fellow Christians are also prominent scientists who accept evolution. What we don’t understand, entirely, is why the Discoveroids are so upset about BioLogos. After all, the Discoveroids claim to be a secular, scientific research outfit. They’ve never convinced anyone that they’re anything but creationists, but that’s their posture. So why, as an ostensibly secular group, are they flustered over BioLogos?
Well, aside from the obvious fact that BioLogos accepts evolution, there may be other reasons, and they all boil down to envy.
First, the BioLogos people are respected scientists — something that we’ve never heard said about the Discoveroids, unless it’s said by another Discoveroid or one of their brain-dead followers. So there’s professional envy. A second reason is that BioLogos founder Francis Collins is close to, and has been funded by, the John Templeton Foundation; and the Templeton Foundation won’t even consider funding anything related to intelligent design. A third reason may be social envy. The BioLogos people get invited to genuine science conferences, whereas the Discoveroids have to hold their creationist revivals mostly in churches or at bible colleges.
Today the Discoveroid blog has another anti-BioLogos article. It’s titled Francis Collins, Evolution and “Darwin of the Gaps”. We’ll only give you a few excerpts. It says, with bold font added by us:
Francis Collins [founder of BioLogos] is one of the world’s most prominent theistic evolutionists, and now a prominent piece of President Obama’s government.
A bit of a dig there with that reference to Obama, but still, Francis Collins has a formidable resume. Let’s read on:
Much of Collins’s case for Darwinian evolution is based on so-called “junk DNA.” This is the part of the genome that does not appear to code for the production of proteins. In mammals, the vast majority of DNA has been dismissed as “junk.”
The case for Darwinian evolution is based on junk DNA? That’s a new one. The Discoveroids are obsessed with junk DNA. To them, it’s a serious affront to the skills of their magical mystery Designer, and they ceaselessly defend his workmanship with the claim that none of the genome is junk. The last time we laughed about that was here: Fearless Predictions of Creation Science.
We’ll skip a lot to get to the fun part of this Discoveroid post, which is at the end. Watch the wild spinning in their final paragraph. We’ll break it up into chunks so it can be fully appreciated:
But the argument from junk DNA — also called “ancient repetitive elements” (AREs) — depends on the premise that no function will ever be discovered for AREs.
Did you get that? Evolution is based on an “argument from junk DNA.” Actually, it’s not. There was a ton of evidence supporting evolution even before DNA was discovered. Like all new discoveries, DNA could have been a problem for evolution, but it’s not. Indeed, it’s extraordinarily useful in demonstrating common descent. The fact that it’s all junked up wasn’t predicted, and it isn’t essential to the theory, but junk DNA’s existence is a striking rebuke to those who imagine that DNA was intelligently designed.
So the “argument from junk DNA” is pure Discoveroid fiction. In this context, junk DNA means only that the creationists have a problem explaining its existence. Indeed, it’s the Discoveroids who have the burden of showing that every little scrap of junk DNA serves a purpose. Good luck with that. Evolution could survive with or without the junk, but the junk is incompatible with intelligent design. Okay, on with the Discoveroid paragraph:
Collins’s faith in Darwinian theory would be severely hamstrung if the premise were shown to be wrong.
We doubt it. Besides, one doesn’t have “faith” in a scientific theory. Faith is for beliefs that aren’t supported by evidence or logical argument.
Here’s the last of the Discoveroid paragraph, and please note their perversion of the classic fallacy known as God of the gaps:
It is a faith based on gaps in scientific knowledge. Hence, “Darwin of the gaps.”
This is genuinely funny stuff. The Discoveroids — from their position on the far fringe of reality — are now claiming that evolution has only a fragile, desperate grip on credibility, which is based solely on gaps in the intelligent design “theory.”
And so we leave the Discoveroids’ Seattle “think tank.” As we do so, we’re wondering: Are they really that dense? Is that how they actually think? If so, it explains a lot.
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