It didn’t take very long for the creationists to react. You all know the news that was announced yesterday about the discovery of a bacterium that can use arsenic where all other terrestrial life uses phosphorus. See NASA News Release on Alien Life. In that thread we commented:
What will the creationists say about this? They’ll have to say something. Some possibilities: (1) they knew it all the time; (2) this disproves common descent; (3) Darwin was wrong; (4) it’s all fake; (5) I ain’t no kin to no arsenic bacterium; (6) the Designer did it; and finally (7) Hitler used arsenic.
Creationists are so very predictable, as we learn today at the blog of 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).
They’ve just posted a blog article by David Klinghoffer titled: About That Arsenic-Gobbling Microbe…Bad News for Darwinists? Here’s a bit of background on that author, which most of you can skip:
David Klinghoffer is proud of being a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist). He has previously posted a series of essays attempting to link Charles Darwin to: Hitler, and communism, and Stalin, and the Columbine shootings, and Charles Manson, and Holocaust Museum shooter, James von Brunn, and the Ft. Hood Massacre, and Mao Tse-tung, and Dr. Josef Mengele, and the Occult, and The Dark Side of Darwinism, and most recently James Lee, the Discovery Channel Terrorist.
Okay, now we present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from Klinghoffer’s article on the discovery of arsenic-friendly bacteria, with bold added by us:
NASA’s discovery of an arsenic-ingesting microbe in California’s forbidding Mono Lake looks, on the surface, like bad news for Darwinists hopeful to show what a no-big-deal it is for a planet to bring forth life unguided.
“Bad news for Darwinists”? Even though we predicted a creationist reaction like this, it’s stunning to actually see it. Let’s read on:
Under Darwinian assumptions, the observation that such an alternative life chemistry is possible means that some planets previously assumed to be inhospitable to life, due to being poor in phosphorus, would now turn out after all to be potential theaters for life’s presumed spontaneous arising. That would seem to bump up the number of possible dice rolls available out there to jump-start an unguided chemical and biological evolutionary process on some other planet.
Yes, that’s right. How is that “bad news for Darwinists”? Klinghoffer will tell us:
Yet we still have no indication from SETI or anything else that intelligent or complex life exists anywhere but here. Which makes the existence of life on earth look just a bit more special than it did before, right?
Is that it? Is that the best the Discoveroids can do? Apparently so. Their claim that the magical mystery designer did his super-duper-whatever-it-was here on earth and nowhere else remains secure if — and only if — we find no life off-planet. In effect, the Discoveroids have just signed a very short-term lease. They’ll get evicted any day now, but until then they can claim to be geniuses.
Then Klinghoffer quotes Expelled! star Guillermo Gonzalez, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” who failed to get tenure at Iowa State University and who now teaches at some bible college. He’s a co-author of the classic creationist book, The Privileged Planet, a “fine tuning” argument applied to Earth. You know how that goes — everything is so perfectly arranged that it just couldn’t have happened naturally; there had to be some guiding intelligence who set the dials so that everything would be as we see it.
We’ll spare you Guillermo’s insight, but click over to the Discoveroid blog if you’re curious. Klinghoffer concludes with this:
Given Dr. Gonzalez’s final point, materialists may have dodged a bullet on this after all.
Ah, so the “materialists” may have “dodged a bullet.” That’s how the creationists describe it when scientists discover something that supports their theories. Evolution has been “dodging bullets” for more than 150 years now, and every bullet dodged kills another creationist fantasy. Somehow the creationists persevere — but only on Bizarro World.
Update: See Answers in Genesis on Arsenic Bacteria Discovery.
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