Proof of the Theory of Abominable Befuddlement

It was exactly two years ago today that we astounded the world by publishing our paradigm-shattering Theory of Abominable Befuddlement — which has been universally celebrated as the ultimate scientific breakthrough of our time.

For those who are somehow unaware of what we accomplished, here is one brief excerpt from our earlier post, which illustrates the baffling problem we solved:

[H]ow can a creationist brain even exist? Surely, the defects that produce such a malfunctioning organ should have been filtered out of the gene pool long ago. The continued existence of creationists among us can be cited as evidence against natural selection. Therefore, we must boldly acknowledge the Paradox of Creationism: Creationism exists; and if evolution can’t account for it, then what does?

Our breakthrough insight was the Theory of Abominable Befuddlement™ (commonly abbreviated as “AB”) which holds that certain features of the creationist brain are best explained by an Abominable Befuddler, and not by an undirected process such as natural selection.

For ordinary men — even for most extra-ordinary men — such an achievement would have been sufficient for a lifetime. But that’s not your Curmudgeon’s way. Having already mastered the mysteries of the Time Cube, we were eager to advance to the next level of spiritual growth.

As the world’s foremost befuddlement theorist, we undertook the labor of studying the output of creationists in order to find proof of our theory. Our method was to look for nuggets of irreducible befuddlement, which could not possibly have been the product of any rational thought process. We knew that if we found such evidence, we would have irrefutable proof that the Befuddler not only exists, but that he is still at work. (This is in striking contrast to the Intelligent Designer, whose last known activities were long ago in the Cambrian.)

So we went looking for evidence — and we found it!

Where did we find our evidence? You needn’t have asked. It’s available 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).

The article we’re using to showcase the evidence was posted earlier this month at the Discoveroids’ blog. It’s one of many that we could have chosen, but we haven’t written about this one before. It’s by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), and it’s titled Darwinism and the Impoverishment of Beauty.

Klinghoffer’s post is about some reviews of a movie called Tree of Life, but we’re not interested in the film. We’re looking for nuggets of irreducible befuddlement, and you will undoubtedly agree that we found them. Here are some excerpts, with the self-evidently befuddled portions highlighted in bold font, to which we have also added color for additional emphasis:

If art can make a case for ID [intelligent design “theory”], it’s equally true that art itself points to a design transcending our natural world and would be devastatingly blunted in a world where materialism and Darwinism had driven out the sense of life’s enchantment.

Self-evidently befuddled, right? But there’s more:

The threatened impoverishment of beauty deserves consideration as being at stake in the cultural struggle over Darwinian theory, right up there alongside the impoverishment of meaning, enchantment, and faith.

And still more:

Imagine if Darwinists really won the argument and we all finally accepted at a really deep level that appeals to the divine and the transcendent are illusory. … If that were even possible, it would mean the crippling of great art.

Here’s more:

For now, of course, we all live under a suffocating blanket of materialism.

It goes on and on, finally ending with this:

Oh, for the Bronze Age! Compared to us, between Darwin and the Internet, between Anthony Weiner and David Wojnarowicz and all the rest, they had it easy.

So there you are, dear reader. Now you know with absolute certainty — the Abominable Befuddler walks among us!

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “Proof of the Theory of Abominable Befuddlement

  1. Ah yes, the wonderful Bronze Age. Where lives were short and difficult, but after the back-breaking labor of the day and, if lucky, an evening meal, one could… what? Create great art? Huh?

    I guess one could sit around the fire and make up stories about gods and floods and such.

    Klinghoffer has no clue what he is writing about. His suggestion that our sense of beauty and enchantment depends on belief in god and an afterlife reflects his inability to really see the world for what it is. His fantasies of gods and demons and heaven and hell blur his vision, so that everything appears magical to him. Sure, that belief might provide moments of superficial enchantment when he hears music that stumulates those beliefs, or sees an attractive piece of religious art. However, that is nothing compared to the sublime beauty of saturn through a telescope when seen for the first time, or the enchantment of finding a trilobyte and turning it over in your hand while contemplating the 300 or 400 million years that have passed since that beautiful object was a living creature, or – as Ken Ham so effectively destroyed for a young girl – the feeling of awe that comes with reaching out and actually touching a piece of the moon. Without science, saturn is just some odd thing in the sky, the trilobyte is only an attractive rock, and no human can ever touch the moon.

    And, as an atheist, I will attest that we are just as moved by beautiful art, literature, music and movies as any religious person. In fact, I would assert that we see and feel beauty much more clearly than minds fogged by superstition and prejudice.

  2. I was truly befuddled after reading Klinghoffer’s alleged movie “review”, (which went off the ideological rails after the first paragraph.) I’m having trouble connecting the dots. What does Darwin have to do with Anthony Weiner? He doesn’t do a very good job of carrying his point.

    What are his criteria for great art? That it must first adhere to ancient scripture? Or is he saying atheists can’t be effective fantasy authors? Really, now? How about Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison, Arthur C. Clarke, Tom Wolfe, Kurt Vonnegut, and George Orwell to name a few – all bums?

    I’m not a true believer, but I’m not close-minded, either. I have a huge collection of Gospel music, for instance. I enjoy Biblical epics by filmmakers who were apparently sincerely religious, (including that Three Stooges episode where Shemp goes to Heaven and comes back as an angel.) Well, so what? How is that a basis for value judgment of artistic merit?

    And why is Klinghoffer waxing ecstatic over a time in history that featured near universal illiteracy, rampant state-sponsored slavery and genocide? I beg to differ that the artists and craftsmen of the Bronze Age “had it easy”.

  3. magpie61 says:

    I was truly befuddled … . What does Darwin have to do with Anthony Weiner?

    I don’t know what would cure Klinghoffer. Maybe an enema? Or does he need an exorcism? Perhaps both at the same time.

  4. Magpie61: “I’m having trouble connecting the dots.”

    Ah, that’s the problem. Try thinking like an IDer, who insists that it’s not ID’s job to connect dots. It’s so liberating. 😉

  5. comradebillyboy

    ‘Creationism exists; and if evolution can’t account for it, then what does?’
    So… a scientific theory dealing with biological development must be robust enough to encompass superstition and pseudo-science. Where, outside of an abnormal psychology text, will one see that sort of cognitive dissonance addressed?

    About beauty and faith, I have visited the Sistine Chapel and the Hagia Sophia church in recent years. Both are exquisitely beautiful and both are products of great faith. This in no way implies that all beauty is a result of faith. Creationist logic is an oxymoron.

  6. comradebillyboy says:

    I have visited the Sistine Chapel and the Hagia Sophia church in recent years. Both are exquisitely beautiful and both are products of great faith.

    I’ve visited a few buildings and monuments in Washington, DC. They’re quite secular, and beautiful.

  7. Klinghoffer’s ID articles make me sick to my stomach. Is there an alternate theory of Abdominal Befuddlement?

  8. SC wrote:

    we undertook the labor of studing the output of creationists

    Did you mean to say “the labor of studying“, cuz if you meant “studing” (which would be the improper spelling of “studding”) as if you meant “to stud”, well, I don’t know what to do with that one.
    If it was an error and you correct it, please delete this comment, too, so that future comment readers won’t be confused.

  9. Gary asks:

    Did you mean to say “the labor of studying“

    Yup. All fixed now. Thanks for spotting it. I’ll leave your comment.

  10. “The threatened impoverishment of beauty deserves consideration as being at stake in the cultural struggle over Darwinian theory, right up there alongside the impoverishment of meaning, enchantment, and faith.”

    What on earth is this IDiot going on about here? It makes no sense. Plus, he kinda sounds like a kid who just found out that there is no Santa….. or that someone peed in his cheerios. He thinks that our world needs enchantment? From us??? Hahaha!!! This guy seriously lacks the right kind of imagination. How pathetic.

  11. The assumption that if art reflects a religious belief, it means the artis was influenced by the religion. Leonardo da Vinci, for instance, painted the last supper, but he himself would most likely not very religious. He was technically catholic, but, when studying fossils of ancient sealife, he rejected the idea that it was placed there by a great flood, and didn’t believe there was a global flood at all. Not only that, but he may have had a vague idea f evolution. And his inspiration for the last supper was not religion, but instead the people he saw all around him.

  12. “Oh for the Bronze Age!”
    SC, you’d best check your Retard-O-Tron, because if those words didn’t set it off, it’s either broken or not turned on.

  13. skmarshall says: “SC, you’d best check your Retard-O-Tron”

    I’ve had it shut off lately. It was keeping me awake.