Discovery Institute: The Designer Strikes Again

This is another cookie-cutter article from 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 title is DNA Repair Under Stress, and it has no author — that is, it’s unsigned. Thus we can attribute this “discovery” to the entire Discoveroid crew. As you’ll see, it follows a very predictable formula that goes like this:

1. Scientists discover something new.
2. We don’t understand it, but it looks designed to us.
3. Therefore, Oogity Boogity!

We won’t spend much time on this one because we’ve posted about articles like this so often before, but here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

DNA repair: The more we learn, the more complicated it gets.

Oooooooh — it’s complicated! Let’s read on:

[S]cientists are constantly uncovering layers of complexity and integration within the DNA repair system that seem to defy any notions of having developed by a random, step-by-step process.

Yes, “layers of complexity and integration” are seen that “seem to defy” any hope of a natural explanation. At this point, dear reader, it should be obvious that Discoveroid “science” is entirely based on poor old William Paley’s 1802 theological argument, the watchmaker analogy. We continue:

DNA repair systems behave as if a command center has notified the cell of damage to DNA, and then the cell dispatches the appropriate units for the particular job at a particular location. … Another way to think of it is a basketball coach who knows exactly what player to put in not only for a particular play, but against a particular opponent.

Enough pre-scientific babble for the moment. Are the Discoveroids talking about anything in particular? Yes, their predictable response is a reaction to this, published in Science: SIRT6 Promotes DNA Repair Under Stress by Activating PARP1.

We’ll spare you the Discoveroid “analysis” because it’s always the same. Instead we’ll jump to their final sentence, which will not surprise you:

This level of organization and specificity makes SIRT6 look like the right tool designed for the right job.

There it is, dear reader — another splendid example of the evidence for intelligent design. Why — oh why! — do the “Darwinists” suppress Discoveroid “research” and refuse to allow this and so many similar weaknesses of evolution theory to be taught in public school science classes?

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

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10 responses to “Discovery Institute: The Designer Strikes Again

  1. comradebillyboy

    I didn’t know that creationists do actual research, aside from quote mining and exploring the limits of poor logic.

  2. In Discoveroid-World, the cell is a computer, not a collection of molecules reacting with each other. Therefore, they end with

    “This study shows a DNA repair mechanism that has been programmed to recruit SIRT6 in a different way based on the particular conditions of the DNA. This level of organization and specificity makes SIRT6 look like the right tool designed for the right job.”

    Note the terms “programmed”, “recruit”, “designed”. Normal people would find that, as expected, when you change the mix of molecules in the cell, it affects the way other molecules react. Not Discoveroids – no, in their world there is a little brain in the cell that recruits specific other molecules to respond and directs their behavior.

    However, Discoveroids only apply the little-genie-in-the-cell argument when the reaction does something beneficial. Earlier in their article, they described a situation that might necessitate the DNA repair:

    “A cellular process might produce a chemical species that is highly reactive (such as a hydroxyl radical) and will react with the first thing it sees, including DNA. In severe cases, oxidative stress can cause cell death.”

    Note they do not ascribe the production of a hydroxyl radical to an intelligent cause, or any designed program in the cell. In situations where the result is harmful, it is natural. Only beneficial reactions are designed.

    It’s as though the Discoveroids apply the same principle to chemistry that they do to evolution, i.e. nature produces only bad mutations, the designer is responsible for all good mutations.

  3. “Note they do not ascribe the production of a hydroxyl radical to an intelligent cause, or any designed program in the cell. In situations where the result is harmful, it is natural. Only beneficial reactions are designed.”

    Exactly! If it is so intelligently designed, then why are there free radicals in the first place?!?

    [Of course, their “oh-so-scientific” answer is original sin. So, not only are we under constant threat of eternal torture, we have to live in bodies that cause us pain and suffering, too. But that’s a “scientific” answer! It is! It really, really is!!!]

  4. I can’t undertand why the only reply is “you’re wrong and here’s why.” That’s a valid reply, of course, but it’s only half of the reply. The other half is “assuming for the sake of argument you’re right, please tell us where (what lineages? independently or in a common ancestor?), when (how many years ago) and how (at least to the ‘pathetic level of detail’ of ‘RM + NS’) that design was implemented in actual bilological systems.

    They’ll whine and demand a special privelege to not answer the questions (as in Dembski’s famous “I’m not going to take the bait” dance), but I think that will turn off more fence-sitters than any mountain of evidence for evolution, or heaven forbid. “lying for Jesus” accusations (however valid).

    Another reason to focus on “part 2” is for those fence-sitters who are more sympathetic to Genesis than to theistic evolution. “Design” examples like these, “the” flagellum, and especially the one about the genetic code, even if valid, are best explained by a billions-of-years-ago intervention in a common ancestor that in anything remotely resembling a recent “special creation.” Which we cap off by reminding the poitental fan that the only DI person to elaborate on his own opinion conceded common descent. If the DI loses potential fans to AiG, that’s still good for us because AiG doesn’t try to hide its motivations.

  5. Ed: “However, Discoveroids only apply the little-genie-in-the-cell argument when the reaction does something beneficial.”

    In fairness to the Discoveroids (though actually more rope with which to hang themselves) Behe did admit in so many words (in “Edge of Evolution”) that the malaria parasite is designed.

  6. Ha! So the “Intelligent Designer” designed diseases that cause people horrible suffering and death?

    What a jerk!

  7. LRA says:

    Ha! So the “Intelligent Designer” designed diseases that cause people horrible suffering and death?

    Scripture-oriented creationists can blame defects on sin. The fraudulent “science” of ID, on the other hand, is flat-out contradicted by the existence of any defects.

  8. Curmudgeon: “Scripture-oriented creationists can blame defects on sin.”

    Most of that “kind” prefers AiG and ICR to the DI, but as long as the DI “floods” cyberspace with sound bites that make evolution sound “weak”, and coaches local school boards on how to sound “fair” and “legal,” they’ll forgive , if not “tune out,” the occasional admission of common descent, or other zingers such as the possibility of the designer being deceased (Behe at Dover) or that ID accommodates all the results of “Darwinism” (Dembski, 2001).

  9. Ha! So the “Intelligent Designer” designed diseases that cause people horrible suffering and death?

    Haven’t you read the old testament? Its not just diseases. Floods, angels, heck sometimes he just tells people to do the dirty work.

  10. I had no idea basketball was so COMPLICATED!!

    But, that explains everything about the Disco Tute. They got a basketball jones:

    Basketball jones
    I got a basketball jones
    I got a basketball jones
    Ohhh ahhhh ooooooh!