Klinghoffer: Life on Mars Is a Darwinist Fantasy

Like their comrade, Ken Ham (see Ken Ham Says There’s No Extraterrestrial Life and also Creationism & Life on Other Worlds), creationists take a dim view of life on other worlds.

This “Earth Only” view — we’ll artificially dignify it with Latin — Sola Terra — is now seen to be the dogma 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 Discoveroid doctrinal proclamation comes from David Klinghoffer, upon whom the Discoveroids have bestowed the exalted title of “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist). We’re certain that you know who Klinghoffer is, but if not, we last described him here. Our most recent post about his work was Klinghoffer v. Stephen Hawking, which showed him at his creationist best.

Klinghoffer’s new article is titled Water on Mars: Materialism’s Shroud of Turin. That’s an odd title. Is it merely a coincidence that one of our posts in June was titled Discovery Institute: The Shroud of Seattle? Yeah, it’s probably a coincidence.

Klinghoffer’s article is the Discoveroid reaction to the news that a NASA probe may have discovered surface water on Mars. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Materialism and Darwinism in their dual aspect as quasi-religious faith include a Genesis story, a scientific priesthood, the equivalents of sainthood and demonology, evangelism, catechism and excommunication, an Index Librorum Prohibitorum, and so on. The news in today’s Science [Is Mars Weeping Salty Tears?] about water on Mars and with that the consequent possibility of Martian microbial life — how many times have we heard this before? — offers what might be the materialist’s Shroud of Turin.

Quite a beginning! Don’t go away, it gets better:

The question of life on Mars requires extremely generous assumptions about the origin as well as the subsequent evolution of life. Materialists assume that if you’ve got some water, life will result. So if there is life on Mars, it would make all the difference. As the Shroud holds out the tantalizing possibility of verification to some Christian believers, Darwinists and other materialists find in imaginary alien microbes a confirmation of their faith that life springs up unbidden and unguided given only the right raw ingredients.

We’ve never heard anyone say that “Water means their must be life.” But where there’s water, there could be life. Well, Klinghoffer doesn’t think so. In his mind, it can’t be so, because life on other worlds would mean the Discoveroids’ magical Designer — blessed be he! — doesn’t restrict his miraculous activities to Earth. And as all creationists know, human life on Earth is the centerpiece of all creation. You know — Sola Terra. Let’s read on:

Actually, there’s better scientific evidence that the Shroud of Turn is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ than that life exists or has existed on Mars. After all, there is at least debatable evidence for the former but not as yet one single iota for the latter.

Okay, that’s their position; but we can flip that around. We do have evidence that life emerged on Earth (we’re here), and this planet doesn’t seem to be unique in the universe. But there’s no evidence that a resurrection can transfer an image onto a burial shroud. Nevertheless, Klinghoffer thinks the Shroud is more likely than life on Mars. Here’s the end of his rant:

There is only wishful speculation and calls for further investigation. Further investigation of nothing. Longing, pining, aching and thirsting for verification of your faith are not, Darwinists and other materialists often need to be reminded, a species of scientific evidence.

Observe, dear reader, that despite his suffering what seems to be the final throes of end-stage creationism, from which there can be no recovery, Klinghoffer has somehow retained enough animal cunning to avoid making an outright, absolute prediction that there’s no life on Mars. No matter, his scoffing and derision are sufficient to make the Discoveroid position quite clear.

Klinghoffer has inspired us, so here’s your Curmudgeon’s prediction: If life is found on Mars, it should be the shroud of the Discoveroids, but they’ll never quit until their funding dries up. And if no life is found on Mars, what then? Actually, it won’t have any consequences for Darwin’s theory of evolution, but the creationists will claim otherwise.

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

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18 responses to “Klinghoffer: Life on Mars Is a Darwinist Fantasy

  1. Klinghoofer has hit on a touch of truth, buried in his usual avalanche of lies. It is true that scientists (or “materialists”, in creationist-speak) do hope to discover life on other worlds. They hope to discover many things. The “longing, pining, aching and thirsting” for knowledge is at the heart of the scientific process.

    Of course, creationists have their answers already, and do not hope to discover new things. In my opinion they are generally frightened of new knowledge, because it might challenge the answers they already have. It is the creationists that argue against testing the shroud of Turin, for example, and it is creationists like Klinghoofer that disparage the search for life in the universe.

    Klinghoofer’s arrogant rant is, in reality, the small shaken voice of a frightened man.

  2. And it will take take less than a nanosecond for the Discoveroids to proclaim alien life, if found, is absolute proof for the Designer. Heads they win, tails we lose… not that they’ll ever understand how they’ve fixed the game.

  3. Do you have your “Life Found on Mars Final Nail in Coffin of Darwin!” piece written yes?

  4. I don’t understand this at all. If they can say so definitively that a “Designer” is responsible for life on earth, and at the SAME time disavow any notion that the “Designer” is God, then how can they say so definitively that the “Designer” didn’t make life elsewhere? How can they be so sure that the Universe is not FULL of “Designers” making life under all kinds of conditions? The only answer is that they are LYING, and KNOW it.

    Ladies and gentlemen, those of us who have not sworn off engaging creationists should go forth RIGHT NOW and ask this question in as many places as possible, everywhere we hear this statement being given.

  5. Gabriel Hanna says: “I don’t understand this at all.”

    It’s a tactical blunder, but maybe it’s not serious. Ideally, the Discoveroids should keep their options open, so that whatever is discovered anywhere can be attributed to the magic Designer. . Scammers should avoid making testable predictions. Their game is to claim prescience, but that’s done after the facts are revealed, never before. That’s the way their hocus-pocus can keep going. It’s only science where hypotheses can fail, because science makes specific predictions

    But here, Klinghoffer seems to be so enraged by science, and so filled with hostility, that he had to lash out and disparage this latest finding — even before any scientists have reached any definitive conclusions about it. The openly science-hating YECs like Ken Ham can afford to behave that way because their flock will deny reality if necessary, but the Discoveroids need to be more disciplined to keep their “science” scam going. Klinghoffer just got carried away here, and behaved like what he really is — Ken Ham’s soul brother.

  6. Oh, heck, tildeb said it first. But that’s so true!

  7. There’s another possibility. It was suggested during an interview with a NASA scientist I heard on the radio yesterday. And that’s contamination from the probe itself. I didn’t realize this, but NASA goes to great lengths to sterilize the equipment and probes before they are launched, but there’s still the chance that some earth-born microbes could be stowed away in some nook or cranny. This leads to the possibility that if life is found on Mars (or anywhere else, for that matter), the creationists will simply claim it was from contamination, not from life forming on whatever planet it is found.

  8. If (and what a big if) life is found on Mars, it would be interesting if that form of life took a different form. For example, if it had a different genetic code. That would rule out contamination. It would also give us a second example of what form life can take. (That’s what I have always hoped for, a second example.) But I suggest that creationists would take this as proof that universal common descent was wrong, and therefore that “Darwinism” is wrong.

  9. TomS: “But I suggest that creationists would take this as proof that universal common descent was wrong, and therefore that ‘Darwinism’ is wrong.”

    The scam artists know that. Same for if/when life is created on Earth. They’ll spin that too as evidence against “universal” common descent. It’s all part of their “heads I win, tail you lose” game. It’s especially interesting how Klinghoffer, a Jew, spins the Shroud issue to throw a bone at the rubes. He knows that the only “debate” that may or may still exist concerns the age of the Shroud. If it turns out to be ~2000 years old, there’s still the question of which of the many crucified people it belonged to. If it turns out to be ~700 years old (which most scientists think, last time I checked) it is most likely a loving tribute to Jesus. A devout Christian without a prior commitment to pseudoscience would want it to be much less than 2000 years old. But most people will never think of that as long as scam artists keep pulling the bait-and-switch, and as long as their critics keep taking the bait.

  10. @ tildeb:

    I wrote “heads I win..” before reading your comment. I do think, though, that the scam artists know very well that they are fixing the game.

  11. Klinghoffer is going to have a hard time explaining away non-DNA-based life as evidence of intelligent design–he’s already on record as saying that the Hebrew alphabet corresponds to the twenty amino acids coded for by DNA (neglecting the start and stop codons, as any numerological mystic WOULD do).

  12. You mention “until their funding dries up.” Does anyone here know the major sources for funding the DI? I once heard that the Ahmanson’s in CA and perhaps Anschutz in CO are major sources of cash – ???

  13. Gates Foundation funds DI’s Cascadia Center, which studies transportation issues in the Pacific Northwest, but I have no idea how much of that money leaks over into CSC, if any.

  14. As noted in this thread, Klinghoof is definitely siding with the YECs on this issue, which seems to be out-of-step with the other fellows at the ID club.

    My Grandmother was an ordained minister and one of the founders of a church in very rural Oklahoma. Once, when I was a teenager, I asked her whether or not she believed that aliens might inhabit other planets. She quoted Jesus from the bible “In my Father’s house are many mansions”, and told me that she believed there could be many intelligent beings throughout the universe. She had no problem whatsoever with the idea of God creating life in multiple places, and thought that the universe was so big that it only made sense to do so. In her mind it would be a waste for God not to use all that space for some productive purpose.

  15. Ed: “As noted in this thread, Klinghoof is definitely siding with the YECs on this issue, which seems to be out-of-step with the other fellows at the ID club.”

    From what I can tell, while most Discoveroids accept old-earth and old-life, and are at least “unsure” of common descent if not conceding it outright. But since ID is a big tent scam, and since YEC is apparently the biggest market of rank and file evolution-deniers, of course the Discoveroids will pander to them most. Also, from what I can tell, had it not been for the efforts of George McCready Price and Henry Morris to concoct a heliocentric YEC compromise (whereby creationism became a full-blown pseudoscience) most rank and file Biblical literalists today would probably be OECs.

  16. Well, well, well.

    I think I know what Klingdoofer is up to, here.

    You see, just for fun, I took a graduate level astrobiology course this summer. Do you know what a full 1/3 of the curriculum was? The origins of life. (The other 2/3 was planetary science and the life cycle of stars.)

    So, it seems, there’s a reason for attacking astrobiology… it is a science that relies on evolution to help inform the search for life.

    It is one more way for the IDiots to attack good science from any and every angle.

  17. LRA says: “I think I know what Klingdoofer is up to, here.”

    You’re giving him more credit than he deserves. It looks to me like plain old earth-centered creationism.

  18. Ed: I once asked a Chabad (Hasdic) rabbi about the possibility of life on other planets and what the Torah said about it. His response, as I recall was, “When we find it, we’ll see what’s there. Then we’ll look at the Torah and see what it means.” I always liked that he said, “When,” not “If.”

    More generally, never mind the science, it’s not even good religion to limit what God may create. Heck, some years ago, poet Hugh MacDiarmid wrote (in Scots English), “The Innumerable Christ.”

    Wha kens on whatna Bethlehems
    Earth twinkles like a star the nicht,
    An’ whatna shepherds lift their heids
    In its unearthly licht?

    ‘Yont a’ the stars oor een can see
    An’ farther than their lichts can fly,
    I’ mony an unco warl’ the nicht
    The fatefu’ bairnies cry.

    I’ mony an unco warl’ the nicht
    The lift gaes black as pitch at noon,
    An’ sideways on their chests the heids
    O’ endless Christs roll doon.

    An’ when the earth’s as cauld’s the mune
    An’ a’ its folk are lang syne deid,
    On coontless stars the Babe maun cry
    An’ the Crucified maun bleed

    Now, granted, I’m not Christian, nor do I expect to find another Christ on Mars, but man, these people think small about God.