Casey Almost Identifies the Designer

Everyone knows the identity of the mysterious, magical intelligent designer promoted by 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 Discoveroids gave away their whole game in their nefarious wedge strategy, which declares that their goal is to “reverse the stifling materialist world view and replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.” The full text can be read here: The Wedge Document. It also says:

Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies. … [T]he Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature.

The Discoveroids desperately hope that by publicly refusing to identify their designer, their mumbo-jumbo “science” will somehow slip by the barrier of the First Amendment, allowing their theological dogma to be legally taught in public schools. Their hope is absurd. Every primitive creationist instinctively understands that the Discoveroids are fighting their fight, and therefore any honest judge can easily see through the Discoveroids’ facade.

But it’s always amusing to watch the Discoveroids play their childish denial game. They’re doing it again today in a new article by Casey Luskin, everyone’s favorite Discoveroid creationist. Casey’s latest is The Identity of the Designer: How to Avoid an Incoherent Criticism of Intelligent Design. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and Casey’s links omitted. He begins by saying he has an “ID-friendly” correspondent who sent him an email saying the following:

In short, the ID deniers try to engage us in a game where heads they win and tails we lose. If we affirm, for example, that the God of the Bible is a very good and logical fit for the agent whose obvious power and intelligence is manifest in the universe they accuse us of “dragging” religion into the scientific realm where it has no place! And if we studiously avoid any reference to who the designer is they accuse of venal dishonesty.

That sounds just about right. How does Casey respond? It’s fuzzy, but it’s fun:

This is dead-right. You can’t attack ID for identifying, but also for not identifying, the designer. Both criticisms can’t be valid.

We disagree. Both criticisms are indeed valid. If the magic designer is the deity described in the bible, then there’s no escape from what’s obvious to everyone anyway — the Discoveroids are hawking that old-time religion. And if they refuse to acknowledge what everyone already knows, then they’re lying about the purpose of their shabby enterprise. If one is going to be a creationist, it’s far better to be forthright than deceitful. Let’s read on:

I remember first encountering this incoherent way of criticizing ID during the Dover Trial in 2005 when I was answering incessant, poorly framed objections from reporters. It was there that I also realized there are simple and correct answers readily available to be given to such objections:

Yeah, incoherent. What he probably means is that he found himself babbling incoherently because he was trapped by the reporters’ clever questions. Then he says:

ID proponents do not refuse to say who we think the designer is. For example, I’m very open that I believe the designer is the God of the Bible, and if you read the writings of many other leading ID proponents, it isn’t hard to discern their personal beliefs either.

We know, Casey. We have always known. But it’s good to see it on the Discoveroids’ blog. The article continues:

But nobody who understands ID would say that such claims about the identity of the designer are the conclusions of ID. My belief that the designer is God is my own personal religious viewpoint, and not a conclusion of the scientific theory of intelligent design.

Right! The “scientific theory” of ID could lead one to believe that the magic designer is Zeus, or maybe a giant jellyfish from Uranus. The “theory” of ID leads anywhere, and it leads nowhere. But we all know where it’s supposed to lead. Here’s more:

So when ID theory itself declines to try to identify the designer, it isn’t a matter of being coy. Rather, ID limits its claims to what can be learned from a scientific investigation the data. [sic] The data may allow an inference to an intelligent cause, but specifying the identity of the designer may go beyond what a scientific investigation can reveal. Thus, ID stays silent on such questions.

“Scientific investigation [of] the data.” BWAHAHAHA! Moving along:

So what does ID claim? ID claims we can scientifically detect the prior action of intelligent causes, and it makes those claims using the scientific method. Since we have observation-based experience with the causal abilities of intelligent causes, we are scientifically justified in inferring intelligent causation when we observe the known-effects of intelligent causation in nature. … But if you go further and try to specify the identity or precise nature of the designer, you might be going beyond what the data can tell you. Thus, ID respects the limits of science and only infers intelligent causation.

Yes, Casey. We believe you. Everyone believes you. All of you guys think the magic designer is Yahweh, but as good creation scientists, you recognize that it could also be a giant spider from the planet Dorko. Sure, Casey.

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

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22 responses to “Casey Almost Identifies the Designer

  1. What they’re saying is that there is so little difference between their concept of the God of the Bible and various agents from science fiction – so little difference that nobody can tell them apart.

  2. Casey: “… when I was answering incessant, poorly framed objections from reporters.”

    Poorly framed questions, like “Is ID science?”


  3. Even if a scientist concluded that some facet of nature appeared designed, postulating that the designer was an undetectable entity operating outside of the laws of physics would not be an option. Science ceases to be science when it gives up and claims that the answer to a question is a supernatural entity or force.

    A real scientist would instead delve into questions about how the design might have come about, when it might have happened, and attempt to infer the nature of the physical entity that did the work – and devise means to independently validate or disprove his or her conjectures. The fact that no ID advocate does any of this is yet another reason why ID creationism is not science.

  4. Also…Casey, in describing the diversity of people who find ID compelling, says “Some of them are even atheists or agnostics.”

    Really? Who? Do they believe aliens did it? (granted, it’s more plausible than supernatural entities, but…really?)

  5. Casey still has no clue.

    (BTW… hi, Curmy! I’ve been trapped under a pile of papers for a while. Oh– and I got a boyfriend. He’s a Republican (fiscal conservative). Can you believe that??? LOL!!!! Yes, we do debate politics. It’s kinda fun.)

  6. The entities most likely responsible for our horribly incoherent semi-intelligent biological design are:
    a Supercommittee of Evil Beings from the Planet Ploor.

  7. Welcome back, LRA. Your Republican boyfriend is in for quite an adventure.

  8. @Bob: A supercommittee evenly divided between two incompatible and hostile parties of evil beings…

    Wait, this is getting too close to home.

  9. Luskin said:

    nobody who understands ID

    That statement would be correct if you remove the “who” from it.

  10. You can’t attack ID for identifying, but also for not identifying, the designer. Both criticisms can’t be valid.

    This is when I wish I had the power to spit venom. YES both criticisms are valid-because you go around to churches telling people that ID is about God, and you go to court telling people it’s not.

  11. Luskin the moronic attack Gerbil squeaks:

    Since we have observation-based experience with the zucchini abilities of intelligent zucchinis, we are scientifically justified in inferring intelligent zucchiniation when we observe the known-effects of intelligent zucchination in nature. … But if you go further and try to specify the identity or precise nature of the Zucchini, you might be going beyond what the data can tell you.

    Yes, master equivocator Luskin, we just “might.” Not definitely will, or always but “might” as in: or “might not.” Can you define the zucchini? No. Can you measure the zucchini? No. But, by golly, there’s a zucchini there somewhere!

    The shorter Luskin: We knows it when we sees it.

    Really, Luskin, you wonder why people don’t like you and your tribe of mendacious intellectual pornographers?

  12. G.O.D. = Great Omnipotent Designer

    You can’t fool us, Casey. We’ve cracked your so-well-hidden secret code.

  13. And LRA, try not to take politics all too seriously. That way you and your Republican boyfriend can have good laughs courtesy of both sides of the aisle. Above all, don’t ask him if he’s fantasizing about Sarah Palin when he’s with you. Just… let it go, and enjoy the good times.

  14. LOL! I suppose I am somewhat Palin-esque in my appearance. I’m much smarter tho. My Republican boyfriend digs that.


  15. LRA – you “got a boyfriend”? Sounds like a communicable disease! 🙂

    RetiredSciGuy – in immunology we know that G.O.D. = Generator Of Diversity!

    Ed – you hit the nail on the head when you state what “a real scientist” would do to examine the theory of intelligent design. Waving your hands and saying it sure looks like design is no different than what Paley was doing in 1802.

  16. Also – those pesky communicable diseases like boyfriends and Republicanism can be cleared up with antibiotics or immunizations 🙂

  17. Douglas E: “in immunology we know that G.O.D. = Generator Of Diversity!”

    I like that much better!

  18. Casey, quoted by SC, wrote

    Since we have observation-based experience with the causal abilities of intelligent causes, we are scientifically justified in inferring intelligent causation when we observe the known-effects of intelligent causation in nature.

    This is the analogy that drives me bats. It’s the core of Stephen Meyer’s argument, too: because we know humans can design (and manufacture!) stuff, we’re justified in inferring a designer when something we know wasn’t designed (and manufactured) by humans kinda looks designed. Well, dammit, in the one case we know that the designing (and manufacturing) agents exist, and we examine the evidence to ascertain how the designing and manufacturing processes work!

    In the other case, we have no independent evidence of the design process, no independent evidence of the manufacturing process by which those designs are instantiated in matter and energy, and no independent evidence of the presence, or even the existence, of the designing and/or manufacturing entity(ies). I don’t want to know the identity of the designer(s), I just want some evidence of the existence of something that could do it. Show me tool marks, or debitage, or machine tools, or fingerprints, or SOMETHING! Sheesh, Casey,

  19. This one is too good not to quote – from one Menno van Barneveld – #66407
    December 5th 2011
    This one is too goo note to quote – from Menno van Barneveld commenting at BioLogos: “There is a clear difference between believers and nonblievers in scientists. Nonbelievers do not take the acts of God in account in their science while believers do. A believers knows that God is well able to bring a man to the other side of the sea on a piece of wood.

    This is also true with the creation of mankind. God did not create a group of humans out of a group of homo erectus individuals. He created one human man called Adam out of one homo erectus ape man. God did do that by adding all necessary speech DNA in the fertilized male egg to the chromosome pairs. Then God took from this human chromosomes from Adam and and swapped this with the chromosomes in the fertilized female egg of a female homo erectus. This gave a human female, called Eva. The first 100 % Humans were there almost 1 million years ago. The sons of this pair Kain and Seth were 100 % human males. But they had to bread with 100 % homo erectus females, giving children that had 50 % human genes and 50 % homo erectus genes. But God made the ability of speach dominantly, giving human kind a compatitive benefit. And God had the ability to protect human kind untill all homo erctus was transferred into the the human race. From this it can be seen that the theory that human kind developed from a group called Adam and Eve instead of one pair Adam and Eve is useless. It also shows us that science without God brings us to the wrong conclusions.

    Thusly science has to be changed to fit faith and not the other way around.”

  20. Guess it’s a bit too early to type correctly 🙂

  21. RBH says:

    Show me tool marks, or debitage, or machine tools, or fingerprints, or SOMETHING! Sheesh, Casey,

    The designer is far too subtle to leave such obvious clues. Hey, Richard — Panda’s Thumb has been down for two days. Are you guys coming back or what?

  22. It’s being worked on. I don’t know what the problem is–apparently there are two failures.