Discovery Institute Finds God in a Dumpster

This one is typical 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).

Their latest article is Even the Cell’s Dumpster Is an Intricate Machine. It’s about two articles in Nature describing a feature in eukaryotic cells: Cell biology: Destruction deconstructed, and also Complete subunit architecture of the proteasome regulatory particle.

The Discoveroids “explain” the contents of those papers with a seemingly elaborate description, but they go out of their way to use overwrought mechanical terms to describe the cellular function, to make it seem like Fred Hoyle‘s proverbial 747 created by a tornado in a junkyard. They say, with bold font added by us:

This large, barrel-shaped molecular machine has a flip-top lid like those trash cans with the foot pedal, only this one is much more elaborate: it validates the trash, pulls it in with a motor, and shreds it inside.

After their peculiar description they tell us:

The authors of the original paper said nothing about evolution. Indeed, they ended just shy of a song of praise: “The intricate architecture of the proteasome highlights the complex requirements for this proteolytic machine, which must accommodate and specifically regulate a highly diverse set of substrates in the eukaryotic cell.”

Maybe that paper didn’t mention evolution because it wasn’t about evolution. But then the Discoveroids add:

Geng Tian and Daniel Finley [authors of the first paper], though, in their summary of the paper in Nature, couldn’t resist sprinkling a little Darwin-brand sneeze powder on stage. “The eukaryotic proteasome seems to have evolved from a protease known as PAN (or something comparable to this enzyme), which is found in microorganisms called archaea,” they suggested. Then they produced a colorful diagram called “The evolution of proteases,” showing trypsin, PAN, and the full-fledged proteasome, as if to mimic those outworn icons of evolution, the horse series and monkey-to-man parade.

Then they criticize a few other references to evolution in the papers:

If all else fails, say it with feeling: “This dramatic evolutionary elaboration of the protein-degrading machinery is reflected in the fact that the proteasome has assumed regulatory functions in virtually all aspects of eukaryotic cell biology.” Before we can stop sneezing, there then comes the encore: “The evolution of ubiquitin tagging also coincided with a transformation of the proteasome’s structure.”

According to the Discoveroids, it’s not enough for researchers to examine and describe something. If its step-by-step evolution from the primordial ooze isn’t convincingly presented in detail at the same time, the research is worthless. Here’s how the Discoveroids express their dissatisfaction:

Did they show how mutations and unguided processes produced this highly complex machine, let alone the other systems it interacts with? No; they just assumed it. “The evolution of” begs the question. Comparing three functional designs of varying complexity doesn’t prove they evolved any more than showing a scissors, a shredder and a recycling system proves they evolved from each other by undirected processes.

As we said at the start, this is typical creationism. Obviously, where something is being described in detail for the first time, its evolutionary origins may not yet be known. And where there’s an unknown, there lurks the God of the gaps. Thus, virtually all biological research can be twisted to be “evidence” for the magical designer. In this case it’s a cellular mechanism for disposing of biological trash.

But we like this Discoveroid article. A garbage dumpster is an appropriate symbol for the intelligent designer.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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5 responses to “Discovery Institute Finds God in a Dumpster

  1. If its step-by-step evolution from the primordial ooze isn’t convincingly presented in detail at the same time, the research is worthless.

    Wouldn’t matter if you did present that much evidence. They’d ignore it, deny it, misconstrue it, or say its a lie, a fabrication, a misrepresentation of the data, a misunderstanding, bad data, a fraud, and/or a hoax.

  2. Perhaps the Dishonesty Institute could do some research and tell us whether it is one god in all the gaps or a different god in each gap.

  3. Discoveroids have to stop making interpretations and drawing conclusions that the authors did not make or intend to make themselves. That’s not the way science works. If the DI people want to prove the existence of their Designer, they should draw on their own research in their own labs.

  4. Did they show how mutations and unguided processes produced this highly complex machine, let alone the other systems it interacts with?

    Of course not, that wasn’t the purpose of their paper.

    However, since they brought it up, where are the Deception Inc. charts showing how and when the designer poofed this structure into existence, the poofing of prior structures, poofing the systems they interacted with, etc – along with details of the evidence supporting their claims?

    To make it simple, why not make charts detailing the ID explanation of the “outworn icon” horse series or the “monkey to man” series. Or, my favorite, the long awaited ID charts explaining dinosaurs. Why did the designer poof into being so many wildly exotic creatures over such a long period of time, only to wipe them all out? Was He just working out his techniques? Were they just sort of idle experiments? ID requires purpose – so what was it?

  5. Yes, the proteasome is a huge unexplainable complex; if you ignore the fact that the 28 proteins making up the barrel core are repeats of just two proteins. That complexity is quite reducible in my view.