Yesterday we reported how AIG Reacts to the Martian Landing. Today we have the reaction 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 Discoveroids assigned this job to David Klinghoffer, whose creationist oeuvre we last described here, and upon whom the Discoveroids have bestowed the exalted title of “senior fellow” — i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist. His name has some of the resonance of Red Skelton’s Clem Kadiddlehopper.
Neither a lawyer nor a fallen scientist, Klinghoffer plays the role of house mystic — a convenient guise for a retained essayist whose principal job is to enthusiastically function as an unrestrained journalistic slasher whenever his creationist masters assign him to the task. There’s really no conflict between his role as both mystic and slasher. Rather, they’re complementary behaviors. Whenever his mystical view of the world is threatened by science, he starts slashing to preserve his rapturous befuddlement.
Klinghoffer’s (or Kadiddlehopper’s) post is titled Why They Sent the Curiosity Rover to Mars. This isn’t his first article on the subject. A year ago we wrote Klinghoffer: Life on Mars Is a Darwinist Fantasy, and for the historical record, four years ago we wrote Discovery Institute: ID and Life on Mars. That was about an article by his buddy, Casey.
It won’t surprise you to learn that the traditional Discoveroid position on Mars is: “Nothing to see there, folks; but even if there is, the Designer did it.” In other words, ID “theory” accommodates all data that may or may not exist.
That’s enough introduction. We know you’re anxious to get into Klinghoffer’s latest. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
As media coverage has uniformly noted, this is about finding evidence of past or even present life, or at least the “ingredients” of life. As if the mere presence of such ingredients would tell you anything about whether life in fact ever existed there. I had the ingredients of many a fine and healthful homemade meal in our refrigerator last night, yet I ate takeout for dinner.
He actually gets paid for writing that stuff — and you want more, don’t you? Okay. Then he quotes the director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who said that the mission’s cost for each American was less the price of going to see an adventure movie. Klinghoffer indignantly responds:
An adventure movie? That’s the motivation? I don’t think so — and if you doubt me, take note of the speaker: Dr. Elachi of NASA’s JPL, an organization whose own scientific culture and seething bias against intelligent design we’ve documented here at great length in the context of the David Coppedge case.
“Seething bias against intelligent design”? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Hey, Klinghoffer, how did they manage to get to Mars without your buddy, Coppedge? BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
But wait — here comes the best part:
Make no mistake, NASA has committed $2.5 billion to this little project in large part to satisfy a need in the culture of Big Science — a culture that extends far beyond the professional ranks of actual scientists — for validation of a particular worldview. In that worldview, life arises and evolves spontaneously — it must do so — reflecting no purpose or design, given a handful of (not especially elevated) ingredients and enough time.
You’re shaking your head in wonderment, aren’t you, dear reader? But that’s how Klinghoffer and the Discoveroids see the mission. Then he doubles down on that insight:
In this Darwinian picture, life is nothing special. Countless men and women stake the meaning of their own lives, or rather the meaning they imagine and invest in their lives, on this idea. Yet two empirical problems intrude.
What two empirical problems? Well, he tells us that the cell is complicated — really complicated. And SETI hasn’t found any intelligent life out there. Therefore, what? Darwin was a madman? Klinghoffer doesn’t really say what those “two empirical problems” mean, but we can see his mind working: “We must all sink to our knees and worship the intelligent designer — blessed be he!”
Having made his point so conclusively, Klinghoffer then tells us:
Intelligent design would not be troubled by Curiosity’s uncovering Martian life. Some theologians might or might not find such a thing problematic — go ask them if you like — but ID is not theology.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! He continues:
All the evidence we need to make the case for ID is right here on Earth, and more is revealed every week.
They get more evidence every week! One day maybe they’ll show it to us. Hey, speaking of evidence, if you’d like some suggesting that Klinghoffer is delusional, read his next paragraph:
By contrast, Darwin’s believers must at some level register that not only does the public resist their arguments, but the evidence is resistant as well. The case for unguided Darwinian evolution isn’t deepening. It’s not getting any stronger. Hence the excitement about a new hoped-for source of confirmation — on another planet!
If that didn’t convince you, read his final sentence:
Broadly speaking, they sent Curiosity to Mars in an effort, however doomed, to refute intelligent design.
We’re very grateful to Klinghoffer for that essay. It’s definitely one of his best.
Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.