We are about to embark on a great adventure, dear reader. As our title suggests, it’s something like an Indiana Jones movie; but unlike the intrepid Dr. Jones, the hero of this post never finds what he’s looking for.
The thing that makes Casey so unique among adventure heros is that his failures are his victories! Every time he doesn’t find what he claims to be seeking, he says it’s evidence for his theory of intelligent design — which depends upon such failures. In truth, his theory is nothing more than a God of the gaps argument. As Wikipedia so eloquently puts it:
God of the gaps is a type of theological perspective in which gaps in scientific knowledge are taken to be evidence or proof of God’s existence.
And as Einstein once said:
To be sure, the doctrine of a personal God interfering with the natural events could never be refuted, in the real sense, by science, for this doctrine can always take refuge in those domains in which scientific knowledge has not yet been able to set foot. But I am persuaded that such behaviour on the part of the representatives of religion would not only be unworthy but also fatal. For a doctrine which is able to maintain itself not in clear light but only in the dark, will of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human progress.
— Albert Einstein, Science and Religion
That was a long introduction to an infinitely silly item at the blog 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).
Casey’s post is titled A Big Bang Theory of Homo. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and Casey’s links omitted:
If human beings evolved from ape-like creatures, what were the transitional species between ape-like hominins and the truly human-like members of the genus Homo found in the fossil record?
There aren’t any good candidates.
That’s a stunning beginning! If you’re new to all of this, you should know that Casey is trumpeting his own book, about which we previously wrote Discovery Institute: Casey’s New Book! It’s published by the Discovery Institute Press, and the Discoveroids have posted about it at least a dozen times already.
Casey discusses several pre-Sapiens fossils, and nit-picks each one to conclude that none of them fits his concept of a transitional fossil that would demonstrate the evolution of man. He never gets around to saying precisely what it is that he’s looking for — perhaps only Piltdown Man would satisfy him — but nothing found thus far is able to meet his requirements. He never pauses to marvel that if we were specially created by the magic designer — blessed be he! — then none of those fossilized creatures makes any sense, except as our cousins.
We’ll skip over his review of the fossils that have been found, and his dissatisfaction with each of them as a direct ancestor. His analysis isn’t worth the bother. After that he says:
In other words, the fossil record provides ape-like australopithecines, and human-like Homo, but not fossils documenting a transition between them.
In the absence of fossil evidence, evolutionary claims about the transition to Homo are said to be mere “inferences” made by studying the non-transitional fossils we do have, and then assuming that a transition must have occurred somehow, sometime, and someplace.
Assuming that no human ancestor has yet been discovered that is satisfactory to Casey, which of these two conclusions is more ridiculous: (1) We have no ancestors; or (2) we have them but they haven’t been found yet? You know which conclusion Casey prefers. He finishes his essay with this:
As another commentator proposed, the evidence implies a “big bang theory” of the appearance of our genus Homo.
So Casey is claiming that human evolution has only a “big bang theory” to explain the gap in our fossil record. From that he concludes that his magic designer is the god of that gap. That’s as good summary of intelligent design theory as you’re ever likely to find.
We can’t wait for the sequel: Casey Luskin and the Quest for a Brain.
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