There’s another winner at the blog of the Discoveroids, and it’s by Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist. He, and the Discoveroids, are described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page.
Casey’s post is titled Intelligent Design Is a Historical Science, Just Like Darwinian Evolution. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
A student who saw my comments on intelligent design and the “god of the gaps” argument wrote me and asked this follow-up question:
[Shortened version of the question Casey claims he received:] If ID theory is claiming a non-materialistic explanation for “gaps” in our understanding (whether origin of the universe, irreducible complexity, etc.) … would this imply that science should stop trying to understand/research some things?
We wrote about Casey’s earlier post here: Casey Luskin and the God of the Gaps. The questioner is claiming that if the magic designer lurks in the gaps of our knowledge, then ID is a science stopper. He’s right. Here’s Casey’s response:
I replied by noting that the student’s question seems to assume that only materialistic answers are “knowable” whereas non-materialistic answers are “unknowable.”
That’s entirely correct, but Casey disagrees. Here it comes:
In fact, we can “know” that an intelligent cause is the best explanation in precisely the same way that we infer materialistic causes.
Amazing. Casey claims he can know that Oogity Boogity! is the “best” explanation. This is very sad, but it’s a fundamental part of the Discoveroids’ version of creationism. Note, dear reader, that if the Discoveroids were “honest” creationists, then they could just come out and proclaim their faith in scripture. But because they pretend to be doing science, they have to go through all these epistemological contortions. Let’s read on:
Historical sciences like Darwinian evolution and intelligent design rely on the principle of uniformitarianism, which holds that “the present is the key to the past.” Under this methodology, scientists study causes at work in the present-day world in order, as geologist Charles Lyell put it, to “explain the former changes of the Earth’s surface by reference to causes now in operation.”
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Casey casually declares that ID is an historical science — as if it were like geology, climatology, plate tectonics, anthropology, paleontology, etc. We continue:
Darwinian evolution applies this method this by studying causes like mutation and selection in order to recognize their causal abilities and effects in the world at present. Darwinian scientists then try to explain the historical record in terms of those causes, seeking to recognize the known effects of mutation and selection in the historical record.
That’s correct. And when they do it, they produce evidence of the mutations and their effects. How does DI do it better? Casey says:
Intelligent design applies this same method this by studying causes like intelligence in order to recognize its causal abilities and effects in the present-day world. ID theorists are interested in understanding the information-generative powers of intelligent agents. ID theorists then try to explain the historical record by including appeals to that cause, seeking to recognize the known effects of intelligent design in the historical record.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! An Ark-load of obfuscation! Here’s more:
So whether you appeal to materialistic causes like mutation and selection, or non-material causes like intelligent design, you are using the same basic uniformitarian reasoning that is well-accepted in historical sciences.
Yeah — except that identifying a mutation is not a rational justification for conjuring up the phantasm of a magical designer. Moving along:
[I]n our present-day experience, we observe that intelligent agents alone generate systems with high levels of specified complexity — such as codes and languages. When we find language-based codes in nature, we have positive reasons, based upon our uniform and repeated experience, to infer that an intelligent cause was at work.
Oooooooh! They find “language-based codes in nature”! They do, they really do! Another excerpt:
This reasoning does not suggest ID is invoked only when something is “unknowable.” Rather, ID is invoked when something is positively “knowable” — namely when we have positive reasons to understand that intelligence is the best scientific explanation of a phenomenon.
We’ve seen that before. It’s just as “logical” — and useful — to conclude that the same phenomena are caused by Zeus. Casey’s article goes on and on. We’ll just give you a few choice snippets from what follows:
If we infer design, we’re still doing research and gaining understanding of the world around us.
[T]he research of ID theorists has done a lot to advance our understanding of exactly what material causes like mutation and selection can and cannot do.
[I]f ID is a scientifically investigable cause, then it is ID critics who are the ones that are closing off legitimate avenues of research and preventing scientists from invoking design where it is scientifically appropriate.
ID lets the facts speak for themselves and tries to follow the evidence where it leads. Some things may be detectably designed, and some things might have evolved by Darwinian processes or other material causes, but scientists must do the hard work and determine which explanations are warranted in which situations.
That’s about it. As we said, it’s an Ark-load. But what else were you expecting?
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