The newest post by Casey Luskin at the Discoveroids’ blog is one that we recommend. That is, we recommend reading it the day before your next colonoscopy exam, because it’s guaranteed to prepare you for the procedure. Casey’s post is titled What Is the Theory of Intelligent Design?
We already know what the Discoveroids’ “theory” is. It’s revealed in their founding document. See What is the “Wedge Document”? Its “Five Year Strategic Plan Summary” says:
The social consequences of materialism have been devastating. As symptoms, those consequences are certainly worth treating. However, we are convinced that in order to defeat materialism, we must cut it off at its source. That source is scientific materialism. This is precisely our strategy. … [Discussion of a few Discoveroid books.] We are building on this momentum, broadening the wedge with a positive scientific alternative to materialistic scientific theories, which has come to be called the theory of intelligent design (ID). Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.
If that’s not clear enough, the second of the Wedge Document’s two “Governing Goals” is:
To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.
Everyone knows what intelligent design is all about. Nevertheless, Casey’s entire post is dedicated to denial. That’s why his work is so widely recommend for colonoscopy prep.
Casey begins by complaining about some negative comments that were posted in the review section of the Amazon listing for Stephen Meyer’s new creationist book, Darwin’s Doubt. Casey had posted a glowing review, and it attracted over 250 comments. Discoveroids never allow comments at their blog (they tried it briefly a couple of years ago and quietly killed the experiment) so Casey isn’t used to receiving such visible and uncontrollable feedback. One of the comments to his review asked:
What’s the “scientific theory of ID”? Who or what is the designer and how can we tell? What did it do and how can we tell? How did it do it and how can we tell? Where did it do it and how can we tell? When did it do it and how can we tell? Please pass on my thanks to all your colleagues for never bothering to answer these questions.
Oh, how uncivil! Alas for Casey, the Discoveroids can’t censor what shows up at the Amazon website. That’s why he posted his response at the Discoveroids’ blog, where he’s sheltered from the cruel world. In the safety of his creationist cocoon he writes:
Even though we’ve answered such questions numerous times, they are reasonable things to ask, and as a result I’m more than happy to answer them yet again — not at Amazon for perpetually disgruntled critics, but here at ENV for everyone else to see.
What follows is a very long essay. It doesn’t even try to answer those questions at the Amazon site that Casey found so offensive. That deficiency shouldn’t be overlooked. In fact, Casey doesn’t say anything that we haven’t seen before, but the case for intelligent design is usually presented in bits and pieces. This time Casey tosses everything into one big pile, so in that sense it’s useful as a reference. It summarizes the intellectual accomplishments of Casey and his comrades. This is their declaration of dogma. Perhaps one day it will be inscribed on creationism’s tomb.
The first half is a huge ark-load sub-titled “What Intelligent Design Is Not.” It’s a bunch of denials, and you’ve seen it all before. Casey claims it’s not creationism, it’s not theology, it’s not about the supernatural, and it’s not “merely a negative argument against evolution,” But of course, it is all those things, and the whole world knows it. Just read the Kitzmiller opinion.
The next part of Casey’s rambling post is sub-titled: “What the Theory of Intelligent Design Is.” This section is yet another ark-load of Casey’s old material.
First he says: “ID uses a positive argument based upon finding high levels of complex and specified information.” Yes, except CSI has no more meaning than “Abracadabra,” and there isn’t any positive argument. All of their “evidence” consists of phenomena which science hasn’t yet explained to the Discoveriods’ satisfaction, so they list a few (like the whole universe and the origin of life) and say that those things are explained as the work of their designer. But such things could be explained equally well as the work of the tooth fairy or any other imaginary agency — see Intelligent Designer or Zeus?.
Then he says: “Intelligent Design is a historical science that is methodologically equivalent to neo-Darwinism.” In this section, Casey goes beyond being “Not even wrong.” He’s not even using language as it was meant to be used. He’s merely chanting syllables. For example, he says:
[I]ntelligent design is primarily a historical science, meaning it studies present-day causes and then applies them to the historical record to infer the best explanation for the origin of natural phenomena. Intelligent design uses uniformitarian reasoning based upon the principle that “the present is the key to the past.”
[B]y 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 (e.g., high CSI) in the historical record.
Right. The Discoveroid creation scientists observe that we use intelligence to make things today — for example, underwear is manufactured in factories. Therefore it’s oh-so-logical for the Discoveroids to infer that a similar agency was at work in the past to manufacture new biological features. We make underwear; the designer makes flagella. It’s logical!
Casey’s next claim, more than any of the others, is what makes his essay a colonoscopy keeper. He says: “Intelligent design uses the scientific method.” That’s a very long part of his essay. We read it, we’ll never get those minutes back, but we’re not going to spend any more time writing about it. We leave that experience to you, dear reader. But if you go there without our benevolent guidance, we must caution you: Read it only when there’s an unoccupied bathroom nearby.
So there it is. The Discoveroids have put their best case forward. It’s there to be seen and appreciated for what it is — and what it isn’t. If this is the best they can do, then how — how? — can they tolerate themselves?
Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.