Discoveroids Say: “You Scientists Are Stupid!”

In a recent post, Casey Demonstrates Intelligent Design Theory, we mentioned two things that have just popped up again in a new post at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog. This will be a tale of tortured logic, and sorting these things out requires effort. It was tempting to ignore the new post, but we decided do what we can with it. Every now and then this needs to be done.

Those two things were, first, the Discoveroids’ example of the usefulness of their intelligent design “theory” in helping us figure out the devilishly difficult problem of whether Mt. Rushmore or the Hand of the Desert sculptures are natural or designed. We mentioned an earlier post where they made the same argument — about which we wrote Mt. Rushmore Is Designed, Therefore … — but we didn’t mention that the genius who made that argument was Granville Sewell.

Sewell isn’t a Discoveroid “fellow,” but they publish him, and Wikipedia informs us that Sewell is signatory to the Discovery Institute’s “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism” petition. He’s very keen on using the Second Law of Thermodynamics as an argument for creationism — see Discovery Institute Gives Us Their Best Argument.

Sewell has a new post at the Discoveroids’ blog: Just Too Simple! Needs More Math. While complaining that he gets no respect from scientists, he repeats his Mt. Rushmore and his Second Law of Thermodynamics arguments, and he also makes use of something else we mentioned in a comment to our recent post. That’s relevant enough to repeat here:

The Discoveroids are using a perfectly valid form of logic. It’s modus ponens, which works like this:

Premise 1: If P, then Q.
Premise 2: P is true.
Conclusion: Therefore Q.

The conclusion is valid, but its truth depends on the truth of the premises. In this case their first premise seems to be: “If anything is designed, then everything else is too.” And because the Hand of the Desert is designed, well then, so is everything else. It’s because of their unspoken first premise that they never identify anything that isn’t designed.

With that as an introduction, Here are some excerpts from Sewell’s latest, with bold font added by us:

In an article for Human Events last month, I wrote a very simple introduction to intelligent design, and concluded by pointing out that to not believe in intelligent design, you have to believe that four known fundamental, unintelligent, forces of physics alone (the gravitational, electromagnetic and strong and weak nuclear forces) must have rearranged the fundamental particles of physics into Apple iPhones.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Sewell isn’t the only Discoveroid to make that argument. It’s been made by none other than Bruce Chapman, whom we affectionately call “Chappy.” He’s the founder and president of the Discovery Institute. When Chappy advanced that argument we wrote Chapman: Computers Are Designed, Therefore …?

Why do we bring that up again? Because it illustrates the point we made in the boxed text above. The Discoveroids actually accept as a premise that design is everywhere in the universe, and when they point to something is obviously designed, they’ve clearly shown that everything else is too. Got that? As “proof” of their faith in universal design, all they need to do is point to Mt. Rushmore, or to computers — or as in Sewell’s latest, Apple iPhones — and their work is done. Except that those crazy Darwinists are too stupid to accept the Discoveroids’ logic. That’s what Sewell is complaining about today. Here’s more:

[A]fter all, there is no law of science that forbids unintelligent forces from creating iPhones out of dust here, over a long period. The only law of science — the second law of thermodynamics — which forbids order from arising out of disorder only applies to isolated systems, and the Earth is an open system. The decrease in entropy represented by the creation of iPhones is easily compensated by entropy increases outside the Earth.

Sewell is trying to be clever; he’s ridiculing scientists. Discoveroids are so cute when do that. Let’s read on:

… I published an article, “Entropy and Evolution,” which makes many of the same points, in a more scientific manner, in the peer-reviewed journal BIO-Complexity.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s the Discoveroids’ own, in-house, vanity journal. We posted about it here: Discovery Institute: Creationist “Peer-Review”. Sewell continues:

Unfortunately, BIO-Complexity reviewers, though all well-credentialed academics, are notorious for refusing to discard, a priori, papers that question the scientific consensus on Darwinian evolution. They only seem to be interested in whether or not the logic and science are good. … [S]ome might say that BIO-Complexity is not really a peer-reviewed journal. Anyway, the article was still pretty simple, and hardly used any mathematics.

Despite the brilliance of his argument, Sewell didn’t convince anyone (except the Discoveroids), so he tried again, with more math, but that effort was rejected by a genuine journal. It’s a cruel world, with lots of stupid people. After complaining a bit, Sewell says:

So now I am embarking on a bold new research project. I am going to write a paper on this topic which uses much more advanced mathematics.

That sounds like a nice way for Sewell to spend his time. Here’s the rest of it:

I’m sure I could get the attention of the scientific community, and convince them that a few unintelligent forces of physics alone really can’t rearrange the fundamental particles of physics into Apple iPhones, if I could just figure out how to work some advanced mathematics into the paper. So far I haven’t made much progress. Any suggestions?

That’s how it ends, dear reader. Sewell is perplexed. How could he possibly convince you that “unintelligent forces of physics alone really can’t rearrange the fundamental particles of physics into Apple iPhones”? Are you actually so mindless that you can’t be convinced? Why — oh why! — is Sewell encountering such boneheaded resistance?

Perhaps it’s because you don’t accept the basic premise of the Discoveroids — Everything is designed, and when they point out obvious examples — Mt. Rushmore, etc. — then everything else is too. It’s so simple! What’s wrong with you people?

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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15 responses to “Discoveroids Say: “You Scientists Are Stupid!”

  1. Sewell is a puzzle. As a mathematician, he should know that his conclusion is wrong. I guess he has allowed religious woo to distort his thinking.

  2. I know that some of the IDiots have Ph.Ds and such and you would think that they could come up with a better argument (unless you assume that their religious bent clearly twists their thinking; probably more right than wrong). But on the other hand I have known a few Ph.Ds that are as dumb as dirt and you wonder how the hell they got their degree. One in particular had an ego that wrote checks his butt couldn’t cash.

  3. Sewell is a mathematician, not a physicist. Josiah Gibbs, the founder of thermodynamics, said, “A mathematician may say anything he pleases, but a physicist must be at least partially sane.”

  4. Hey !…My new Blackberry has teeny tiny buttons that are so small The Hand of the Desert would “fat finger” the whole keyboard, every time God tried to use it. So Casey, there are actually two designers, one big and one small. I love this intelligent design stuff.

  5. The inimitable Dr. Egnor also has a winning post on the Discoveroid blog devoted to “answering” our very own Diogenes: Eugenic Sundays.

    It’s quite a hoot! Egnor hand-waves away Diogenes’ careful and comprehensive demolition with a claim that it was evil progressive Christians that advocated eugenics! Really quite staggering, even by Egnor’s ‘standards’!

  6. If Stew-well is seriously proposing to show in a single paper, using little more than advanced mathematics, the impossibility of the four fundamental forces of nature rearranging, unaided and unguided, the fundamental particles into sapient organisms who in turn are able to produce iPhones, then he is either by far the greatest mind ever to have graced human history, or profoundly guilty of what Daniel Dennett has termed “greedy reductionism.”

  7. @Megalonyx, re: Egnor and eugenics: Egnor’s move was quite predictable– indeed it’s the move I expected him to take. He copied authority quotes from Christine Rosen’s biased and inaccurate history book Preaching Eugenics, which inaccurately states that no fundamentalist ever joined the eugenics movement. She inaccurately states that those religious leaders who joined the eugenics movements were all “liberals”, which, besides being factually inaccurate, is also anachronistic language– the people in the 1920’s would not have called the alleged eugenicists “liberals”; the term itself was far more rare in those days.

    Of course, I already had disproven Rosen’s claims in my comments on at Egnor’s won ignorant, in which I only quoted fundamentalists and no liberals on their support for eugnenics. Egnor is now claiming that the founders of Young Earth creationism were… “liberals”! Pathetic and moronic, as per usual of Egnor.

  8. Eddie Janssen

    “That sounds like a nice way for Sewell to spend his time.”

  9. How about a creationist math example:

    2 + 2 = 5 for large values of 2 and/or small values of 5.

    Leave’s ’em lots of wiggle room.

  10. “to not believe in intelligent design, you have to believe that four known fundamental, unintelligent, forces of physics alone… must have rearranged the fundamental particles of physics into Apple iPhones.”

    Is he saying I can leave my computer and landline alone in a room for some sexy time, and after a short gestation I could play Angry Birds on my phone? Because that would be awesome.

  11. Oh, yeah: the key word in that piece of “wisdom” above is believe. Ugh.

  12. “This will be a tale of tortured logic”
    Why do you think I call them IDiots? I don’t expect anything else.

  13. I’d just like to point out that the only intelligent designs that we have independent knowledge of, and the only intelligent designers, are also subject to the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

  14. >”2 + 2 = 5 for large values of 2 and/or small values of 5.”

    Or a statistical estimate, with a really wide confidence interval. Damn those statisticians.

    I recently caught an IDiot in a mathematical argument demonstrating that ID requires a prior assumption that “Design” is the only possible outcome. He called me names and ran away. 🙂

  15. I asked my iPhone “who designed you?”, and Siri responded “I was designed by Apple in California”.

    So there.