This is very creepy. Yesterday we posted Two Creationist Fallacies. Today, at the website of the Discoveroids, they’ve posted an article about two “Darwinist” fallacies. Their article is Two Reasons Darwinism Survives. You must believe us, dear reader, we didn’t know that was coming. It’s really a coincidence.
The Discoveroids’ author is Granville Sewell — about whom we’ve written a few times before. Sewell isn’t a Discoveroid “fellow,” but they publish him, and Wikipedia informs us that he’s a signatory to the Discovery Institute’s “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism” petition. Perhaps the most important thing about Sewell is that he’s very keen on using the Second Law of Thermodynamics as an argument for creationism — see Discovery Institute Gives Us Their Best Argument.
If that doesn’t impress you, we urge you to consider his Mt. Rushmore argument — about which we wrote Mt. Rushmore Is Designed, Therefore …. We’re going to call that his “Argument from Rushmore,” or to give it the stature it deserves, we’ll put it in Latin — it’s the Argumentum de Rushmoro.
Okay, let’s see what this mighty thinker has for us today. Here are some excerpts from his article, with bold font added by us:
I have always considered Darwin’s attempt to explain all of the apparent and obvious design in biology, and even human consciousness and intelligence, in terms of the accumulation of useful accidents to be the dumbest idea ever taken seriously by science. As scientific research continues to reveal the astonishing dimensions of the complexity of life, especially at the microscopic level, how does such a theory persist?
Yes, it’s a puzzlement. We are moved to quote from The King and I:
In my head are many facts
That, as a student, I have studied to procure
In my head are many facts
Of which I wish I was more certain, I was sure
Is a puzzlement.
Enough of that. Back to Granville:
I believe there are two main reasons why this extremely implausible theory continues to enjoy such widespread popularity, despite the absence of any direct evidence that natural selection can account for anything other than very minor adaptations.
Oh, goodie — let’s learn what those two reasons are. Granville tells us:
First, in every other field of science, naturalism has been spectacularly successful; why should evolutionary biology be so different? Is it really possible that science, after successfully explaining so many other phenomena in nature in terms of unintelligent laws, would hit a brick wall in evolutionary biology, and have to appeal to “design” here for the first time? Count this as a point in favor of naturalism, and against design, but it is fundamentally a philosophical point, not a scientific one.
Yes, yes! The error is materialism. Can’t you see? Isn’t it obvious? The world is really a supernatural construct! The Discoveroids have the genius to look beyond the shabby illusion that we call reality. They have unshackled themselves from that cumbersome impediment, and they want to lead you to an understanding of the glorious Contracosm, whence commeth Oogity Boogity!
Then he mentions quantum mechanics, which compels us “to recognize that some things in nature are, in principle, impossible to predict.” Oooooooh — quantum mechanics! He must be smart! He also mentions the Big Bang as evidence against the principle of causality, after which he declares:
So, yes, of course it is possible that evolutionary biology could be different, why not? And my 2013 Bio-Complexity article “Entropy and Evolution” explains why it is so different that it requires a different type of explanation.
BIO-Complexity. BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s the Discoveroids’ own, in-house, vanity journal. We posted about it here: Discovery Institute: Creationist “Peer-Review”. Let’s read on, as Granville gives us his other reason why Darwinism is bunk:
Second, there are many things about the history of life that give the impression of natural causes. The argument is basically, “This doesn’t look like the way God would have created things,” an argument used frequently by Darwin in Origin of Species.
We must confess, even your Curmudgeon has used that argument — see Buffoon Award Winner — The Intelligent Designer. Granville explains why we’re wrong:
But in fact, as I pointed out in a 2000 Mathematical Intelligencer paper, “A Mathematician’s View of Evolution,” although the history of life may not give the appearance of creation by magic wand, it does look very much the way we humans create things, through testing and improvements.
That’s how we create things, but shouldn’t we expect better of the intelligent designer? Why, for example, does he need to do any testing? We’re not told. Then Granville makes some really terrible analogies, using the development of increasingly complex computer programs, automobiles, etc. You can click over there and read that stuff if you like. After that he says:
Ken Miller challenged critics of Darwinism to explain why, in the fossil record, we find “one organism after another in places and in sequences … that clearly give the appearance of evolution.” I responded, in this ENV [the Discoveroids’ blog] article, with another question: “Why does the history of technology give the appearance of evolution, when it was really the result of intelligent design?”
Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Here’s more:
So if the history of life looks like the way humans, the only other known intelligent beings in the universe, design things — through careful planning, testing and improvements — why is that an argument against design? Like many other arguments used by Darwin and Darwinists, this argument is fundamentally a religious argument, involving assumptions about how God ought to have created things: He should have used a magic wand.
Well, why didn’t the intelligent designer use a magic want? Granville never explains that. Apparently, the designer of the universe was content to blunder around in the biosphere as we would do. This is how the article ends:
Darwinism owes its popularity entirely to these two philosophical and religious arguments; as a scientific theory it has nothing else to recommend it.
So there you are. Once again, the Discoveroids have shown you to be a fool! When will you wake up and admit it?
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