The Discovery Institute has posted another winner by Denyse O’Leary — Bright New Discoveroid Star. Our last post about one of her intellectually dazzling essays was Discoveroid Denyse O’Leary — She’s Fantastic!
Now she has another which is worthy of our attention: Darwin’s “Horrid Doubt”: The Mind. Her essay is solid chaos from start to finish, but we’ll excerpt the especially amusing parts. The bold font was added by us:
Many people in their forties today grew up with science as the business end of naturalist atheism. In their view, a “scientific” explanation is one that describes a universe devoid of meaning, value, or purpose. That is how we know it is a scientific explanation.
Aaaargh!! No, Denyse. A scientific explanation is a comprehensible explanation of all the relevant observable data that can be tested, at least in principle, to determine if it is worthy of further consideration. (It should be obvious to all that the Discoveroids’ so-called theory of intelligent design fails in every particular.) Then she says this:
[M]ultiverse cosmology can consist entirely of evidence-free assumptions. Yet only a few question whether it is science.
Similarly, origin-of-life studies are “scientific” to the extent that they seek an origin without any intelligent cause. A century and a half of dead ends prompts no rethink; neither would a millennium. Even if probability theorists can show, beyond reasonable doubt, that an intelligent cause is required, their correct explanation would be rejected because it is not “scientific.”
Aaaargh!! Actually, there’s controversy over status of the multiverse as a scientific concept. The Wikipedia article on the multiverse has a powerful section on criticism. As for origin-of-life, who cares what Discoveroid “probability theorists” say? They have even less stature than ancient astronaut theorists. Despite the ravings of creationists, no one has demonstrated that the natural emergence of life is impossible, and several plausible scenarios have been proposed. Let’s read on:
And in studies of human evolution, the starting point is that “humans are evolved primates, an unexceptional twig on the tree of life, though like other twigs, we are accidental outliers.” Again, no one seeks to demonstrate that proposition.
Aaaargh!! In Denyse’s peculiar world, morphology, fossils, and DNA evidence mean nothing. She continues:
Darwin had doubts about how the Cambrian period fitted his theory. But his “horrid doubt” concerned the human mind:
[Denyse quote-mines Darwin:] But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?
Aaaargh!! We’ve discussed that wildly out-of-context quote a few times before — see A Preacher Quote-Mines Darwin. (The full context is Darwin’s lifetime of work and writing, and the fact that he never doubted the theory of evolution.) Here’s a wee bit more from Denyse:
Ironically, while Darwin may have doubted the fully naturalized mind and felt horrid about it, most of his latter-day supporters believe and feel good. And, on its own terms, their faith cannot be disconfirmed.
So there you are, dear reader. Denyse has exposed the pathetic way you look at things. You believe in evolution and feel good; your faith is unshakable. But that’s because you’re a fool! The idea of a mind as a natural phenomenon made Darwin feel horrid.
That’s where we’ll leave Denyse, but we have a few lingering thoughts: How much of this nonsense can the Discoveroids endure and still survive? Is there any limit? If there is, are they approaching it? Or have they already surpassed it? In a rational world, they’re like Wile E. Coyote, who has just run off the end of a cliff. Any moment now, the inevitable descent will begin. Perhaps Denyse signals that it has already begun.
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