Discoveroid Denyse O’Leary Strikes Again

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.

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

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19 responses to “Discoveroid Denyse O’Leary Strikes Again

  1. Quoting Denyse:

    In future articles, we will look at the “hard problem” of consciousness and the conundrums that free will, altruism, and religion create for naturalism.

    I look forward to continued entertainment from this projected series.

  2. You know she’s the real thing when she cites 2020 as an apocalypse year. That’s all she needs to put on her resume.

  3. Poor Denyse represents a new intellectual nadir for the Tooters, but they can still sink a bit (but not much) lower. Watch for DI postings by “FL” or Robert Byers of Panda’s Thumb fame — then you’ll know that not only have the Tooters flamed out and crashed, even they will know it.

  4. SC, in the future, please put at least 48 hours between Jason Lisle posts and Denyse O’Leary posts. My poor brain.

  5. I don’t think there’s a depth they can sink to where they’ll hit a natural bottom. Once you’ve convinced yourself that magic is as valid an explanation as reason, once that thought has completely congealed and overwhelmed every other sense, there’s no reason you can’t go further.

  6. Charles Deetz ;)

    More rabble for their financial base, who like to need confirmation of their bias. ‘Dog whistle’ politicians call it (and that’s what it sounds like to us, too).

  7. Dean asserts

    You know she’s the real thing when she cites 2020 as an apocalypse year.

    In all honesty, I strongly suspect that dear Denyse is not a ‘real thing’, but must surely be some sort of poorly-programmed ELIZA-like chat-bot that simply spews out random verbiage on demand.

    I have never managed to read one of her ‘essays’ with even a crumb of comprehension. She achieves bathetic depths of obfuscation Coleridge might have characterised as ‘measureless to man.’ She is a Marianas Trench of unfathomable logorrhea….

  8. Denyse claims that science only requires naturalism (per her definition) and that major scientific ideas – the same ones studied by thousands of skilled researchers with actual labs, instruments and fieldwork around the world every day – are not based on evidence. Presumably all these people just sit around and make stuff up.

    She has set the bar for what is science very, very, low. No evidence needed, just naturalism. What is amazing, is that even with such a minimum requirement, ID still fails to qualify as science. Besides having no evidence and doing no research to find any evidence, they cannot even describe how research could be done on ID. It is not possible. Until ID can come up with a way to test itself, whether by naturalism or by magic (but repeatable and testable magic), then it will continue to be just a weird subset of Christian apologetics.

  9. Ed says: “She has set the bar for what is science very, very, low. No evidence needed, just naturalism. What is amazing, is that even with such a minimum requirement, ID still fails to qualify as science.”

    The multiverse, which Denyse dismisses for lack of evidence, is more scientific than ID. At least I can grasp what it means that there may be a bunch of other universes. But when they talk about a transcendent designer …

  10. Kennard Walter

    When the standards sink to what common core allows in any classes, then we might see what the limit for this anti-intelligent design of theirs is. Denyse may be only one of our up and coming brightest and densest dim bulb stars of the lack of the future, or back to the future of the bronze age, or something like that. The Heavens already declare the glory, every mindnumbing moron already praises Jesus after he beats the…..bejeezus out of someone else, so why couldn’t she be all too readily accepted as a New Unique Genius. She says nothing(scientific) but apparently many think she sure is something. I’m holding her in somewhat tentative apathetic patheticism? It’s a condition I find myself in lately as I wonder why this stuff won’t just go away.

  11. I called her “Dense” O’Leary before and I see no name change is needed.

  12. And, once again, there is no hint of anyone being interested in supplying the pathetic details, like what happened and when.
    At most, there is something wrong with evolutionary biology.

  13. interesting. i just happened to read a piece about the evidence which supports the Big Bang, the rapid expansion, and the multiverse hypothesis. This was in a Smithsonian magazine read in the doctor’s office. I’m sure this magazine is readily available elsewhere. To say that the multiverse hypothesis is evidence free is, at best, arrogant ignorance, at worst, dishonest denial.

  14. I used to subscribe to Smithsonian; enjoyed it and learned from it.

  15. The multiverse idea is best categorized, or labeled, as speculation. There is no evidence or set of observations that this idea explains, so it’s not an hypothesis. It’s not testable (as far as we know), so it’s unlikely to ever be a theory (using the true definition of “theory”).
    Lawrence Krauss opined that if “other” universes exist with different physical constants, then the study of our Universe is just environmental science.
    There is no evidence that physical constants exist on sliding scales.
    A widespread misperception among science haters and even scientists is that constants are fine-tuned. That’s backward. Reality doesn’t exist because of fine-tuned constants. Constants are what they are as a CONSEQUENCE of reality.

  16. Curmy suggests—

    “[Discoveroid ‘probability theorists’] have even less stature than ancient astronaut theorists.”

    Oh, I don’t know about that…

  17. . /. . 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.

    Danny DeVito said it best, as the Penguin in Batman Returns: “I believe the word you’re looking for is ‘AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!'”

    A creationist has the nerve to accuse supporters of evolution of “a century and a half of dead ends”? News flash from Queen Victoria’s time: Darwinian evolution gained support among scientists because evidence accumulated in its favor. And what evidence could possibly ppersuade creationists to “rethink,” as long as they can say, “But it’s right there in the Buy-bell!”?

  18. @SC:

    Admit it. You only did the “diversity” thing because of my recent tongue-in-cheek comment that you are “expelling” women because ~95% of your “creationists” are men. 🙂 Since the DI’s living DOL (sorry) is one of the few lady activists, she’s just the one I expected you to post first.

    I’ll let other “Darwinists” refute her misrepresentations and/or “take the bait,” while I just comment on this fascinating quote:

    Many people in their forties today grew up with science as the business end of naturalist atheism.

    40s? That means born from 64 to 74, thus entering high school long after the US “spike” of interest in science (Sputnik 57 to Moon Landing 69) was over, and the touchy-feely, all-natural, hyper-environmental “never met a pseudoscience I didn’t like” era was in full swing. Yes, young folk may be avoiding traditional religion, but they are embracing “alternative” everything, and that’s actually good news for the anti-evolution movement.

    When I mentioned that on another board a few months ago, someone replied that I was confusing 2 “massively different demographics.” That’s true as a “left-right” stereotype, but there’s a substantial and growing overlap between the sets, and it has a bizarre “new-age” feel, just like the new creationist scams. As just one example, note Steve Deace radio show. Deace is a radical “so con” that makes Medved seem downright libertarian. Yet many of the commercials are for “alternative” supplements that one would expect to be peddled to the far-left science-deniers.

  19. OK, I also must comment on this:

    TomS: “And, once again, there is no hint of anyone being interested in supplying the pathetic details, like what happened and when.”

    You’re probably the only one who understood what I meant by “take the bait” in the last comment. As I mentioned on another board more recently, it’s easy to quote-mine IDers to make them all seem like flaming YECs. For some bizarre reason, that’s what too many “Darwinists” like to do. At least “creationist” quote mining helps them to fool their audience; ours is pure foot-shooting. Yes it would be a lot easier if all evolution-deniers believed the same cartoon origins story, but as you know, they believe (or claim to believe) all sorts of mutually-contradictory “alternatives” that would be embarrassing enough even if they weren’t all thoroughly falsified. So IDers have no choice but to cover it all up for the sake of the big tent.

    Unfortunately I found that I have to state up front that I am not defending IDers, but rather making an even more damning accusation than most of their critics are willing to make. But if one avoids quote-mining, and follows the “convergence, neither sought nor fabricated” of their evasive word games, it becomes quite clear that what they are avoiding admitting, is the painful realization that mainstream science is right about the what happened, when, where and how. And that includes former YEC peddlers who since sought refuge in ID’s big tent. When people say “what’s the harm, let them believe,” the reply should be “You don’t know that they believe; they could be lying, and have a huge incentive to do so.”