We’re getting increasingly worried about the Wall Street Journal. A few years ago we wrote Wall Street Journal: Are They Creationists?, when it seemed they were getting too cozy with the Discovery Institute. And about six months ago they published a column by an author the Discoveroids like — see Creationist Wisdom #445: A Great Big Miracle.
Now they’ve done it again with a column by Eric Metaxas. We’ve written about him before — see Discoveroids’ Revolutionary Revival Meeting. He was one of the speakers at a Discoveroid revival, along with John Lennox, who has also appeared at other Discoveroid events. In today’s column by Metaxas, he quotes Lennox as one of his sources. It reminds us of the way Klinghoffer quotes Casey.
The Metaxas column in the Journal is titled Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God. It reads exactly like something posted at the Discoveroids’ blog. There’s a comments section at the end with over 300 comments so far. We scanned the first half-dozen — it looks like Metaxas brought his creationist cheering squad.
Okay, let’s get started. The opening paragraphs of the column are about SETI (the search for extraterrestrial intelligence). Metaxas emphasizes how many factors need to be present before a planet can develop intelligent life (it’s the Guillermo Gonzalez Privileged Planet scenario), and he sneers that nothing has yet been found out there.
After that it gets worse — much worse. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
As factors [required for intelligent life] continued to be discovered, the number of possible planets hit zero, and kept going. In other words, the odds turned against any planet in the universe supporting life, including this one. Probability said that even we shouldn’t be here. Today there are more than 200 known parameters necessary for a planet to support life — every single one of which must be perfectly met, or the whole thing falls apart.
We haven’t seen a “zero” estimate before — except from creationists. Then he says:
Yet here we are, not only existing, but talking about existing. What can account for it? Can every one of those many parameters have been perfect by accident? At what point is it fair to admit that science suggests that we cannot be the result of random forces?
See what we mean? Material like this could easily be found at the Discoveroid blog. Yet here it is in the Journal. Let’s read on:
Doesn’t assuming that an intelligence created these perfect conditions require far less faith than believing that a life-sustaining Earth just happened to beat the inconceivable odds to come into being?
Sound familiar? The more typical form we see from drooling creationists is: “It takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe the bible.” We’ve seen that claim in dozens of letters-to-the-editor. But Metaxas — like the Discoveroids — jazzes it up to make it seem like science. He continues:
There’s more. The fine-tuning necessary for life to exist on a planet is nothing compared with the fine-tuning required for the universe to exist at all.
Yeah, yeah — fine tuning. We’ve discussed that clunker too many times to repeat ourselves here — see the section Anthropic Principle in our Common Creationist Claims Confuted.
Then he does some quote-mining. He also quotes some actual creationists — like Fred Hoyle and Discoveroid fellow-traveler John Lennox. Metaxas seems to use all the creationist techniques. Here’s his final paragraph:
The greatest miracle of all time, without any close seconds, is the universe. It is the miracle of all miracles, one that ineluctably points with the combined brightness of every star to something — or Someone — beyond itself.
So there you are. Ordinarily, because this Metaxas thing is such a typical pile of creationism, we might not bother to post about it — especially if it appeared at one of the usual creationist websites where we expect such nonsense. But this is in the Wall Street Journal — a publication we have always respected. What’s going on there?
See also: Klinghoffer: Metaxas Column Based on Science.
See also: Casey: Metaxas Column Is Mainstream Science.
See also: Lawrence Krauss Rebuts Eric Metaxas.
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