Casey: More on Evolution’s “Weaknesses”


The last time we explained our use of that graphic was Hey Casey! (Number 7). It’s the only thing we could think of to introduce Casey Luskin’s latest entry at the Discoveroids’ blog.

Casey sometimes posts about the “evidence” for the Discoveroids’ “theory” of intelligent design, which they insist is the “best” explanation for the universe, life, and everything. Our most recent post about his doing that was Casey’s Evidence for Intelligent Design. A few years before that we wrote Intelligent Designer or Zeus?, in which we pointed out that Casey’s list of questions doesn’t provide proof, or even evidence, for the existence and alleged activities of the intelligent designer — blessed be he! — because the designer is merely one of many supernatural agents who might be responsible. We said:

[C]laiming that the magic designer is the cause of those things is literally no different from claiming that Zeus caused them. If your Curmudgeon presented a long list of Zeus’ alleged accomplishments, it wouldn’t mean that our list is scientific evidence for the role of Zeus in our world. … [T]he Curmudgeon’s “Zeus theory” is every bit as good as ID. Better, really, because ol’ Zeus had an eye for the ladies. That’s a very good quality in a deity.

And sometimes Casey writes about the alleged “weaknesses” of the theory of evolution — for example, see Discoveroids’ Top Ten Problems with Evolution. In that post we discussed the first three of Casey’s “problems” and easily dismissed them. Today he’s doing it again. That’s to be expected. Recycling clunkers is a time-honored creationist activity.

Casey’s newest effort at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog is Welcome to the Top Ten Scientific Problems with Biological and Chemical Evolution. It begins with this Editor’s Note:

This is Part 1 of a 10-part series based upon Casey Luskin’s chapter, “The Top Ten Scientific Problems with Biological and Chemical Evolution,” in the volume More than Myth, edited by Paul Brown and Robert Stackpole (Chartwell Press, 2014). When the series is complete, the full chapter will be posted online.

Wowie — Casey has contributed a chapter to that book. It must be one of the greatest books ever published! Then he says, with bold font added by us:

“There are no weaknesses in the theory of evolution.” So said Eugenie Scott, the de facto head of the Darwin lobby, while speaking to the media in response to the Texas State Board of Education’s 2009 vote to require students to learn about both the scientific evidence for and against neo-Darwinian evolution.

The “Darwin lobby” — BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Hey, Casey: Who is running around lobbying state legislatures to get them to enact legislation? Is it the science side, or is it the creationists, with their deceptive Academic Freedom bills?

Casey is off to a good start. Then he tells us:

But is it true that there are “no weaknesses” in evolutionary theory? Are those who express doubts about Darwinism displaying courage, or are they fools that want to take us back to the dark ages and era of the flat Earth?

That’s a really tough question. Let’s read on:

Thankfully, it’s very easy to test these questions: all one must do is examine the technical scientific literature and inquire whether there are legitimate scientific challenges to chemical and biological evolution.

The remainder of Casey’s post deals with what he calls: Problem 1: No Viable Mechanism to Generate a Primordial Soup. Fortunately, we don’t need to trouble ourselves with that. It was also his number one problem that we dealt with back in October — see Casey’s Evidence for Intelligent Design, when Casey was hawking the same book that contains his chapter.

Oh — Casey spends a lot of time complaining about the famous Miller-Urey experiment of 1953, which synthesized organic compounds from inorganic precursors. That has nothing to do with Darwin’s theory, but Casey doesn’t care. He’s done the same thing before and we’ve written about it — for example: Casey and the Miller-Urey Experiment, #2.

So there’s nothing new in Casey’s latest post, and the likelihood is that there won’t be anything new in the rest of this promised series. We’ll look at his later posts, but we doubt that we’ll be motivated to write about them. It seems to us that the only reason for this new series is because, although Casey has nothing new to say, he has to do something to earn his salary, so the best he can do is repeat himself.

But his post wasn’t a total loss. It gave us an opportunity to once again use that expressive picture of our cousin, who is clearly signalling his opinion of the Discovery Institute.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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15 responses to “Casey: More on Evolution’s “Weaknesses”

  1. “… or are they fools that want to take us back to the dark ages and era of the flat Earth?” That would be my bet.

  2. This is the first time in recent memory that you haven’t introduced Casey as your favourite Discoveroid! Has he finally fallen out of favour, or is there someone new in your heart?

  3. I s’pose that, in a perverse self-contained way, it helps one’s anti-evolution cause if his arguments and thinking don’t (can’t?) evolve.

  4. Knowing that Casey Luskin is a lawyer, I was curious about his science credentials, since much of his writing is his assessment of scientific subjects.

    While poking around looking up his background, I read for the first time the Wikipedia article about the DI:

    Says it all. Definitely not written by the DI staff.

  5. Diogenes Lamp

    I believe the book “More than Myth” from which this article is taken describes Luskin #AttackGerbil as having a master’s in geology. False; he has a master’s in Earth Science.

    When Luskin’s book says More than Myth it means that Genesis is inerrant. Again, Intelligent Design begins with the assumption that that the whole Bible is inerrant, despite Luskin’s and the DI’s dishonest claims to the contrary.

  6. michaelfugate

    Perhaps they should change their name to the Rediscovery Institute or the Recycling Institute – they seem to only be able to rediscover old refuted arguments and recycle them into new posts.

  7. Doctor Stochastic

    Gee, Zeus really could have done it.

  8. It must be difficult to re-polish the same turd year after year, decade after decade trying to fool your donors into thinking you’ve come up with new research and are making progress.

  9. But we all know that the present intelligent designer is nothing more than the evolved ID of the monkey faith.

  10. SC: “So there’s nothing new in Casey’s latest post,…”

    The DI’s last new idea was ~1998, Dembski’s “specified complexity,” and even that may not be original. While subtly contradicting itself with a neat bait-and-switch from “categorically impossible” to “merely improbably,” it was at least a clever complement to Behe’s “irreducible complexity,” which itself was a ripoff of Muller’s argument for evolution.

    The DI’s impressive accomplishments were all in the realm of word games. And as such I do find them impressive, achieving all they intended, and probably more. In the years following “cdesign proponentsists” (1987) the successors to the former YEC peddlers who started the ID strategy faced a painful truth, one that had absolutely nothing to do the fact that YEC, OEC and IDe were religious views, unsuitable for science class. Rather it was that there was no evidence for YEC or OEC, and that the mere mention of “when” and “kinds” risked that the smarter students would find evolution more convincing despite the teacher bending over backwards to promote unreasonable doubt. As Taner Edis noted in “Why Intelligent Design Fails,” (my paraphrase) even if IDers were right about “design” the alternative would still be indistinguishable from evolution as we know it, including ~4 billion years of common descent. And I add, the IDers have known that for 20+ years.

    All that was left was word games, be it “evidence” for “design” or against evolution, all the while suggesting that it’s either “design” or evolution – a false dichotomy by any measure. Students would be left to infer how, where and when the “design” was implemented (& the designer’s identity). Most students would be expected to infer some vague OEC interpretation of Genesis, but more importantly, they, and the staunch 6-dayers, would rarely think of debating each other, as they sometimes do when more explicit YEC arguments are made.

    The “big tent” heaven started crumbling in 1999 when the Wedge document was leaked. The DI did not deny it but rather reacted with “so what?” They – if not their more clueless fans, such as those bumblers at Dover who almost got slapped with a perjury charge – had no choice but to remove the “design” language from lesson plans, while keeping them where the law couldn’t touch them. The “replacement scams” (hat tip to Ron O) teach only (bogus) “weaknesses” of evolution – with a heavy dose of censorship. Not just of what is important but inappropriate for science class, i.e. the history and word game of the ID scam, but material that is appropriate, such as refutations of the bogus “weaknesses,” and crucial evidence for evolution that is displaced by the misinformation. If the DI really only wanted students to learn “both sides” (instead of brainwashing a captive audience) they would not waste their time with the ~0.1% of students’ waking hours spent learning evolution.

    So let this be the year when we answer their audacious charge of “Darwinist” “censorship” not just by showing people that it is not so, but by taking the all-important next step of showing which side is really hell-bent on promoting censorship.

  11. Frank J presents a challenge:

    “even that may not be original”
    According to Wikipedia specified complexity was already proposed by one Leslie Orgel in 1973:

    As Orgel was not a creationist Dembski apparently stole it and added some theology. Yup, those guys are like parasites. But kudos, Dembski seems to be the first IDiot who has done so.

  12. @ mnb0:

    Thanks! I wish I were half as good as the average person at with finding incriminating evidence like that. That said, I hope you don’t remind a bit of bragging. When Mark Isaak was on Talk.Origins soliciting recommendations for his upcoming book “The Counter Creationism Handbook” (based on this website) I immediately recommended: this reference.

    It’s likely that others recommended it too, but it made it into the book. It refers to one of the most audacious activities that the DI ever undertook, peddling a bibliography of real scientists – not that tiny fringe that signed that bogus “dissent” statement – that the DI pretended supported them:

    The money quote from the reference:

    “NCSE sent a questionnaire to the authors of every publication listed in the Bibliography, asking them whether they considered their work to provide scientific evidence for ‘intelligent design.'[5] None of the 26 respondents (representing 34 of the 44 publications in the Bibliography) did; many were indignant at the suggestion’.”

  13. Thanks for that NCSE clarification, Frank J. Until I read it, I didn’t fully appreciate the extent of the Discorrhoids’ unsanitary sleaze. As a matter of fact, it’s very possible that I still don’t.

  14. It looks like the quote from Eugenie Scott is a misquote. Her actual statement used the phrase “non-existent weaknesses.” She was later questioned by Ken Mercer from the TBOE, and the question directed to her rephrased her remarks as “there are no weaknesses to the theory of evolution.” IOW the quote is actually from Ken Mercer, and not from Scott.