When we started this blog, one of the first things we posted was Discovery Institute: Enemies of the Enlightenment. We knew exactly what we were doing.
Unlike the typical, walking around, drooling creationist, who is usually no more evil than any other ignoramus or mental defective, most professional creationists are aware of the fraud in which they are engaged, but they do it because it’s easy money. Or in the case of creationist politicians, they may know better, but lacking integrity, they do it for the votes. The Discoveroids, however, are very different in their motivations.
We’ve outlined our thinking on this over several posts, for example: Who Are the Creationists?, and also Science, Creationism, and Everything, and also The Infinite Evil of Creationism. We rarely link to those, but if you haven’t seen them, they’re definitely worth a look — at least in our humble opinion.
Okay, now let’s get back to the Discoveroids. We’ve always recognized their inherently malevolent purpose. What’s interesting is that lately, they’ve been getting more bold — or sloppy — in revealing what they really are. In a recent post, Discoveroids: All Theology, All the Time, we described Egnor’s explicit declaration of his attachment to 13th Century thinking — which is obviously pre-Enlightenment. Today they’re doing it again.
At the Discoveroids’ creationist blog we read What Darwin’s Darlings Need to Know about David Hume. It was written by Michael Flannery, one of their “fellows.” A previous post of his inspired us to write Beyond Despicable, in which he blamed Darwin for the atrocities of Stalin. He also plays the Hitler card — see Discovery Institute: Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Part VI.
Flannery’s latest post is one of the worst ever; but it’s actually good for us, because it reveals quite starkly the Discoveroids’ virulent anti-Enlightenment campaign. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
There is little question that David Hume (1711-1776), patron saint of nearly every skeptic who came after him, has profoundly influenced Darwin’s most passionate believers. [He lists a few. Their names come up again at the end.] But Darwin’s contemporary and natural selection’s co-discoverer, Alfred Russel Wallace, was unimpressed by Hume, and his Miracles and Modern Spiritualism delivered a detailed response to Hume’s many claims and assertions about belief and the miraculous that Darwin’s darlings would do well to heed.
We need to digress a bit for some background. You know how highly we esteem David Hume, described by Wikipedia as “a Scottish historian, philosopher, economist, diplomat and essayist known today especially for his radical philosophical empiricism and scepticism.” He was one of the principal inspirations for the American Revolution and the rights preserved in the American Constitution. Benjamin Franklin knew David Hume and greatly appreciated his work.
Of particular interest to this blog, Hume wrote a powerful rebuttal to William Paley’s famous watchmaker analogy, a primitive theistic argument upon which the Discoveroids rely heavily. It’s one of their main arguments in support of their “theory” of intelligent design. You can read David Hume’s rebuttal here.
And then there’s Alfred Wallace. He gets credit, along with Darwin, for the notion of natural selection. However, as we’ve pointed out before — see, for example, Discoveroids Adopt Alfred Wallace as Godfather — the man went bonkers late in life and became a full-blown mystic. That’s why the Discoveroids love him.
Okay, back to Flannery’s post. He tells us:
Referring to Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Wallace took careful note of Hume’s definition of a miracle, which was that a miracle “is a violation of the laws of nature” and that it “is a transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity, or by the interposition of some invisible agent.”
What’s wrong with that? Oh, wait — Wallace believed in miracles, which is one of the reasons the Discoveroids love him. Let’s read on:
Wallace protested that “both these definitions are bad or imperfect. The first assumes that we know all the laws of nature, that the particular effect could not be produced by some unknown law of nature overcoming a law we do know.” Why, he added, must products of intelligence in nature invariably violate natural laws? Wallace suggests that Hume’s assertions about the violation of natural laws are assumed without, in his words, “a shadow of proof.”
Amazing. The Discoveroids are attempting to raise Wallace to the status of being a better thinker than Hume. Quite understandable, really. Despite the unquestioned fact that Wallace recognized the role of natural selection in evolution, he was — especially late in his life — a confused, fumbling, inherently deranged pre-Enlightenment thinker. Flannery continues:
Wallace burrows further into Hume’s argument. Hume insisted that one test for a miracle should be “uniform experience,” which he asserts “amounts to a proof.” For example, that a seemingly healthy man should die would not be considered a miracle because it has on occasion occurred, but that a dead man should rise from the grave would clearly be a miracle because, according to Hume, it has never been observed to occur. Upon such reasoning Hume built his case for discounting all miracles simply because of their sheer improbability.
No, not merely because of improbability — it’s impossibility that miracles are made of. This is getting tedious. We’ll skip a bit until we come to this:
It should be said that Wallace objected to Hume’s assumption that every miraculous act had to come directly from God in some unmediated sense. Wallace believed that there were an “infinite number of intelligent beings who may exist in the universe between ourselves and the Deity.” And before we get too taken aback at this statement as merely exchanging Hume’s blasphemy for Wallace’s heresy, it is worth a reminder that Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica believed that God governs many things through angels that allows for a sharing of the causality inherent in God’s nature — the First Cause.
Aquinas again. The Discoveroids only like pre-Enlightenment thinkers. Here’s more:
In any case, it is clear that Wallace was unimpressed by Hume’s skepticism. He felt Hume’s arguments failed the test of logic and posed simplistic — even naïve — formulations about religion and religious claims.
This is how the thing ends:
What a shame that such “informed” and “rational” men of “science” as Shermer, Dennett, and Dawkins have been so limited in their reading as to continue to praise ideas long since refuted.
Yes, the Enlightenment has been refuted — by Wallace! Therefore, all modern scientists — especially “Darwinists” — are fools! Or so the Discoveroids want you to believe.
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