The creationists at the Discovery Institute have never been able to generate a scientific controversy about the theory of evolution. They keep cranking out books and videos claiming that their “theory” of intelligent design is a serious scientific challenger to evolution, but so far they haven’t fooled anyone worth fooling. It’s a sad story.
As we’ve said before, all of their claims are greeted with either ridicule or indifference, in the same way the rational world routinely reacts to books about Bigfoot, haunted houses, and ancient aliens. The simple truth is that if there were any controversy, the scientific world would recognize it, acknowledge it, and teach it.
Today the Discoveroids are at it again. The latest at their creationist blog is Another Paper with the Imprimatur of the National Academy of Sciences Glosses Over the Cambrian Explosion with Verbiage. We won’t excerpt much of it — just enough to give you the flavor. They say, with bold font added by us:
Won’t somebody, somewhere in a major journal really tackle the greatest problem of the Cambrian explosion — the origin of new genetic information?
Information? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! See Phlogiston, Vitalism, and Information. Back to the Discoveroids:
Stephen Meyer’s book Darwin’s Doubt has been out for almost two years now. Evolutionary paleontologists surely know about him and his book, but once again, PNAS [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences] has published another paper that glosses over the problem that Meyer raises.
Waaaaaah! Nobody pays any attention to us!
Here’s the PNAS paper they’re complaining about: Diversity partitioning during the Cambrian radiation. All you can see without a subscription is the abstract, but it’s not important to read it in order to appreciate the Discoveroids’ rage at being ignored. Then they tell us:
If the authors Lin Na and Wolfgang Kiessling haven’t heard about it [Meyer’s book] over there in Germany, surely the honchos at the National Academy of Science know about it. Wouldn’t they have told them in the review process, “Hey guys, you really need to talk about the information problem here.” But, sad to say, the gloss goes on, putting another coat of whitewash over the major issue of the Cambrian event.
Waaaaaah! Let’s read on:
Since scientists can at times be masters of obfuscatory jargon [*Curmudgeon’s irony meter explodes*], let’s put this into plain English. Tell us, Drs. Na and Kiessling, how did almost twenty new complex body plans appear suddenly in the fossil record, without precursors? “Well, they appeared.”
Uh, that’s not how the paper explains it. The Discoveroids continue to rant:
This is SO dissatisfying. How can they get away with it, year after year?
[*Curmudgeon’s backup irony meter explodes*] They’re right. Evolution isn’t nearly as satisfying as Oogity Boogity. Here’s more:
With each new paper, our hopes go up that someone finally will buck up and face up to the real problem instead of assuming evolution’s unguided processes can work miracles.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! But the intelligent designer can work miracles. Moving along:
The paper has 71 references. All the usual suspects are there: [list of names], their views mildly non-conformist, get a passing nod. But not a single serious Darwin skeptic is mentioned in the text or the notes.
Waaaaaah! Moon-landing deniers have the same complaint about NASA publications. Another excerpt:
Let’s take a look at the three “strong and persistent evolutionary forces” that they say caused the Cambrian explosion. [Skipping that, because you can read the paper if you like.] If this isn’t arrant handwaving, then it’s unmitigated gesticulating. They’re treating evolution like a magic wand that takes any empty space and fills it with trilobites, worms, crustaceans, arthropods, and mollusks. “Come forth!” Evolution cries; “this niche is made for you!”
We’ll skip just about everything else. Here’s their last line:
Meyer’s book awaits a response. Ignoring the question does not qualify as an answer.
It’s a dirty rotten shame. Waaaaaah! Hey — the Time Cube is also awaiting a response.
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