Like a technician employed by the Inquisition to devise increasingly fiendish ways to torture heretics, so too do the Discoveroids strive to develop ever-more elaborate ways to warp the minds of their drooling followers.
A good example of this is found today at the creationist blog of the Discovery Institute. It was written by Michael Denton. He’s a Discoveroid “senior fellow” and the author of the 1985 creationist classic, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. The last time we discussed him was Thrilling News from the Discovery Institute.
Denton’s new article is A Maze with One Exit: Why Evolution Had No Choice. Don’t be afraid, dear reader. Your Curmudgeon will be your guide. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Our Discovery Institute colleague Bruce Chapman writes to me to ask the following question:
[Chappy’s question to Denton:] From your standpoint, the fine-tuned universe and nature on Earth give evidence of having been ordered for “beings like ourselves.” However, wouldn’t a Darwinist or any other materialist say, “What seems to you a universe and nature designed to accommodate us is really the reverse. We are the response, the consequence of random mutations and natural selection over billions of years to the constraints and requirements of nature.” How do you respond?
Chappy is the founder and Chairman of the Discovery Institute. His question raises an issue we recently discussed. In Klinghoffer Demolishes His Critics — which also involved Denton — we mentioned an obvious conflict between two of the Ten Laws of Creationism, which are:
9. The Principle of Life: Life can’t arise naturally, and yet it exists. Therefore life is the product of intelligent design (ID).
10. The Principle of Universal Design: The universe is made for life, which is highly improbable; therefore the universe is the product of ID.
The problem is that although Discoveroids are always claiming that each of those is true, they never mention them both at the same time. That’s because they can’t both be true. If life really were impossible, then it would violate the laws of nature everywhere — except here, of course, due to the incomprehensible work of the intelligent designer — blessed be he! — who created our privileged planet. But if the universe were fine-tuned to be designed for life, then our allegedly Privileged Planet is no big deal, and life should be universally abundant. Well, which is it?
Chappy is asking Denton to resolve the problem — a difficult task. Here is how Denton does the job. First, he admits that what Chappy describes as the position of “a Darwinist or any other materialist” seems “superficially reasonable.” Nevertheless, he claims:
Here is the problem. Even conceding that our biology was the result of a Darwinian process, given that the laws of nature allow only one biochemistry, one biology, and only one being with our intellectual and physical abilities — capable, for example, of making a fire — then it seems evolution had in effect no choice. The end was already written into the laws of nature before the search began; the process was one of discovering a preexisting blueprint.
Aaaargh!! How many different varieties of hogwash can you find in that paragraph, dear reader? First, there may be multiple versions of biochemistry out there, although we know of only our version here on Earth. Wikipedia has an article on Hypothetical types of biochemistry. Second, who made the rule that there can be “only one being with our intellectual and physical abilities”?
Yet Denton declares that there are no alternatives. Humans are allegedly the Privileged Species of the universe (Amazon listing for Denton’s latest book), and we were “already written into the laws of nature” according to “a preexisting blueprint.”
Then, having invented some convenient (but non-existent) rules to evade the otherwise obvious conflict between the two creationist laws we cited above, Denton elaborates on his reasoning:
Imagine a maze with only one exit. Even allowing that you may find your way by trial and error, the unique end or exit is built into the plan of the maze long before the random search commences. The random search is not a creative process that generates anything new. So even if we were to grant that the Darwinian search mechanism was the means of discovery, man still would be preordained from the beginning and his being still would depend on a vast suite of coincidences in the natural order. Darwinism would be only a means to a preordained end.
Has Denton’s argument convinced you, dear reader? Has he convinced Chappy? Well, Chappy must be satisfied, otherwise Denton’s post wouldn’t appear at the Discoveroids’ blog. That means this is now part of the Discoveroids’ official dogma. Let’s read on:
Of course I don’t accept that evolutionary ends were achieved as a result of a random search. I believe that there was only one path through the maze built in from the beginning, leading from entrance to exit by a single unique route.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That line of argument will last only until we find some alien life on Titan or elsewhere, with a different chemistry than ours. This is the rest of Denton’s article:
The path from chemistry to man was directed from the beginning. I see it as the destiny of science to find that route and reestablish mankind’s central place in nature.
So there you are, dear reader. The Discoveroids are painting themselves into an ever-shrinking corner, from which there will be no escape. And in the meanwhile, they’ve devised yet another form of mental torture for themselves and their followers.
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