Discoveroids Cause Global Irony Meter Crash

This is one of the best we’ve seen from the Discovery Institute: Any Sufficiently Vacuous Evolutionary Explanation Is Indistinguishable from Magic. It has no author’s byline, so they all get credit. Without further delay, here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Intelligent-design theorists including William Dembski and Stephen Meyer have produced rigorous mathematical, logical, and empirical arguments showing that the mechanism described by the “chance hypothesis” is woefully inadequate to bring about the complex genetic information found in even the simplest life. Yet that has not stopped many a Darwinian from invoking chance as a cause of biological complexity. Information, they believe, “emerges” by accident.

Multiple exclamations of Aaaargh!! The Discoveroids’ magic designer somehow exists beyond time and space, and there is no known mechanism for his miraculous activities, so there’s no observable or testable evidence to support the claims of “intelligent-design theorists.” Instead, all they ever do is nitpick the abundantly clear and oft-verified mechanism of evolution — mutations and natural selection.

Oh, the Discoveroids also claim that “information” can’t “emerge by accident.” We’re not supposed to notice that what they call “information” is nothing but imaginary pixie dust — see Phlogiston, Vitalism, and Information. We’re also supposed to be unaware of Self-organization, which gives the appearance of design. And we’re supposed to forget about observed instances of gene duplication, followed by mutation of one of the duplicates, which results in new biological features.

Okay, that was their thrilling introduction. Then they mention an article they don’t like and say:

Their reasoning seems to rely on the assumption that since evolution is an accepted fact, and intelligence is disallowed, it must have happened. But mutations, being random genetic changes, offer nothing better causally than the chance hypothesis.

Ah yes, the “chance hypothesis.” That’s their way to summarize 150 years of scientific observations — a shabby alternative to the Discoveroids’ glorious design “theory” which, in their own words, “holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.” See Discovery Institute: Intelligent Design Redefined.

Skipping a bunch, we come to this:

Given that science’s job is to explain the mysterious in terms of scientific laws and evidence, it’s astonishing how governments will throw money at magical explanations. Intelligent design advocates, by contrast, have to work independently or raise private donations.

Lordy, lordy. Ah well, there’s plenty more in the Discoveroid article. Read it if you like. Their claim is that we’re the magicians and they’re the scientists. But somehow they can’t get any respect. It’s a cruel world.

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

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30 responses to “Discoveroids Cause Global Irony Meter Crash

  1. Our Curmudgeon is reduced to

    Multiple exclamations of Aaaargh!!

    As I am the biggest maladroit on the entire Internet when it comes to HTML tagging, I will leave it to someone else to present the symbolic representation of ‘Aaaargh squared’, ‘Aaaargh cubed’, and other exponentially-raised values of ‘Aaargh’.

    Or maybe what is wanted is simply factorial Aaargh, thus:


  2. The existence of Discoveroids proves mutation. And if Discoveroids are able to mate and reproduce, that proves natural selection.

  3. @Megalonyx: How about Aaaargh^2, Aaaargh^3, Aaaargh^4… a standard text-based representation of exponents?

  4. Thanks, abeastwood.

    Actually: Thanks^3

  5. I’d argue for logAargh!

  6. michaelfugate

    Rigorous mathematical and William Dembski do not belong in the same sentence.

    Empirical and Stephen Meyer do not belong in the same sentence.

    Logical argument and the Discovery Institute do not belong in the same sentence.

  7. docbill1351

    Theorist and Stephen Meyer do not belong in the same sentence.

  8. michaelfugate

    Notice how they choose “trial and error” and attribute it to “intelligence” and not chance. What always makes me laugh is that, if the Bible were to be believed, God does everything by trial and error too. How did he come up with woman as a mate for man? Trial and Error! How did he try to save humanity from sin? Trial and Error! God has no plan – just blundering chance – try this, doesn’t work, try something else again and again until it seems to work. Still hasn’t figured out how to save humanity from sin. This is random mutation and natural selection in a nutshell and the DI is just too stupid to see it.

  9. @michaelfugate: Not to mention busily creating prokaryotes for two billion years before he/she/it got the clever idea of sticking chunks of bacteria and archaea together to make simple eukaryotes. Perhaps “slow witted tinkering” is a better description than intelligent design!

  10. Diogenes' Lamp

    Why do they accuse us of believing in “magic”, but we never accuse them of believing in science?

    And since when did *observed, quantified* processes become magical processes? Mutation, natural selection, gains in complexity, increases in genetic information, gene duplication, novel protein functions, new genes and proteins, new functional coding elements, speciation and macroevolution have all been observed. Does anything make them “magical”, apart from an attempt at projection by the people whose hypothesis is actual supernatural transcendent phenomena?

  11. Somewhere there ought to be a list of the contradictions engaged in by the science-deniers. Perhaps there is a taxonomy of contradictions?

  12. As awful as the ejecta from the disco-tute always are, a minuscule part of me wonders if they actually see themselves as serving science in their simple-minded, backhanded way by nitpicking virtually everything published that pertains to their “field.”

    Then I recall their mission statement and….naaaah.

  13. “invoking chance as a cause of”
    Aaaaargh ^ ???
    Someone’s seriously confused.

    “the high degree of functional specification”
    Definitinion? How do they measure that heights?

  14. Aaargh! may be best represented as a universal constant, it could be labelled S.C.C.’s constant as in S.C.’s Creationism constant = Aaargh!

    They never fail to produce statements that are so far detached from reality that only S.C.C. can be used to quantify them.

  15. docbill1351

    This just in. A debate between Stevie Meyer and Billy Dembski.

  16. Hey, SC, the vomit warning would have been nice.

    Which reminds:
    “How’s the latest from the Discovery Institute?”

    You guys know the rest.

  17. The philosophy of Epicureanism has been identified since antiquity in Europe with atheism. It taught that the world worked by random motions of atoms. Therefore, theism devised arguments against atheism by arguments against chance.
    That explains why so many arguments against evolution are recycled arguments against chance. As if evolution=atheism=epicureanism=chance.
    Don’t expect the science-deniers to be able to come up with new arguments, even if the target has changed.

  18. anevilmeme


    Amazing that in 2,300 yrs they haven’t had the intellect or creativity to come up with a new argument.

  19. Should the cultural and intellectual stagnancy bronze age thinking brings with it be a surprise to anyone?

    The claimed want for a return to the good old days (that never happened) may be meant as a stealth mode phrase that means “I want you to return to the bronze age and do what your told” while the theocrats would be humbly and piously forced to avail themselves of all that evil modern technology has to offer.

    A truly Randian blend of nonsense.

  20. Bronze age thinking was innovative. Neolithic thinking was innovative. Medieval thinking was innovative. Postmodernism should be as innovative.

  21. I should have used the word “mysticism” instead of the word “thinking”. I stand corrected.

  22. I just have one question: how much longer can their gravy train be expected to roll? Is this a cry of desperation and fear of being cut off, or this more babbling?

  23. The headline is an admission that their “theory” is magical miraculous intervention by a supernatural entity. It means the barbs are striking deeply home and that they’re twisting in the web of lies they’ve spun.
    Or more succinctly as Rabbie Burns said
    “O what a tangled web we weave”,
    “when first we practice to deceive”.
    Reap it Chappie.

  24. A funny spoof, showing that creacrap can “prove” everything:

  25. In other words, creationists are accusing evolution adherents of wand-waving for insisting that natural laws can account for the emergence and subsequent development of life, and prefer a “theory” attributing these phenomena to ., . . er . . . wand-waving by an invisible wizard.

  26. “If a theory claims to be able to explain some phenomenon but does not generate even an attempt at an explanation, then it should be banished.” (Behe, “Darwin’s Black Box”, page 186)

  27. One of the ironies of ID is that it wouldn’t exist without the existence of the theory of evolution. No scientist would examine the history of life and come to a conclusion the some unknown supernatural designer meddled at various points to create various new designs. There is no evidence for such actions. ID owes its existence to religion objections and general incredulity toward evolutionary theory.

    That last thing ID advocates should want is for evolution to disappear as a science. There would be nothing for them to do. No one would support the DI, as there would be no need for it. There is no science of ID to take up, and most ID advocates are bloggers and lawyers anyway and could not do the science even if it existed. Kling, the gerbil, and others would be out of work and joining those sketchy people who hang out on the streets near their offices.

    Fortunately for the DI, they will never win, and thus will be safely employed for years to come.

  28. @Ed-

    You’ve got it right.

    But the trouble with the meddling designer concept is that it is so vague that nobody knows what evidence would look like. We don’t know what sort of meddling there is. Even if it were taking place right before our eyes what would we see? That is a feature of ID.

  29. Pedantic footnote:

    “O what a tangled web we weave”,
    “when first we practice to deceive”
    wasn’t the well known Rabbi, Mr. Burns,
    it was Wally the Scott in “Marmion”

  30. admission of error
    dave S,,,,
    I totally stand corrected and you are correct about
    the tangled web quote I attributed to Burns.
    That said, I am fairly certain that Robert Burns was not a rabbi.
    My poor academic work reveals that my scholarship is
    a “wee tim’rous beastie” in the rarified atmosphere of the Curmudgeon’s blog. But everyone already knew that and they tolerate me anyway. Usually.