The Discoveroids are in denial-mode again. Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist, wrote this for the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: Answering a Common Complaint: Does Intelligent Design Require Faith?
We know, we know — you’re wondering: How in the world can he deny it? He can’t, of course, but in his latest essay, he tries.
We all know what the bible says about faith: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” A more rigorous definition is: Faith is belief which is not based on verifiable evidence or logical proof. Either of those fits the Discoveroids’ belief in their transcendent intelligent designer. Here are some excerpts from what Casey says, with bold font added by us:
Recently I attended an informal philosophy discussion group including both theists and atheists. The topic for the meeting was whether intelligent design qualifies as science or not. … Toward the end of the meeting, a few participants still complained that intelligent design is in fact a faith-based position. By that, they meant that it unscientifically assumes design at the outset. Are they right?
Uh, no, Casey, you haven’t stated their position properly. There are indeed times when design can be perceived. Our computers are designed, but not our colons. However, the faith-based belief of the Discoveroids isn’t that design exists and can be detected — although Discoveroids often insist that they can detect it where no one else can. Their principal faith-based belief is that their imaginary designer exists. There’s no evidence whatsoever for that. His existence is arbitrarily assumed — on faith — because he’s such a convenient “explanation” for any phenomenon the Discoveroids assign to him.
Anyway, let’s see what else Casey’s got for us — aside from a distortion of the basic question:
Intelligent design works like any other historical scientific theory. It doesn’t assume that the theory will be true at the outset; rather, it tests the evidence from nature to assess whether the theory is true or false.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Where are the tests that determine DNA is designed? Or life? Or the universe? Or anything else that they always babble about? Let’s read on:
Before formulating a theory to explain natural phenomena, historical scientists make observations of the natural world. They seek to identify causes that are otherwise known to be in operation. In ID’s case, theorists study intelligence to understand the types of information and complexity that intelligent agents generate.
Next, a historical scientific theory uses those observations to formulate hypotheses or predictions about what we should find in nature if the theory is correct (or, if it’s incorrect). In this way, ID postulates that if natural structures were designed, we will find high levels of complex and specified information, or CSI.
Ooooooooooooh — Specified complexity! Here’s more:
Finally, scientists perform experimental tests on natural systems to determine if the hypothesis or predictions are confirmed or disconfirmed. As one example, ID proponents conduct mutational sensitivity tests on proteins, the building blocks of molecular machines that function in the cell. They have found that proteins are rich in CSI.
Yes, proteins are complex. No one denies it. But scientists are demonstrating how they could form naturally — see How Life Began — Problem Solved? Also, as we’ve said before, genetic algorithms are excellent evidence of nature’s ability to produce spectacular design results without thought. The everyday use of genetic algorithms to solve difficult problems clearly demonstrates, again and again, that the unthinking processes (mutation and natural selection) identified by Darwin are quite sufficient for the task. Here are some specific examples of genetic algorithms being used to solve a variety of engineering problems. Moving along:
That’s the scientific method of seeking truth. It is not “faith-based.” Rather, it tries to minimize starting assumptions and let’s nature speak to us on its own terms.
And when nature says to the Discoveroids: “This is complicated,” the Discoveroids run around shouting: “It’s complicated, and that means the designer did it!” Another excerpt:
So how do you move a close-minded materialist who cannot allow the possibility of design into the position of an open-minded materialist who is at least willing to allow the evidence to speak for itself? The task isn’t easy. I have found among materialists a high correlation between those who claim ID is faith-based and those who engage in strident name-calling and mockery, railing against ID with its supposed ties to “conservative politics,” and generally being unwilling to engage in thoughtful dialogue.
Your Curmudgeon engages in mockery, but he wishes that creationists had never been invited into the ranks of conservatism. Alas, what’s done is done. One last excerpt:
Sadly, people like this have usually stopped seeking truth — and their problem with ID is not really about the scientific evidence. If there’s a solution, it involves being patient and friendly. A touch of grace is needed.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Hey Casey — at the desk next to yours sits David Klinghoffer. Here’s a sampling of his scholarly creationist oeuvre, which most of you have seen before. He’s posted a series of essays attempting to link Charles Darwin to: Hitler, and communism, and Stalin, and the Columbine shootings, and Charles Manson, and the Ft. Hood Massacre, and Mao Tse-tung, and Dr. Josef Mengele.
Very scientific. Very graceful. Sorry, Casey. Until you guys clean up your act and start doing some actual science, you’ll continue to be regarded as a propaganda mill for the Church of the Gap-Plugger.
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