The latest at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog is certain to demolish your foolish faith in evolution and convert you to intelligent design. It’s For the Origin of Life, on Earth or Elsewhere, “Ingredients and Conditions” Aren’t Enough. It was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger.
Klinghoffer begins in a beguiling manner with a scenario everyone can understand — cooking a meal. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
You carefully set out the implements and ingredients on the kitchen counter. Two cans of tuna, bag of egg noodles, block of Cheddar cheese, onion, frozen green peas, condensed cream of mushroom soup, can of sliced mushrooms, a cup of potato chips (for the topping).
Yuk — that is a disgusting collection of goop! Where is Klinghoffer going with this? It takes a couple of paragraphs for him to get around to it, but eventually he says:
How long before these items assemble themselves into a tuna casserole? Pour yourself a glass of wine and watch what happens.
Isn’t he clever? What a brilliant analogy! Let’s read on:
Oh, you’re concerned that the stuff has no means of coming together physically? Well, as days pass and you continue to stare intently at your unassembled casserole, perhaps that promised Seattle mega-earthquake comes along and jostles things around.
He wastes another paragraph describing the effect of the earthquake on the stuff assembled in the kitchen. We’ll skip that. Then he says:
Ridiculous? No more so than stories that are a regular feature of science news that expect incomparably greater wonders to follow automatically when the “ingredients” of life, or some of them, appear to be in place — whether on a distant, Earth-like exoplanet or on the early Earth itself.
Finally, he ties this in with some current science news that he wants his readers to dismiss:
NASA reports the discovery of a new world, Kepler-452b some 1,400 light years away, that is seemingly Earth-like in key respects, orbiting in the “habitable zone” around a star like our sun.
We wrote about that here: Update on Extra-Solar Planets. Then he quotes a recent article that describes Kepler-452b, and which dares to say: “That’s substantial opportunity for life to arise, should all the necessary ingredients and conditions for life exist on this planet.”
“Ingredients and conditions” — is that all? Klinghoffer knows it’s not enough. Not nearly enough. Finally, after all that introductory foolishness about tuna casserole and earthquakes, we get to the point he wants to make. Like all Discoveroids — and creationists in general — Klinghoffer hates the idea of alien life. It’s blasphemy! The Earth is a Privileged Planet. Skipping a bunch about oxygen (you can click over there and read it if you like), he then reminds us:
We’ve said many times before that whether on our planet or any other, “ingredients and conditions” fall wildly short of being enough to explain the development of life from non-life, or complex from simple.
Yes, the Discoveroids are always telling us that there can’t be merely a natural explanation. There must be something more — which only their intelligent designer — blessed be he! — can provide. Klinghoffer continues:
It isn’t merely oxygen, but information, that’s needed.
Ooooooooooooh — information! See Phlogiston, Vitalism, and Information. Here’s more:
Identifying the ingredients and lining them up in a working kitchen is different from knowing how they’re supposed to come together. If life has a recipe, we are utterly ignorant of what that might be, otherwise we would have sparked life ourselves in a laboratory by now.
Your casserole is a complex structure, in the sense of being an unlikely assemblage, but it is also specified or functional. (The function is to serve as a tasty and nutritious meal, more so than the unprepared ingredients.) So too with the structures of life, which in addition give evidence of irreducible complexity.
Specified complexity, irreducible complexity! [*Curmudgeon swoons*] This is so persuasive! Klinghoffer finishes his essay with one last, devastating blast at those wicked evolutionists:
If you’re hungry now, do you think it’s only a matter of time before the table can be set and the food served? With these science news items, that is the level of absurdity we’re talking about.
So there you are. Now, in addition to mocking evolution by blurting out Tornado in a junkyard!, you can add: Tuna casserole in an earthquake! And remember to give Klinghoffer the credit.
Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.