The latest post at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog is long, tedious, boring, and amazingly worthless. But if you’ve been looking for a one-stop, all-inclusive arkload of their “science” in a single place, this is it.
The thing is titled A Tale of Two Mountains: Introducing Intelligent Design. It was written by Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist. His latest Discoveroid job description is “Research Coordinator” — whatever that might mean at a creationist organization. For some reason, they’ve never named Casey a Discoveroid “fellow.” To compensate for that void in his life, a few years ago we wrote Casey Luskin Is Named a Curmudgeon Fellow.
As we look at Casey’s latest, he’s dumped all of the Discoveroids’ Oogity Boogity into one gigantic lump. We won’t go through it paragraph by paragraph because that would be too much work, and we’ve discussed all of it before in numerous different posts, so we’ll give you only a few excerpts. Casey says, with bold font added by us:
Intelligent design — often called “ID” — is a scientific theory that holds that the emergence of some features of the universe and living things is best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID theorists argue that design can be inferred by studying the informational properties of natural objects to determine if they bear the type of information that, in our experience, arises from an intelligent cause.
Yup — that’s the definition of their “theory.” Its terms are undefined, its claims are untestable, and it leads nowhere. Then we’re told:
Proponents of neo-Darwinian evolution contend that the information in life arose via purposeless, blind, and unguided processes. ID proponents argue that this information arose via purposeful, intelligently guided processes. Both claims are scientifically testable using the standard methods of science. But ID theorists say that when we use the scientific method to explore nature, the evidence points away from unguided material causes, and reveals intelligent design.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Casey says intelligent design is “testable using the standard methods of science.” Yeah, right! Let’s read on:
ID is in the business of trying to discriminate between strictly naturally/materially caused objects on the one hand, and intelligently caused objects on the other. A variety of scientific fields already use ID reasoning. For example, when archaeologists find an object, they need to determine whether it arrived at its shape through natural processes, meaning it’s just another rock (let’s say), or whether it was carved for a purpose by an intelligent agent.
Yes, it’s possible to distinguish a rock from a stone implement shaped by a human. But — contrary to Casey’s implication — there’s no possible way to determine that the universe or anything within it was made by a supernatural cause. He continues:
Here is how ID works. Scientists interested in detecting design start by observing how intelligent agents act when they design things. What we know about human agents provides a large dataset for this. One of the things we find is that when intelligent agents act, they generate a great deal of information.
Thus ID seeks to find in nature reliable indications of the prior action of intelligence — specifically it seeks to find the types of information that are known to be produced by intelligent agents. Yet not all “information” is the same. What kind of information is known to be produced by intelligence? The type of information that indicates design is generally called “specified complexity” or “complex and specified information,” “CSI” for short. I will briefly explain what these terms mean.
Then Casey talks about the “two mountains” in his title. One is a normal mountain, and the other is Mount Rushmore. Here’s where the genius of intelligent design “theory” comes in. Casey announces:
With Mount Rushmore, you don’t just observe complexity; you also find specification. Thus, you would infer that its shape was designed.
Brilliant! We couldn’t have figured that out by ourselves. We’ve posted about that splendid example of Discoveroid reasoning before — see Mt. Rushmore Is Designed, Therefore ….
Okay, we’re not even half-way into Casey’s essay, but this is where we’re going to quit. It contains nothing new, and nothing of any scientific value. But as we said at the beginning it’s, a one-stop, all-inclusive arkload of Discoveroid “science.” After reading it, you’ll understand why the “theory” of intelligent design isn’t now and never will be of any use to anyone.
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