Today’s second letter-to-the-editor is yet another response to the newspaper articles we wrote about a couple of weeks ago: Ten Years After the Kitzmiller Case, regarding several articles in the York Daily Record, located in York, Pennsylvania, which were written for the coming ten-year anniversary of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.
Like a couple of other letters we wrote about recently, this one also appears in the York Daily Record. It’s titled Design is a different paradigm. The newspaper has a comments feature, but so far there’s only one comment.
Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. He writes a lot of letters-to-the-editor — we posted about one a couple of weeks ago: #615: Kitzmiller, a Travesty — but he still doesn’t qualify for full-name treatment. His first name is Larry. Excerpts from his new letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
I agree with [an earlier letter] that some members of the 2005 Dover school board were wrong to emphasize their religious motivations for offering students a glimpse of the scientific problems faced by Darwinian evolution. The religious aspect is objectively irrelevant to the scientific issues, yet the ill-considered reference to religion enabled the judge to rule as he did.
Ah, the religious motivation of the school board was irrelevant, and it confused the judge. Larry is going to discuss the scientific issues. As we remarked about his earlier letter, “This could have been written by the Discoveroids. Maybe it was.” That’s true of today’s letter also. He says:
The horrible thought crime which cost Dover Township $1 million was to state in class that credible scientific dissent from Darwin’s theory really does exist, and that interested students could read about it in the library. This hardly amounts to “teaching of intelligent design in science classes,” let alone to trying to “stop the teaching of evolution,” as [the other letter] implies.
Oh? Suppose the school board had mandated that a message be read in science class telling the students to read the bible for a credible scientific alternative to Darwin’s theory. That’s not very different from what they did — recommending Of Pandas and People. They’re both creationist books. But Larry doesn’t agree. Let’s read on:
The stale cliche that Intelligent Design theory is really religion overlooks the fact that some of the scientists currently at work developing the design paradigm are not theists (believers in God) let alone Christians. This is about the scientific detection of design in nature, not about worshiping a designer.
Pure Discoveroid drivel. Larry continues:
Design is a completely new paradigm which considers inputs of form or information into natural systems, above and beyond purely mechanical causes. Therefore it is incompatible with the dominant Darwinian paradigm, and supporters of the latter will invariably discredit it, mostly without fair consideration.
Oooooooooooh — it’s above and beyond purely mechanical causes. Yes, of course. That’s because the designer — blessed be he! — is supernatural. Here’s more:
As for the fossil record, the examples of intermediate forms given by [the earlier letter] do not address the problem. Sure, there are analogies between current and extinct species, like tigers and saber-tooths, or elephants and mastodons. And yes, it is possible to construct sequences of fossil species, from earlier to later in the geological record, which appear to be possibly developmental in nature, running from simpler to more complex, or from smaller to larger brains — as has been done with human species. But the species comprised in these sequences are generally quite far apart in geological time, and what is missing is any evidence whatsoever of the billions and billions of mutant species that should appear in between the reference fossils in the neat textbook diagrams — if Darwin’s theory were true.
Aha — there are no intermediate fossils! Or at least, not enough to satisfy Larry. Moving along:
I am not specifically familiar with the fossil fish with crocodile head and rudimentary feet mentioned by [earlier letter]. But like all other fossil species it doubtless developed some adaptive variations and then went extinct, without any subsequent record of randomly mutated species in between it and the species it was supposedly evolving into.
We assume that’s a reference to Tiktaalik. Larry doesn’t know about it, so it’s not important. Another excerpt:
Things have gotten even worse for Darwin’s bright idea since the advent of biochemical genetics. By mapping the genomes of diverse species, it is possible to calculate the theoretical number of mutations separating one species from another. It turns out that Homo sapiens is closer to several lower animals than to the higher apes, assuming Darwin’s notion of evolution by mutation from species to species.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! And now we come to the end:
So there is nothing absurd, nor inherently religious about design science: it is simply the paradigm of the next scientific revolution (See Dembski, “The Design Revolution”).
Wow — hard core! How would you like to debate that guy?
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