One of the many problems of the Discovery Institute’s “theory” of intelligent design is that it doesn’t describe how the magic happens. Their transcendent designer — blessed be he! — is alleged to have accomplished all kinds of neat things, but they never even try to suggest how he does it.
We’ve written about this before — most recently Intelligent Design Has a Mechanism. That links to a few earlier posts, and the Discoveroids have consistently admitted that they can’t describe any mechanism for their theory. That’s the same admission they make today in What’s the Mechanism of Intelligent Design?
It was written by Ann Gauger, who is best known for the clandestine nature of what she does and where she does it. She’s a “a senior research scientist” at the Discoveroids’ Biologic Institute. Ann’s work is so sensitive that the interior of her lab must never be seen by outsiders. You can read all about that in Klinghoffer Defends Photo Trickery.
The work done in that secret facility sometimes appears in the Discoveroids’ captive “peer reviewed” journal, BIO-Complexity. That lab, plus the Discoveroids’ own “peer reviewed” vanity press operation (Discovery Institute Press) constitute their imitation of the accouterments of science, and have caused intelligent design to be described as a cargo cult.
Okay, you know what we’re dealing with, and you’re eager to learn what Ann has for us today. Here are some excerpts from her new post, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
University of Toronto biochemist Larry Moran has issued a challenge at his blog Sandwalk, a challenge that advocates of intelligent design have heard before. We’ve answered it before as well, but it’s not unreasonable and therefore worth addressing again. He asks: Tell me the way information is incorporated into living things. Give a detailed explanation. What’s the mechanism?
Moran’s post didn’t use the word “mechanism.” But he asked what the designer did and how he did it. Ann says:
Indeed, I would bet that some readers have wondered the same thing. Taking Moran’s post as a welcome occasion for revisiting the question, let me expand on it in a slightly different way than it’s posed. Let me also say that this is my personal view, and does not necessarily reflect the approaches others might take to these questions.
In other words, no one at the Discovery Institute has a clue, but Ann is willing to take a stab at it. Let’s read on:
The first question to be addressed is why Dr. Moran insists I provide a mechanism. That insistence is indicative of a particular view of science known as methodological naturalism, or methodological materialism. This view of science claims that science must limit itself to strictly materialistic causes to explain all phenomena in nature, even things like the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and the origin and causes of human consciousness.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What Ann refers to as a ” particular view of science known as methodological naturalism” is what the rest of us simply refer to as “science.” Science can’t function without observable or detectable data that can be examined, measured, tested, etc. The spirit world offers no verifiable evidence of a scientific nature, so there is no scientific work that can be done with such things, and there can’t be any scientific theories based on the existence of spiritual matters. We explained all that in Bring Me An Angel Detector! Ann continues:
But does the rule [methodological naturalism] work? The requirement for a material cause, a mechanism, can lead to the odd conclusion that Isaac Newton’s law of gravity is not scientific because he famously refused to provide a mechanistic explanation for action at a distance. Likewise Einstein’s E = mc2 has no mechanism. But these laws are certainly scientific.
Aaaargh!! Newton didn’t explain what makes gravity work, but Einstein did. As for E = mc2, that’s an observation, not a theory. Here’s more:
Not all science involves observable entities or repeatable phenomena, for example — you can’t watch all causes at work or witness all events happen again and again, yet you can still make inferences about what caused unique or singular events based on the evidence available to you.
Aaaargh!! We do more than make inferences. Scientific hypotheses can be and are tested to see if they hold true. But the elusive intelligent designer — like Zeus — has never been more than an inference. Moving along:
Historical sciences such as archeology, geology, forensics, and evolutionary biology all infer causal events in the past to explain the occurrence of other events or to explain the evidence we have left behind in the present.
Yes, but unlike intelligent design, those sciences can be tested — see The Lessons of Tiktaalik. So far, the intelligent designer isn’t doing very well, but maybe Ann will come up with something. Another excerpt:
The theory of intelligent design also qualifies as historical science. We cannot directly observe the cause of the origin of life or repeat the events we study in the history of life, but we can infer what cause is most likely to be responsible, as Stephen Meyer likes to say, “from our repeated and uniform experience.” In our experience the only thing capable of causing the origin of digital code or functional information or causal circularity is intelligence and we know that the origin of life and the origin of animal life, for example, required the production of just such things in living systems.
Aaaargh!! No, Ann, despite Discoveroid dogma, we don’t know that’s the only way DNA can originate. On with the article:
Briefly, although the designing agent posited by the theory of intelligent design is not directly observable (as most causal entities posited by historical scientists are not), the theory is testable and makes many discriminating predictions. Steve Meyer’s book Signature in the Cell, Chapters 18 and 19 and Appendix A, discusses this thoroughly.
We haven’t read the book, but we have doubts that intelligent design has ever been scientifically tested — by Meyer’s predictions or by anything else. Does Ann have anything other than Meyer to offer us? We’ll soon find out:
Moran assumes that scientists may not invoke mind, or any intelligent cause, as an explanation for natural phenomena, at least if they want their theories to be considered scientific. He assumes, again, that science must limit itself to strictly materialistic causes in order to explain all phenomena, even the origin of biological information such as digital code in DNA, or the Cambrian explosion.
Moran is correct. Ann keeps going ’round and ’round, so we won’t bother with much more. This is what she says near the end:
The theory of intelligent design does not propose a mechanism (a strictly or necessarily materialistic cause) for the origin of biological information. Rather, it proposes an intelligent or mental cause. In so doing, it does exactly what we want a good historical scientific theory to do. It proposes a cause that is known from our uniform and repeated experience (to borrow a phrase) to have the power to produce the effect in question, which in this case, is functional information in living systems.
[*Sigh*] They have no observations of their designer, no concept at all of how he does what they claim he does, and no way to test their claims. In other words, they have nothing. But we’ve always known that.
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