This is about number 7 — counting upwards from 10 — in a series of posts from the Discovery Institute that we first discussed in Discovery Institute Prepares for Kitzmas.
They’re working their way up to their #1 reason why the decision on 20 December 2005 by Judge John E. Jones III in the case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District was all wrong and is of no importance whatsoever. We anticipate that their number one reason will appear on the 20th, the day we celebrate Kitzmas.
The Discoveroids’ latest is Ten Myths About Dover: #7, “The Dover Case Showed ID Is ‘Religious’ and a Form of ‘Creationism'”
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s a myth? This should be fun. It was written by Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist. We’ll give you some excerpts, with bold font added by us.
After quoting from an article in the New York Times reporting, the day after the opinion was released, that the Kitzmiller decision said intelligent design couldn’t be taught in high school biology courses because it’s religious, Casey argues:
But is ID actually religious? Is it a form of Christianity. [Casey should have used a question mark.] We can immediately see that it is not since there are ID proponents who are not Christian or even not religious. How could these individuals united around intelligent design if it were a “version of Christianity”? Likewise, we can immediately see that ID arguments are scientific, and not religious, because they use the scientific method to make their claims.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Intelligent design uses the Scientific method? Here we have to quote Casey extensively:
The scientific method is often described as a four-step process involving observation, hypothesis, experiment, and conclusion. ID uses this methodology in making its claims:
• Observation: The ways that intelligent agents act can be observed in the natural world and described. When intelligent agents act, it is observed that they produce high levels of “complex-specified information” (CSI). CSI is basically a scenario that is unlikely to happen (making it complex), and that conforms to an independent pattern (making it specified). From our understanding of the world, high levels of CSI are always the product of intelligent design.
• Hypothesis: If an object in the natural world was designed, then we should be able to examine that object and find the same high levels of CSI that we find in human-designed objects.
• Experiment: We can examine biological structures to test whether high CSI exists. For example, when we look at natural objects in biology, we find many machine-like structures that are specified, because they have a particular arrangement of parts that is necessary for them to function, and complex because they have an unlikely arrangement of many interacting parts. These high-CSI biological machines are “irreducibly complex,” for any change in the nature or arrangement of their parts would destroy their function. Through experiments we can “reverse engineer” such structures and show that they cease to function if a part is removed, showing they are irreducibly complex.
• Conclusion: Because they exhibit high levels of CSI, a quality known to be produced only by intelligent design, and because there is no other known mechanism to explain the origin of “irreducibly complex” biological structures, we conclude that they were intelligently designed.
We could write all day about CSI — that undefinable and meaningless ark-load — but it’s not worth the bother. We’ve already written about it several times. Wikipedia has a write-up on Specified complexity. It’s nothing more than a multi-syllabic blizzard of balderdash. Let’s read on:
This argument for design involves no religious premises and is strictly based upon the scientific method. These very sorts arguments were described to Judge Jones in his courtroom by pro-ID biologists Michael Behe and Scott Minnich who served as expert witnesses in the case.
Casey can’t accept the fact that there’s more to a trial than one side’s testimony. Judge Jones heard from both sides. We give some great quotes from his opinion on this topic here: Kitzmiller v. Dover: Who is the Intelligent Designer? The conclusion was inescapable — the designer is The Man Upstairs, Yahweh himself.
Casey’s post is huge, and it includes a load of quotes from creationists who agree with him. Whoopie! He really can’t understand why the Discoveroids’ nonsense doesn’t impress anyone who isn’t already a creationist. We explained why in Intelligent Design, the Great Incongruity, where we said:
Traditional creationism is openly and honestly religious, while ID is the Discoveroids’ “Don’t ask, don’t tell” version of creationism. ID creationists have repackaged their dogma into an ostensibly secular concept which they claim is a scientific theory. Despite ID’s complete lack of any scientific attributes, it is promoted as a scientific alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution. But it’s a flimsy disguise — a reversible coat with meaningless science jargon on the outside and miracles on the inside — a garment made for flashers.
Casey then gives a number of long quotes from Behe and other creationists, and a really long one from himself. We’re going to ignore that, but you can always click over there to read it for yourself. Then he says:
Unable to show that ID’s published writings refer to a “supernatural creator,” the Dover plaintiffs turned to harping on the motives and religious beliefs of ID proponents. Expert witness for the plaintiffs Barbara Forrest, coauthor of Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design, testified extensively about the motives and religious beliefs of ID proponents. While all of this is irrelevant to whether ID is science, Judge Jones claimed that Forrest’s testimony provided “a wealth of statements by ID leaders that reveal ID’s religious, philosophical, and cultural content.” Judge Jones even stated, “It is notable that both Professors Behe and Minnich admitted their personal view is that the designer is God.”
Who else could it be? Casey continues:
But just because some ID proponents happen to be religious doesn’t mean that ID is religion. Of course many ID proponents are Christians. But that’s irrelevant. After all, there are non-religious ID proponents and sympathizers like Thomas Nagel or Bradley Monton. Moreover, if religious (or anti-religious) beliefs matter, then what do we make of the fact that many evolutionists are atheists?
Aaaargh!! The only question was whether intelligent design is science or just repackaged religion — and the answer was obvious. After that, Casey attempts to defend Of Pandas and People as a solid science text. We’re skipping that because this is already too long and the Discoveroids have promised a whole post devoted to that issue. Here’s one more excerpt from near the end:
The point of all of this is that ID arguments are based upon science, not religion. Judge Jones ignored ID’s arguments and the way that ID proponents have articulated their position. He twisted ID in order to claim that it is a religious viewpoint, the equivalent of creationism.
That’s enough from Casey. We’ve only seen four of the Discoveroids’ promised ten posts so far. What wonders await us as Kitzmas approaches? Be patient, dear reader, we’ll soon find out.
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