Discovery Institute: Our Magical Magnetic Sense

Like children in their first science class, the Discovery Institute seems to be enchanted with the phenomenon of magnetism. We recently wrote Discoveroids: Still More Evidence of Design, in which they declared that the ability of deer to detect the Earth’s magnetism scores high on their mysterious detectors of Irreducible complexity, which is powerful evidence that we were created by the intelligent designer — blessed be he! — for life on this Privileged Planet.

The Discoveroids’ fascination with magnetism is also the subject of this new post at their creationist blog: Are Humans Magnetic? It has no author’s byline. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Last month, we noted a study that shows how deer orient themselves on a north-south axis, and wondered if humans have a latent magnetic sense. Now there is new evidence that we might. The champion of human magnetic perception is Joe Kirschvink of Caltech. In Science Magazine, Eric Hand talked about the lively debate over this possible sixth sense:

This is the article they’re referring to: Maverick scientist thinks he has discovered a magnetic sixth sense in humans. We’ll skip their quotes and most of their discussion, so we can concentrate on the truly entertaining stuff. Near the end they say:

The evolutionary theory would require magnetic sensation arising by chance in the earliest bacteria, then persisting throughout the entire tree of life but disappearing or lying dormant in many species. Either that, or evolutionists would have to postulate that it arose independently in distant parts of the tree unrelated by nearby ancestry.

What’s wrong with that? You’re about to find out. Let’s read on:

But magnetic fields are invisible; why would any organism even be aware of them?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Sound, taste, and odor are invisible too. So are pheromones. Nevertheless, they are detectable by most organisms. The Discoveroids continue:

And if perchance a bacterium or other creature suddenly engulfed some magnetite and then somehow sensed the field, how would it know the information is useful? How did the information become encoded in the genome to both sense magnetism and respond to it?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The organisms don’t have to “know” anything. But if such a sense were useful, it would be likely to result in a survival and then reproductive advantage. Here’s more:

Design advocates do not find it surprising that diverse animals can share methods of sensing invisible forces available to them. Intelligent designers know how to make sensors. They know how to make responders.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Observe, dear reader, the application of the advanced techniques of the Discoveroids’ new scientific tool kit — feelings, intuition, and personal experience, which we recently described in Klinghoffer Says ‘Go With Your Feelings’.

And now we come to the end:

Whether it’s for light, sound, touch, odor, or taste, sensors in the living world are marvelously complex. One expects the magnetic sense that scientists are just now coming to understand will be no less so.

So there you are, dear reader. The Discoveroids know what everything discovered by scientists, whether they realize it or not, is evidence of Oogity Boogity!

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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15 responses to “Discovery Institute: Our Magical Magnetic Sense

  1. Thinking is also invisible. And in the Discovery Institute there is no evidence that it even exists.

  2. Literally everything including photons are invisible until you evolve a way to sense it.

  3. Charles Deetz ;)

    Invisible god detector, you’d think the designer would have included that.

  4. michaelfugate

    Like children in their first science class….

    Yes, the DI remains in Piaget’s pre-operational stage of development –

    From Wikipedia

    Piaget noted that children do not yet understand concrete logic and cannot mentally manipulate information.

    [T]he child still has trouble seeing things from different points of view.

    The child is able to form stable concepts as well as magical beliefs.

    Three main concepts of causality as displayed by children in the preoperational stage include: animism, artificialism and transductive reasoning.Animism is the belief that inanimate objects are capable of actions and have lifelike qualities. An example could be a child believing that the sidewalk was mad and made them fall down, or that the stars twinkle in the sky because they are happy. Artificialism refers to the belief that environmental characteristics can be attributed to human actions or interventions. For example, a child might say that it is windy outside because someone is blowing very hard, or the clouds are white because someone painted them that color. Finally, precausal thinking is categorized by transductive reasoning. Transductive reasoning is when a child fails to understand the true relationships between cause and effect.[29][34] Unlike deductive or inductive reasoning (general to specific, or specific to general), transductive reasoning refers to when a child reasons from specific to specific, drawing a relationship between two separate events that are otherwise unrelated. For example, if a child hears the dog bark and then a balloon popped, the child would conclude that because the dog barked, the balloon popped.

  5. michaelfugate, All of those require at lease some ability to observe and reach a conclusion. Do they not even run these articles past each other to look for obvious flaws?

    This article by the DI is like a toddler crapping their diaper and smiling in relief.

  6. michaelfugate

    Seemingly they have acquired language….

  7. I realize that it is pointless to pile on such an inane argument. But why single out the sense of sight? Why not point out that saltiness is not audible (red is not tangible, weight is not tasted), …?

  8. The Discoveroids are as bad as a psychic that can’t tell the present.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroreception

  9. Ugh, I hate it when they talk about the “sixth sense.” We’ve known for quite some time that there’s more than the Big Five, and an ability to sense E/M, on some level, has been on the list of potential senses for some time, simply because so many different things can do it.

  10. Are Westie’s spider senses tingling again?

    Unfortunately for the D.I. evolution has also gifted us with bu$l#(t detectors. The actual sixth sense.

  11. docbill1351

    This article is stupid enough to have been written by Annie Green Screen. I’m sure when she sits down to her bowl of Cheerios in the morning she thinks, “How’d these get here?” Totally clueless.

    The Tooters aren’t even trying anymore.

  12. I wonder if they’ve considered that there is iron in human blood.

  13. Design advocates do not find it surprising that diverse animals can share methods of sensing invisible forces available to them. Intelligent designers know how to make sensors. They know how to make responders.

    When have “design advocates” (note – not “scientists”) ever found anything surprising?

    They should be surprised that there is a possible capability in humans that is not used. Why would a designer build in an additional sense and leave it unimplemented? Did the designer change his mind, and decide it wasn’t useful after all? Did he decide five senses were all that humans could deal with? What was the designer thinking?

    The designer started working on a tail for humans and apparently changed his mind. Maybe this is just another example.

  14. know how to make
    Someone knows how to make something when they know the limitations of the materials that are available.
    When architects design a building, they know the strength of the building materials, they know how much money and time that they have to spend, they know what people expect of the building, they know the weather, the seismology, and the local laws …
    When a composer designs a musical work, one must take account of the capabilies of the musicians and their instruments, and the conventions of the kind of work, and the acoustical properties of the medium, …

    But an omnipotent creator does not have to design.

  15. But wait. This explains the ark. On no. Ken Ham might be right. Noah had the ability to sense magnetic fields so was able to navigate the ark in the driving rain. Then for some unknown reason the ability was not passed to his progeny. Wait. That would be microevolution? Tangled web we have here. I am going to stick with science and evolution. Better explanation.