In the distant, pre-scientific past, our ancestors faced each evening with dread. The sun was going away, the world was being consumed by darkness, strange and incomprehensible lights appeared in the sky, and no one knew if the sun would ever return. So their witch-doctor would calm them down with his chants and his incantations to the unseen gods. The tribe would obediently chant Oogity Boogity, over and over, then go to sleep, and be overjoyed the next morning by the reappearance of the sun.
Sweet deal for the witch-doctor. He made a good living that way. Even today, when we know about things like astronomy, contemporary successors to the witch-doctor continue to follow his example. And so it is that we take a look at the newest post at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: In Astronomy, the Inference to Design Is Flourishing, by Michael Egnor — that’s his write-up at the Encyclopedia of American Loons.
Egnor says, with bold font added by us:
Astronomers of late have been studying with great interest KIC 8462852, a star observed by the space observatory Kepler.
[*Groan*] Not KIC 8462852 again. The Discoveroids have already claimed that it proves astronomers are using their “theory” — see Klinghoffer: More Evidence for Intelligent Design. You see, dear reader, Discoveroids can not only detect intelligent design when no one else does, they can also detect when their “theory” is being used, even though the people alleged to be using it are unaware that they are doing so.
Does Egnor have anything new to contribute? We shall see. He tells us:
The star, nicknamed “Tabby’s star” after the astronomer who first noted its unusual behavior, has intervals of extreme occultation. Its brightness dims periodically by 20 percent, which implies that a very large object or structure orbits it. Astronomers have proposed natural explanations for the extreme periodic variation of the star’s light, but the possibility that the variation may be caused by an alien megastructure orbiting the star — a Dyson sphere of sorts — has been raised quite seriously (and appropriately) in scientific circles.
We know. We’ve discussed all that before. Let’s read on:
This is an implicit acknowledgement by scientists that the inference to intelligent design in nature is entirely appropriate when the evidence supports it.
What? What? Egnor continues:
Intelligent design is science. [Hee hee!] The refusal to consider intelligent design as an explanation for a natural phenomenon, without regard for the evidence, is the substitution of ideology for science.
What is going on here? If we did find evidence of a Dyson sphere, we would immediately realize that intelligent aliens had constructed it. That’s the sort of thing, and of course artificially generated signals, that SETI, the Search for extraterrestrial intelligence, looks for. Here’s more:
This substitution of ideology for unbiased science is just what intelligent design deniers are doing in biology.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh yeah, things like your eyes, your ears, your colon, and all of your genome, are evidence to the Discoveroids that their transcendental designer — blessed be he! — made the universe, life, and you. Moving along:
It is perfectly good science to consider that occultation of Tabby’s star may be due to intelligent design. [Okay.] And it is perfectly good science to consider that the genetic code or the intricate nanotechnology in living cells may be due to intelligent design.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The principle is simple: obviously constructed artifacts, like stone tools, watches, aircraft, and so on are artificially designed — and that means you are too. Simple, huh? This is the remainder of Egnor’s enlightened post:
Good scientists should consider design as an explanation for natural phenomena whenever and wherever the evidence supports it.
We can’t say much about this, but perhaps you can, dear reader.
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