Discovery Institute Says: ‘Use Your Brain’

At the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog we find Use Your Brain: Scientific Controversies and Intelligence. It was written by Sarah Chaffee, whom we call “Savvy Sarah.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us.

Acknowledge scientific disagreements; explore controversy and different perspectives. Unless the subject is evolution.

That was a strange beginning. Well, what would we expect from a Discoveroid post titled “Use your Brain”? Then Savvy Sarah tells us what inspired her post:

In the Wall Street Journal, Steven Poole reviews Idiot Brain: What Your Head Is Really Up To, by neuroscientist Dean Burnett. I have not read the book, but Poole’s review mentions that it covers various controversial theories, delves into consciousness and the brain, and ultimately concludes that the brain is a simpleton.

Your Curmudgeon hasn’t read the book either, nor have we seen the review in the Journal. We want to know what the Discoveroids say. Let’s read on:

[I]n the middle of his review, Poole surprised me with an off-topic swipe at skepticism about evolution. He writes, “It is a shame that ‘teaching the controversy’ has become code for antievolution activism, because the phrase has a useful meaning, which is exemplified by this book’s approach.”

Interesting. He’s quite correct. If there is a genuine scientific controversy, it should be taught. We recall learning in high school about two competing theories regarding the formation of the solar system (the nebular hypothesis or a near collision of the sun with a passing body that dragged material away from the sun which became the planets). Also, back then, the Big Bang theory was contending with the now-defunct Steady State theory. So we were taught about those controversies. But that sort of thing doesn’t interest Savvy Sarah. She continues:

He [the book reviewer] goes on to discuss how Burnett covers many different perspectives on the brain, including “disagreements about intelligence testing, personality research, or particularly the findings of neuroscience.” He notes that Burnett “emphasizes throughout the limitations of current tools and the vagueness of even the best theories.”

We don’t see any problem here. But Savvy Sarah does. Here it comes:

But this same type of controversy exists over evolution!

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Then she quotes herself, extensively. We’re going to skip that, of course. Moving along:

Origins science, no less than neuroscience, is beset by controversy. Explicating scientific disagreements in a biology classroom serves to educate, and doing the same in a book would likewise advance knowledge.

Yeah, right. But it isn’t constitutional, because the only “controversy” regarding evolution comes from creationists — see Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. Another excerpt:

Of course, we recommend teaching the controversy over evolution, and we oppose mandating intelligent design in public schools.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The “controversy” is artificially generated by the Discoveroids who lobby for their so-called theory of intelligent design. If their bogus controversy is taught, then by necessity, that means teaching the Discoveroids’ “theory.” They know that bible creationism can’t be taught in government schools, and that’s the only reason they concocted their allegedly “scientific theory” in the first place.

Then she returns to the book review in the Journal:

He objects to characterizing the brain as dumb. “The brain is, after all, by far the smartest system we know of in the universe,” he notes. Well, then why not consider the possibility of design?

[*Groan*] For the thousandth time — because there’s no evidence for the existence of the Discoveroids’ designer — blessed be he! Savvy Sarah ends with a plea for mercy:

Is it such a stretch to recognize that products of human creativity (machines and code) have remarkably close parallels in nature (molecular machines, DNA code) and therefore to consider the possibility that they all have their origin in purposeful, intelligent agency?

Well dear reader? Is it a stretch? Savvy Sarah wants to know.

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

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16 responses to “Discovery Institute Says: ‘Use Your Brain’

  1. Cnocspeireag

    ‘Explicating’! the authors grasp of English rivals her knowledge of reality.

  2. michaelfugate

    Let’s see beds don’t make themselves, so someone has to make them, but animals do make themselves through reproduction, so living things are not made by anyone. Is that what they want us to conclude?

  3. Savvy Sarah should expose her brain to the discussion by Hume, referenced in the Curmudgeon’s previous post. But I doubt she’d understand it.

  4. Savvy “cut ‘n’ paste” Sarah represents the pinnacle of ID thought in 2016.

    Let that sink in for a moment.

  5. But this same type of controversy exists over evolution!

    The “controversy” exists only in the minds of creationists who are beating the bushes and trying to create one.

    In scientific circles there is no controversy–the issue has been settled for decades. And the creationists lost.

  6. Holding The Line In Florida

    @Random. Oh my Intellegent Designer! That web site is as about as good as it gets. “God’s Favorite Website”. I have now have seen it all! I am beyond speechless. Even Hambone doesn’t go that far.

  7. Holding The Line In Florida

    Ok I have read more of the Landover website. It has to be a Poe! No one can be that dumb!

  8. The problem with teaching the “controversy” over evolution is in coming up with an opposing scientific theory. So far, no one has.

    My intuition tells me that the DI will never develop an actual theory that supports their pre-established conclusion.

  9. Hi Holding The Line In Florida, The Landover Baptist Church is a long running satire. There are many posts, some of which are hilarious. Search out “Mrs Betty Bowers, America.s Best Christian” ,for some really good explanations of christianity. She is a fine representative of the Landover Baptist Church.

  10. Christine Janis

    Re the Landover Website, spoof or not?

    With posts like this ——-

    “Biblical linguists Before we go any further, please consider that KJV 1611 was written in American. “

  11. ID is a “theory” so void of content, that merely explaining its existence covers its intellectual prowess. “This mechanism looks very complicated, so it’s designed. I don’t understand how that molecule came to be, so a miracle happened” is about as far as it goes.

    If ID would be allowed to be taught, the pupils would suffer of massive daylight narcolepsy.

  12. “And whatever designed means, or whatever miracle happened, who cares, as long as evolution doesn’t happen.”

  13. Oops.
    Beaten by Abeastwood.

  14. Cnocspeireag remarks, “‘Explicating’! the authors [sic] grasp of English rivals her knowledge of reality.”

    What word do you suggest here? It’s a three-dollar word where a quarter will buy the synonym “explaining” and a dime will get you the general word “covering.” So the author is pretentious, certainly.

    Or do you think she should use a word with a different meaning?