When this humble blog was only one year old, we posted The Ten Laws of Creationism. The Discovery Institute’s creationist blog reveals that those laws are very much in use. Their post is titled This Sounds Familiar: Theistic Evolutionist Recycles Anti-ID Argument Refuted Years Ago. It has no author’s byline. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
In a post for the theistic evolutionary group BioLogos, Canadian biology professor Dennis Venema writes affectionately, with only a mild touch of disdain, about the intelligent design movement. Their (meaning our) hearts are in the right place, he tells readers. Like him, advocates of ID want to build an “apologetic” against materialism. They’re just going about it in the wrong way. And their science is wrong.
This is what the Discoveroids are talking about: Biological Information and Intelligent Design: Abiogenesis and the origins of the genetic code. It’s a fine take-down of the Discoveroids’ justification for their “theory” of intelligent design. The Discoveroids’ post quotes from it extensively, and they imagine that they are able to rebut what it says. Okay, the fun begins:
Venema [the BioLogos author] readily concedes that living cells use “highly intricate” processes to manage genetic information. However, is it really “information”? And is the genetic code really a “code”? The quote marks in both cases are Venema’s. He uses them in the evident hope of weakening the commonly held intuition [Hee hee!] that both must be designed. If there is a natural pathway to the genetic code, he argues, then it only looks like a code in hindsight. It only looks like information after evolution improved it.
He’s right, of course, but the Discoveroids disagree. Let’s read on:
Venema’s argument rests on two premises, one empirical and one philosophical. The empirical premise is that a natural pathway to the genetic code is known, though admittedly many questions remain. The philosophical premise is that finding a “natural” explanation is superior to “interventionism” (the approach of looking for “supernatural” acts of God requiring “miracles”).
Note, dear reader, that what’s going on here is the Discoveroids’ reliance at least two of The Ten Laws of Creationism, which are:
5. The Law of Complexity, Improbability, and Inexplicably: That which is complicated or improbable and has not been explained, cannot exist naturally.
8. The Law of Supernatural Superiority: Whenever two explanations of a phenomenon are presented, one natural and one supernatural, the latter is always better. Naturalistic bias must be avoided.
After a quote from the BioLogos article, the Discoveroids continue:
What’s notable is the language of faith. Who is making a religious argument here? In this one paragraph, Venema uses the words God, supernatural, providence, biblical, faith, miraculous, and Christian. Such language is tellingly absent from most intelligent design literature … .
That absence from Discoveroid literature is (if you’ll pardon the expression) by design. Here’s more:
The design argument is a purely scientific one [reference to Discoveroid Behe]. Indeed, ID emphatically isn’t an “apologetic” strategy. It is a scientific theory of origins [Hee hee!], which may be right or wrong, yet must be judged as science and only as science.
Been there. Done that. Moving along:
From there, Venema addresses biological matters. In particular, he attempts to refute Stephen Meyer’s contention that the genetic code is arbitrary, therefore designed.
That invokes yet another of The Ten Laws of Creationism:
6. The Law of Impossibility: Complex and improbable things, being naturally impossible, must be the product of ID.
After references to Discoveroid Stephen Meyer and his miracle book, Signature in the Cell, the Discoveroids say:
What motivates this desire to prefer natural causes? Certainly a fear of “God-of-the-gaps” looms large.
The preference for natural causes isn’t based on “fear.” It’s the avoidance of a fallacious argument, and it involves yet another of The Ten Laws of Creationism:
4. The Law of Completeness: Anything which has not yet been found or explained will never never be found or explained. Gaps and mysteries are evidence of ID.
This is old stuff and it’s getting tiresome, but there more:
ID argues that we should infer intelligent causes — when justified through the Design Filter — because of what we do know, not what we don’t know.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Regarding the Discoveroids’ design filter, see The Discoveroids and Their Magic Filter. Moving along:
We do know of a cause that can build information-rich structures with meaning and reference. We do know of a cause that can encode, decode, and translate things into functional hierarchies. That cause is intelligence. We never see natural processes building such things.
Therefore, the creationist instinct (or intuition) is to reach for Oogity Boogity as the explanation of everything. Here’s one last excerpt:
The real appeal to miracles is hoping for unguided natural processes to accomplish, at some unspecified future date, what is demonstrably physically impossible (see Douglas Axe’s book Undeniable for the math on that).
Very impressive. Yet somehow, we’re not impressed. Perhaps the failure is ours. However, the Discoveroids have never been right yet, so our intuition (cough, cough) suggests that we’re on firm ground.
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