We used the picture above this post a few years ago, when it was relevant to what we wrote in Barbara Forrest Demolishes a Creationist. That was undoubtedly seen by the creationists at the Discovery Institute, and they’ve been waiting for an occasion when they could use it. It’s been a long wait, because the Discoveroids — being stealth creationists engaged in a conspiracy to overthrow science — never have a legitimate opportunity to denounce anyone — as Cicero did in his Orations against Catiline.
The Discoveroids still haven’t found the right subject matter, but they’ve decided to use that picture anyway. You can see it displayed above the latest post at their creationist blog: Intelligent Design, from Cicero to Kant. It was written by Sarah Chaffee, whom we call “Savvy Sarah.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us.
Lest anyone think that discussion of what Doug Axe calls the universal design intuition dates back only as far as the modern ID movement, James Gallant supplies some relevant historical references (Modernity and metaphysics).
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Who cares how many ancient writers said something about what they perceived as design in nature? The Discoveroids need more than their “intuition” and some old literary hunches. They need data — observable, verifiable data that contradicts the theory of evolution — but that’s what they don’t have. Nevertheless, they’re doing the best they can with whatever they can scrounge up, and Savvy Sarah’s post is a good example of that. She says:
From Etienne Gilson to Alfred North Whitehead to Immanuel Kant, he catalogues a series of arguments for design in nature. Although quite a few of his citations are to the writings of natural theologians (and thus to a divine designer), many talk simply about mind and thus overlap with ID, which cannot determine whether design is from a natural or supernatural source.
After a lot of quotes from Gallant’s article, and some Discoveroid commentary, Savvy Sarah declares:
So how does the science work? Intelligent design theorists utilize the scientific method to come to their conclusions: Scientists begin by observing what human intelligence creates — namely, information that is both complex (unlikely) and specified (matches a given pattern). Next, these scientists analyze natural objects to see if they contain these elements. Those objects suspected to exhibit design are subjected to tests to see if they really do contain complex and specified information (for example, genetic knockout tests demonstrate the irreducibly complexity of the bacterial flagellum). Finally, scientists conclude that items displaying specified complexity are products of intelligent design. These investigations have resulted in numerous scientific articles [link to articles at Discoveroid websites by Discoveroid authors] in favor of intelligent design.
Very impressive. Let’s skip to near the end, where Cicero is dragged into this mess:
Though this science is new, the argument for intelligent design is not. In fact, Cicero wrote, “Can any sane person believe that all this array of stars and this vast celestial adornment could have been created out of atoms rushing to and fro fortuitously and at random? Or could any other being devoid of intelligence and reason have created them?” Darwin himself sought to overcome his own design intuition. A century and a half later, the evidence confirming that intuition keeps getting stronger.
That’s it, dear reader. That’s the Discoveroids’ best case for intelligent design. Poor ol’ Cicero. He was a splendid Roman, and he doesn’t deserve to be associated with the Discoveroids.
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