The Discovery Institute is so desperate to find some validation for their “theory” of intelligent design that they will eagerly seize any crumb tossed their way, no matter how insubstantial it may be. That accounts for their latest infatuation with a journalist-novelist named Tom Wolfe, whose work has never interested us, but suddenly it thrills the Discoveroids. That’s a reliable indicator of Wolfe’s relevance in the world of ideas.
The latest post at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog is Language Is a Rock Against Which Evolutionary Theory Wrecks Itself. It was written by Michael Egnor — that’s his writeup at the Encyclopedia of American Loons. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
As I’ve noted already, Tom Wolfe has a new book, [title and link omitted], and it’s superb. Wolfe’s theme is that human language is unique and is not shared in any way with other animals. He argues forcefully that evolutionary stories about the origin of human language are not credible.
[*Curmudgeon shrugs with indifference*] After quoting the Discoveroids’ new guru, Egnor says:
[A]s Wolfe points out, Darwinists are at an utter loss to explain how language — the salient characteristic of man — “evolved.” None of the deep drawer of evolutionary just-so stories come anywhere close to explaining how man might have acquired the astonishing ability to craft unlimited propositions and concepts and subtleties within subtleties using a system of grammar and abstract designators (i.e. words) that are utterly lacking anywhere else in the animal kingdom.
After that he tells us:
Darwin and his progeny have had no dearth of fanciful guesses — birdsongs (Darwin’s favorite theory) and grunts and grimaces that mutate (survivors survive!) into Cicero and Shakespeare. Evolutionary theorizing about language has been a colossal waste of time.
If only a small fraction of that wasted effort had been devoted to glorifying the explanatory wonders of Oogity Boogity! Egnor continues:
I have argued before that the human mind is qualitatively different from the animal mind. The human mind has immaterial abilities — the intellect’s ability to grasp abstract universal concepts divorced from any particular thing — and that this ability makes us more different from apes than apes are from viruses.
We are a different kind of being from animals. We are not just animals who talk. Although we share much in our bodies with animals, our language — a simulacrum of our abstract minds — has no root in the animal world. Language is the tool by which we think abstractly. It is sui generis. It is a gift, a window into the human soul, something we are made with, and it did not evolve.
[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Verily, we are created in the image of the intelligent designer! And now we come to the end:
Language is a rock against which evolutionary theory wrecks, one of the many rocks — the uncooperative fossil record, the jumbled molecular evolutionary tree, irreducible complexity, intricate intracellular design, the genetic code, the collapsing myth of junk DNA, the immaterial human mind — that comprise the shoal that is sinking Darwin’s Victorian fable.
You know René Descartes’ declaration Cogito ergo sum — which means “I think, therefore I am.” Now we have Egnor’s Dico ergo divinus — “I speak, therefore I am divine.”
When confronted with a powerful argument like that, there’s nothing your Curmudgeon can say. Language fails us, which suggests that the divine gift of the designer — blessed be he! — has been withdrawn because we are unworthy. We are inconsolable.
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