This may be only our imagination, but it appears that the Discovery Institute is descending deeper into the muck of creationism, and they no longer care to conceal it. Take a look at the new post by Michael Egnor — that’s his writeup at the Encyclopedia of American Loons. It’s titled Atheism Is a Catastrophe for Science.
Egnor says he’s responding to Christian arguments are just as nebulous as their deity, written by P.Z. Myers. But why would Egnor even bother with PZ’s essay? The Discoveroids are always claiming that they’re scientists, not religious creationists, so why would PZ’s post bother them? It seems obvious to us that the Discoveroids are no longer even pretending to be anything but a religious ministry. Anyway, we’ll give you some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Here are a few of Myers’s questions, with my answers:
[Alleged quote from PZ:] Why should I believe in any god? We don’t need an intelligent authority to explain the universe …
Responding to that, Egnor says:
Of course we need an intelligent authority to explain the universe. The universe is shot through with intelligibility. Nature is governed by astonishingly complex and elegant physical laws, and the laws themselves are written in the language of abstract mathematics. In fact, theoretical physicists must often explore utterly new mathematical theories in order to explain the behavior of inanimate matter. After all, Newton discovered calculus in order to do physics. [Several other examples.]
What does that indicate? That math is useful? Yes, but other than that, what? Egnor tells us:
It is astonishing (and beautiful) that the very retinaculum [huh?] of the universe, from the subatomic world to the cosmos, is drawn in elegant abstract mathematics. The universe screams intelligent authority.
The only screams we hear are coming from a window in the Discoveroids’ headquarters above a gym in Seattle. Egnor continues:
Another way to understand this beautiful teleology that permeates all of creation is that it is information — the restriction of possibilities in the outcomes of natural processes.
[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] See Phlogiston, Vitalism, and Information. Let’s read on:
This information is especially striking in living things. The intricate nanotechnology that subserves cellular metabolism is governed and replicated by a genetic code [blah, blah]. The intelligent authority — the Mind — that governs the cosmos and life through information has a remarkable fondness for language as well as mathematics, and is peculiarly solicitous of man, who is endowed with the capacity to discover the exquisite logic of creation.
This is really raw stuff! Another excerpt:
Modern theoretical science arose only in the Christian milieu. Roger Bacon, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Kepler [blah, blah, blah].
We’ve heard the same argument from ol’ Hambo. This is our standard response: Did Science Originate with Creationists? Here’s more:
Atheism, in fact, has a dismal record in science. For much of the 20th century, a third of humanity lived under the boot of atheist ideology. What was the great science produced by atheist scientists in the Soviet Union? What are the scientific contributions of Communist China and Cuba and Vietnam and Albania?
[*Groan*] Those were communist regimes, and although it’s true that they suppressed religion, they also suppressed any other potential source of opposition. Science requires freedom to flourish. Someone should ask Egnor: What is the scientific contribution of the Discoveroids?
And now we come to the end:
Here is how Christians explain nature: modern science, which is the inference to intelligence and intelligibility in nature — the fruit of two millennia of Christian civilization and theology and natural philosophy. Here is how atheists explain nature: Nothing made everything for no reason and made life from non-life for no reason and made meat robots who think they have purposes but don’t for no reason.
The truth is all around us, more obvious than man’s hand in front of his face. The universe has Mind stamped all over it like a signature.
That was a truly amazing mess. Your Curmudgeon’s view is that if they are free (i.e., they don’t live in a communist or a theocratic regime), Christians and atheists can both do science — provided they know what science is and they do it properly. The Discoveroids, however — well, we don’t need to say it.
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