The Discovery Institute thinks they have a winner in their war against evolution. It’s human speech, which has been the topic of a few of their posts lately. We wrote about one of them here: Discovery Institute Has a New Guru, in which we discussed Egnor’s infatuation with Thomas Wolfe and his claim that language “is a gift, a window into the human soul, something we are made with, and it did not evolve.”
Now their new theme is being promoted by David Klinghoffer, upon whom the Discoveroids have bestowed the exalted title of “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist). His new post at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog is Human Speech as a Stumbling Block for Darwinism — Distilled to Five Minutes. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Darwinian evolution accounts for adaptive features of organisms, or claims to do so. [Hee hee!] That is, it explains features that advance reproduction. With evolution, reproductive advantage is the name of the game. The theory chokes, however, on what is non-adaptive or “beyond-adaptive.“
[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] The theory chokes! Then he says:
We are still savoring Tom Wolfe’s takedown of evolution as an explanation of speech. [Hee hee!] But what Wolfe does in 169 pages in [name of goofy book omitted], our documentary short [name of goofy video omitted] accomplishes even more succinctly. The video highlights the work and ideas of Discovery Institute biologist Michael Denton.
The glorious video is at the top of Klinghoffer’s post. If you care, click over there to look at it. After that he tells us:
Humans around the globe share the same capacity both for speech and for abstract thought, which are the chief distinguishing features that set humans apart from other animals.
Despite the differences among languages of the world, any human can potentially learn any language. There is no special “gene” for German, Navajo, or Swahili. Similarly while individuals obviously differ in intelligence and creativity, these gifts are shared by every race and ethnicity.
The “gifts” Klinghoffer refers to presumably refer to the use of language. Okay, now here is where he goes off the rails:
Thus it’s inescapable that by 80,000 years ago, humans had already developed these capacities. The potential for every human intellectual achievement was there in full.
Our well-developed balderdash detector is sending out an alarm. Where is Klinghoffer going? We’re about to find out:
The raw capacity for the highest expressions of language, as well as art, philosophy, religion, and science, were already baked in the cake at the time, waiting to come to fruition in diverse cultures long afterward. This is not “adaptive,” or “non-adaptive,” it’s “beyond-adaptive,” as we say in the film.
[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] The capacity for language was “baked in the cake” from the beginning. Klinghoffer continues:
Dr. Denton notes [in the video, presumably] that a hypothesis of intelligent design well accounts for such an observation. [Hee hee!] Design doesn’t pursue only the survival of the fittest. It can seed a gift in a population with a view to the future and what will come of it tens of thousands of years later.
Blessed be the designer! And now we come to the end:
But confronted with human speech, Darwinian explanations absolutely stumble and fall.
The Discoveroids don’t need peer-reviewed research. They can destroy the theory of evolution with a video.
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