Nobel Prize for Chemistry Insults Discoveroids

This was very predictable — in fact, one of our readers predicted it. Look what just popped up at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: How About a Nobel Prize for the Intelligent Designer? It has no author’s byline.

But before we get into it, we’ll provide a bit of background. Most of you already know about this year’s Nobel Prize for chemistry. Here’s one of several articles about it at PhysOrg: Three win Nobel chemistry prize for world’s tiniest machines (Update 4). They say:

Three scientists won the Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday for developing the world’s smallest machines, 1,000 times thinner than a human hair but with the potential to revolutionize computer and energy systems. Frenchman Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Scottish-born Fraser Stoddart and Dutch scientist Bernard “Ben” Feringa share the 8 million kronor ($930,000) prize for the “design and synthesis of molecular machines,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.

Machines at the molecular level have taken chemistry to a new dimension and “will most likely be used in the development of things such as new materials, sensors and energy storage systems,” the academy said. Practical applications are still far away — the academy said molecular motors are at the same stage that electrical motors were in the first half of the 19th century — but the potential is huge.

[…]

Feringa, a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, leads a research group that in 2011 built a “nanocar,” a minuscule vehicle with four molecular motors as wheels. … The academy said the laureates’ work has inspired other researchers to build increasingly advanced molecular machinery, including a robot that can grasp and connect amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Researchers are also hoping to develop a new kind of battery using this technology.

[…]

The academy said Sauvage made the first breakthrough in 1983 when he linked two ring-shaped molecules together to form a chain. Stoddart took the next step in 1991 by threading a molecular ring onto a molecular axle, while Feringa was the first to develop a molecular motor in 1999 when he got a molecular rotor blade to spin continuously in the same direction. The academy said the “miniaturization of machines” is just in its initial phase, with potentially “thrilling” developments ahead.

There’s a lot more, but you can see that it’s enough to cause the Discoveroids to get all excited. Although the work that won the prize has nothing to do with the Discoveroids’ “theory” about an intelligent designer — blessed be he! — who created the universe, life, and you, they are nevertheless claiming that this Nobel Prize is attributable to them. We’ll give you some excerpts from the Discoveroids’ post, with some bold font added by us for emphasis. After briefly describing the work that won the prize, they say:

Designers of these devices will undoubtedly use intelligence to get them to work properly. So then how did life’s molecular machines originate? Nothing created by the winners even approaches the complexity and efficiency of life’s molecular machines, which continue to challenge and fascinate the best minds in science.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] It required intelligence! You know what that means! Then they quote one of the prize winners who said he was inspired by “the biological motors, and the biological machinery” of living cells, and they say:

The comparison is clear: three human designers of artificial machines were inspired by the “fantastic” and “flabbergasting” and “intricate” machinery going on inside the cells of their own bodies. They get to split a million dollars for their simple Lego-like constructions. What does the designer of the cell get? In a word, insults. How would you like it if your best work was called a product of blind chance?

It’s so unfair! Even your Curmudgeon has insulted the Discoveroids’ mystical designer — see Buffoon Award Winner — The Intelligent Designer. The Discoveroids are outraged! They exclaim:

All their lab work was intelligently designed; on what basis can they conclude that some “ancient… poorly designed” motor got better by chance? They provide no mechanism by which that could happen, not even natural selection. Instead, they say, “the current consensus view of the field is that the interfaces of molecular motor systems have sophisticated designs at an atomic level through molecular evolution.”

The Discoveroids conclude their post with yet another declaration of their exasperation:

Intelligent design theory, we repeat, cannot speak to the identity or nature of the designer. Our purpose here is to unmask the inconsistency in thinking by materialists. They will congratulate human designers of simple machines and give them millions of dollars for their highly gifted and intelligent work. But when it comes to awarding credit for molecular machines of far greater sophistication, they give the prize to “molecular evolution.”

So there you are, dear reader. The Discoveroids are infuriated. In their minds they were right all along, and when there is finally some scientific work they think demonstrates this, the prize goes to some materialist beaker keepers, and not to the transcendental designer of the universe.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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17 responses to “Nobel Prize for Chemistry Insults Discoveroids

  1. Damn, there goes their irreducibly complex flagellum motor excuse. Move over oh Great Designer, you lost again.

  2. One of the potential (future) applications of these molecular machines is very specific targeting of drug delivery, especially in cancer treatments. And what do the DI offer? Prayer

  3. michaelfugate

    Is this really how they conceive of god? A guy in a lab? Really?

  4. Nothing created by the winners even approaches the complexity and efficiency of life’s molecular machines …

    That is to say, because the chemistry of life is not even approached by what has been designed, that is a good reason to believe that the chemistry of life is designed? The anti-evolutionists would have us believe that a disanalogy is an argument for design?

    I am reminded of the old joke:

    “What is green, hangs on the wall, and whistles?”
    “I don’t know.”
    “A herring.”
    “But a herring is not green. A herring does not hang on the wall …”
    “I painted it green, and I nailed it to the wall.”
    “But a herring does not whistle.”
    “No analogy is perfect.”

  5. It cracks me up that the Grand Intelligent Designer of the Universe gets its fee-fees hurt so easily.

    There there, big guy, let’s go get an ice cream, OK?

  6. I think winners must have the ability to cash those checks.

  7. michaelfugate

    Would God the Designer actually come down and give an acceptance speech? It might be worth a try. If it doesn’t show, then will the DI go away?

  8. Really? Cells are “efficient?” Really?

  9. The Discoveroids need to get the big guy’s phone number. How else is the Nobel prize committee going to reach him?

    Oh, and it’s interesting to hear that he has such human emotions. Good thing he has the Discoveroids around to defend him.

  10. The comparison is clear: three human designers of artificial machines were inspired by the “fantastic” and “flabbergasting” and “intricate” machinery going on inside the cells of their own bodies. They get to split a million dollars for their simple Lego-like constructions. What does the designer of the cell get? In a word, insults. How would you like it if your best work was called a product of blind chance?

    Surely the Hemorrhoids don’t think God, er. that is, the “Designer,” needs a million dollars, or cares whether a bunch of heathen eeee-volutionists give Him credit for design the cell or not? Creationists may be that petty, but would a Supreme Being?

  11. Actually, the alleged intelligent designer made so many blunders, the Nobel Committee should ignore him. If one of the IDiots chokes to death on a piece of steak because his/her food and air pipes cross, he/she can croak a final thanks to the designer (blessed be his/her/its name).

  12. Reactions like this tell me that the creationist are scared; there is no other reason for such a reaction.

  13. Note that these chemists didn’t work alone or in a scientific vacuum. Aren’t the Discoveroids admitting, in a sense, that there must have been more than one Designer, working as a team or in succession?

  14. “Aren’t the Discoveroids admitting, in a sense, that there must have been more than one Designer, working as a team or in succession?”

    And even more importantly, why is it the case that not even one of those Nobel winners is a member of the elite Intelligent Design cult? I mean, don’t the ID crowd claim to be “experts” in intelligent design?

  15. Draken asks a profound philosophical question: the answer is yes. They also do when they present the popular Fine-Tuning Argument – there are about 30 natural constants that had to be fine-tuned.

  16. Despite the claim that the universe has been so fine tuned to make life possible.
    Despite the claim that in this vast universe, only this small corner of the universe is privileged for life.
    Still life on Earth is not possible without some miraculous suspension of the fine-tune laws on this privileged planet.

  17. Mike Elzinga

    This is a classic example of the inability of ID/creationists to read for meaning. The paragraphs they quoted explain the inspiration and reasoning behind the work that got the Nobel this year.

    When intelligent researchers who actually KNOW their physics and chemistry look into things, they understand what they are seeing. They do modeling and experiments to zero-in on the mechanisms at work in nature; they are looking for the particular manifestation of those mechanisms in particular cases. No laws of physics are being violated or circumvented in molecular systems that have evolved over millions of years. Natural selection accounts for the particular mechanisms that are at work in those living systems; no “designer” is required.

    The problem with all of these jealous, whining complaints by the ID/creationists is that they don’t know enough science to understand what is going on in the minds of people who actually do science. As I have said many times, ID/creationists flunk science at the middle school and high school levels.