Intelligent Design Cannot Be Debunked!

This is another extremely weird one from the Discovery Institute. It’s Researchers Say Geckos, an Icon of Intelligent Design, Prove Evolution Over ID, written by Klinghoffer.

You didn’t know that the gecko is an icon of intelligent design, did you? But it is, because their sticky feet do such a great job of letting the little critters climb that, well, they’ve just got to be designed by the Discoveroids’ intelligent designer — blessed be he! But there’s trouble in paradise, because recent research has discovered some earlier evolutionary steps that lead up to the gecko’s feet. PhysOrg has an article about it: Gecko study offers evidence that small morphological changes can lead to large changes in function. It says:

How do key innovations in the animal kingdom arise? To explore this question, gecko expert Timothy Higham, an associate professor of biology at the University of California, Riverside, led a team of evolutionary biologists to study Gonatodes, a genus of dwarf geckos. In the process, the researchers found a gecko, Gonatodes humeralis, that they posit offers a “snapshot” into the evolution of adhesion in geckos.

“The gecko adhesive apparatus, one of the most spectacular innovations displayed by vertebrates, has been intensively studied for the last 16 years and is of considerable interest to nanotechnologists and biomimeticists,” Higham said. “But almost nothing is known about the origin of this adhesive capability. G. humeralis, found in South America, shows how the adhesive capabilities of geckos may have come about. Our integrative analysis of this gecko shows that unexpectedly it has microscopic hairs, called setae, underneath its toes, which allow it to do something dramatically different than all other geckos in the Gonatodes genus: cling to smooth surfaces such as leaves. It does this without all of the complex structure of the toes that typify the geckos that we are more familiar with. In the lab, this gecko can climb smooth vertical surfaces using its incipient adhesive system.”

Okay, enough of that. As you can imagine, Klinghoffer and the Discoveroids are upset. One of their icons with a magical feature turns out to be just another product of evolution. They’ve been through this before with lots of their allegedly irreducibly complex features — the flagellum, blood clotting, etc. Once they even posted about The Intelligently Designed Eye. They’ve been embarrassed too often, and they’re not gonna take it any more. They’ve decided to fight back! Here are some excerpts from Klinghoffer’s post, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Three scientists writing in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society think they’ve come up with a proof against intelligent design. They report a form of adhesion used by the dwarf gecko species Gonatodes humeralis that is relatively simple

Klinghoffer describes the research and then says:

Hmmm. Well, have they finally walloped ID — and a design icon at that like the gecko — by showing that a simpler form of an amazing natural biotechnology exists?

The obvious answer is “Yes.” But Klinghoffer is a Discoveroid, he’s paid to fight the wicked Darwinists. He has no data, so what does he do? He presents an analogy:

Consider an analogy from human technology. Yesterday my oldest son and daughter and I worked on a backyard construction project involving considerable driving of screws into two-by-fours. We had on hand a power drill and an ordinary screwdriver. I’m not especially handy around the house but even I recognize that there are times when a power tool is right, while at other times a simple manual version is sufficient or preferable.

We’ll spare you most of Klinghoffer’s discussion of tool using. Eventually he says:

It would never occur to anybody to say, on that basis, that either tool isn’t designed for its purpose. Obviously, they both are, with different considerations in mind, notably price, power, and durability. … Each has a role and an advantage.

Dreary stuff, isn’t it? Suddenly he announces:

Guess what? It turns out exactly the same is true of the simpler mechanism of adhesion found in G. humeralis: [big quote from somewhere]. Is it possible that one mechanism arose first, followed by the other? Sure. Why not? It would be surprising if that were not the case. Life has a long and complex history. To imagine it all snapped into existence at one blow is not an idea associated with intelligent design.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! His conclusion ties it all together:

According to Wikipedia, screwdrivers were invented in Europe in the 15th century, while an electric drill like ours goes back about a century. When Black & Decker came up with that innovation, manufacturers didn’t stop making hand screwdrivers. Both are wonderfully useful designs, each with its purpose. In the context of nature, to imagine that history disproves design is as absurd as it is in human tool making.

You are privileged to see the emergence of a new Discoveroid doctrine. Just as the eye is the result of innumerable small developments over a long stretch of time, so too are other biological features, like the gecko’s feet. But that’s still not evolution! It’s the intelligent designer’s magical creation of one useful tool after another.

What this means is that even if those devilish Darwinists somehow find a series of intermediate steps for every creationist icon, they’re still wrong! And you, dear reader, were present to see the Discoveroids’ theory achieve its triumph.

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

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20 responses to “Intelligent Design Cannot Be Debunked!

  1. Buh bye..tired of ya

  2. michaelfugate

    I think this is their new strategy – agree completely with evolution, but rename it intelligent design. We have known all along that random mutation plus selection will lead to design – so just take that unintelligent design, drop the “un” and presto “intelligent design” is true.

  3. Life has a long and complex history. To imagine it all snapped into existence at one blow is not an idea associated with intelligent design.

    At last! A light dawns! It took a while, but at least one creationist is starting to get it.

    Oh, wait… No, that idea is not associated with intelligent design. Its associated with evolution.

    That everything came into existence at once is the core belief of biblical believers, most evangelicals, YECs, creation “science” and intelligent design–creation “science’s” illegitimate stepchild. Try as they might, they can’t deny that. Try as they might (lie as they might) they can’t separate intelligent design from creation “science” and biblical beliefs.

  4. Christine Janis

    “We’ll spare you most of Klinghoffer’s discussion of tool using.”

    That’s OK —- he *is* a tool.

  5. “Life has a long and complex history. To imagine it all snapped into existence at one blow is not an idea associated with intelligent design.”

    Then what was “Darwin’s Doubt” about, then?

  6. Dave Luckett

    Of course intelligent design cannot be refuted. What does it say?

    This: “At an unknown time and an unknown location an unknown intelligence did something unknown to produce an unspecified result at an unknown point or points in the history of life on earth, (the number is unknown), This unknown intelligence may or may not have been assisted by chance or natural selection. By an unknown process, this resulted in life, and (after an unknown number of further interventions) eventually the present biosphere. These interventions may or may not be continuing. It is not known why this intelligence did this.”

    Nifty theory, eh? Elegant, neat, all-inclusive. Try refuting that, evilutionist! You can’t!

  7. I’m not sure that they would want to say that there is one and only one agent or to describe it so explicitly (“an … intelligence”).
    I think that it is more like, “Something, somehow, is wrong with evolutionary biology. Please.”
    Actually, there is the statement that someone has produced which seems to do the job well, something like, “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.” Does one then need to point out that this does say anything about such a best explanation? (The 6 W’s, or “method, opportunity, motivation”.)

  8. “Okay, enough of that.”
    Aha! The Great Hand from Above strikes again! Just yesterday I read on the Dutch counterpart Het Logos Instituut (The Logos Institute) that

    ““in opbouw zijnde organen” waarvan het in de natuur zou moeten wemelen, bestaan niet.”
    “organs unders construction, of which nature should bristle, don’t exist.”
    And sure enough only a day later I read

    “a “snapshot” into the evolution of adhesion in geckos.”
    Can’t be coincidence.

    On the previous page David K already provided an excellent summary of IDiot methodology:

    “Side 1: That which makes sense is evidence of intelligent design.

    Side 2: That which makes no sense is also evidence of intelligent design.”

  9. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    I like how the Klingpooper frames the whole thing and makes claims about the scientists as if they were at all concerned about what some apologetic hacks in Seattle thought, or for that matter, were even aware of the DI and their fallacious arguments from ignorance.

    It’s cute when he and his DI pals pretend they are actually relevant to anyone but the donors they fleece by convincing them they can turn the tide on people ditching their mythology.

  10. Klinghoffer says: “Yesterday my oldest son and daughter and I worked on a backyard construction project involving considerable driving of screws into two-by-fours. We had on hand a power drill and an ordinary screwdriver. I’m not especially handy around the house…”

    Reading this, I immediately pictured Klinghoffer trying to use the screwdriver as a hammer–getting several screws half-way in, bent, and at haphazard angles. This into a splintered, dinged, cock-eyed and mismeasured board joint. He then calls his son and daughter who have to come to the rescue.

    I expect there is a direct comparison between his reasoning and carpentry skills.

  11. Rufus T Firefly, in “Duck Soup”, when the prime minister of Sylvania tries to plead his way out of a war he’s started with Fredonia by referring to Rufus as an “upstart” responds, “It’s too late. I’ve already paid a month’s rent on the battlefield.”
    So it is with comedians like Klinghoffer.
    FireFly nailed him.

  12. Three scientists writing in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society think they’ve come up with a proof against intelligent design.

    RTT beat me to it, but I suspect these scientists were probably unaware that the Gecko was an icon of I.D. or that they were proving I.D. to be false. It would not have occurred to them.

    When has any I.D. advocate done any “research” without thinking about evolution and how they might disprove it? Even if they are looking for evidence to support their theory, their evaluation of the evidence inevitably reduces to “it can’t have evolved.”

    This is what Kling should consider – the Gecko just happens to be a pet of the Discoveroids, and that relationship had nothing to do whatsoever with the work done by the scientists. Scientists provide explanations for features in nature treasured by IDists without thinking about I.D. or possibly knowing it exists. Can an I.D. researcher do the same – can he/she do anything at all without thinking about evolution? Will they ever be able to make any conclusion, based on analysis of evidence, independent of any reference to evolution?

  13. It was well known that there were problems with the geocentric model of Ptolemy, and occasionally someone would think of some reason to think that the Earth was in motion. But nothing happened until Copernicus undertook the work of constructing a detailed heliocentric model.

  14. If there is nothing that can be said or demonstrated whereby intelligent design cannot be debunked, then it is not science to begin with, it is simply religion.

  15. Ed is reasonable:

    “This is what Kling should consider”
    What Kling should and what Kling does consider are as little related as Ol’ Hambo thinks he is with the chimpansee.

  16. Eddie Janssen

    What is the first post all about?

  17. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    @Eddie Janssen

    I suspect richreilly was mumbling at the crappy dessert section of his TV dinner. I don’t blame him, even the brownies in those things are atrocious.

  18. Eddie Janssen asks: “What is the first post all about?”

    I assume you mean the first comment. I donno. That guy only commented a couple of time before, and I know nothing about him. The internet is big, so he’ll find happiness somewhere.

  19. Yeah, that first comment almost made the ID story sound reasonable!

  20. Klinghoffer tells us:

    Guess what? It turns out exactly the same is true of the simpler mechanism of adhesion found in G. humeralis: [big quote from somewhere]. Is it possible that one mechanism arose first, followed by the other? Sure. Why not? It would be surprising if that were not the case. Life has a long and complex history. To imagine it all snapped into existence at one blow is not an idea associated with intelligent design.

    No, it’s associated with flat-out young-Earth creationism—and if there’s one thing “intelligent design” advocates insist on (besides evolution being a total fraud) it’s that ID is not, not, NOT creationism. The problem is that it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck (and there sure are a lot of quacks associated with the Discovery Institute).

    Sure, the DI’s pseudoscientists seem friendlier to the idea of an ancient Earth than one might expect from strict Biblical literalists, but all that means is that they’re waffling on the issue of how long “creation week” really was. Creationists’ martyred superhero William Jennings Bryan did that at the Scopes trial, thereby managing to make himself look both ignorant and hypocritical. The Institute’s effort to support creationism while rejecting the label and to finesse the issue of the age of the earth and the universe isn’t likely to win them many friends over creationists naked and unashamed or people who understand and respect real science.