We were very much surprised by the latest post at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog — Eel Migration Comes to Light. It has no author’s byline.
Our surprise was because we thought we had a complete understanding of the … uh, principles underlying the Discoveroids’ “theory” of intelligent design. We wrote about them years ago — see The Ten Laws of Creationism. But now we learn that there is another principle that can be invoked when needed. Here are some excerpts from their latest post, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
In his new book Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis, Discovery Institute biologist Michael Denton gives example after example of living things — microbes, animals, and plants — whose traits could not have arisen by a Darwinian process. He describes one of the most bizarre of all, a fish whose life cycle and migration has challenged biologists for over a century: the European freshwater eel.
What’s so special about eels? We’re told:
Inhabiting most of the rivers of Europe and the British Isles, the eel undergoes radical metamorphoses, transforming from transparent, flat larvae to cylindrical “glass eels” and then again to yellow eels and, finally, silver eels that migrate to the Sargasso Sea to mate. During these transitions, digestive and sex organs move about the anatomy.
Strange creatures indeed. What do the Discoveroids learn from this? They quote from a recent study (not conducted by Discoveroids, of course), about which they say:
The authors avoided any mention of evolution. We can infer, however, that these creatures are even better designed than previously known. They don’t just drift with prevailing currents. Like sea turtles and salmon, they know where they need to go and will battle currents to get there, even if it requires taking a roundabout path.
After some more information about eels, the Discoveroids tell us:
These new findings pile on problems for functionalist explanations. Neo-Darwinism would predict bare-minimum adaptation sufficient for survival. Travelling 5,000 to 10,000 km in open sea, rife with predators, makes no sense in evolutionary theory. Undergoing major morphological changes makes no sense, either. Evolution is indeed still a theory in crisis.
Aha! The Discoveroids say that eel behavior “makes no sense.” That’s the key, dear reader. Then they briefly mention — and blow all out of proportion — an article in Science: Fossil fishes challenge ‘urban legend’ of evolution. All you can see without a subscription is the abstract, but even that doesn’t support the position of the Discoveroids. They announce:
What urban legend does she speak of? It’s a favorite myth in Darwinian theory: the idea that gene duplication frees up a spare copy to evolve new innovations.
But gene duplication does free up the spare copy to evolve new innovations. See How One Gene Becomes Two Different Genes. Anyway, that’s a side-issue. The Discoveroids return to their main theme at the end of their post:
Evolution is more a theory in crisis than Denton’s first book was published in 1985. These entries show it has gained more crises since his second book was published earlier this year. Things do not look good for Darwinism. There’s an alternative position that doesn’t have these problems. Its evidence is growing year by year. It’s called intelligent design.
So there you are. What have we learned? Well, usually the Discoveroids claim that if something works, it exhibits what they call Specified complexity. Wikipedia says that according to William Dembski, “specified complexity is a reliable marker of design by an intelligent agent – a central tenet to intelligent design.” Today, however, we learn that if something “makes no sense,” that too supports the “theory” of intelligent design.
So now we have an Eleventh Law of Creationism: That which makes sense is evidence of intelligent design. That which makes no sense is also evidence of intelligent design. The Discoveroids’ “theory” is irrefutable! That means it’s The Truth™.
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