The Discoveroids’ Alternate Reality Conference

A couple of weeks ago the Discovery Institute posted With More Information About the Royal Society Meeting, Let’s Not Boost Expectations Too High, about a biology conference sponsored by the Royal Society. The theme of the conference, starting on 07 September, is “New trends in evolutionary biology: biological, philosophical and social science perspectives.” You can read about it here.

We assume the Discoveroids weren’t invited to participate. Their post was bitter, in which they said:

We don’t want to raise anyone’s expectations too high. Here’s a metaphor that may help in clarifying what’s happening. Imagine a city surrounded by a high wall.But the high wall is always there, as an absolute barrier to free movement or development. The Royal Society meeting will explore what can be done within the walls of naturalism or materialism, to fix evolutionary theory (meaning theories about the origin and diversification of living things by natural processes). Yet if one reads through the abstracts, long-unsolved problems, such as the origin of life itself (which, pace evolutionary biologists, most definitely is a part of the evolutionary picture), the origin of complex systems, animals, etc. — all those stand untouched. Because there is only so much one can do within the walls of naturalism.

If life is not the product of undirected physical processes, then one simply will not be able to solve that problem, no matter where one goes within the city. You have to open the gates and see what may be waiting outside, as we do here at Evolution News [the Discoveroids’ creationist blog].

We thought that was the whole story — at least from the Discoveroids’ viewpoint, but today they just posted British Invasion: ID Scholars to Gather at Cambridge University for “Beyond Materialism” Conference. It was written by Klinghoffer. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

While looking forward to the Royal Society meeting in London that promises to examine “New trends in evolutionary biology,” November 7-9, we’ve cautioned not to boost your hopes through the roof. But feel free to let expectations soar as top international scholars advocating the theory of intelligent design gather just days later, November 12, for some supplementary programming, “Beyond Materialism: Biology for the 21st Century.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The Discoveroids, having been shut out of the Royal Society’s conference, have arranged their own conference. Klinghoffer says:

Scientists and scholars from the U.S., U.K., Israel, Germany, and Sweden will speak, including Discovery Institute stars Stephen Meyer, Douglas Axe, Ann Gauger, and Paul Nelson. Our cosponsor is the Centre for Intelligent Design U.K. Yes, it’s no coincidence that this follows on the heels of the Royal Society gathering, so there will be plenty to discuss.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] It’s a gathering of giants! Then we see this about the Discoveroids’ conference:

Questions to be considered:

• “What if information, and not physical or material causes, provides the key to understanding biology?”

• “What are the principles governing the origin and transmission of biological information?”

• “Does materialism restrict our intellectual freedom to explore the full landscape of causal possibilities?”

• “Do recent scientific discoveries provide evidence that human beings are more than mere animals?”

How could the Royal Society ignore those issues? They must be fools!

Klinghoffer provides a link to information about the Discoveroids’ event, and another link with registration information. Then he repeats that metaphor about a city surrounded by a high wall — apparently oblivious to the fact that cities built walls to keep the barbarians outside. He says:

Our counterprograming promises a look over the walls at the fascinating landscape beyond. Please join us in Cambridge for a great day as we explore provocative ideas in biology with some new and important personalities from around the world.

Klinghoffer imagines that those materialist Darwinists at the Royal Society will look silly when their event is compared to what the Discoveroids will be doing. However, our ancestors built walls around their cities for a good reason. Let the Discoveroids frolic outside, if they wish, but we’re not letting them in.

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

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21 responses to “The Discoveroids’ Alternate Reality Conference

  1. Christine Janis

    I just forwarded this info to my paleo colleagues in Cambridge —- who hadn’t even heard of the Royal Society conference — which tells you a bit how widely attended *that* is going to be.

  2. ID scholars? Dr Douglas Axe, Dr Geoff Barnard, Dr Günter Bechly, Rev. Dr Alistair Donald, Dr Ann Gauger, Dr Ola Hössjer, Dr Stephen Meyer, Dr Brian Miller, Dr Paul Nelson.
    Same old, same old. And their alternation presentation and solution, which they’re trying to throw over that ‘wall,’ is simply “God did it.”

  3. Some Americans apparently already have seen this product of Dutch creativity, but just in case:

  4. That the IDiot blog is called “Evolution News” says it all, doesn’t it? Were it called “ID News” they wouldn’t have enough material for one blogpost a year.

  5. Klingoburger opines: “…there is only so much one can do within the walls of naturalism.” I suppose that might be true, but I’ll worry about it when naturalism runs out of interesting new things to learn.

  6. the origin of life itself (which, pace evolutionary biologists, most definitely is a part of the evolutionary picture)

    You mean, every evolutionary biologist in the world is wrong about this and Klinghoffer is right? As in:

    the big bang (which, pace astrophysicists, most definitely is a part of the astrophysical picture)


    breakfast (which, pace common sense, most definitely is a part of bungee jumping).

    I think I’m getting a handle on this style of reasoning! Thanks, Klinghoffer!

  7. Just curious, dear SC, do you still think it a good idea to vote for that figurehead of the Russian president?

    I just want to remind you that Putin is not exactly a defender of the Enlightenment values you promote on your blog …. so I don’t expect his lackey in the White House doing it.

  8. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    But here is the gaping problem with “opening the gate and looking outside the walls”. Intelligent Design Proponentists constantly inform us that …

    Identifying or speculating about the identity of the Designer(s) is unnecessary.

    Identifying when the Designer(s) designed something is unnecessary.

    Identifying how the Designer(s) designed something is unnecessary.

    What supposedly can be identified is “not having an explanation for X” which is the hallmark evidence for design. Apparently.

    Given the number of their abandoned journals and the lack of any actual scientific work demonstrating design on their current journal one can call me doubtful that anything resides outside the gates waiting to be found. It would have been nice if they had given us an example of what they mean in the article. *cough*

  9. I don’t think I’ve heard of Ola Hössjer before, he looks like a standard issue math professor. I hope a real scientist will go and report how “A New Population Genetics model for the Origin of Homo Sapiens” proves intelligent design.

  10. Looking at the Hugh’s College, Cambridge web site, the conference venue holds between 12 to 80 delegates. And I reckon they’ll struggle to fill that.

  11. michaelfugate

    I wonder how much this PR stunt costs and who is paying? I don’t see any sponsors not he bill. With the current exchange rate, it is about $60 to attend.

  12. Christine Janis

    OK, guys — this is priceless (don’t be drinking coffee near your keyboard while seeing what Hughes College, Cambridge has on their calendar for that day)

  13. How nice, a Tea Party! Attended by nine Mad Hatters. How appropriate!

  14. Christine Janis, that’s because it’s not a college event. The Discoveroids will undoubtedly refer to this as their Cambridge conference, but they rented that hall for a private event. If that hall were rented for a wedding or a kid’s birthday party, we wouldn’t expect Cambridge to put it in their schedule. Same thing for a creationist gathering.

  15. One of the points of ID that is really strange is that ID can make more complex and beautiful stuff than so called random events!! And other then inside their pea brains this has been demonstrated as 100% wrong?!?!?!
    Have one intelligent person draw the most complex thing he can and be beautiful. Have another use the random rules of fractals and see whose is really complex & beautiful!!!

  16. Christine Janis

    “The Discoveroids will undoubtedly refer to this as their Cambridge conference, but they rented that hall for a private event. ”

    Oh, of course I know that (and I’m assuming that Hughes College was where Meyer was affiliated as a grad student, as you can’t just rent out places like this without some linkage). But my paleo colleague at Cambridge who forwarded this to me thought that “Tea Party” was particularly amusing.

    Actually, as my colleague there (Rob Asher) is an outspoken Christian, who has debated creationists and written a book on Evolution and Faith, it’s rather telling that he wasn’t invited.

  17. @ Christine Janis : Many thanks, you made my day with that link!

    @ docbill1351, who notes:

    <blockquoteHow nice, a Tea Party! Attended by nine Mad Hatters.

    Actually, the event is described as a “Natsci Tea Party.” I guess I’ve been misspelling that horrible word all these years…

  18. Christine Janis

    ” I guess I’ve been misspelling that horrible word all these years…”

    Somehow I thinks somebody was being rather clever —–

  19. michaelfugate

    Beyond Materialism: Magic.

    Beyond Materialism: We are convinced our God did something. We just don’t know what.

    Beyond Materialism: Science without Magic is… We will get back to you on that…

  20. Have you looked at the schedule? It’s one day only and it’s all half hour talks, with the exception of Meyer’s 45 min talk! Overthrow “materialism” in half an hour! Really? Travel so far for so little? Can you say “junket?”

  21. michaelfugate

    Q:How Did I Come to Question the Genetic Argument for Chimp and Human Common Ancestry?

    Ann Gauger: Jesus!