This is about a nonsensical article at the creationist blog of the Discovery Institute, but it’s useful if we ignore the substance of their claims (of which there is none) and focus instead on their methodology. The title is On the Origin of Brains, and it has no author’s byline. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Brains first make their appearance in the Cambrian explosion. Beware, your own brain may explode when you hear how Darwin defenders explain their origin.
The article is a primitive attack on “Darwin defenders,” written by evolution deniers — i.e., creationists — but they don’t describe themselves, only their adversaries. They say:
Consider for a moment how complex even a simple brain is.
What follows is a big paragraph describing the brain’s complexity. Yes, brains are complex, but that doesn’t prove, or even suggest, that brains are miraculous. Yet that’s the unspoken suggestion. Then they tell us:
Current Biology this month has a special section on the origin of brains. The authors commit the same blunders we saw just days ago [link to a Discoveroid article we ignored]: (1) they appeal only to unguided natural processes, (2) they rely on magic words, and (3) they ignore arguments and evidence for design of the type Stephen Meyer presents in Darwin’s Doubt. Brains just explode into existence — no intelligence required!
The “blunders” — restated — are these: (1) scientists don’t refer to supernatural processes; (2) they use “magic words” — which turn out to be words like “evolve” — a well-understood, totally natural process; and (3) they ignore the scribbling of a Discoveroid. Grievous blunders indeed! Then they superficially discuss an article in Current Biology, which is The Basal Ganglia Over 500 Million Years (no subscription required), by Sten Grillner and Brita Robertson.
The Discoveroids quote one paragraph, and use bold font to emphasize things like: “have evolved,” “these circuits were most likely already present at the dawn of vertebrate evolution,” and “At this time, many of the molecular components of nerve cells had been designed (through evolution) …” Having exposed those “blunders,” the Discoveroids declare:
This kind of language conceals rather than enlightens. The authors simply assume evolution: “Cyclostomes [’round mouths’ or jawless fish] have evolved,” they assert, demanding unquestioned affirmation. They refer to “the appearance of” and “the origin of” complex animals without asking how that happened. Then they present a list of complex machinery involved in brain cells, informing us that at the very time all the animal phyla abruptly appeared, these things “had been designed (through evolution).” It’s enough to make your brain hurt.
Does your brain hurt, dear reader? Well, deal with it. Moving along, the Discoveroids use the same technique a few more times. Then they jump to another article in Current Biology and say:
[The authors] are fond of saying that complex things “have evolved.” We count ten instances in their Current Biology piece about “The Evolution of Biological Image Stabilization.”
Gasp — ten instances! The Discoveroids even quote all ten of them. Those Darwinists are outrageous! Skipping over more of the same, they announce:
Understanding takes hard work. It’s much easier just to stipulate what you want to believe.
Yes. That’s why the Discoveroids always declare that such things are the handiwork of their intelligent designer — blessed be he! And now we come to the end:
If you’ve got a headache by now, relax and consider that the failure of these articles to address Meyer’s critique of Darwinian explanations for the Cambrian explosion constitutes strong affirmation that his critique is sound. If they had better evidence and arguments, they surely would provide them.
So there you have it, dear reader — a classic example of Discoveroid “science.” They have discovered nothing, disproved nothing, and demonstrated no evidence for their “theory” of intelligent design. They certainly haven’t explained the origin of brains. Yet this is the nonsense they they want students to see when teachers have the “academic freedom” to “teach both sides” of the alleged “controversy” about evolution.
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