Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2016 — #2 & #1

The long, tension-filled wait is over, dear reader. At last we have the full listing of the Discovery Institute’s Top Ten triumphs for the past twelve months. They’ve been working their way up from the bottom, and now, on the first day of the new year, they have revealed their Number One creationist news story. To maintain the suspense, we’ll save that for later in this post.

Yesterday, in Curmudgeonly Happy New Year, we said:

Their Number Two event of the year is Doug Axe’s book — see #2 of Our Top Stories of 2016: Douglas Axe Liberates Readers from Tyranny of Evolution “Experts”. We’ll discuss that tomorrow, along with the event they regard as Number One.

As promised, we’ll discuss Number Two, but only briefly. As with the other items in their list, it’s a copy of something that appeared at their blog earlier, on 12 July 2016, titled In Undeniable, Douglas Axe Liberates Readers from the Tyranny of Evolution “Experts”, by Klinghoffer.

We had written about that book earlier — see Klinghoffer Gushes over Book by Douglas Axe, but the Discoveroids had been writing so many times about Axe’s book that we skipped the post which is in their Top Ten list. However, we wrote about it again the day after Klinghoffer’s Number Two post — see Klinghoffer: Scientists Praise Axe’s New Book. We thought we had written about Axe and his book often enough, but here’s an excerpt from the post that made it to their Number Two position:

Axe concludes that Darwinian explanations are not just unlikely, merely implausible, but “physically impossible.” He explains how he reached this conclusion, on a journey of his own from undergraduate days at UC Berkeley, PhD at Caltech, and on to Cambridge University where he was a postdoctoral student and research scientist, finally expelled for his association with ID. Axe is currently director of Biologic Institute.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Axe was expelled because of his devotion to creationism. But he seems to have recovered. The Biologic Institute is the Discoveroids’ very own captive research lab, where the work is done and reviewed only by them, so you know it’s good. Another excerpt:

He [Axe] explains how the natural intuition of design is not only innate but intellectually, scientifically valid, confirmed by what Axe calls “common science.” … Practicing science is something we all do, even if we never venture into its rarefied aspects. The design intuition is suppressed by many of us, unnaturally so, and that is the dirty little secret of evolutionary biology.

Right. So if your only qualification for doing science is that you have a Doctor of Drool degree from a mail-order diploma mill, your opinions are as good as anyone’s.

Okay, that’s enough. Now we move on to the news you’ve been waiting for — the Discovery Institute’s Number One creationist story for the year. Here’s their announcement: #1 of Our Top Stories of 2016: Happy New Year! Why the Royal Society Meeting Mattered.

Some of you predicted this, and we commend your perspicacity. Their announcement is a repeat of what they previously posted on 05 December 2016: Why the Royal Society Meeting Mattered, in a Nutshell.

They flooded their blog with an arkload of articles about that subject, and we started writing about it back in October: The Discoveroids’ Alternate Reality Conference. The Discoveroids weren’t invited to participate in the Royal Society’s conference, so they arranged their own conference. A month later we wrote The Discoveroids’ Cambridge Conference. Although the Discoveroids refer to it as their Cambridge conference, it wasn’t a university event. They merely rented a hall at the Cambridge campus, and the speakers were either Discoveroids or fellow-travelers.

Anyway, we didn’t bother to write about the Discoveroid post that is now enshrined as representing their Number One event of the year. You can read it if you care to do so, but we still don’t see anything there worth excerpting.

Okay, dear reader — that concludes the Discoveroids’ Top Ten listing of what they regard as their greatest events of the year. Clearly, it’s been an utterly wretched year for them. For your permanent collection of creationist treasures, here’s the rest of their Top Ten list, as reported by us:

Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2016 — #3

Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2016 — #4

Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2016 — #5

Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2016 — #6

Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2016 — #8 & #7

Curmudgeonly Christmas 2016 (#10 and #9)

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2016 — #2 & #1

  1. Christine Janis

    Doug Axe was”expelled” from Cambridge??? He was a postdoc there, that’s a finite term.

    Oh, and if the Royal Society Meeting mattered so much, why did none of them speak up and ask a question, or actually participate in any way? There was plenty of opportunity after each talk. (I was there, I know.)

  2. Concerning Axe: Well, ‘Intuition’ tells us many things, to wit:

    [1] The earth is a flat plane over which the Sun travels each day.
    [2] As the only things we see capable of locomotion are animate, the Sun must be a living entity
    [3] A bowling ball dropped from a tower should reach the ground before a golf ball dropped at the same time.
    [4] Axe’s book would be the Discoveroids’ Number 1 in their 2016 Hit Parade

    Of course, it is also the case that the history of science is also a history of many mistaken conclusions. But the issue of substance isn’t the impossible goal of never making mistakes (both intuition and empirical investigation do that), but how one identifies and corrects such errors.

    The remedy for errors in empirical investigations is further empirical investigations. And lo! The remedy for errors in intuitive conclusions is also: empirical investigations. Nothing can be tested and potentially falsified by intuition alone.

    Moreover, as they are not based on empirical investigation, intuitions can persist even when we intellectually embrace knowledge that is empirically derived; that is, despite our firm knowledge to the contrary, our mundane perception remains that we dwell on a flat surface on the eastern edge of which the sun daily rises &c &c.

    And, given our current accumulation of knowledge about the world, is intuition likely to even suggest possible hypotheses for empirical investigation? Intuition doesn’t greatly help investigating astrophysics or quantum mechanics.

    But the real money-shot in Klinghoffer’s onanistic porn posting is surely this:

    “My aim,” Axe writes, is to “liberat[e] readers from their dependence on experts.” He has done that, masterfully.

    IOW: Intuition trumps empiricism, period. And that, alas, seems to be the mantra of our new Age of Endarkenment. Let’s shape reality by a show of hands, and make epistemology populist! If what the experts say doesn’t agree with your feelings or your wishes, why then, simply ignore them—and light up another cigarette, unfasten your seat belt, and trust in prayer to cure your child’s meningitis.

    But for the rest us: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    …But in the meantime: Olivia and I wish a Happy New Year to our Curmudgeon, his Dobermans, and last but not least the many delightful fellow commentators on this splendid blog!

  3. Douggie Axe has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Caltech. He is not a biologist, microbiologist, biochemist or geneticist, much less a “molecular biologist” as described on his book, by any stretch of the imagination.

    It’s not surprising, really, that Klankerwanker touts, Oprah-like, that “everybody gets to be a scientist” seeing as their boy, Axe, has no credentials whatsoever in the subject about which he writes. Of course, neither does Stevie Meyer. Never stopped them, though.

    New Scientist sent a reporter to investigate the BioLogic Institute in 2005. Among other things it was discovered:

    The Discovery Institute stated in October 2006 that intelligent design research is being conducted by the institute in secret to avoid the scrutiny of the scientific community.

    Old news; we knew that. What “research” they do doesn’t stand up to the slightest glance, much less to scrutiny.

  4. Christine Janis wonders about the IDiots at the Royal Society conference:

    if the Royal Society Meeting mattered so much, why did none of them speak up and ask a question, or actually participate in any way? There was plenty of opportunity after each talk.

    Come now, don’t be silly! The IDiots knew the event was swarming with highly-trained Ninja assassins from the International Darwinist Conspiracy carefully monitoring the proceedings for even the slightest deviation from Ironclad Darwinist Orthodoxy.

    Any dissenters would have been at once kidnapped and extraordinarily rendered to the supersecret Darwinist Dungeons of Correction, variously rumoured to be located in the Galapagos Islands, or else in the basement of the Comet Ping Pong Pizzaria in Washington DC, and never seen again–at least, not in one piece…

  5. Why thanks, I’ll share my price with docbill1351, who reminded me of the existence of that tea party in the first place.

    I think a bottle of single malt and two glasses should settle the score, what do you say docbill?

  6. Irony, thy name is Dembski!

    I’ll wager a bottle of single-malt scotch, should it ever go to trial whether ID may legitimately be taught in public school science curricula, that ID will pass all constitutional hurdles.

    Never paid up, the bum!

  7. Larry Moran has a nice, short summary of the Tooters Numero Uno story and a bit about the conference.

    It was probably a new experience for the Tooters to attend a conference not held in a church basement.

  8. Klinghoffer: “My aim,” Axe writes, is to “liberat[e] readers from their dependence on experts.” He has done that, masterfully.

    This guy sounds like he’s an expert on experts. I’m hoping he’ll liberate us from Doug Axe.

  9. michaelfugate

    Christine wonders (as do I) under what circumstances Axe was “finally expelled for his association with ID.” I see nothing in his bio that he ever had a tenure-track job or even tried to get one. It is clear from his dissertation that he was an evangelical Christian way back in 1990 and no doubt could have easily picked up a job at a Christian college along the way.

  10. “The long, tension-filled wait is over, dear reader.”
    And again I’m stunned, no flabbergasted that my heart didn’t give up.,

  11. Axe’s “common science” seems to be based not on actual research but rather on naïve notions such as the “design intuition.” In other words, it’s not science–it’s belief.

    And, oh yes: those “rarefied aspects” of science he airily dismisses just happen to be the actual stuff of science: taking careful observations (including, where appropriate, “historical” ones such as fossils) and figuring out how they all make sense when considered as a whole.

  12. There is such a thing as a non-scientific explanation. But “design” doesn’t give us any kind of explanation. (Particularly when, as is the case of “Intelligent Design”, we have no description.)
    If I wonder why the Mona Lisa has that enigmatic smile, and you tell me that it was designed that way, what am I to make of that? I don’t doubt that it was designed. Leonardo da Vinci painted it … and we have a pretty good idea when (early 16th century), where (in Italy and France), what materials he used, etc. (None of those are known about ID, BTW.) But saying that it was designed does not answer my question.
    If I wonder why there was a Storming of the Bastille, it doesn’t help to be told that it was designed. Why is there an Infield Fly Rule in American baseball (a famously misunderstood rule – I think that Leg Before Wicket in cricket might work, too, if you will excuse my next-no-nothing knowledge of cricket)?
    Even if I ask why there was a Trojan War, Greek mythology gives an explanation, not just “it was designed”.