The Truth About Intelligent Design

We have identified one of the principal techniques of the Discoveroids — and all mystics — when they claim that their dogmas are superior to science. What they do is invent non-existent problems and phenomena, and then claim that science can’t deal with them. Here are a few examples of things that don’t exist, but which the Discovery Institute insists are huge unresolved problems that “Darwinism” can’t answer, and are best explained by their “theory” of intelligent design.

Perhaps the best known example is their distinction between what they call “micro-evolution” (observed changes due to mutation and selection, as with Darwin’s finches), what they call “macro-evolution” (the result of cumulative changes over time), which they insist is impossible. We call this the “micro-macro mambo,” and we discussed it in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. As we said there:

If you ask a creationist why “macro” changes are impossible you’ll be told that it’s just impossible — some magic barrier interferes to preserve the integrity of scriptural “kinds.” Because of that unevidenced magical mechanism, which only the magic designer — blessed be he! — can overcome, creationists flatly assert that regardless of time, one species cannot evolve into another — despite the abundant fossil evidence to the contrary. Therefore, creationism requires belief in a two-part dogma consisting of: (1) the Great Barrier; and (2) the miracle that breaks through the barrier.

See how it works? They invent a problem that doesn’t exist, and claim that science is unable to deal with it.

Another creationist invention is a mysterious phantasm they call “information,” which allegedly exists in and organizes the universe, including all living things, and which only their intelligent designer can create. See Phlogiston, Vitalism, and Information.

The thing the Discoveroids call information seems vaguely similar to Vitalism. No one can detect it with the instruments of science, but the Discoveroids claim they can somehow sense its presence by using William Dembski’s Design Inference, commonly called his Design Filter — something else that doesn’t exist. They ceaselessly claim that evolution theory cannot explain or account for “information,” but their “theory” of intelligent design does.

Another Discoveroid invention is Specified complexity, which only they can detect, again with their design filter. Obviously, because it doesn’t exist, and isn’t even definable, they’re correct that evolution theory doesn’t explain it. Evolution doesn’t explain the Tooth Fairy either, nor does it need to.

The last creationist device isn’t really new with them — it’s an ancient concept in theology — the soul. The Discoveroids pretend to be scientific, so they usually speak of it in terms of the “mind” — something entirely apart from the physical organism. Whatever it is, if it exists at all, is alleged to be the work of the designer, and it’s something else that mere science can’t account for or explain — see Discovery Institute Revives Mind-Body Dualism.

So there you are. The “controversy” between evolution and intelligent design isn’t about evolution. Rather, it’s about non-existent mystical phenomena that no one has ever detected, but which the Discoveroids’ “theory” allegedly explains. In other words, it’s all about nothing.

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

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15 responses to “The Truth About Intelligent Design

  1. Aliens. You forget about aliens. Aliens not found are a huge problem for Evolution Theory – except that it isn’t.

  2. If you ask a creationist why “macro” changes are impossible you’ll be told that it’s just impossible — some magic barrier interferes to preserve the integrity of scriptural “kinds.” Because of that unevidenced magical mechanism, which only the magic designer — blessed be he! — can overcome, creationists flatly assert that regardless of time, one species cannot evolve into another — despite the abundant fossil evidence to the contrary. Therefore, creationism requires belief in a two-part dogma consisting of: (1) the Great Barrier; and (2) the miracle that breaks through the barrier.

    Has anyone ever heard, seen or smelled a creationist who will give a definite answer as to where the boundary between “micro” and “macro” lies? It seems to me they place that barrier wherever it’s convenient in any specific case–or, in other words, that there is no fixed boundary because the boundary is fictional. Not that this is news to patrons of this blog.

  3. There is a variation.
    There are things which evolution does not have any prospect of explaining:
    The Pythagorean Theorem, gravity, “why is there something and not nothings”. Of course, Intelligent Design or the supernatural do not explain anything, so they aren’t any better than evolution wrt those, either.

  4. Ross Cameron

    Didn`t some creo with time on his hands actually weigh the ‘soul’ by measuring the weight of a body before and after death? Didn`t it come out at a couple of grams? Guess he didn`t calculate the loss of air leaving the lungs or other variables (bladder, bowels voiding). Always seemed a clincher or a nonsense depending on which side of the fence you stand.

  5. abundant fossil evidence to the contrary
    I’d just mention that, although the fossil evidence is hardly weak – think of the interest in fossils for such varied transitions as (1) “mammal like reptiles” to “true mammals” (2) birds descended from dinosaurs (3) flatfishes from symmetric fishes – let us not forget that (a) evolution is not just about the distant past, but is an ongoing process (b) the importance of taxonomy and, now, genetics for appreciating evolution.

  6. Charles Deetz ;)

    And there is the made-up ‘transitional form’ that never can be found. More of a YEC crutch in the form of a croco-duck.

  7. docbill1351

    Aliens will never send aliens into space, and neither will we. The complexity of providing biology in space is prohibitive. Much easier to send silicon that doesn’t require more than current.

    Why equip a ship with all the nonsense required to keep biology alive when you could send a machine impervious to the environment?

    We’ll eventually send machines, not people into the cosmos, and so will the aliens.

  8. Of course docbill, in the future, “people” will be silicon based, rather than carbon, and will have completely enhanced good human qualities, eliminated the bad, and be immortal. It will both yuge and beautiful.

  9. EricL: no and I have asked many a creacrapper last several years.

  10. About the “boundary” between micro and macro.
    There is no mention of such a boundary in the Bible. As far as I know, no one mentions that, no scientist, no theologian, no philosopher, no one before the 20th century.
    Wasn’t it thought of because of the realization of the enormous number of species, if each species had to be accounted for on the Ark? Someone realized that there was nothing in the Bible about species, the modern, scientific concept?

  11. I think the only justification for baraminology is Genesis 1:24, And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. One single sentence in a bronze-age book forms the fundament of an entire pseudoscientific endeavour.

    They can’t even agree on the demarcations between ‘kinds’ whilst that should be pretty simple with modern genetics.

  12. One thing that a study of Bible interpretations over the years is certain. One can justify anything with a Bible proof-text. With that caution:
    The word “kind” (Hebrew “min”) is never used about humans.
    There is nothing said about changes or stability “after his/their kind”. For example, what about caterpillar changing into butterfly, tadpole into toad, a lamb being attacked by a wolf (and thus changing from “clean” to “unclean”)?
    There are suggestions that the authors of the Bible and their audience accepted spontaneous generation. The text that you quoted might be a description of just that sort of thing, that animals arose from the land. Other possibilities are in the plagues of Egypt in Exodus (insects and frogs from the waters) and the story of Samson killing the lion (bees generating from the carcass of the lion) in Judges.

  13. It’s a wonder that the Discovery Institute is still hawking the “Intelligent Design Theory” hokum. Everyone knows (since Dover, at least) the whole “Intelligent Design” bit was a ruse invented to get creationism into public schools — an attempt to circumvent the US Supreme Court. One would think that Judge Jones pounded a stake through the heart of ID, but the diehards at the DI keep plugging away. Makes the DI look more and more like a bunch of writers prostituting their talents to keep their benefactors writing the paychecks. (Similar to Kellyann Conway and Sean Spicer, but that’s another story.)

    The evidence supporting evolution is overwhelming. Any thinking person willing to study the matter with an open mind can see that. Rather than attacking evolution, it would seem that a better strategy for theists would be to accept evolution, but with the idea that a god started it all in the beginning. After all, who’s to say?

    Why expect people to deny something they can clearly see is 99.9999% likely to be true?

  14. Pope retiredsciguy proclaims

    The evidence supporting evolution is overwhelming.

    Evidence, schmevidence; the Creationists have intuition!

    Any thinking person willing to study the matter with an open mind can see that.

    The prerequisite bars you set–a thinking person, open mind, willing to study–are insurmountably high for True Believers…

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