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.