Things are getting out of hand at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog. Look at this new thing they posted: A “Nachos and Ice Cream” Theory of Evolution. It was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. We’ll give you a few excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis.
If the old theory of evolution was so great, why do they keep rolling out new ones? You notice, however, that the “new,” “extended,” “fundamentally revised” theories – with the exception of the theory of intelligent design – always turn out to be more or less repackaged versions of the same old, same old. Without recourse to mind, they fail again and again to solve the main problem.
Sleazy introduction. Then he says:
Case in point: Sarah Zhang in The Atlantic heralds, “A Grand New Theory of Life’s Evolution on Earth.” At long last, is this the “theory of the generative” we’ve been waiting for?
That article is about a paper in Nature by Olivia Judson, whose image adorns this post. Here’s a link to it: The energy expansions of evolution. You can read it online without a subscription, but let’s stay with Klinghoffer for a while. He tells us:
The “new theory” from Olivia Judson of Imperial College London is a neat way of classifying sweeping time frames, “energetic epochs,” where life had energy sources made freshly available, thus making increasingly complex life possible.
That is stunning audacity. A Discoveroid, whose life is spent promoting creationism, dares to put scare-quotes around anything from Olivia Judson. Then he gives us an except from The Atlantic:
Judson divides the history of the life on Earth into five energetic epochs, a novel schema that you will not find in geology or biology textbooks. In order, the energetic epochs are: geochemical energy, sunlight, oxygen, flesh, and fire. Each epoch represents the unlocking of a new source of energy, coinciding with new organisms able to exploit that source and alter their planet. The previous sources of energy stay around, so environments and life on Earth become ever more diverse. Judson calls it a “step-wise construction of a life-planet system.”
Neat idea! Why would Klinghoffer be so dismissive? He explains:
The key word in that passage may be “coincide.” Energy … is necessary but not sufficient in explaining how complex life arises. Merely “coinciding” with great leaps forward in biological complexity doesn’t cut it. The really grand mystery remains the origin of biological information. … Positing “energetic epochs” does nothing to resolve that enigma.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We recently posted about the creationists’ “information” fantasy — see Information and the Micro-Macro Mambo. Klinghoffer continues:
She mentions oxygen. In the context of explaining the Cambrian explosion, a classic fallacy is the “oxygen theory,” holding that new body plans arose thanks newly available oxygen. As we’ve noted many times before, oxygen has no ability to compose coded information, generating the software on which life runs.
Oxygen can’t compose “information”? Hey — if that’s the best the Discoveroids can do, it’s fine with us. But now, dear reader, your Curmudgeon has a decision to make. Shall we spend additional time diddling with Klinghoffer’s post, or should we stop here and put that time to better use by reading the Judson article? Decisions, decisions …
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