Granville Sewell Demolishes Materialism

What is happening to the Discovery Institute? They used to be an entertaining creationist outfit, but lately they’ve been so inscrutable that we wonder why we continue to bother with them.

A good example is From Barren Planet to Civilization — Four Simple Steps, the latest post by Granville Sewell. Wikipedia informs us that he’s a signatory to the Discovery Institute’s “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism” petition.

Granville is known for arguing that the Second law of thermodynamics disproves evolution — see Discovery Institute Gives Us Their Best Argument, and we’ve written about some of his other creationist arguments in The Genius of Granville Sewell.

Granville’s new post is more of the same balderdash he’s been touting for a while — see Granville Sewell: Why Evolution Is Impossible. It’s difficult to imagine, but his Discoveroid overlords are so impressed that they’re giving us more of the same. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

In the video [title deleted] above, I make the simple point that to not believe in intelligent design, you have to believe that the four fundamental, unintelligent forces of physics alone (the gravitational, electromagnetic, and strong and weak nuclear forces) could have rearranged the fundamental particles of physics into encyclopedias and science texts and computers and airplanes and Apple iPhones. I show that this belief runs contrary to the more general statements of the second law of thermodynamics, even if the Earth is an open system.

Does anyone take this stuff seriously — even creationists? Then he says:

Whether or not it has anything to do with the second law, I can’t imagine anything in all of science that is more clear and more obvious than that unintelligent forces alone cannot produce such things as Apple iPhones. Yet materialists are not impressed. They believe they can explain how unintelligent forces alone could produce computers and airplanes.

Should we go on? Well, okay — but too much more. Granville tells us:

In the video, I outline the four steps in the materialists’ explanation of how advanced civilizations can spontaneously arise on barren planets, without design:

1. Three or four billion years ago a collection of atoms formed by pure chance that was able to duplicate itself.

2. These complex collections of atoms were able to preserve their complex structures and pass them on to their descendants, generation after generation.

3. Over a long period of time, the accumulation of duplication errors resulted in more and more elaborate collections of atoms.

4. Eventually something called “intelligence” allowed some of these collections of atoms to design buildings and computers and airplanes, and write encyclopedias and science texts.

What’s wrong with that? Granville explains:

The first step is the origin of life: even most materialists will admit that this is a very difficult problem which has not yet been solved by science.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] It must be magic! Granville continues:

Regarding the fourth step, we may feel that we “understand” how humans design and build computers and airplanes, because we see it happen and perhaps even do such things ourselves. But seeing something happen and understanding how it happens are two very different things, and again I think even most materialists will agree that science cannot yet explain human consciousness or intelligence in terms of unintelligent forces alone.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Consciousness is scientifically impossible! It must be a gift from the intelligent designer — blessed be he!

We’re skipping the next several paragraphs because they’re even worse than the foregoing. You may want to click over there to read them for yourself to make sure we’re not omitting some brilliant points that we’re unable to deal with. Here’s how Granville ends his post:

The argument here for intelligent design could not be simpler or clearer: unintelligent forces of physics alone cannot rearrange atoms into computers and airplanes and Apple iPhones. And the counterargument consists of four steps, each of which — to put it very generously — is full of dubious and unproven assertions.

The Discoveroids obviously regard Granville as one of their best thinkers. They may be right!

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9 responses to “Granville Sewell Demolishes Materialism

  1. I have always wondered why Sewell goes on about computers and other artifacts, which everyone knows are not made by evolution. Why does he do it? The real questions are whether natural selection could make 1) life and 2) human beings.

    But if he thinks that supernatural intervention is required in order for humans to think, does that mean God is controlling our thoughts? Does the fact that the overwhelming majority of scientists believe in evolution mean that God wants it that way? In that case, what is God doing with Sewell, providing comic relief?

  2. “lately they’ve been so inscrutable”
    What else can we expect? How many variations of “evolution is wrong”, “science can’t explain hence god” and “iPhones are designed, hence so are the Universe, life and consciousness” are possible?

  3. Why does he do it? Because it’s the same as Paley’s watchmaker analogy.

  4. Sewell’s is perhaps the most unintelligent “essay” I’ve read in recent years. Many unintelligent forces in his brain.

  5. Physicist Mark Perakh posted his highly critical review of mathematician Sewell’s 2nd law argument about 10 years ago on
    Sewell makes so many basic errors that shame ought to shut him up. He is a great example of why ventures outside of one’s area of expertise need to only be done with large amounts of expert assistance and guidance.

  6. Eric Lipps

    The argument here for intelligent design could not be simpler or clearer: unintelligent forces of physics alone cannot rearrange atoms into computers and airplanes and Apple iPhones. And the counterargument consists of four steps, each of which — to put it very generously — is full of dubious and unproven assertions.

    No, it’s creationists who are simple. No hell-bound eeeee-volutionist believes that “pure chance” has “rearrange[d] atoms into computers and airplanes and Apple iPhones,” Because, of course, these things aren’t alive, and don’t reproduce themselves. Sewell either believes the drivel he’s spouting or is simply trying to rook the rubes.

    I can’t help wondering what he thinks of the process of conception, birth and growth to adulthood. Does all of that, or any of it, require direct intervention by a Designer (who, of course, is really the God of the Bible)? If so, we’re back to the idea of an incompetent Designer whose creation will grind to a halt if not constantly kept in motion.

  7. @Eric Lipps
    Thank you for pointing out the relevance of reproduction to the arguments against natural explanations.

  8. I can hardly wait for Sewell and the DiscoTute to start offering skyfairy designed cell phones to the masses (free shipping included if you are among the first 100 to reply).