Discoveroids: No Evidence? No Problem!

If you’re one of those foolish Darwinists who dismisses the Discovery Institute’s “theory” of intelligent design because there’s no evidence for their designer or his handiwork, get ready for a shock.

The latest post at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog is Physicist David Snoke: If DNA Is Designed, Its History by Definition Must Already Be Erased. 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. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Conversations between proponents and (thoughtful) critics of intelligent design often have a quality of talking past each other. On a podcast episode of ID the Future, University of Pittsburgh physicist David Snoke offers a helpful explanation of why that might be. [Link omitted.]

We’ve written about Snoke a time or two before — see David Snoke: Creationist Physicist? He works with the Discoveroids to promote intelligent design — see Another Discoveroid Revival Meeting. Klinghoffer says:

Most people who think about science are accustomed to scientific explanations being historical in nature. Explaining why something exists means recounting the steps by which it became what it is.

We could argue about whether, say, physics is historical, as opposed to geology or biological evolution, but let’s not get sidetracked. Klinghoffer is talking about evolution, and he asks:

Well, what about the biological information in DNA? How did that come to be?

Information? Ah yes, that’s the essential, magical ingredient inserted into our DNA by the designer — blessed be he! — which mere evolution can’t provide. See Phlogiston, Vitalism, and Information. Klinghoffer tells us:

The problem is that scientific thinking that’s open to the design hypothesis must be prepared to break the “history” rule. Information implies an author [Hee hee!], but, says Dr. Snoke, “By definition, good information-carrying systems are intrinsically history-erasing systems.”

What? The same mysterious mechanism that provides information also erases the evidence of its actions? Klinghoffer explains:

If you think about this for a moment, you already know it. Every time we compose meaningful text, we seek to erase its history. I’m doing that right now. I will keep doing it until I hit the “Publish” button, and maybe even after. [Skipping boring details of Klinghoffer’s editing process.] Writing that retains a strong sense of just how and in what order it was conceived and composed would be a total mess. For it to be effective, that history must be carefully erased.

Klinghoffer understands the designer’s methods. They’re just like his own. He continues:

So if DNA reflects a designer’s purpose, then to ask for its history, clearly reflected in the artifact itself, is a contradiction. Objectively considering the question of life’s origins requires being open to the possibility that, as far as the artifact is concerned, its history is largely effaced.

Yes. We can imagine the designer, somewhere in some magical domain beyond the universe, sitting at his drawing board and designing our DNA — editing, scratching out, revising, etc., until he’s finally got it right. The result is our DNA — perfect in every detail, with no junk whatsoever. Klinghoffer ends with this:

To demand history may be to prejudice the evidence before you’ve even looked at it. I understand that evolutionists assume that DNA reveals its history, thus giving evidence of the common ancestry of all creatures. But that’s an assumption, and it guarantees you’ll find what you expect to find.

So there you are, dear reader. Your objection to the Discoveroids’ “theory” has been addressed and rebutted. The absence of evidence for intelligent design is actually proof of intelligent design. Now don’t you feel foolish?

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

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19 responses to “Discoveroids: No Evidence? No Problem!

  1. Michael Fugate

    Maybe the DI should employ this guy:
    http://douglaskinney.com/cosmology/
    He seems to think Snoke or Stoke or Stokes or whoever is wonderful.

  2. Michael Fugate

    Is he really saying that if evolution were true all the intermediates would be present, but not if ID were true? If so, then he is a bigger idiot than previously thought.

  3. That means that if the Bible is the work of God, we can’t tell that the Book of Jeremiah was written in Hebrew by the Prophet Jeremiah some time about the year 600 BCE, or that the Book of Revelation was written in Greek by the John the Devine some time around the year 100 CE. People have begun with the assumption that the Pentateuch was written by Moses, and from internal evidence have come to the conclusion that the the final verses of Deuteronomy were written by Joshua – or at keast someone other than Moses.

    Anyway, the real problem with ID is not the lack of evidence. The real problem is the lack of substance. What is the explanation, what is explained?
    This essay seems to tell us what we have been saying about ID for the last 20-some years: there is no substance to ID.

  4. Mark Germano

    And maybe the designer did it all last Thursday, too.

    This is just the omphalos hypothesis for the (thoughtful) creationist.

  5. Michael Fugate

    Information implies an author, and in biological systems the author’s name is mutation (in its myriad forms) + natural selection.

  6. Seriously? No evidence is proof? This arguement seems to fall into the unfalsifiable category and therefore dismissable without debate.
    I assume the hidden arguement here is to counter the evolution position regarding the previous lack of transitional fossils.

  7. If you think about this for a moment, you already know it. Every time we compose meaningful text, we seek to erase its history. I’m doing that right now. I will keep doing it until I hit the “Publish” button, and maybe even after. . . . Writing that retains a strong sense of just how and in what order it was conceived and composed would be a total mess. For it to be effective, that history must be carefully erased.

    So if DNA reflects a designer’s purpose, then to ask for its history, clearly reflected in the artifact itself, is a contradiction. Objectively considering the question of life’s origins requires being open to the possibility that, as far as the artifact is concerned, its history is largely effaced.

    Or to put it another way, don’t bother looking for evidence of whether life evolved or was decreed into existence, because all such evidence has been flushed down the memory hole by the Ministry of Truth.

  8. Hitchens Razor – that which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Bye bye ID. Wasn’t nice knowing ya’.

  9. Klinkleclapper’s coming into being is a historical event. He’s an information carrying system, so his history has been erased. We can safely maintain that a stork found him in a cauliflower and brought him to his cradle.

  10. BREAKING NEWS!

    I have just designed and created the 119th element of the periodic table, which I hereby name Megalonyxium!

    It’s incredible stuff! Invisible, intangible, odourless, weightless — it is entirely undetectable, and will revolutionise the manufacture of stealth aircraft!

    I await my Nobel Prize. You may all applaud now.

  11. A bit obvious, but can’t resist:

    If a message is designed, its history will be erased (Klinghoffer)
    But we have a rich history of our DNA, based on DNA of actual fossils (fact)
    Therefore our DNA is not a designed message

  12. Any day now, the Discoveroids will announce that they have found, hidden in cave, the ancient parchment on which the Grand Ole Designer (Blessed be He/She/It/Them &c) drew the universe’s Original Blueprints!

    …Using, of course, invisible ink.

  13. Ceteris Paribus

    “Snoke: If DNA Is Designed, Its History by Definition Must Already Be Erased.”

    I’m not quite sure what Klinghoffer [the poo-flinger] is selling this time. But it sounds suspiciously similar to a ploy from the old “Pop Eye” cartoons where the character “J. Wellington Wimpy” goes to Pop Eye’s Diner and proclaims for all to hear:

    I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today!

    click to see Wimpy

  14. Ceteris Paribus is puzzled:

    I’m not quite sure what Klinghoffer [the poo-flinger] is selling this time.

    The proud Emperor Klinghefner, mincing down the catwalk, is trying to sell you the Autumn fashion line in his Invisible New Clothes collection…

  15. Speaking of definitions, Wikipedia tells us “The American Engineers’ Council for Professional Development (ECPD, the predecessor of ABET)[2] has defined “engineering” as:

    The creative application of scientific principles to design or develop structures, machines, apparatus, or manufacturing processes, or works utilizing them singly or in combination; or to construct or operate the same with full cognizance of their design; or to forecast their behavior under specific operating conditions; all as respects an intended function, economics of operation or safety to life and property.[3][4]”

    I don’t understand how that leads to the erasure of history.
    But more interesting to me, this does not apply to any action of the supernatural or omnipotent.

  16. It’s almost certainly true that we’ll never know the sequence of the self-replicating molecule (likely RNA) that gave rise to all living things. We are just somewhat more likely to know the sequence of the first DNA based life that followed. Those histories have effectively been erased, though a reasonable conjecture might at some point be made for the latter. BUT, as others have noted, the DNA of extant organisms (and I’ll add the way they make proteins and utilize energy), points to the same conclusion as the fossil record: all life on earth is descended from a single common ancestor. No need for a creator or designer, natural processes can produce “information” just fine.

  17. I am confused on this one. Are they saying the Designer isn’t perfect and needs an eraser to correct his mistakes, or that the Designer is no more competent than they are, or what. If so, are they now ruling out the Christian God as the Designer. Or, how many takes do they think Jesus need to get the Sermon on the Mount correct: Blessed are the cheesemakers…Blessed are the Greek…no no that’s not right…dang it where is my eraser.

  18. Mark Germano

    “To demand history may be to prejudice the evidence before you’ve even looked at it. I understand that evolutionists assume that DNA reveals its history, thus giving evidence of the common ancestry of all creatures. But that’s an assumption, and it guarantees you’ll find what you expect to find.”

    For their next podcast, they should invite Michael Behe to explain why he’s okay with assuming universal common descent.

  19. Only after they have invited Ol’Hambo to discuss the age of our Universe, MarkG.