We haven’t seen anything like this from the Discovery Institute since the days when Casey Luskin tried to present arguments for intelligent design. It appears today at their creationist blog: ID’s Top Six — The Origin of the Universe. It has no author’s by-line. We’ll give you some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis. They begin with an “Editor’s note”:
In the past we’ve offered the top 10 problems with Darwinian evolution [about which we wrote Discoveroids’ Top Ten Problems with Evolution] … and the top five problems with origin-of-life theories [Top Five Problems with Current Origin-of-Life Theories].
Both of those Discoveroid oldie-goldies were by Casey in 2012. We didn’t bother with the second one, probably because it was merely repetitive of his earlier stuff. Then the “Editor’s note” says:
But somehow [Hee hee!] we neglected to offer a parallel listing of the top lines of evidence supporting intelligent design. Many different pieces of evidence pointing to design in nature could be adduced, but we decided to distill it all down to six major lines of evidence.
[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] This is the rest of the “Editor’s note”:
So here they are, their order simply reflecting that in which they must logically have occurred within our universe. What follows is adapted from the textbook Discovering Intelligent Design [edited by Casey and published by Discovery Institute Press — see Hey Louisiana — Here It Is!], which is an excellent resource for introducing the evidence for ID, along with Stephen Meyer’s books Signature in the Cell and Darwin’s Doubt.
That was an intriguing introduction! Now the adventure begins. This is apparently the first of a six-part series of Discoveroid posts, because it starts with this heading: 1. The Origin of the Universe. Okay, let’s get started:
The famous Kalam cosmological argument is a three-part argument that the universe requires a first cause. Its name reflects its roots in Islamic thought.
• Anything that begins to exist has a cause.
• The universe began to exist.
• Therefore, the universe has a First Cause.
The step in the argument that science can address is the middle one — evidence that the universe began to exist. That evidence comes in two major pieces — (i) the redshift and the Doppler effect, and (ii) the discovery of microwave background radiation.
[*Groan*] Creationists do this all the time. The currently prevailing theory, commonly (and erroneously) called the Big Bang theory, doesn’t assert that the universe began from literally nothing. It’s the expansion of the visible universe that began almost 14 billion years ago. The singularity that began to expand consisted of virtually everything, but incredibly compressed. It certainly wasn’t nothing, and its origin or previous condition is presently unknown. There are various ideas about what was going on earlier, but no evidence, so scientific inquiry pretty much ends at the moment the Great Expansion begins.
If one arbitrarily presupposes an earlier condition of literally nothing, that pretty much locks you into a strait-jacket from which there is no escape. That’s a very good reason to reject such an assumption. However, a fanatic who is devoted to the premise of nothingness could persevere and arbitrarily presuppose a supernatural mechanism for generating something out of nothing. That may be great theology, but piling one arbitrary, unevidenced presupposition on top of another is very shaky science.
The Discoveroids then provide a fairly accurate account of the development of the current Big Bang theory, but then capriciously assert:
What all this means is that there is very strong evidence that the universe had a beginning. If the universe had a beginning, then it had a first cause. And if it had a first cause, then it makes sense to ask what kind of first cause is necessary to explain the origin of the universe. It must be:
• A cause outside of the universe
• Capable of generating all the matter and energy in the universe
• Capable of generating all the order we see in inherent within the universe (more on this coming up).
That was certainly predictable. They’ve done it before — see Michael Behe’s First Cause Argument and also Casey Admits the Designer Is the First Cause. This is a theological assertion, not a scientific hypothesis.
There’s a bit more to the Discoveroid post, but this is long enough already. Anyway, that’s the first — and presumably best — of the Discoveroids’ six arguments for intelligent design. We can’t wait to see the rest of them.
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