Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2017— #6 and #5

You may not be able to handle this post all at once, dear reader, because it’s twice as exciting as our earlier entries in this series. This is about the next two — yes, two! — entries in the Discovery Institute’s list of their Top Ten “achievements” for the year now ending. As is usual in such a series, they’re working their way up from the bottom, and they’ll probably reach their Number One creationist news story on New Year’s day. These are the momentous accomplishments that have thrilled the Discoveroids and their generous patrons this year.

We’ve already written about the first four items in their impressive list — see Number 10, and then Number 9, and then Number 8, and then Number 7. Now the thrilling list continues.

Yesterday they posted #6 of Our Top Stories of 2017: Dan Brown Pushes Atheism and Intelligent Design. Wait…What? As with their earlier entries in this series, it’s a copy of something they posted before — from October: Dan Brown’s New Novel Pushes Atheism and Endorses Intelligent Design. Wait…What? Klinghoffer wrote it.

It’s not about Discoveroid research revealing the identity and methods of their supernatural designer — blessed be he! — of which there is none. Instead, it’s about the publication of a new novel — yes, that’s right, a work of fiction. Here’s a link to it at Amazon. Klinghoffer ended his October post with this:

He [Dan Brown] appears to have waded a little distance into the design debate. Will he go further? We’ll look forward to his next book and see.

We ignored that the first time around, and we see no reason to spend any time on it now, so we’ll move on the next item in the Discoveroids’ Top Ten list. They posted this today: #5 of Our Top Stories of 2017: Of Course You Aren’t Living in a Computer Simulation. Here’s Why.

Yes, it’s a copy of an earlier Discoveroid post, this one from back in July: Of Course You Aren’t Living in a Computer Simulation. Here’s Why. It was written by Michael Egnor — that’s his write-up at the Encyclopedia of American Loons.

As with most of the other items in the Discoveroids’ Top Ten list, we weren’t impressed enough at the time to write about it. At the end of his July post, Egnor said:

We couldn’t ask the question “Are we living in a computer simulation?” if we were living in a computer simulation. The irony here is that, of all the possible fundamental truths of reality, the notion that we are living in such a simulation is the one we can rule out simply because it’s self-refuting. If we are living in a computer simulation, we couldn’t think to ask the question.

If you can figure out why that’s one of the Discoveroids’ greatest achievements of the year, please explain it to us.

So there you are, dear reader — the next two Earth-shaking items in the Discoveroids’ Top Ten list. Only four more remain — and they’ll be even better! But so far we’ve seen no research, no data, no science at all — just propaganda, public relations, revival meetings, quote mining, and endless invocations of the God of the gaps, the Watchmaker analogy, and the joys of Oogity Boogity!

We can’t wait to learn about the remaining items in their Top Ten list. What further wonders await us? Stay tuned to this blog!

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

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14 responses to “Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2017— #6 and #5

  1. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    We couldn’t ask the question “Are we living in a computer simulation?” if we were living in a computer simulation. The irony here is that, of all the possible fundamental truths of reality, the notion that we are living in such a simulation is the one we can rule out simply because it’s self-refuting. If we are living in a computer simulation, we couldn’t think to ask the question.

    Circularity in three sentences. Well, I’m convinced. *eyeroll*

    I assume then that El Engnorante would agree that were a designed AI be given enough resources to potentially become self aware it would not be possible for it to recognize itself as such.

    (also, something, something Skynet)

  2. Heh, heh! Working their way up from their “bottom.”

    Sort of like a ten-day colonoscopy.

    What do you wanna bet that Number One is some vague reference to Meyer’s “Darwin’s Doubt” — AGAIN! Perhaps it’s coming out in a new format. A scroll where you can read one sheet at a time. Convenient!

  3. I suggest that this list be preserved. Next time someone says that ID is a research program, show what they think are the best accomplishments of 2017.
    What would a judge think of the emptiness of ID? Even a school board would have to admit that there is nothing teachable.

  4. Michael Fugate

    If gods were to make a computer simulation, they couldn’t give the characters consciousness? I thought gods could do whatever they wanted?

  5. A twofer.

    First, I read a sci-fi novel eons ago about a simulation that was on the verge of creating a simulation. Yeah, it was turtles all the way down. Simulacron-3 (1964) by Daniel F. Galouye. Good read. Pre-dates The Matrix which has a very similar plot.

    Second, the journal Science published a video of the 2017 top science events with Number One being the detection of gravity waves generated by the collision of two neutron stars and the subsequent observation of the object in space. Actual science. Although, Dan Brown, a writer of fiction, implying maybe if you squint on Wednesday something about ID comes a tight second.

  6. I hope that the discoveroid’s last few achievements are a bit more inspiring. Some of their efforts are good fuel for some hilarity, but, so far, this year’s bunch are boring and inconsequential.

    Why on Earth do they think that the rather poor ramblings of a writer of fiction are relevant to biology? Oh!, I know!, their whole philosophy is fiction.

  7. In the editor’s note, the list is called the “Top 10 stories of 2017.” Even the Discovery Institute wouldn’t be so bold as to make a list and call it their accomplishments.

  8. Charles Deetz ;)

    @Mark yep, a good distinction … so … surely the Biologic Institute must be the ones posting accomplishments? Their separate website’s last post was from July. Long articles, tiny, grey text, about Nylon. Absolutely no one read any of these from Ms. Green-screen.

  9. “Yes, it’s a copy of an earlier Discoveroid post”
    Yes! Six out of six!

    “why that’s one of the Discoveroids’ greatest achievements of the year”
    How does a mentally sane person distinguish between horrible crap and total crap?

    DocBill is amused: “Heh, heh! Working their way up from their “bottom.”
    Or rather working their way down to their “bottom”. Again – how does a mentally sane person decide? What criteria make sense?

    RichardB needs some excitement: “I hope … a bit more inspiring.”
    With IDiots you need to develop your own challenges, because the only thing they can do is repeat the same stale stuff ad nauseum.. Only four items to go – will they be as boring and inconsequential as the first six? The tension rises.

  10. It may be interesting to look at Wikipedia which has a number of articles about yearly advances in a number of disciplines. Not a “top ten” list, I just looked at a small corner of a sub-discipline of evolutionary biology: 2017 in mammal paleontology. I didn’t look for any amazing discoveries, just the ordinary progress of an ordinary science, the sort of thngs which put the “top ten of ID” to shame.

  11. On a scale of 1 (coma inducing) to 10 (pee in my pants exciting), my rating of their top 10 list to date:
    #10- 2
    # 9 – 3
    # 8 – 2
    # 7 – 2
    # 6 – 1
    # 5 – 2
    Seems to be a down trend, sorry RichardB, was trying to find some hope for you.

  12. We couldn’t ask the question “Are we living in a computer simulation?” if we were living in a computer simulation. The irony here is that, of all the possible fundamental truths of reality, the notion that we are living in such a simulation is the one we can rule out simply because it’s self-refuting. If we are living in a computer simulation, we couldn’t think to ask the question.

    Evidently Egnor has never seen The Matrix, in which actual humans are living out their lives in a computer simulation.

    For that matter, if we ourselves were simulations, how could we tell? All of our thoughts might simply be operations within the Master Program. The nature of self-awareness is, after all, one of the great philosophical riddles.

  13. Here’s another “top ten” for 2017, in this case, 10 fossils, from the Guardian:
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/dec/28/top-fossil-discoveries-of-2017

  14. If we were living in a computer simulation, the designer of the simulation would never allow us to think we were – any such thought would be instantly deleted…

    Unless, of course, the designer wanted that argument to be used to convince us that we are not living in a computer simulation.

    Seriously, if you go on thinking like this, you’ll end up staring at your navel – from the inside.