Discoveroids’ 2018 ‘Censor of the Year’

This is the news you’ve been waiting for, dear reader. For the last month, ever since we wrote Who Will Be the Discoveroids’ Censor of the Year?, the suspense has been building to almost intolerable levels. [*Spoiler alert*]: In the comments to that post, one of our long-time readers correctly guessed the answer.

Now — at last! — the suspense is ended. Klinghoffer just posted this at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: Happy Darwin Day! Our 2018 Censor of the Year Is Wikipedia. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Today is the birthday of Charles Darwin, aka Darwin Day, which we recognize each year as the occasion for naming a Censor of the Year, or COTY. As Darwin himself said, in a scientific context, “A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.” But through intimidation and silencing of views counter to evolutionary orthodoxy, such a “fair result” is just what our Censor seeks to undermine.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! As we pointed out before, the Discoveroids aren’t the only proponents of a “theory” who are subject to such censorship. There’s also Flat Earth “theory,” the Time Cube, Moon landing denial, etc. We never mentioned this before, but your Curmudgeon is also the victim of censorship. No respectable journal will publish our brilliant theory that the Cosmic Aardvark created the solar system. Anyway, Klinghoffer says:

Thank you, readers, for your nominations. For 2018, we’ve chosen what is I think our best, or rather worst, COTY yet: the omnipresent online encyclopedia, Wikipedia. Let’s review the facts briefly.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Yes, in retrospect, it seems inevitable — ever since Discoveroid Günter Bechly Has Been ‘Erased’. Anyway, here’s a bit of Klinghoffer’s fact review:

Intelligent design poses an ultimate question: Does nature offer evidence of purpose and design, or not? All thoughtful people must ask themselves that. Today, the natural first recourse for the questioning individual is to turn to Google. Looking up ID online will bring you immediately, the first entry, to the Wikipedia article. It commences with a lie:

[He quotes the Wikipedia “lie”:] Intelligent design (ID) is a religious argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as “an evidence-based scientific theory about life’s origins”, though it has been discredited as pseudoscience.

Klinghoffer fails to mention that Wikipedia’s second paragraph refers to Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, which clearly supports what their first paragraph states. Instead, he elaborates on what he says is a “lie”:

Actually, three lies. Here’s the truth [Hee hee!]: ID is a scientific not a religious argument. It is a theory of evolution, of why the forms of life originated and changed over the past 3.9 billion years. An alternative to the increasingly shaky neo-Darwinian theory of blind churning, it argues exclusively in scientific terms, never from religious authority. It’s an argument for design in biology and cosmology, not for the “existence of God.” Compatible with methodological naturalism, it candidly professes that science sheds no light on the source of the design in life, other than to say that source operates with purpose and forethought. And while it has certainly been attacked in scabrous terms, it hasn’t been “discredited.” Far from it. Even an atheist philosopher like Thomas Nagel concedes that ID poses a “fiendishly difficult” challenge.

Nagel? [*Groan*] We discussed his view long ago — see Discovery Institute: How They Spent Kitzmas. After that, Klinghoffer rants on and on for several paragraphs. We’ll skip all that. Here’s the end of his post:

Fortunately, the public is increasingly sensitized both to fakery on the Internet (“fake news”) and agenda-driven behind-the-scenes shenanigans at online behemoths like Twitter and Facebook. And as we’ve pointed out, it’s not only ID that is misrepresented on Wikipedia. It can only be hoped that skepticism will spread, and drive Internet users to examine other sources and, yes, to think and read for themselves, without being led by the nose.

So there you are, dear reader. From now on, if you want The Truth, you’ll know to avoid Wikipedia.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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27 responses to “Discoveroids’ 2018 ‘Censor of the Year’

  1. Michael Fugate

    Intelligent design like its intelligent designer aka God simply remains undefined and is at best incoherent and at worse a fraud.

  2. I counted 17 lies during a first pass of Klingon’s article. His nose must be long enough to reach the parking lot.

  3. Wikipedia’s big failure is that they fail to make clear that the Discoveroids are a bunch of liars.

  4. Nailed it! Bleeechie, aka Little Dragonfly Man, was the only former scientist who threw his career away for creationism in the news.

  5. Klinghoffer claims that ID is

    a theory of evolution, of why the forms of life originated and changed over the past 3.9 billion years.

    Really? But I defy anyone to untangle their ‘explanation’ of the Micro-Macro Tango here: FAQ: Does intelligent design completely reject Darwinian evolution?:

    There are two fundamentally different possible causes for how humans have come to exist: blind natural processes (chance-law) or purposeful intelligent design. The two mechanisms are not wholly mutually exclusive over time, for some entities in the natural world may have come to their present forms due to some combination of chance-law and design.

    …[snip]…

    In particular, many proponents of intelligent design believe that microevolution is a strong force shaping life, but question if many macroevolutionary changes can be explained through the Darwinian mechanism. The term “evolution” simply means “change through time,” but there are two types of evolution: macroevolution and microevolution. Microevolution is “slight, short-term evolutionary changes within species.” (Futuyma, D., Evolutionary Biology, glossary, 1998) For example, within humans, there are different eye colors, hair colors, and skin colors. These are the result of microevolution. Macroevolution is “the origin and diversification of higher taxa” (Futuyma, D., Evolutionary Biology, pg. 447, 1998) or, “evolutionary change on a grand scale, encompassing [among other things] the origin of novel designs…”

    …[snip]…

    It should be noted that although ID and evolution are compatible on the general level (i.e. life could be the result of both evolution AND Intelligent Design), on the specific case-by-case level, intelligent design is NOT compatible by evolution. A given nucleotide sequence either is the product of design or natural selection. That which is the product of design cannot be the product of natural selection, and visa versa. Thus, on the specific level, ID is not compatible with evolution.

    So: compatible on the ‘general level’ but not on the ‘specific level’? Does that statement contain even a scintilla of meaning or logic, leave alone constitute what Klinghoffer claims is “a theory of evolution, of why the forms of life originated and changed over the past 3.9 billion years”?

    Well anyway, Happy Darwin Day to Curmy and his readers, from me and Olivia!

  6. Michael Fugate

    “…that source operates with purpose and forethought.”

    Can ID name the purpose of any single item in the universe and can it tell us how they were able to psychoanalyze an unknown designer to determine this?

  7. And just in case it’s buried in the above quote, let me highlight the given examples of Futuyma’s hilarious definition of microevolution as “different eye colors, hair colors, and skin colors.”

    No further comment on that one is needed…

  8. Aaarrrggh! Tag thingie missing in first post! I have place myself on The Naughty Chair for penance

  9. Any design takes account of the constraints of nature. What does it mean for something which is not constrained by nature to design?
    It is not meaningful for there to be a non-natural designer.
    That is the subject of censorship.

  10. “Compatible with methodological naturalism”
    Sure – just compare the intro of their very own Wedge Document. JSJ, have you counted this one?

    @Mega asks: “Does that statement contain even a scintilla of meaning or logic ….?”
    I suppose this is a rhetorical question.

  11. I realize it’s a language game with the DI and ilk, but Wikipedia calling it like it is is not censorship. ID advocates have yet to make a valid case for design in any system. Moreover, their designer is a pretty bad one with little creativity (all life uses same genetic code, amino acids, etc) and a penchant for suffering (knees wear out, thousands of pathogens, cancer, scurvey, etc, just in humans).

  12. Michael Fugate

    Have they ever given us an example of single thing that was intelligently designed – other than something human-designed? Can they point to a single mutation, allele, gene, etc. that was intelligently tweaked with forethought and purpose? Surely now that we have the human genome, they can point out where the gods work their magic, no?

  13. Taking 3.9 billion years to reach an assumed destination is evidence of “design”? This would require that the “designer” be an exceptionally clumsy and bumbling fool.

    This is like throwing darts at a dart board while blindfolded and standing in the wrong room of the wrong building. After wandering around in such a state for a few billion years you might accidentally hit the actual dart board
    once.

  14. The Wedge Document is a great example of purpose and forethought.
    Methodological naturalism is essential for science to function. Anything goes the moment you allow supernatural explanations to slip in.

  15. Take an example of someting which is intelligently designed. How does our knowledge of its design account for its existence? How does our knowledge of its design account for any feature?
    Example: The Mona Lisa. It was designed by Leonardo Da Vinci. That does not account for the enigmatic smile. Leonardo also designed flying machines, but he never built a flying machine. The fact that Leonardo designed The Mona Lisa does not account for the existence of the painting.
    The case of “Intelligent Design” of living things, in particular the taxonomy of living things, EVEN IF things were designed, that does not give us a clue for taxonomy.

  16. Can anyone give an example of a thing whch is designed, and how the knowledge of it being designed accounts for the existence?
    Design is not sufficient. Not even for existence, let alone for any feature of the thing.

  17. mnbo – definitely counted that one. That stuck out like a sore thumb.

  18. I miss Gerbil’s antics, but I very much enjoy other Discoveroids’ ongoing and long-term whining about Wikipedia.

  19. Michael Fugate

    I wonder if the DI wrote the Conservapedia entry on ID?

  20. What’s the difference between ID and Rodney Dangerfield?

    ID don’t get no respect and is dead, while Rodney Dangerfield don’t get no respect, is dead and is funny.

  21. Ah, the Gerbil! Whatever happened to him?

    The latest I can find is from 2016, and all it says is that he is “pursuing his studies”. One is reminded somewhat of Louis XVIII, who remarked at one point that he did not wish to set out on his travels again.

    I can find no other particulars. No mention of where or what he is studying, or what he’s doing for a living while engaged in it. Not a whisper. Casey’s apparent desire is to drop off the radar altogether.

    Is it possible that he has regrets? Possibly he even feels some sense of shame?

  22. As Megalonyx points out, Klinghoffer claims that ID is…
    “…a theory of evolution, of why the forms of life originated and changed over the past 3.9 billion years.”

    So, if that’s the case, why didn’t the Grand Old Designer design every species perfectly in the first place? And why wait 3,899,940,000 years before coming up with the design for homo Sapiens?

  23. Why did the Supernatural resort to design when the Supernatural has no need to resort to natural means? What does it mean for the Supernatural to
    design someting natural?

  24. Michael Fugate

    Why did it make gaps that it needed to fill?

  25. What sense does it make to speak of a need? Only mere creatures have needs. Necessity is the mother of invention. The omnipotent doesn’t design.

  26. Michael Fugate

    Such is the incoherency of God. We are supposedly like God, but God is nothing like us.

  27. Holding The Line In Florida

    @retiredsciguy “why didn’t the Grand Old Designer design every species perfectly in the first place? And why wait 3,899,940,000 years before coming up with the design for homo Sapiens?” The last gasp of religiosity for me before abandoning it for reality was the answer to that question, “what a day is to God can be an unknown amount of time to us mere mortals.” I had to rationalize deep time with my indoctrination from day one of my rural Southern Baptist existence. Once I realized the stupidity of that response, I gave it up as shear foolishness and felt ashamed that I had been suckered for so long! I will say that The Late Great Planet Earth helped too. Being a historian/scientist in making, I realized that was simply gibberish from the get go. I preferred the von Daniken’s brand of gibberish to Lindsey’s. Both were amusing, but bring on the Aliens!!! Still, I was a closet atheist for years before coming out to more than just a few friends during college. Deism was my usual fall back position till I became militant atheist!

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