Big News from the Discovery Institute

These are great days for the Discovery Institute. They’re going from one triumph to another. Look what appears at their creationist blog: New Species of Fossil Dragonfly Named for ID Proponent Michael Behe, written by paleontologist Günter Bechly, who is now a Discoveroid “senior fellow.” Here are some excerpts from his exciting new post, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Usually paleontologists discover new species of ancient organisms through fieldwork, literally digging them out of the dirt, or by studying the extensive fossil collections hidden in museum storage rooms. However, in rare cases a new species can even be discovered on the Internet. A colleague of mine discovered a new mayfly species in Baltic amber on eBay.

Something similar happened to me seven years ago. It was July 2011 when I accidentally stumbled upon a photo of a beautiful fossil dragonfly on a website about fossils from Early Jurassic sediments on the English coast at Charmouth in Dorset. I immediately recognized that this specimen is not only remarkably well-preserved, but certainly represents an unknown species as well.

We’ll skip the thrilling details of Günter’s discovery. Then he says:

After the study was finished and the manuscript mostly written, I faced a final question: What name should the new genus and species receive? For the genus I had promised the owner of the fossil to name it after him. That was due to his kind agreement to make this fossil available for science and his commitment to later deposit his collection, including this fossil, in a projected museum in the area of Charmouth and Lyme Regis.

But what about the new species name? I could have named it liassicus after its age, or dorsetiensis after its provenance in Dorset. But I had another idea.

Ooooooooooooh! What was Günter’s idea? He tells us:

Last year I had the honor of being featured in the documentary Revolutionary [link omitted] which celebrates the groundbreaking work of Professor Michael J. Behe of Lehigh University. A proponent of intelligent design theory, Behe won fame with his concept of irreducible complexity, especially evident in molecular machines of the cell including the iconic bacterial flagellum. His second book, The Edge of Evolution, [link omitted] with its fascinating elaboration of the waiting time problem, had a great influence on my own journey from neo-Darwinism to ID.

Ooooooooooooh! Behe influenced Günter’s “journey” to intelligent design. As you know, Behe is a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University. He has tenure, so he’s never been Expelled. His colleagues at Lehigh are so impressed by his brilliance that they publicly disassociated themselves from him by issuing this statement: Department Position on Evolution and “Intelligent Design”. Also, as most of you know, Behe was the Discoveroids’ star witness in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. We wrote about his catastrophic appearance there in Michael Behe’s Testimony.

Okay, back to Günter. He says:

So who deserved the honor of being the name patron of this remarkable new species? I did not have to think long. It had to be Michael Behe.

Isn’t that wonderful? Günter’s post concludes on an exciting note:

Thus I decided to give it the name Chrismooreia michaelbehei, and to publish the description in BIO-Complexity, a journal open to intelligent design, where you can find it online in the first issue of this year’s volume.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! BIO-Complexity is the Discoveroids’ in-house “peer reviewed” journal, It’s a most appropriate organ for the announcement of Günter’s discovery.

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23 responses to “Big News from the Discovery Institute

  1. siluriantrilobite

    Does the Linnean Society accept taxonomic names from crank/fake journals?

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Michael Fugate

    Because of course ID explains so much about the fossil record…. ha!

  3. I just happen to have a paleoentomologist staying with me at the moment and earlier today we were talking about Günter. How synchronous!
    Shame Bechly choose an obscure journal to publish his findings.

  4. Surely it needs to be submitted to the Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature. To be recognised by The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN).

  5. bewilderbeast

    When naming things you can choose logic and explanatory common sense, or you can choose butt-kissing, arse-creeping illogic. Like naming a street along a river John Politician Drive instead of River Drive. Years later people ask themselves “Who The Hell . . ?” and the answer is “Search Me”.
    This naming has to be right up there in the non-explanatory arse-creeping genre.

  6. Whenever I meet the name Michael Behe I am reminded of “according to my definition astrology is science”. In this particular case I cannot help wondering what evil the poor dragonfly is guilty of to derserve the harsh punishment of being named after an IDiot.

  7. Truly an honor for Behe! Despite rules, scientific names can be pretty much anything, whether serious or humorous. And, yes they must be registered as KG indicates. Here are a few examples of the liberty accorded animal names. Yes, I realize the names should be italicized, but the last time I tried italics it didn’t go well. Some are best read out loud.

    Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, a yellow-headed moth
    Baracktrema obamai, a species of blood fluke (parasite)
    Obamadon, an extinct lizard (genus)
    7 other animals named for Obama
    Agra vation, a species of beetle
    Verae peculya, a species of wasp
    Eucritta melanolimnetes, an extinct amphibian; loosely “critter from the black lagoon”
    Pison eu, a species of wasp
    Colon rectum, a species of beetle
    Agathidium vaderi, a species of beetle whose head resembles Darth Vader’s helmet
    Vini vidivici, an extinct parrot

  8. Those are great, Scientist. So who will name a newly discovered toad species Omi Curmudgi?

  9. Save for the Dicsotoot’s blowing their horn and using other noisemakers, the name Chrismooreia michaelbehei is not likely to be making a big splash on the scene. Then again, maybe they can do some research and explain how this specimen was embedded in long-ago amber along with other types of specimens, i.e., how does it fit in the evolution of bugs?

  10. @DavidK
    Intelligent Design.
    The Universal Solution.

  11. If I was Chris Moore, I’d quickly thanks-but-no-thanks for the honour of being mentioned in one breath with Michael Behe.

  12. Michael Fugate

    Behe’s wait time problem? Only a creationist, and in fact only creationists, find his “argument” compelling. On the other hand, Ken Ham is saying that 4000 years is enough time to achieve even greater change.

  13. Michael Fugate, according to the statistics provided by WordPress, this humble blog now has a grand total of 100,000 comments. Since yours is the last one to show up, I assume that it’s the one that rings the bell. You don’t win anything; and neither do I, but it’s an interesting factoid.

  14. Michael Fugate

    I feel humbled and ever so slightly special…
    Given the improbability of my comment being the 100,000th, does that make Behe correct… naaah!

  15. Well, both this blog and your comments are Intelligently Designed, MichaelF. But that doesn’t make you a Grand Old Designer yet, so it’s too early to start Praising you. Both our dear SC and you will have to be satisfied with mere praise (ie without a capital).

    “On the other hand, Ken Ham is saying …”
    Now we all here know what actual scientists would do ……. not dumping creacrap on internet in any case.

  16. In the meantine Donald the Clown from the White House is unexpectedly (even for himself) doing something good. He is forcing Great Britain and the EU to make the first step towards turn back the brexit. Of course I’m talking the war trade that’s flaming up again. In Dutch, but I’ll translate the relevant stuff:

    “de Europese Unie werd op het nippertje toegevoegd aan de lijst landen die een vrijstelling kregen”
    The EU was granted exemption at the last moment.

    “….. heeft de Europese Commissie tegenmaatregelen voorbereid.”
    The EU has prepared counter measures.

    “Dat zou het begin kunnen zijn van een handelsoorlog tussen de innige handelspartners de VS en de EU.”
    That might be the start of a trade war.

    And here is the big news:

    “De regeringsleiders van de grootste drie EU-lidstaten – Duitsland, Frankrijk en het Verenigd Koninkrijk – hebben gisteren in een gezamenlijk telefoongesprek afgesproken dat ze in deze handelskwestie gezamenlijk en in EU-verband zullen optrekken.”
    The government leaders of the three biggest EU member states – Germany, France and the United Kingdom – have agreed yesterday that they will act together and within the context of the EU in this trade matter.

    If the brexit will be cancelled today will be a turning point, thanks to The Donald.

  17. Michael Fugate

    Can’t you imagine this guy working for the DI?

    During an interview on CNN on Monday, frequent Fox News guest and American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp made a case that it is not the job of journalists to inform the public when the president or his spokespeople are lying.

    Instead, Schlapp suggested journalists should just provide stenography of what government officials are saying, and let the American people do their best to sort out who is telling the truth — because otherwise the feelings of Trump supporters might get hurt.

    “We have political disagreements in this country, and I think it’s wrong for journalists to take that next step,” Schlapp said. “Just present the facts. Let the American people decide if they think someone is lying. The journalist shouldn’t be the one to say the president or his spokesperson is lying, because what that does is to 50 percent of the country, is it makes them feel like they aren’t credible to listen to anymore.”

  18. Michael Fugate

    And to paraphrase Mr. Cub Ernie Banks “It’s a beautiful day for a Curmudgeon post … Let’s write two hundred thousand comments!”

  19. A taxonomic reviser may be free to declare this fossil name a “nomen nudum”, ignore it, and name it something else, because it wasn’t properly published (i.e., in a pseudoscientific rag).

  20. Did you know that you can “buy a name” for an unclassified species? Yep, Scripps, for example, will accept a $5000 donation to name a species. There are other sites as well.

    So, dragonflyus behe dumb bunniae, will be forever lost to obscurity, just like Behe. Fitting, I think: a forgotten, unknown fossil of no relevance.

  21. Christine Janis

    @ James St. John. “Biocomplexity” is indeed a “real” journal — you can find it on the list of journals when you search for impact factors. Of course, it has an impact factor of zero, but maybe their luck will change with this new publication

  22. I’ve watched Attenborough’s Sea Dragon the other day and although one can never be sure, it seems to me Chris Moore is not the type to dabble with pseudoscientific gobbledegook. I really wonder if he knows what honour has been bestowed upon him.