The Discoveroids Are in Ecstasy

Almost two weeks ago we wrote Is the Octopus an Alien Species? A British tabloid was all excited about about a strange article, Cause of Cambrian Explosion – Terrestrial or Cosmic?, which somehow got published in Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. At the end of our post we said:

We can expect a wild reaction from creationist websites. We’ll be watching for it.

Sure enough, it was the subject of an article in WorldNetDaily (WND), about which we wrote WorldNetDaily and the Octopus.

The latest creationist reaction is from the Discovery Institute. Their post is titled With New Theory of the Cambrian Explosion, Scientists Reach (Literally) for the Stars, and it has no author’s byline. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

This one is not to be missed. It’s a new scientific paper, “Cause of Cambrian Explosion —Terrestrial or Cosmic?”, that argues for panspermia. In other words, the seeding of life on Earth from outer space. Published in the journal Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, it comes bearing an impressive array of over thirty authors from credible institutions around the world. The journal’s editors are themselves highly credible, including Denis Noble of Oxford University.

Darwinists will respond with the usual mirthless hyena laughter. But this is no joke.

Actually, it is a joke, in the sense that the journal in which that article appears has seriously compromised its credibility. Then the Discoveroids say:

Proponents of intelligent design will be talking about the paper for a long time [as we predicted] because it addresses the same problems that theorists like Discovery Institute’s Stephen Meyer seek to solve — the origin of biological information [Hee hee!], the origin of life, the origin of new genes, the Cambrian explosion, the abrupt appearance of other complex life on Earth, and even human origins.

If you don’t yet know about “information” — the imaginary problem that intelligent design solves — see Phlogiston, Vitalism, and Information. It’s one of those creationist inventions, like the non-existent barrier between micro and macro evolution, that they “solve” with their supernatural designer. Verily, with the publication of that paper in an actual science journal, the Discoveroids’ prayers have been answered. They tell us:

Regarding the abrupt appearance of animals, the paper proposes that “cryopreserved Squid and/or Octopus eggs, arrived in icy bolides several hundred million years ago” and that this helps explain “the Octopus’ sudden emergence on Earth ca. 270 million years ago.” That’s right: they argue, among other remarkable proposals, for alien octopi and squid from the stars.

Regarding the origin of life, they say a “miracle” would be needed for it to have occurred on Earth: [they quote from the goofy paper]. Their solution? “A cosmological origin of life thus appears plausible and overwhelmingly likely to us.”

Wowie — it’s almost as if they invoked the intelligent designer! The Discoveroids continue:

And the origin of new genetic information? It comes from viruses, which they call “among the most information-rich natural systems in the known Universe,” having, again, been transported to Earth from space: [quote from the goofy paper]. So they argue that the information needed to build complex life arrived on Earth before complex life arose:

Ooooooooooooh! Just as the Discoveroids have been telling us all along! Let’s read on:

Like intelligent design, it’s an information-first argument. And they apply this same form of explanation to the origin of humans, plants, and animals, which they say were infected by “information-rich virions” that caused them to evolve: [quote from the goofy paper].

The editors of that journal must be very proud of themselves. Their publication is being praised by all the right people. Another excerpt:

What about the most crucial question of all — Where did the information in those space-faring viruses come from originally?

Ooooooooooooh! The most crucial question of all! The Discoveroids say:

They don’t even touch that one. And who can blame them? So while they give the pretense of explaining the origin of biological complexity, they are really just pushing the question backward.

The Discoveroids already know the source of information, of course. It’s the intelligent designer — blessed be he! And now we come to the end:

The paper is an admission that past Cambrian and other origins theories have failed. While outlandish, literally, the outer space solution suggests that materialism may be on the way to giving its last gasps.

The only thing giving its last gasp is Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. What will they publish next — a paper about the Time Cube?

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

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26 responses to “The Discoveroids Are in Ecstasy

  1. Second time today I’ve heard Noble mentioned by Creationists.

  2. Eric Lipps

    For once the folks at DI have a point: panspermia the doctrine that life arrived on Earth (and presumably other places) from space, really does just push the problem of life’s origins back in time, without solving it.

    However, this is irrelevant since the vast majority of biologists reject this idea and always have. I can’t decide whether the Discovery Institute’s hacks, er, mouthpieces, ahem, well, I suppose they’re at least people, are ignorant of this fact or know it but hope their suckers don’t.

  3. Michael Fugate

    These are the same people who believe Adam and Eve were the first two humans, said couple shared no ancestry with other living things, and were poofed into existence by Mr. I.D. himself. If this isn’t the functional equivalent to cephalopod from outer space, then what would be?

  4. Our dear SC misrepresents a piece of IDiocy: “the imaginary problem that intelligent design solves”
    No no no no no.
    No.
    Stephen Meyer seeks to solve. The IDiots are on a quest. They pretend that their favourite answer is not predetermined.

    “So they argue that ….”
    Yeah – the jump from quack science to pseudoscience (the latter includes supernatural “explanations”) is actually just a small step.

    @MIchaelF tries to ruin a party: “These are the same people who believe Adam and Eve were the first two humans.”
    Sssshhhhhhh – IDiots don’t do theology, except when they do. This is the best kept non-secret IDiot foster.

  5. Stephen Meyer. Of course! Because when I have a question about the Cambrian biota, or paleontology and genetics in general, the first person I ask is a philosopher of science. When I have a problem with my car…I take it to the vet! Such are the joys of living in an alternate universe.

  6. Karl Goldsmith (@KarlGoldsmith)

    Ha ha, it has taken them this long to write about a paper that PZ Myers wrote about over a month ago, writing [trash] surely can’t be that hard.

  7. ChrisS, are you challenging the necessary ficion that Strephen Meyer knows anything about the Cambrian Explosion?

    FWIW, Orgel and Crick, who suggested panspermia, immediately admitted that it only pushed the problem back. Hoyle, of course, is another matter

  8. Paul, I’m challenging his competence. It has nothing to do with his credentials; it has everything to do with his agendas.

  9. There is the definition of ID:
    “There is a better explanation for something about life than naturalist evolution.”
    That seems to describe a quest, but predetermined, to a degree, the goal.

  10. Derek Freyberg

    @Karl Goldsmith:
    Jerry Coyne (Why Evolution is True) and his commenters trashed it on the 14th.

  11. And how did the deep space cephalopods get there? Oh, I know, it’s cephalopods all the way down…

  12. docbill1351

    To be real, Stephen Meyer doesn’t seek anything beyond collecting a check for his do-nothing job. I contend that his personal flunky and our beloved Attack Gerbil did most of the “work” and Meyer just stitched it together and took all the credit. After years of being treated like a doormat the Gerb took a hike. I think we all noticed that the “quality” and quantity of the Tooter’s output dropped even lower post-Gerb.

    The Gerb was quite prolific in his day, tons and tons of material – articles, rebuttals, analysis, books, the IDEA clubs, testimony at school board meetings, and on and on – and ALL of it wrong! Never have so few written so much so wrong. And, now, the Tooters don’t even have that.

  13. @docbill1351
    Stop it! I’m getting all teary-eyed with nostalgia.

  14. docbill1351 says: ” I think we all noticed that the “quality” and quantity of the Tooter’s output dropped even lower post-Gerb.”

    Indeed. Their posts are increasingly mushy, chaotic, laborious to blog about, and undoubtedly difficult for their drooling fans to absorb. Whatever influence they once had is declining. Nevertheless, their generous patrons keep the funds flowing.

  15. Right off the bat, the IDiots’ article title shows they aren’t scientists – they’re misusing the term “theory”, despite the correct usage being explained to the entire creationist community for decades now.

  16. Ken Phelps

    Curmudgeon: “… difficult for their drooling fans to absorb.”

    Their audience doesn’t absorb information. They smear it on themselves. Hence the lack of concern for consistency or detail. To creationists, words about science are analogous to face paint, it’s not so much a content thing as it is an effect, an appearance, an illusion.

  17. I miss the Gerbil. And am proud of how, and why, he attacked my writing: Anti-Creationists need to think about tactics https://paulbraterman.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/anti-creationists-need-to-think-about-tactics/

  18. docbill1351

    The entire “panspermia” thing is a non-starter. When did the Panspermians do the pansperia? From where? And it gets worse. It’s just a stupid idea that fails on so many fronts. Idiotic.

  19. @PaulB: there is yet another, far more banal reason to accept accommodationism. It annoys the heck out of creacrappers to remind them that prominent evolutionary biologists like Francis Collins and Kenneth Miller are professing christians. Whenever a creacrappers claims something like “christians can’t accept evolution” we should rub this in their ugly faces. It’s one of the best ways to expose their utter dishonesty.

  20. Alas, there are also some people who say that scientists can’t accept Christianity. And then sneer at the “sophisticated theology” of those who do

  21. Can scientists accept Scientology, too? If not, why not? After all, Scientology has evolved its own form of ‘sophisticated theology’, just like any other church or religion.

  22. ChrisS asks: “Can scientists accept Scientology, too”

    The classical Greeks — e.g., Aristotle, etc., lived in a culture that worshiped the Olympian gods, and they produced some good science. Maybe the Greek scientists actually believed in Zeus, or maybe not, but I’m pretty sure none of them were priests. My point is that science can spring up in almost any culture, as long as it’s tolerant. All too often, however, priest-ridden cultures are anything but tolerant.

  23. Even at that, there’s huge variation. Georges LeMaitre, who deserves more credit than he gets for expanding universe and big bang theory, was a priest. So were Adam Sedgwick and Wm Conybeare, among other 19th century naturalists and geologists

  24. And indeed, Michael Roberts, geologist and historian, campaigner against creationism, already mentioned here by me and others

  25. Francisco J. Ayala was ordained as a priest but has resigned from the active ministry.
    Nicolas Steno resigned from activity as a geologist and became a bishop.

  26. Michael Fugate

    The accommodationist position is not that easy. For many, it could mean giving up family, friends, church, even job to accept evolution. One might expect that in certain settings religious conversion might be met with ridicule too. It is unfortunate that some would be made to feel they need to make a choice between the two extremes.