Discoveroids: More About Denton’s New Book

We recently wrote An Amazing New Discoveroid Book about the latest from Michael Denton, a Discovery Institute “Senior Fellow.”

Here’s the book’s Amazon listing. The price is only $14.95 in paperback, and for that you get 166 pages. It’s published by the Discovery Institute — which means it’s essentially a vanity press book. There were no reviews at Amazon when we first posted about it, and that’s still true.

Today at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog — because they have nothing else to talk about — we find Let There Be Light — New Book from Michael Denton Continues Privileged Species Series. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Launched in 1972, the Pioneer 10 spacecraft was the first human artifact designed to leave the solar system and, possibly, encounter life forms beyond our ability to imagine. It carries a plaque intended to introduce the designers of the vehicle to any aliens that might cross paths with it. The iconic image shows a pair of human beings, a male and a female, the former with a hand raised in greeting.

We know all about that. What does it have to do with creationism? Klinghoffer says:

As biologist Michael Denton observes in his new book, Children of the Light: Astonishing Properties of Sunlight that Make Us Possible, the irony of the depiction of man and woman is that any living beings out there would likely find us not strange or alien but remarkably familiar. [Huh?] This is because the universe appears to have been very, very carefully crafted to sustain intelligent beings on a model like our own.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The fun is just beginning. Klinghoffer tells us:

Denton has shown as much in a series of short books, the Privileged Species series — starting with [Who cares?] This is intelligent design that sweeps the planet, covering not biology alone, but chemistry, geology, and physics.

Ooooooooooooh! It’s intelligent design! Denton’s argument is like the puddle in the Douglas Adams story that wakes up one morning and thinks, “This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, [it] may have been made to have me in it!” The Discoveroids actually quoted Adams — favorably — six years ago, and we wrote about it — see Discovery Institute: What Are They Thinking?

Klinghoffer then quotes from Denton’s book and tells us:

By “fitness” he means the ultra-fine focusing — fine almost beyond calculation — of multiple natural laws and natural phenomena, all converging on life, and intelligent life in particular, as we know it. [Ooooooooooooh!]

It’s ultra-fine focusing, not natural selection. He continues:

As in his previous work, Denton draws on the insights of Lawrence Henderson (1878-1942) and ID’s godfather, Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), while showing how unlike Darwinian natural selection, the idea of natural fitness has been accumulating evidence in its favor for going on two centuries and promises to continue to do so into the future.

Isn’t this great? There’s no evidence to support natural selection, but the evidence supporting intelligent design keeps piling up. Actually, something is piling up, but it’s not evidence.

There’s more to Klinghoffer’s post, but we’ll give you only one more excerpt:

For now I want to suggest that the difference between his [Denton’s] scientific vision and its alternative is the difference between hope and horror. [Hee hee!] The materialist view is ably and entertainingly sketched by the classic horror writer H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), who told of a cold cosmos indifferent to us and crawling with unreckonable and unspeakable monsters.

Denton’s view is the opposite: Whatever source of purpose or intelligence designed our world and our universe, it operated from the beginning with a human and humane goal. Dr. Denton is a biologist, not a theologian. Yet this message is obviously suggestive of a theistic perspective. [Hey, he’s right about that!]

So there you are, dear reader. If you like Oogity Boogity, and you want it in large amounts, Denton’s book is for you!

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

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

20 responses to “Discoveroids: More About Denton’s New Book

  1. the universe appears to have been very, very carefully crafted to sustain intelligent beings on a model like our own.
    Forexample, the laws of thermodynamics are carefuly crafted for the form that life takes on Earth, the model that intelligent beings take on Earth. It isn’t at all improbable that there is life, given the careful crafting of the laws of nature.
    BTW, is “carefully crafted” a shift from “intelligently designed”?
    Life on Earth appears to have been subject to descent with modification over many, many millions of years. Is that also the result of careful crafting? In particular, the human body appears closest to the bodies of chimps and other apes, among all the extant forms of life.

  2. Karl Goldsmith (@KarlGoldsmith)

    From The Alfred Russel Wallace Website. “It is curious that believers in Christian Intelligent Design have adopted Wallace as their ‘guru’,”

  3. So the meteor crash that wiped out most dinosaurs 65 million years ago and prompted mammalian radiation that ultimately produced humans wasn’t a random event? It was carefully crafted by a designer? Oh, wait, maybe the designer was looking for an opportunity and took advantage of the mass extinction to craft mammalian evolution. Either way, SC is right, Denton’s book and Klingy’s commentary are a pile of … It’s so much simpler, and satisfying, to think that humans and all life forms are the result of evolution. I’ll say it again, I hope life elsewhere in the universe is found in my lifetime, but hurry, please. Unlike “Star Trek”, if it’s intelligent, I doubt they’ll be humanoid.

  4. IDiots are maroons! Dolphins swim, are balanced in their environment, eat, have kids, have families, and who can say how intelligent (what ever that means) they are!
    Now king 0’slit says we are so special, we ‘swim’ thru air, eat, have kids, have families, and are so intelligent that we are trying really hard to destroy the environment to make earth unlivable for humans.
    Now which one is better? More intelligently designed?!?!?!

  5. @TomS is puzzled: “is “carefully crafted” a shift from “intelligently designed”?”
    Just old wine in new bags. The same with ultra-fine focusing iso fine-tuning. What else can IDiots like Klinkleclapper do?

  6. Michael Fugate

    As Hume pointed out the only minds we know come about through reproduction and development, but the only reproduction and development we know does not come about through minds. Not to mention other problems with the machine-metaphor that ID uses, machines are made through a collaborative process that itself relies on trial and error. There is no means of reasoning one’s way to gods with any certainty. Either one believes in gods or one doesn’t.

  7. In the time of Hume, reproduction and development were challenged by preformationism. Serious, intelligent and informed students of nature believed that all living animals existed from the beginning inside their parents.

  8. Michael Fugate

    Still doesn’t solve the problem – as Hume pointed out – you are just shifting it back a step.

  9. @Michael Fugate
    Indeed. It makes the problem more apparent.
    The arguments against reproducton and deveopment at least had some oint to them: there was a genuine theory of preformation, it wasn’t just some empty term like “design” or “craft”, And it didn’t involve a fallacy of compositon/divison.

  10. I think I’ll side with Cthulhu. I want to be among the first to be eaten, oh tentacled cosmic Horror!

  11. “Denton’s view is the opposite: Whatever source of purpose or intelligence designed our world and our universe, it operated from the beginning with a human and humane goal”

    Human can’t live in 99.99999% of the universe, and life on Earth wasn’t particularly easy for Homo sapiens during some hundred thousand years either, and we’re supposed to think that everything was created for us, from the beginning? Yeah, sure.

  12. @Karl Goldsmith
    Alfred Russel Wallace was known to disagree with Darwin on human evolution. In particular, Wallace thought that a ‘higher spirit’ had to intervene to created consciousness and other higher mental faculties.
    This is also the view of ID (and Alvin Plantinga’s). ID then goes further and introduces supernatural interventions into biochemical pathways.

  13. it operated from the begining with a human and humane goal
    How do you know? Were you there? How do you explain the Bible story of the Garden of Eden?

  14. Holding The Line In Florida

    @Scientist. Hey didn’t you see that episode of “Ancient Aliens” on the Hysterical Channel? Of course the Aliens, the real Intelligent Designers, set it all up! They decided that non avian dinosaurs were done. If hadn’t been for that bottle of Rhum, I couldn’t have made sense of it. But as it was…….

  15. Klinghoffer’s jejune binary thinking is typical of the fundy mindset. This world as it is contains both horror and hope, irrespective of the individual’s worldview, whether “materialistic”, or theistic.

    Klinghoffer probably assumes he’s heir to a great Jewish tradition of irony, but the well might have run dry by the time he got to it.

  16. @FrankB: “@TomS is puzzled: ‘is “carefully crafted” a shift from “intelligently designed”?’
    Just old wine in new bags.”

    Nope — sorry.

    Another wild swing from the hips, another wide miss.

    Design (or planning) is an effort or activity completely distinct and divorced from crafting (or construction or implementation).

    Just ask @TomS or @Stephen Kennedy.

    @TomS has posed an intriguing question. Perhaps the Discoveroids have finally acknowledged and conceded to his weekly harangues — it’s his particular hobby horse, after all; one of his favorites.

    (Not that there’s anything wrong with that — I wholly agree with him.)

  17. @Random: you may be sorry, but I wouldn’t know why, as by no means you contradict me. See, for my remark it’s not relevant what you (or TomS or StephenK) mean(s) with designing and crafting, but what Klinkleclapper means with it. And lo and behold! it’s exactly the same.
    Congratulations, the wide miss is yours.

  18. @FrankB

    Sorry again, but neither you nor David Klinghoffer gets to choose what words mean — “neither more nor less” — since neither of you has yet attained the intellectual or academic standing of Humpty Dumpty.

    The question is whether Klinghoffer is deploying a sly verbal sleight of hand by conflating the two concepts (design, craft), or is simply as sloppy in his writing as he is in his thinking.

    Slipshod, slapdash and sloppy, but no moreso than you.

  19. @Holding in Florida.
    Perhaps the designer came from the alien Star Trek race that distributed humans across the galaxy. All the more reason to hope for evidence and visitations soon. Oh, we dropped cable TV, no longer get the Hysterical channel.

  20. “Possible candidates for the role of designer include: the God of Christianity; an angel–fallen or not; Plato’s demi-urge; some mystical new age force; space aliens from Alpha Centauri; time travelers; or some utterly unknown intelligent being.”
    Michael Behe, “The Modern Intelligent Design Hypothesis,”
    Philosophia Christi, Series 2, Vol. 3, No. 1 (2001), pg. 165