ICR: Design by the Creator

Today at the website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom — we see another example of what we call the Creationist Scientific Method:

1. Select a conclusion which you hope is true.
2. Find one piece of evidence that possibly might fit.
3. Ignore all other evidence.
4. That’s it.

ICR’s article is titled Sorghum and Bacteria Cooperative Design. It was written by Randy Guliuzza, about whom we recently posted ICR Has a New Book that Rebuts Darwin. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

The drought tolerance of a popular grain, sorghum, makes it an important global food crop. A recent study finds that sorghum manipulates soil conditions to promote a beneficial change in the microbes living on its roots when water is scarce. The complex systems conferring such tight cooperation between plants and microbes point to a wise Creator for their origin far more reasonably than the mystical scenarios invoking strong “positive” and “negative” selection events offered by the researchers.

This is the “mystical” research Randy’s talking about. It’s in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: Drought delays development of the sorghum root microbiome and enriches for monoderm bacteria. You can read it on-line without a subscription. Okay, back to Randy. He describes the research:

When sorghum detects the onset of drought it responds by adjusting its root metabolism accordingly. The sorghum roots release an increased range of carbohydrates and amino acids into the soil, as well as secondary metabolites which may include reactive oxygen species. The normally dominant microbes (Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Verrucomicrobia) are poorly suited to these changed conditions, which lead to a rapid decrease in their population. However, another community of microbes which are normally present in small numbers, the Streptomyces strains of Actinobacteria, are particularly suited to the new root products — and just so happen to naturally be better suited to drought conditions as well — and take over the primary colonization of the root system. The researchers suspect that the Streptomyces also release antibiotic compounds which help suppress the normally dominant microbes in the community.

Remarkably, sorghum detects the recolonization by Actinobacteria and, through an unidentified mechanism, adjusts its metabolism again so there is an “increase in relative root-to-shoot resource allocation.” The researchers concluded, “This colonization is correlated with increased root biomass, specifically under drought stress.” In short, the result was sorghum developed drought-fighting deeper roots and a greater root mass.

Interesting. The world is crowded with living organisms. Often they don’t interact, but sometimes their existence in the same environment is cooperative — see Symbiosis, or dependent — see Coevolution, or parasitic, or totally detrimental, as in the case of bacteria that cause fatal diseases.

What does Randy make of the relationship between sorghum and those microbes? He tells us:

How does the microbe-plant relationship happen? Evolutionists who reject any engineered relationship between microbes, plants, and animals [The fools!] are forced to appeal to totally mystical explanations. [Huh?] They must claim that the organisms all somehow co-evolved together — an explanation that the evolutionists cannot demonstrate.

What else can you expect from evolutionists? They’re a bunch of mystics. Randy continues:

[E]volutionists believe that the diversity of life results from random genetic mutations coupled to mystical selection events that are arbitrary with respect to a goal — any given functional trait is achieved by chance processes. [Absurd!] But a biblical explanation [Yes!] is design-based and organism-focused and expects organisms to function according to engineering principles.

It’s so obvious! Let’s read on:

We know that engineers may design one distinct entity like a radio to work together with another entity like a radio transmitter into a completely separate system called a communications system. An engineering-based explanation describing the relationships of microbes, plant, and animals would expect to find autonomous entities with innately designed adaptive capacities, entities that were originally designed to work together as parts of larger, non-violent, cooperative systems.

That’s how it’s done! Well, unless organisms don’t interact at all, or are detrimental to each other — but none of that is mentioned. This is Randy’s thrilling conclusion:

ICR is leading the way in explaining the interactions of an organism to its environment as distinct entities working together as elements of a larger system. This approach shows a higher level of design which demonstrates significant forethought and wide-ranging designed control and, thus, more glory to Nature’s Creator, the Lord Jesus.

That was thrilling. Don’t you agree, dear reader?

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

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24 responses to “ICR: Design by the Creator

  1. “ICR is leading the way in explaining the interactions of an organism to its environment as distinct entities working together as elements of a larger system.”

    Right…. and that would be how exactly?

  2. If you go to Google Images you can find a photo of Randy in the ICR lab, and a photo of good old Jason Lisle in the very same lab, in the very same position. It’s clear from looking at the images that absolutely nothing goes on in that lab. There is no evidence of work. It’s a prop.

    I spent years in labs. I knew labs. Labs were my friend. And this, sir, is no lab!

  3. @tedinoz
    God did it!

  4. I admit it was a long time ago that I read the holy Bible from end to end, but I don’t recall any explanation of the “a biblical explanation ” of the relation between sorghum and microbes. Perhaps Randy will provide the citation in his next “scientific” essay.

  5. SCENE: CHEAPLY-LIT HOSPITAL CAFETERIA FROM 80’S MEDICAL SOAPIE. TWO SURGEONS IN SCRUBS ARE RELAXING, SWILLING COFFEE.

    Curmudgeon: One of the dogs had a strange dream last night.
    Megalonyx: Don’t tell me! I don’t wanna’ know! Other peoples’ dogs’ dreams are always incredibly boring!
    (Interrupted by soothing female announcement): DR. CURMUDGEON: WANTED IN SURGERY. DR. CURMUDGEON….
    Curmudgeon: That’s me! I hope it’s not another prolapsed spleen! That’s three this week already! (Dashes off).
    Megalonyx (musing): That man should really have been a vet…

    SCENE: OPERATING THEATER. NURSES MILLING ABOUT. CURMUDGEON STRIDES IN.

    Curmudgeon: Talk to me, nurse!
    Nurse: Patient collapsed at a book launch. Take a look.
    Curmudgeon (peering at patient): Why…it’s Dr. Randy!
    Nurse: You know this man, Doctor?
    Curmudgeon (vehemently): Know him? I wish I didn’t! The man’s a scoundrel!
    Nurse (taken aback): Why, Doctor…
    Curmudgeon (snapping on gloves; dons face mask): Enough talk! Prepare for a frontal lobotomy!
    Nurse (uncertain): Are you sure…?
    Curmudgeon: Are you questioning me? Fine: I’ll do the operation alone!

    FADEOUT.

    SCENE: CAFETERIA. DOCTORS, NURSES CELEBRATING.

    Megalonyx: Well, Curmudgeon: another one for the history books! (They toast with bottles of water).
    Curmudgeon: Yes, it was a bit touch and go, but we got there in the end.
    Megalonyx: And how is old Dr. Randy shaping up now?
    Curmudgeon: You know Jack Nicholson at the end of “Cuckoo’s Nest?” Randy’s just about ready for the Tontine Treatment!
    Megalonyx : You mean…?
    Curmudgeon (mimes smothering Megalonyx with a pillow. Everybody laughs and applauds. Curmudgeon lifts bottle of water to his lips): Just kidding! But as they say: I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy!
    (More laughter and wild cheering. Cheesy, upbeat theme music plays).

    FADEOUT.

  6. Charles Deetz ;)

    So all the interdependencies were created and designed by ICR’s god? Without any substance except incredulity. Sad, is that all they’ve got to argue against evolution and a robust interconnected and unique world?

  7. That’s all that they’ve got to argue against evolution…
    And they have committed themselves to argue against, never for. They have no interest in an alternative. God, or Intelligent Designer, plays the poor role of whatever it takes not to be forced to accept evolution.

  8. “like a radio to work together with another entity like a radio transmitter”
    This particular variation of Paley’s False Watchmaker Analogy fails for yet another reason than the usual ones: radios and transmitters typically don’t produce offspring. Radio Randy doesn’t care.

    “organisms all somehow co-evolved together — an explanation that the evolutionists cannot demonstrate”
    Ignorance? Lie? Both? Who cares?
    Our dear SC already linked to Coevolution. To this I happily add that cooperation has been identified as a driving factor of evolution within ten years after Darwin published his Origin of Species – by Piotr Kropotkin in Siberia, of all places.

  9. @Tedinoz demands a claim to be specified: “and that would be how exactly?”
    My best guess is by shouting “goddiddid” louder than anyone else.

    @Abeastwood is an optimist: “Perhaps Randy will provide the citation in ….”
    Like all creationists Radio Randy doesn’t care about pathetic stuff like coherence and consistency. So we can’t expect him to care about Sola Scripura either. That’s for whiners. Radio Randy is hardcore.

    @TomS gets creacrap: “the poor role of whatever it takes not to be forced to accept evolution”
    It’s amazing that no more christians are offended, like Kenneth Miller and Francis Collins are.

  10. Many thanks to ChrisS for the trip down Memory Lane!

    But I must confess I’m not sure if this was an episode from Hen Casey, which IIRC was an hilarious comedy about a lawyer masquerading as a medic: how we laughed as he would cluck about in the OR, cluelessly hovering over the patient and calling to his assistant, “…Scalpel…No, clamp!…No, Wedge!!”

    Or was this an episode from Dr. Klingdare?

    Whichever it was, my memory is clear that it was Dr. Curmudgeon who always lost the patients while Mega won the nurses…

  11. @FrankB
    Kant pointed out (a couple of decades before Paley) this weakness of the deistic Watchmaker:
    “This proof can at most, therefore, demonstrate the existence of an architect of the world, whose efforts are limited by the capabilities of the material with which he works, but not of a creator of the world, to whom all things are subject.”

  12. Ie a usual one.

  13. It’s really exciting that Randy and ilk are applying their immense talents to this phenomenon. And their word salad sounds so scientific! With few exceptions, living things almost always live in association microorganisms, usually for mutual benefit, so they’ve got a lot more to write about. Humans have over 1000 species of skin and gut bacteria whose numbers are many times greater than the number of cells in the body. We exchange millions with each kiss and sex act, not to subtract from the pleasure. Species composition differs on different areas of the skin, and in the gut composition changes with diet. Adaptive co-evolution in my book. The sorghum study, though interesting, no more points to designer (god)-did-it than staph in a zit.

  14. I’m utterly convinced by Randy’s argument. And would add to it the superb mutual adaptatio of the human gut and the human tapeworm. You don’t believe that came about by mystical forces, surely, Curmudgeon?

  15. Michael Fugate

    Just look at all the parasites with wonderfully complex life cycles – surely this is specified, irreducible complexity of a kind that only a loving designer could create with a purpose!
    https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/az/index.html

  16. Paul Braterman mentions the tapeworm. I’m more impressed by the bacteria that destroy our teeth, and the mosquitoes that suck our blood. Blessed be the designer!

  17. And let us also remember that none of these things ever caused death before the Fall

  18. And there is no day allotted for the creation of microbes.
    Blood-sucking mosquitoes are not ruled out, before the Fall. It might have not bothered Adam. But what about apoptosis, programmed cell death, which is a necessary part of growth?

  19. @TomS tries to do theology: “programmed cell death, which is a necessary part of growth?”
    That’s a symbol of Jesus dying at the cross for your sins, enabling you to grow spiritually.

  20. In a supernatural universe there would be no need for any complex biology or explanations of the functionality of such things.

    The momentary state of every aspect of the universe would arguably be as it is due solely to the will of the supernatural deity that willed it into existence.

    This would once again remove any purpose from our existence.

    The flaws in their theology were addressed by Christians a very long time ago.

    The evangelical plate passers seem to regularly undermine their own premise as the words leave their mouths.

  21. Stumps me as to why the designer/creator had to make bodies to go with souls, especially if souls are supposed to be eternal. And why should bodies contain “irreducibly complex” structures and be so dependent on microbes? The designer/creator seems to have gone to a lot of extra work, especially if humans are the only ones with souls.

  22. @Dean
    Yes!
    The creationists are getting themselves into self-contradictions because the only way that they can think of to avoid the obvious – that humans are naturally related to the rest of the world of life – is by placing limitations on the Infinite.

  23. How does the microbe-plant relationship happen? Evolutionists who reject any engineered relationship between microbes, plants, and animals [The fools!] are forced to appeal to totally mystical explanations. [Huh?] They must claim that the organisms all somehow co-evolved together — an explanation that the evolutionists cannot demonstrate.

    Creationists can’t “demonstrate” their explanation for such phenomena either; they just say it’s so. As for evolutionists, all they have to do is establish that changes in one species clearly constitute a response to changes in another and that this relationship is (or was, in the case of extinct species) ongoing and reciprocal.

    ICR is leading the way in explaining the interactions of an organism to its environment as distinct entities working together as elements of a larger system. This approach shows a higher level of design which demonstrates significant forethought and wide-ranging designed control and, thus, more glory to Nature’s Creator, the Lord Jesus.

    Funny–I thought the Creator was supposed to be God, not Jesus.

  24. @Eric Lipps
    Creationists can’t “demonstrate” their explanation for such phenomena either; they just say it’s so.
    They can’t describe their “explanation” – what, where, how, why, (YEC tell us when. ID doesn’t tell us who.) God, or whoever, is assumed to be able to do anything (except evolution) but the actions are beyond mere finite human understanding – thus are useless for explaining, let alone being subject to demonstration.
    But remember that the signature of creationism is incoherence and inconsistency.