Discoveroids: Mt. Rushmore Again

A few years ago we all had a good laugh at a supremely silly “scientific” argument for intelligent design put forward by the Discovery Institute — see Mt. Rushmore Is Designed, Therefore ….

Today they’re making the same argument, but this time using as “evidence” some obviously man-made monuments in the Western Sahara. Their new post is titled Where Design Explains, Darwinism Explains Away, and it has no author’s by-line. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Look at the photos in an article on Live Science [Hundreds of Mysterious Stone Structures Discovered in Western Sahara]. They report:

Hundreds of stone structures dating back thousands of years have been discovered in the Western Sahara, a territory in Africa little explored by archaeologists. The structures seem to come in all sizes and shapes, and archaeologists aren’t sure what many of then were used for or when they were created.

Then, without delay, the Discoveroids get right to the creationism. Here it comes:

Immediately you know these structures were designed. [Ooooooooooooh!] How should you know that? How did the scientists know that? The discoverers didn’t know who made them. They didn’t know why they made them. No obvious purpose for the structures came to their attention, yet they knew someone made them intentionally.

Isn’t this exciting? It’s the same with your DNA! They tell us:

Like the archaeologists, people living in the area intuitively knew the structures were designed. … Rocks on their own don’t arrange themselves like these ones are put together.

Right. Arrangement requires an arranger. They continue:

We’ve seen other design inferences like this in Brazil, Jordan, Israel, and Arabia. After concluding that structures are designed, archaeologists often pursue additional questions. The makers must have had the ability to mobilize many people to do the work. Perhaps powerful rulers drove their subjects to make elaborate tombs or grave markers. In some cases, structures can be correlated with rock art. A design inference does not, therefore, stop the science. It stimulates additional questions for investigation. [Design isn’t a science-stopper!] And it is falsifiable: something originally thought to be designed can turn out to be a natural phenomenon.

Are you following this? The design inference is science! It’s good science! But Darwinism isn’t. Let’s read on:

While intelligent design explains the origins of things by reference to causes known to be in operation, Darwinism usually explains things away. All Darwinians accept the appearance of design, but they have limited themselves to undirected causes by embracing methodological naturalism (MN). [“MN” is bad!] They may as well limit themselves to wind and erosion to explain the structures in the Western Sahara — or Mount Rushmore, for that matter.

Darwinists are fools! Another excerpt:

MN takes the rigor out of biological explanation. [Hee hee!] Since Darwinian scientists limit themselves to undirected causes, and MN disallows intelligent causes [like Oogity Boogity!], there’s only one category of explanation in the toolkit.

The Discoveroid article drags on and on. You can read it all if you like, but we’re quitting here. And we leave you with this important scientific principle: If Mt. Rushmore was designed, then so was your colon. Our logic is undeniable.

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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23 responses to “Discoveroids: Mt. Rushmore Again

  1. #1
    A design inference does not, therefore, stop the science. It stimulates additional questions for investigation.
    Since the “watch/clock-maker” analogy was first proposed, what additional questions have been investigated? The latest that I have heard about who, it has been said that we don’t have any idea, not from “Inteligent Design”. At first, some 2000 years ago, the designers were the Greco-Roman gods. A few cneturies ago, it was the God of the Bible. But in tis century, we have been told:
    “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.”
    In reference to when, fifty years ago, we were told that it was 6000 years ago. But with ID, they tell us that they aren’t going to address that question.
    etc.
    Is there any sign of any interest from anyone in exploring the questions left open by ID?

  2. Michael Fugate

    Wait, humans aren’t natural, who knew?

  3. “The discoverers didn’t know who made them. They didn’t know why they made them.”
    But this is excellent! See, they have a pretty good idea how they made them. At the other hand our beloved IDiots from Seattle have no clue how their Grand Old Designer (blessed be MOFO!) did the job.

    “design inferences ….”
    Just fancy terminology for Paley’s False Watchmaker Analogy: humans designed X, so the Grand Old Designer designed Y.

    “The makers must have had the ability to mobilize many people to do the work.”
    Ah yes. And who were mobilized by the Grand Old Designer when he Designed DNA, the Universe or whatever he’s supposed to have designed?

    “It stimulates additional questions for investigation.”
    Yet, invariably, when I ask about the how all I get is crickets.

    “something originally thought to be designed can turn out to be a natural phenomenon.”
    Yup. Yet when some IDiocy is falsified – like the Irreducibly Complex Mousestrap – the IDiots refuse to acknowledge it.

    “While intelligent design explains the origins of things by reference to causes known to be in operation ….”
    How nice, this IDiot admits that IDiocy is begging the question. They already know that the Grand Old Designer is the cause in operation and thus explains the origins of whatever by reference to Him/Her/It.

    “All Darwinians accept the appearance of design.”
    Almost correct! “The “only when the how-question is answered” is missing.

    “MN disallows intelligent causes”
    Ah, no IDiot blogpost is complete with a straightforward lie. MN is totally OK with the Mount Rushmore having intelligent causes. Gutzon Borglum totally is part of our natural reality and hence perfectly can be studied by MN. The Grand Old Designer however …..

  4. “intelligent design explains the origins of things by reference to causes known to be in operation” For example?

  5. Michael Fugate

    Doesn’t this imply that humans designed and manufactured the universe?

  6. Michael Fugate

    And how does this study in particular and anthropology or archeology in general not rely on methodological naturalism?

  7. Look at a snowflake under the microscope. Surely, this must have been designed! And they are all different. The Designer must be very busy during a snowstorm.

  8. Hans – the designer was also really busy with musical notes and the patterns that each one makes in water: http://nautil.us/blog/this-is-what-musical-notes-actually-look-like

  9. @Paul Braterman, quoting the essay intelligent design explains the origins of things by reference to causes known to be in operation., exporesses some curiosity.
    Indeed. when dooes ID ever refer to causes known to be in operaton? If there is reference to known causes, doesn’t that means that that they are nautral causes. Does anybody know about omnipotent or supernatural or other-than-natural causes operating in the Cambian Exposion, or making the structure of the vertebrate eye, or creating life?
    Isn’t it the point of Intelligent Design that we don’t know? ID doesn”t even know the identity of the Intelligent Designers (Falen anges,or from Alpha Centauri, etc.) – otherwise it would be religion, so we are told.
    Spot on!

  10. Question for the IDiots:

    If Mt. Rushmore had DNA, and reproduced with variation, would it — over time — still look exactly like Mt. Rushmore?

    If the question is so idiotic as to not even warrant a dignified response, why the hell then keep making equally fatuous analogies between clearly designed structures like Rushmore, and biological organisms?

  11. “Discovery” Institute:
    “Like the archaeologists, people living in the area intuitively knew the structures were designed. … Rocks on their own don’t arrange themselves like these ones are put together.”

    Well duh, of course. Rocks, like the ones in the Sahara, Stonehenge, and Mt. Rushmore, are not living organisms. They require a living organism to design or arrange them, be that a penguin building a stone nest, an octopus arranging a shelter, or humans erecting Stonehenge.

    Living organisms are designed as well — not by any intelligent designer, but rather by thousands and thousands of generations with Mother Nature weeding out those less fit for their environment. The fossil record is indisputable — at least, for those willing to study it with an open mind, rather than trying to make Mother Nature fit their previously learned mythology.

  12. So, if objects exist in the natural world — Mount Rushmore, West Sahara stone structures, etc — that are obviously intelligently designed, wouldn’t the unavoidable corollary be that NONE of the rest of the natural world was intelligently designed?

  13. Karl Goldsmith

    So they got the magic filter out again, the one that tells the IDiots everything is designed.

  14. If something exists according to a design, then there are rules governing its production.
    What are the rules governing life?

  15. Michael Fugate

    I still don’t see how this study makes methodological naturalism suspect? `

  16. The temptation to have a stamp made that shows NON SEQUITUR is strong. Fortunately I’ve realized it would just give me dirty screens. The Discoveroids and other varieties of FunnyMentalists seem to be unable to construct at least one sentence without a fallacy in it.

  17. Indeed – when they get something right it’s safe to assume it’s by accident.

  18. Regarding methodological naturalism. When something is discovered and the question arises, did this arise by natural means or by magic; I like Richard Carrier’s analogy: if two horses have raced a million times, and the same one has won every time, which way are you going to bet on the next race?

  19. @jimroberts
    OK, except that in the case of “naturalistic” evolution vs. “Intelligetn Design”, it is more like: what are you going ot betb on
    The horse that has won every race
    vs.
    The horse that is not even a starter in this race

    There is no attempt at an alternative explanation for the variety of life. They want to be declared the winner without entering a horse in the race.

  20. Michael Fugate

    It is more like a horse race against a rock.

  21. Techreseller

    Wait, No one mentioned the thousands of years. How could it be so? How did anything happen at this scale without the authors of the Bible knowing?

  22. Hundreds of stone structures dating back thousands of years have been discovered in the Western Sahara, a territory in Africa little explored by archaeologists. The structures seem to come in all sizes and shapes, and archaeologists aren’t sure what many of then were used for or when they were created.

    Immediately you know these structures were designed. [Ooooooooooooh!] How should you know that? How did the scientists know that? The discoverers didn’t know who made them. They didn’t know why they made them. No obvious purpose for the structures came to their attention, yet they knew someone made them intentionally.

    Right. And how did they know?

    Like the archaeologists, people living in the area intuitively knew the structures were designed. … Rocks on their own don’t arrange themselves like these ones are put together.

    Intuition can be helpful. But it can also be treacherous; people “intuitively know” all sorts of things that just aren’t so. Before Galileo proved otherwise, for instance, they ‘”knew” that heavier things fall faster than lighter ones. And for all but the last few centuries, people “knew” the earth was motionless at the center of the universe and everything revolved around it. Creationists prefer to substitute intuition for reason, or at least prefer their suckers, er, their audiences to do so.