Discoveroids’ Seminar — BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

They’re still begging for people to attend The Discoveroids’ 2019 Creationist Seminar. We weren’t expecting a plea to be posted on April Fools’ Day, but they’ve come through for us.

The latest at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog is Summer Seminar Applications Due Tomorrow! Like all the others in this hysterical series, it was written by Klinghoffer. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

The deadline to apply for Discovery Institute’s annual Summer Seminars on Intelligent Design has arrived [Hee hee!]: specifically, Tuesday, April 2, by the end of the day. More information and an online application are here. [Link omitted]

Klinghoffer leaves a word out of his next sentence. He says:

As we’ve discussed, this is the only chance most university [Dolts? Drop Outs? Droolers?] will have to study the evidence for design in nature — I mean, to do so seriously, objectively, and with the top scientists and scholars in the field of ID.

Ooooooooooooh! The “top scientists and scholars in the field of ID.” Only a Darwinist fool would pass up an opportunity like that.

Then he reminds us, for what seems like the dozenth time:

The dates are July 5 to 13, here in Seattle. And it’s cost-free! [Gasp!] Quite amazing.

Yeah, it’s amazing. He finishes with this:

If you haven’t completed your application yet, get busy.

There’s still time, dear reader. You have all of April Fools’ Day to work on that application. Think how it will look on your résumé when you disclose to potential employers that you attended the Discoveroids’ creationist conference. Well, what’s holding you back? As Klinghoffer says: Get busy!

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

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17 responses to “Discoveroids’ Seminar — BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

  1. “If you haven’t completed your application yet, get busy.”

    Rats!! I was going to do that, but then I discovered something that was much more important had to be done on those days. I will need to carefully watch the front lawn to see if there are any giraffes tunneling up from the other side of the earth. Too bad that the “top” ID promoters chose those specific days!

  2. Michael Fugate

    What if the DI held a conference and nobody came, would it matter?

  3. Do you think there will be a “Seminar cancelled due to lack of interest” post?

  4. study the evidence for design in nature
    After all these years, and all those bright investigators, they are still stuck in the question of evidence.
    Meanwhile, there are all of those research reports and books on what evolution does, when and where, why and how. (When there is the annoucment of the Hell’s Creek formation of fossils, it is not about “evidence for evolution”, it is like “what doesit tell us new”, or “evidence to distinguish between explanations of the K-Pg boundary”)
    And we stil don’t know what “intelligent design” is. Whatever it is, it seems to be not a “natural” process, like evolution. And the “evidence” is that there is something puzzling about natural processes like evolution. Never is there any explanation how “intelligent design” (whatever that is) can account for one of these puzzles.

  5. Certainly a huge embarrassment for the DI to have a seminar and only a couple of people in attendance. Perhaps they could move the seminar to a phone booth.

  6. It’s Your Party, Die ‘Cos We Hate You

    Who will come to hear your prattle?
    Time itself will only tell
    Even now in cold Seattle
    Church bells ring the deathly knell

    — B.S. Elliot

  7. Michael Fugate

    Some conference themes:
    Speculating on who God is when God is at home.

    If God really is an agent, then God must do something. What is God doing as we speak? Intelligent Design and the book of Job? Is God orchestrating your problems?

    Does Ebola indicate that God is pissed? At whom?

    Are there too many people for God to punish those who sin? Or why do bad things happen to good people? Adam and Eve and Cain were punished for sin, but what about the babies killed by the Flood? How is sin inherited?

  8. “How is sin inherited?”

    Asked that question many, many times of theists. Never had a reply that even begins to approximate sense or meaning. The more you try to pin them down on what it’s supposed to mean — is there a gene(s) for “sin”; or is it metaphor? How the hell can a metaphor be inherited?

    Perhaps theists feel it’s not in the spirit of respectful dialogue to raise such awkward questions. Well, damn them!

  9. Theodore Lawry

    I repeat the comment I made in the previous post on this “issue” – if the SC can revisit why can’t i?
    “Whatever happened to the DI’s in-house journal BIO-complexity, why don’t they publish all their great anti-evolution stuff there, for all to see? They can peer-review each other! Notice how pathetic the most recent (2018) volume is?”

  10. jimroberts

    @ChrisS
    It’s even worse than “How is sin inherited?”: How is the soul inherited? Are there genes for “soul”?
    If we want to accept the existence of sin and soul, we need to postulate a magical realm, parallel to the real world we experience, in which magical entities such as sin and soul correspond to real-world entities such as egg and sperm. As an egg and sperm unite to create a zygote, parallel entities in the the magical world automatically beget a soul and a sinfulness.
    I find it hard to believe that it can be so simple. Surely the usual conception of a soul is of something very complex, comparable to a mind. Although a zygote is quite complex, it is much simpler than the mature organism it develops into. We know that, starting from a human zygote, given additional material, additional information from thermodynamic noise, and addition information from experience of an environment, a mind arises. Maybe, in parallel in the magical world a soul with associated sin could arise.
    First; What conceivable use would the magical entities have, and by what magical rules would they arise?
    Second (or perhaps this should have been first): how can it be considered plausible that the fully developed soul exist simultaneously with the much simpler zygote?

  11. Michael Fugate

    TL, I just tracked down the PhD dissertation of one of their authors.

    A critique of the rejection of Intelligent Design as a scientific hypothesis by Elliott Sober from his book “Evidence and Evolution”
    LeMaster, James Charles. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2014.

    Abstract
    This dissertation critiques and rejects Elliott Sober’s dismissal of intelligent design as a scientific hypothesis. Sober builds the case for this dismissal in chapter 2 of his 2008 book Evidence and Evolution. Sober’s case against intelligent design as science is a philosophical one, emerging from a Bayesian likelihood approach. Sober claims that unlike neo-Darwinian processes, intelligent design cannot supply independent evidence to support the claim that it is a measurably likely cause responsible for the emergence of biological organisms and the structures or processes of which they are composed. Without an assessable likelihood, Sober asserts that intelligent design (again, unlike neo-Darwinian mechanisms) is not testable, and since it is not testable, it does not qualify as a scientific hypothesis.

    This dissertation argues however, that according to Sober’s own standards in Evidence, because intelligent design and the neo-Darwinian hypothesis both address unrepeated, major biological changes in the unobservable past, and because they both depend upon crucial analogies in order to support either inductive arguments or likelihood assessments, the two hypotheses stand on equivalent evidential and logical grounds. Either Sober must reject both neo-Darwinism and intelligent design, or he must allow them both as equivalent, rival hypotheses based upon a fair application of his argumentation requirements. In addition, after explaining important basics of analogy theory, and its crucial, even unavoidable role in the historical (or “origins”) sciences, the dissertation goes on to show how intelligent design’s empirical support, based upon analogy with humanly designed artifacts, machines and increasingly cell-like creations in the laboratory, is continuing to grow stronger by the year in both likelihood and in explanatory power. The dissertation thus concludes that intelligent design should be treated as a viable scientific explanation for the dramatic examples of specified complexity being discovered in biology, and indeed should be regarded as an increasingly vigorous rival to the neo-Darwinian explanation of such complexity.

    Could you guess that he was an engineer before veering off into apologetics and that he attended the DI’s seminar in 2012? There is a 20 page preview that is badly argued by someone who is not a biologist and doesn’t understand how evolution works.

  12. @jimroberts
    AIUI, the standard Christian idea of the origin of the soul is that each individual soul is a special creation of God. This means that each one of us stands in a special relation with our Creator, who is also our individual Redeemer.
    The question which science might raise might be whether this is in conflict with reproductive biology (or maybe genetics, embryology or developental biology.) This would be treated, for example, by the 18th century theory of preformationism.

  13. Michael Fugate

    Look at this section pg 16-18 – I like how he claims organisms and machines are isomorphic in that have both CSI and design – nothing like arguing in a circle. Not to mention the use of Ham’s “Were your There?” argument.

    Critiquing Sober’s Approach to Analogy
    Another underlying shortcoming of Sober’s treatment of likelihoods and of intelligent design is how he handles analogies, both explicitly and implicitly. Sober, like David Hume and others, seems to reject an oversimplified version of an analogy from artifacts and their designers to organisms and their designer(s). These portrayals of analogy share a common shortcoming in that they do not accurately represent the tight, dependent causal relationships, or “isomorphic determining structures” which characterize strong analogies. It turns out that such isomorphic determining structures exist between key features of both artifacts and organisms (namely specified complexity and design) which are central to both William Paley’s watchmaker argument and even more so to intelligent design.

    In making his case for intelligent design, design proponent William Dembski says he will not use analogy, yet one can see analogical thinking Dembski’s arguments, particularly when he describes the relationship between complex specified information in human artifacts and complex specified information in biological organisms as “isomorphic.” In both these domains, such information indeed is isomorphic. This isomorphism is critical because it is what enables one to justifiably bridge an analogical gap between certain human artifacts and certain biological organisms or structures. Waters says isomorphism is what makes an analogy “reasonable.” Since Dembski, Meyer and many others (including Paley) have correctly identified such an isomorphism, then by Waters’ logic, this makes the analogy of design between human artifacts and biological organisms reasonable.

    Although he never addresses it directly, Sober’s likelihood case for neo-Darwinism as it applies to macroevolutionary change would also need to involve a mix of analogy and inference to the best explanation. As was asserted above, scientists have never experientially observed macroevolution happening. At best, neo-Darwinism advocates must infer the macroevolutionary process via analogical extrapolation from microevolution. Both intelligent design and neo-Darwinism need independent auxiliary propositions which cannot be supplied via empirical observations. Why then should Sober treat one differently than the other?

  14. docbill1351

    The
    Tooters are High-Larry-Ous! It takes four clicks to get to the application that calls for a statement of interest, a letter of recommendation and a transcript.

    A transcript? SRSLY? Who are these guys kidding? Oh, right, themselves.

    So, now it’s down to the wire, the seminar is free and they think someone is going to be stupid enough to jump through hoops to hang around with a bunch of old, fuddy-duddy IDiots!f

    At least Old Hambo has Karaoke Night.

  15. @Jimroberts
    Well put. It seems that, for the theist, the major physical organs we point to — such as the brain, or heart — must always have some Cartesian, non-physical corollary to go with it — mind; soul; etc. It’s like giving someone an appliance, and throwing in the batteries to make it run, but then adding: Oh, by the way: you also need non-material batteries as well, otherwise the whole thing won’t work.

  16. @MichaelF: I am not familiar at all with Sober’s book, so I must keep in mind the important rule to assume that also IDiot LeMaster is lying (about Sober) until proven otherwise. If this is correct (and again, that’s a big if)

    “because they both [IDiocy and Neo-Darwinism – FrankB] depend upon crucial analogies in order to support either inductive arguments or likelihood assessments”
    then Sober’s book is not worth much. In science analogies are used to clarify matters. Scientific theories do not depend on them at all. This quote is just a lame attempt to justify Pailey’s False Watchmaker Analogy.

    “Sober, like David Hume and others …..”
    Well well, Hume of course was highly instrumental in the process of developing methodological naturalism (aka the scientifc method). No surprise that LeMaster doesn’t like it. What matters here is that he confirms my suspicion that he he’s lying about Sober’s treatment of Neo-Darwinism.

    “which are central to both William Paley’s watchmaker argument and even more so to intelligent design.”
    Man, are IDiots predictable. I wrote “lame attempt …” above before reading this.

    “yet one can see analogical thinking Dembski’s arguments”
    To end on a positive note: kudos for LeMaster for being this honest.

  17. Michael Fugate

    Sober has a new book that looks interesting
    The Design Argument
    Elliott Sober 2019
    Cambridge University Press
    TOC
    1Introduction
    2A Probability Primer
    3Six Ways to Formulate a Design Argument
    4Biological Creationism
    5The Fine-Tuning Argument