Creationist Wisdom #947: The Designer

Today’s letter-to-the-editor (it seems to be a column) appears in the LaGrange Daily News of LaGrange, Georgia. It’s titled The Growing Popularity of Intelligent Design, and the newspaper has a comments section.

Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name — but today we’ve got a preacher. It’s Norm Fields, and this is the second time we’ve written about one of his columns. The first was #707: Scientific Preacher. He’s the minister of Church of Christ Northside in LaGrange, Georgia. We’ll give you a few excerpts from the rev’s new column, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Okay, here we go:

If you follow me on social media (PreacherNorm), then you know I’ve been reading “Signature in the Cell” by Stephen Meyer. [BWAHAHAHAHAHA!] It presents amazing evidence for the purposeful creation of life. I highly recommend it!

You’ve all heard of Stephen Meyer. He’s a Discoveroid senior fellow and currently the Program Director of their Center for Science and Culture — that’s their creationism shop. According to the Discoveroids’ 2016 Tax Return, Meyer’s salary was $250K. Okay, dear reader, you know what we’re dealing with. The rev says:

Darwinian Evolutionists are realizing, more and more, that their theories have some very serious problems. [Hee hee!] The more that is known about DNA, the more scientists are being forced to admit it could not have “just happened.” Evolutionists use terms like “apparent design.” Meaning that it just appears to be purposely designed, but really isn’t.

Then he tells us:

Meyers [sic] does a great job of disproving these kinds of theories, and others, to show that the presence of design necessitates a Designer. [Ooooooooooooh!] That is, the presence of information – like that present in DNA – requires that an Intelligent Designer produced that information. Any time there is information, there is always an intelligent mind behind that information.

The rev is hard core indeed. He continues:

The “Intelligent Design” (ID) movement is growing rapidly in origin of life sciences. More and more are recognizing the weaknesses with Darwinian Evolution and turning to ID in their investigations. That is both good and bad. [Oh?] It’s good because it recognizes that there is purposeful intent for the way things are made. I frequently wonder how much farther along we might be, scientifically, if the sciences approached their investigations from the perspective of discovering the intended purpose, instead of viewing everything as an accident of nature. I believe that the more science recognizes that there is purposeful intent in creation, the more correctly it will interpret the creation

Yes, the more we understand that Oogity Boogity! is inherent in everything, the greater will be our scientific progress. Let’s read on:

Another good thing about ID is that it could be taught in public schools, because it isn’t connected with religion at all.

The rev never heard of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. Now he describes the “bad” part of ID:

It’s bad because, without a biblical foundation, ID proponents have opted for a wide range of fanciful ideas for the “intelligence” behind the design. [Rubbish! Everyone knows who the Discoveroids’ designer is.] Because of the similarity between computer code and DNA code, one popular theory is that our universe is a computer simulation. Less popular, but still out there, is that we were designed by aliens. … So, the problem with ID is that it doesn’t really do anything to explain, or even try to explain, the nature of the intelligence behind the intelligent design. We need the Bible for that!

Yes, that’s what we need! Another excerpt:

Just as clear as any scientific evidence for design is the case for Special Creation by a loving God! [Right, it’s clear!] Both science and reason demand the purposeful creation of the universe and the life in it. So, why is it easier for some to believe that we’re in a computer simulation than it is to believe we were created by God?

Because they’re fools! Here’s more:

Rationally speaking [Oh yeah!], if we were created, then wouldn’t it make sense that our Creator would want to communicate with us? … Only the Bible, with all of the internal evidences of its Divine origin adequately fulfills man’s desire for communion with God. The biblical origin story perfectly harmonizes with true scientific evidence. [Indeed it does!]

And now we come to the end:

As the ID movement grows, we need to make sure we’re doing our part to also show the God of the Bible as the Intelligence behind that design!

Great letter, rev! We hope the Discoveroids will listen to you and realize that their designer — blessed be he! — is actually Yahweh.

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

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22 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #947: The Designer

  1. But …. which version of YHWH?

  2. These guys need to be hooked up with the Ancient Aliens people. (Was is god or aliens?) They seem to have something in common (overactive imaginations).

  3. So, the problem with ID is that it doesn’t really do anything to explain, or even try to explain, the nature of the intelligence behind the intelligent design.
    Correct, as far as that goes, ID doesn’t try to explain who does it. But also not what is done, nor when, where, why, how. And as Michael Behe told us, in “Darwin’s Black Box”, page 186:
    “If a theory claims to be able to explain some phenomenon but does not generate even an attempt at an explnation, then it should be banished.”

  4. @Steve Ruis
    If they had an active imagination, one wou;d expect that they would be able to describe what happens in the world so that life appears on Earth with its variety. “It turns out the way that it does” is not what an active imagination would be satisfied with.

  5. Michael Fugate

    From yesterday, we know God’s purpose for creating yeast was to make alcohol so we can get drunk and we can bugger our fathers – it is right there in Genesis so it must be God’s revealed plan.

  6. God as George Costanza:

    Evil Darwinist: So, God: what do you do?
    God: I’m a designer
    ED: Really? What sort of things have you designed?
    God: DNA
    ED: You designed DNA?
    God: Yeah. Yeah. Didn’t take that long, either.
    ED: Cancer?
    God: Yeah. Cancer: designed that.
    ED: Really? I would have thought cancer’s something no designer would wanna take credit for.
    God (shrugs): What can I tell ya, kid: You take the good with the bad.
    ED: But not leukemia, surely?
    God: Leukemia? (Snorts. Slaps evil Darwinist playfully, several times) What? Ya think someone else is gonna come up with leukemia? Seriously? Where do you people get off?
    ED: I thought maybe Satan might have been responsible for stuff like that?
    God (improvising): He… can be.
    ED (shaking head in wonderment): You’re a remarkable deity, God.
    God (presents both arms out, in mock gesture of modesty)

  7. Mark Germano

    Vandelay Industries is as good an identity for the designer as any other, I suppose.

  8. Mark Germano

    “Intelligent Design: Good because it’s not religious, bad because it’s not Christian.”

    That’s all you need to know, really.

  9. If there is a designer he has shown itself to not only be a dimwit but a totally incompetent designer as well. Why would anyone want any part worshipping it!?!?!

  10. @L.Long
    We do not need to go that far. All that we need to point out is that a designer is not omnipotent and omniscient. As Kant wrote:
    “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.”
    Critique of Pure Reason A 627, B 655 (Physico-Theological Proof Impossible)

  11. Meyers [sic] does a great job of disproving these kinds of theories, and others, to show that the presence of design necessitates a Designer. [Ooooooooooooh!] That is, the presence of information – like that present in DNA – requires that an Intelligent Designer produced that information. Any time there is information, there is always an intelligent mind behind that information.

    No, there’s always an intelligent mind in front of that information. That is, “information” is extracted from the data impinging on living beings.

    For that matter, such beings don’t even have to be intelligent. Living things can extract information (e.g., “Danger!” when a predator approaches) even if they can’t do anything we would classify as “intelligent.”

  12. Could somebody tell me what design is?
    Seriously. I’ve been looking in my local library, where I find books about, for example, frashion design, or typeface design, or furniture design. They don’t tell me what design is.

  13. Dave Luckett

    TomS: “The conscious arrangement of parts for prespecified effect”?

    But as to Preacher Norm: if ignorance were horsepower, he’d win the Indy 500 by laps.

    Information is created every time a specifically described change happens to anything. It usually happens without intent, or consciousness. Waves on beaches, winds blowing over sand, light refracted by water droplets, ice particles in freezing air, efficient packing of molecules, random changes in DNA, and millions more phenomena, all create information. No mind is required.

    As SC points out, the idea that intelligent design of living things can be taught in the public schools was ruled unConstitutional in 2005. It’s a religious doctrine. Teaching it as fact violates the First Amendment.

    Preacher Norm is peddling simple falsehoods. Since even the slightest attempt at research would have demonstrated as much, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the journalistic standards of the writer and the paper are not what they ought to be.

  14. @Dave Luckett
    Thanks. That is something that one can work with.

  15. Indeed, because it nicely makes clear what my objection to all supernatural gods is, including Grand Old Designers.
    Consciousness: has to be expressed with natural means (language, for instance).
    Arranging: done with natural means (eg books on a shelf).
    Parts: even all IDiots invariably point at material examples, taken from our natural reality.
    Prespecification: every time we observe this it’s done by entities which belong to our natural reality.
    Effect: observed in our natural reality as well.

    This explains why design always works with limitations, as you’ve pointed out so often.
    Conclusion: design arguments actually work against IDiocy.

  16. @FrankB
    I wanted not to rush in my thoughts, but my immediate reaction was similar.
    Only that this is not an objection to the supernatural in general, only to supernatural design.
    Is not “supernatural design” a contradiction in terms? It is no accident that its advocates don’t want to talk about it.

  17. “Is not “supernatural design” a contradiction in terms?”
    Not necessarily. I’d say this question is impossible to answer exactly because and as long its advocates don’t talk about it – they refuse to specify it. Perhaps supernatural design works as an analogy. For a thorough analysis I refer once again to Herman Philipse’s God in the Age of Science. Spoiler: he thinks it fails.

  18. @FrankB
    I just read the Wikipedia article on that book and got the impression that it is about the existence of God. My question is about design and its relation to nature: can there be design without nature?

  19. Your impression is correct. As the Grand Old Designer, who is supposed to Intelligently Design stuff, is also a god and apologists like to use analogies it’s unsurprising that several parts of the book are relevant to IDiocy as well.
    My answer to your question remains the same – perhaps when design is used as an analogy. Philipse concludes not.

  20. Michael Fugate

    “It’s good because it recognizes that there is purposeful intent for the way things are made.”

    This is a solution without a problem. Even if there were an intelligent designer, its designs need not have a purpose. Even if someone were to suggest a purpose, it doesn’t tell us if it is the true purpose or even if there is a purpose. We can misinterpret human design – did I have a purpose for sketching that cat doodle? did it mean I want a pet cat?

    One could claim that the designer created rock of a certain hardness and put them in stream beds to wear away the corners rounding them into shapes that fit into a human hand so that humans could bash bones to expose the marrow so that humans could eat it. Just so stories are now true?

  21. As the standard exposition of the Watchmaker Aalogy puts it, if I came across a rock, I could imagine that the rock just happened to be there.. But, as the analogy does not consider, if I were a geologist, I would not be satisfied with such an idea. Thomas Huxley had a famous lecture, “On a Piece of Chalk”.
    Which brings to mind, what kind of a dull person it would be, who would be satisfied with the thought when coming across a watch on the heath: “This is designed”? In the story, “The Sign of the Four”, Sherlock Holms tells the story of Watson”s brother by examining Watson’s watch. Archdeacon Paley would have told Watson, “This watch was designed.”

  22. Michael Fugate

    To complete the non sequitur “This watch was designed, therefore God exists.”