Discoveroids Challenge the ‘I Suck’ Principle

Your first question, of course, is: What in the world is the “I Suck” principle? Be patient, dear reader. All will be explained in due course. As you may have guessed, this is about yet another podcast from the Discovery Institute in their new Science Uprising series. It appears to be as brilliantly conceived and as intellectual valuable as the others we’ve written about recently.

The title of the Discoveroids’ new post at their creationist blog is New Science Uprising Episode Counters the “I Suck” Principle. 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]:

Materialists share a tendency to want to degrade human beings and our place in the cosmos. In a sane world — maybe it’s out there somewhere in the multiverse — there would be a psychiatric diagnosis for this.

Let’s be sure we’re all together here. When Klinghoffer refers to “materialists,” he means you, because you don’t believe in the Discoveroids’ supernatural intelligent designer — blessed be he! Your desire to “degrade” your fellow humans is because you dare to imagine that due to evolution, we’re related to all other animals, including (gasp!) apes. To Klinghoffer, that’s really degrading! His reference to the multiverse is a creationist in-joke. They imagine that the multiverse is your “scientific” explanation for the reason why — they claim — everything in this universe appears to intelligently designed for our existence.

We apologize for all that background info, but unless you’re familiar with the Discoveroids, you’ll have no idea what they’re babbling about. Okay, y’all still with us? Then he says:

As celebrity “Science Guy” Bill Nye has put it, “I’m a speck on a speck orbiting a speck among other specks among still other specks in the middle of specklessness. I suck.”

Did Bill Nye say that? We have no idea. Anyway, after that quote — or mined quote, or whatever it is — Klinghoffer tells us:

The fourth episode of Science Uprising is out now [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!], and it addresses the poisonous “I suck” principle. The episode, “Fine-Tuning: You Don’t Suck,” juxtaposes the views of Nye, Lawrence Krauss, and Sean Carroll with some powerful counters from Freeman Dyson, Charles Townes, Frank Tipler, Stephen Meyer, and Bijan Nemati:

The podcast is embedded in Klinghoffer’s post if you want to see it. We don’t, so let’s continue with what he says:

The ultra-fine-tuning of the universe with its physical laws and constants may be the single most agreed upon piece of evidence for ID. [BWAHAHAHAHAHA!] Yet materialists fight it with all they’ve got. “There’s an obvious and easy naturalistic explanation,” says physicist Sean Carroll breezily, “in the form of the cosmological multiverse.” [Groan!] The problems with that solution include that there is no evidence for it. [What?]

Did you get that last sentence? Klinghoffer dares to reject something because there’s no evidence for it. That’s a very risky path for a creationist to take. Anyway, let’s read on:

And then there’s this: “The new mechanisms that have been proposed as possible ways of generating universes themselves require fine-tuning,” as Meyer explains. “And so in the end you’re left right where you started.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Meyer raises the issue of an infinite regress, which for millennia has been a standard refutation of “X requires a designer.” You know how it goes: If X requires a designer, then the designer also requires a designer, and so does the earlier designer, ad infinitum. That’s another risky path for a creationist to take.

Here’s our last excerpt:

“Someone had you [in?] mind,” the masked narrator [Masked!] of the series summarizes. “Someone had us all in mind.” [Ooooooooooooh!] In the context of our corrosive media culture, that is such an important message, and it is very tightly and effectively presented here at just over eight minutes in length.

So there you are. The pernicious “I Suck” principle has been brilliantly defeated by a few creationist clunkers. Isn’t creationism wonderful?

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

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23 responses to “Discoveroids Challenge the ‘I Suck’ Principle

  1. Karl Goldsmith

    Just creationist nonsense to claim they are created in that same creation week as animals, otherwise all that fine turning has nothing to do with man.

  2. Re “Materialists share a tendency to want to degrade human beings and our place in the cosmos.” WTF? Another case of projecting their behavior onto us.
    It is the theists who describe us as a flock of sheep and “children,” no matter how old we are. It is the theist who tell us we are degraded sinners, one and all. Apparently, if you are saved (from their god, by their god) then you are exalted, not to be considered just another animal on an isolated planet. These people are despicable.

  3. “Materialists share a tendency to want to degrade human beings and our place in the cosmos.”
    IDiot newspeak for “we are more arrogant than you evilutionists”.

    “We apologize for all that background info.”
    No need to; as usual Klunckerduncker gets his stuff exactly the other way round. Mentally healthy people prefer plain, common English (or Dutch or any other language) and hence can have serious problems understanding what IDiot terminology means. This is only increased because it always tends to be ambiguous and vague.

    “Did Bill Nye say that? We have no idea.”
    So I googled it for you,. The answer is yes and no. Klinckleclapper once again proves he’s an expert poo flinger. Short version:

    https://quotefancy.com/quote/995334/Bill-Nye-We-are-just-a-speck-on-a-speck-orbiting-a-speck-in-the-corner-of-a-speck-in-the

    Long version:

    But yeah, Klinckleclapper and co suck. Big. Their defeaters confirm it.

  4. Apologies for going off topic that soon. Still I’m sure all of us rejoice with the news that a famous YEC argument is debunked once and for all.

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/06/25/bye-bye-dino-soft-tissue/

    Of course YECers will keep on bringing it up as long as possible.

  5. Karl Goldsmith

    It’s getting really sad after twenty years of The Wedge. Back in 2016, the last published 990, they had 37 employees and spent over $5,000,000 and didn’t publish one single piece of peer reviewed science.

  6. Thank you, FrankB, for finding the truth of what Bill Nye actually said, thus showing that Klinghoffer is a liar. Bill Nye said he was “a speck on as speck”; it was David Klinghoffer who said “I suck.”

    So I guess Klinghoffer was telling the truth after all. He truly does suck.

  7. “The following is adapted from Bill Nye’s speech in acceptance of the 2010 Humanist of the Year Award, presented at the 69th Annual Conference of the American Humanist Association in San Jose, California.”
    https://thehumanist.com/magazine/november-december-2010/features/best-idea-weve-far
    TheHumanist.com
    The Best Idea We’ve Had So Far
    At the ending of the speech:
    “… I’m a speck on a speck orbiting a speck among other specks amongst still other specks in the middle of specklessness! I am insignificant! I suck.

    “But then, my friends, with our brains we can imagine all of this. It is with our brains that we can know our place in the universe. We can know our place in space, and that does not suck. That is worthy of respect. That is what’s so great. That is what’s so wonderful about humans.”

  8. Know your enemy.

    @Karl Goldsmith, the DI reject evolution science, but do *not* accept a young Earth and the idea of a creation week. Except sometimes; sort of. At a UK Intelligent Design summer school (they haven’t had any of those for a while), they had John C Lennox, author of Seven Days th\at Divided the World (I think we’ve discussed him here before; he’s a Professor of Mathematics, sort of); his idea IIRC is “creation days” when God got busy, with naturalistic processes in between.

    @Steve Ruis, Klinghoffer is Jewish. As such he does not subscribe to the Christian ideas of sinfulness and redemption through faith, although he does see a positive historical role for Christianity.

  9. I wonder why, if the great whatever he/she/it was cleverly designing this universe for humans, the vast majority of it (even on our home planet) is pretty much fatal to us. Oh, and Klingie, thank you for clearly identifying the problem that the multiverse hypothesis and the magic mystical designer (blessed be he/she/it) hypothesis share.

  10. So we suck! But the creationists say we were made perfect and because some evil women ate some fruit we are degraded and going to hell. I don’t mind sucking, its better than their alternative.

  11. @beastwood
    You are asking why it takes “privilege” for a planet to welcome us? Or, rather, even on a “privileged planet”, we can survive only on a small fraction, for a small fraction of the time(*)? Some privilege. Some design.

    (*) The planet has been privileged to exist about 4.5 billion years out of 13.8 billion years of the universe, about 1/3 of the time. The family Hominidae has survived on the privileged planet about 15 million years, about 0.3% of the lifetime of the planet. Homo sapiens, about 300,000 years. On the other hand, several un-priviled stars have existed for more than 13 billion years.

  12. Michael Fugate

    Notice how it isn’t fine-tuning, but “ultra” fine-tuning. Next week it will be “with added specialness” and the week after that new packaging.

  13. @Retiredsciguy
    “New Science Uprising Episode Counters the “I Suck” Principle”
    I too read this as a self-assessment of Klinghoofer’s mental status and basically an excerpt from his bio.

  14. @Michael Fugate: and the week after that, maybe some nice tasty icing.

  15. “… and the week after that new packaging.”

    Somehow I suspect that the new packaging will not include any glitter. The DI complaining about materialists while also insisting that they are scientific once again shows that they are oblivious to irony.

  16. Srephen Kennedy

    The Multiverse is an untestable speculation and no normal astronomers or physicists claim that it is any more than speculation. They just offer it as a possible counter argument to the untestable and highly speculative claim that the Universe is fine tuned.

    Scientists know that there is no need to invoke a multiverse to get an Earth like planet with sentient beings. Our exploration of this Universe is still in its infancy. It has been less than three decades since we were able to confirm the existence of planets outside of our Solar System. We have only observed a region of out Galaxy let alone Universe, that is infinitesmily small and to conclude that we need countless more universes to find another inhabited planet demonstrates extreme ignorance of even the most basic facts of Astronomy.

  17. “They just offer it as a possible counter argument to the untestable and highly speculative claim that the Universe is fine tuned.”
    This is simply false. Read the links I gave above. They offer it as a hypothesis for some empirical data regarding the early stage of our Universe that don’t seem to make sense on the One Universe hypothesis.
    Ignorance of unbelievers isn’t any better than creationist ignorance; in a way it’s worse.

  18. Watch Bill actually say it himself…

  19. It should be noted that the multiverse or “many-worlds” hypothesis was formulated not to address “fine-tuning”, which was not then (in 1955) recognized as an issue for cosmology, but to get away from the quasi-mysticism of the “observer effect” in the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. Its later application t the “fine tuning” problem was, in my view, mistaken: it rested upon the same assumption creationists make that the universe had to be as it is in order for humans to exist, because our existence is somehow necessary.

  20. It should be noted too that the multiverse has precious little to do with the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. MWI of qm is totally possible given just our Universe for instance.
    What’s more, MWI was not developed to address the “observer effect” (it’s only quasi-mysticism is in the name; with “observer” not the senses of some scientist is meant, but the instruments he/she uses) but the wave-function collapse of the Copenhagen Interpretation, which can be called quasi-mysticism indeed.
    I’m not aware of any apologist, let alone creationist, who ever has addressed the conclusions of Hugh Everett (or Niels Bohr, for that matter). But I’d love to read it!
    According Standford Encyclopedia the Possible Worlds concept popular in apologetics is 200 years older than qm.

  21. Eric Lipps

    You are correct, and I failed to clarify. Apologies; I was racing the clock at the time.

    The many-worlds interpretation was indeed put forward to address the collapse of the wave function, which does not follow naturally from the equations of quantum mechanics. However, too many scientists who should know better have taken seriously the notion that a conscious observer is somehow particularly suited to collapsing the wave function–a position which leads naturally to the existence of some sort of Supreme Being (or Beings) present from the moment of the Big Bang, if not before.

    And actually, instruments are no more necessary than a conscious observer; it’s the interaction of particles under the influence of the fundamental forces which matters, and which would occur whether there were any observers (with or without instruments) or not.

    None of which matters to creationists, who assume Creation first and then look for anything they can claim counts as evidence for it.

  22. @Eric Lipps
    It is less straightforward than looking for things that they can claim as evidence for creation.
    Creation of the process of evolution is one kind of creation that is not welcome. Or a Big Bang at the beginning.
    And they are not constrained in doing the work of looking for real things. Making up stuff is preferable.
    And miscellaneous other idiosyncrasies.

  23. Sure, they’re willing to make stuff up. Some of them are even willing to make stuff up and then convince themselves it’s true. But they’d love to have something they can convincingly sell even to people who aren’t rubes or boobs. Because they themselves believe in Creation, even without evidence, and really do see it as a moral necessity to convince others.

    Naturally this excludes the total cynics among them, who see creationism (or “intelligent design”) as a great way to acquire money and prestige without actually having to earn them. I sometimes (often) suspect Ken Ham, for instance, is this sort of creation huckster. The same is likely true of some of the “researchers” at the Discovery Institute and similar thunk tanks. (No, that’s not a typo.)