The Discoveroids Are Victorious!

It’s rare when the Discovery Institute has two articles on the same day we can blog about, but that’s what’s happening today. Klinghoffer just wrote this for their creationist blog: George Weigel, Biographer of John Paul II, Takes Note of David Gelernter’s Darwin Apostasy.

Observe that the Discoveroids have no experiments, no observations, no evidence at all to support their “theory” of intelligent design. Instead, their big news is that computer scientist David Gelernter has emerged from the closet to announce that he’s a creationist, a trivial matter we mentioned before in The Discoveroids Say They’re Winning, and — this is today’s news — the Pope’s biographer has taken note of this. Wowie! What more could a creationist outfit want? Anyway, here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Some very interesting people were jarred by David Gelernter’s apostasy from Darwinism. The Yale computer scientist described in The Claremont Review of Books [mentioned in our earlier post] how his thoughts on evolution have evolved, influenced by Discovery Institute’s Stephen Meyer and David Berlinski. Now the distinguished Catholic intellectual and writer George Weigel, official English-language biographer of Pope John Paul II, weighs in on Gelernter.

Ooooooooooooh! A distinguished intellectual and writer is weighing in. Klinghoffer says:

Weigel was not previously known as a Darwin skeptic or as sympathetic to intelligent design. At First Things, he takes note of Gelernter’s essay as “a potential tool in the New Evangelization. From “Getting Beyond Darwin“:

[Klinghoffer quotes from the article:] Bishop Robert Barron and others working hard to evangelize the “Nones” — young adults without religious conviction — tell us that a major obstacle to a None embracing Christianity is the cultural assumption that Science Explains Everything. And if science explains it all, who needs God, revelation, Christ, or the Church? To be even more specific: If Darwin and the Darwinian theory of evolution explain the origins of us (and everything else), why bother with Genesis 1–3 and Colossians 1:15–20 (much less Augustine’s “Thou hast made us for Thee and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee”)?

Yeah, that guy Darwin has inspired all those “Nones.” He’s gotta be stopped! Klinghoffer gives us one more quote from Weigel’s article:

Gelernter is intrigued by “intelligent design” approaches to these evolutionary conundra but also suggests that, “as a theory,” intelligent design “would seem to have a long way to go.” But to dismiss intelligent design out of hand — to brand it piety masquerading as science — is, well, unscientific. [Huh?] The fossil record and molecular biology now suggest that Darwinian answers to the Big Questions constitute the real fundamentalism: a materialistic fideism that, however shaky in dealing with the facts, is nonetheless deeply entrenched in 21st-century imaginations. Thus, Gelernter asks whether today’s scientists will display Darwin’s own courage in risking cultural disdain by upsetting intellectual apple carts.

Impressive, huh? Then Klinghoffer tells us:

Gelernter’s confession, of having turned away from Darwinism, is (yet another) piece of evidence [Evidence!] Darwinists can’t satisfactorily explain. Such a thing shouldn’t happen. For a major intellectual like this to publicly reject evolutionary theory naturally catches the attention of other major intellectuals and of thoughtful people in general. For every George Weigel who follows up with a public admission of his own, confirming that the situation with Darwinism is more doubtful than previously thought, there are, you can be confident, many others who were shaken by Gelernter’s essay but who haven’t succeeded in squashing their anxiety about saying so.

There’s a bit more to Klinghoffer’s post, but we’ve seen enough. The Discoveroids have won, and Darwinism is doomed! We’ll have to think of some other subject to blog about. Suggestions are welcome.

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26 responses to “The Discoveroids Are Victorious!

  1. One might suggest talking about Intelligent Design, but there is nothing there to talk about. There’s no there, there.

  2. Ideas ?? Sure…. :). Since the theory of evolution and all the attendant sciences it effects are now dead and destroyed forever as you’ve revealed, scientists and philosophers, professors and intellectuals may still be able to apply for jobs at one of Hambo Mambo’s Floating Camel Emporiums and dinosaur saddle shops. If Hambo would start a Hambo hamburger chain, (suggested name “Burgers for the Saved”), there would be lots of jobs available for America’s physicians, university professors etc. “Flippin” burgers for Hambo is about the best anyone can hope for at this point.

  3. Gelernter’s confession, of having turned away from Darwinism, is (yet another) piece of evidence [Evidence!] Darwinists can’t satisfactorily explain. Such a thing shouldn’t happen.

    I got curious and looked Gelernter up on Wikipedia. At least according to that article he sounds like a flaming right-wing cuckoo. Unsurprisingly, he’s also a climate-change denialist. Interestingly, his professional specialty, computer science, has little to do with the science of evolution, or climate change either, but that doesn’t stop him from pretending he knows what he’s talking about on these subjects.

  4. Our dear SC goes totally wrong:

    “Observe that the Discoveroids have no experiments, no observations, no evidence at all …..”
    On the contrary, all experiments, observations and evidence backs up the conclusion: the Grand Old Designer (blessed be MOFO!) did it!
    Oh wait – since Karl Popper we understand that these two are the same.

    At the other hand Klincklecklapper got something right:

    “to brand it [IDiocy – FrankB] piety masquerading as science — is, well, unscientific.”
    Hammer, nail, head! Especially Klunckerdunkcer could never be accused of being pious. This for instance

    “The fossil record and molecular biology now suggest …..”
    is followed by a false testimony.

  5. Computer nerds know nothing about the fossil record.

  6. @JSJ
    Some computer nerds know nothing about evolution. But I’d guess that a lot of nerds know more than the average person, and for that reason accept what is the consensus of experts say.
    The same can be said of engineers, dentists, poets, clergy (see the
    “Clergy Letter Project”), bloggers, Civil War buffs, …
    And evolution is about more than fossils.
    The evidence shows that change in the inheritable traits of populations happens always and everywhere. And that nothing in the world of life makes sense except in the light of evolution.

  7. And as even creacrappers realize this they make a lot of fuzz about the false, useless and largely unspecified distinction between evolution theory and “Darwinism”.

  8. I wonder how they manage to drag Bishop Robert Barron into this nonsense. This man has always fully supported mainstream science. He only ever criticized ‘scientism’ with its claim that science can answer any question.

  9. Stephen Kennedy

    I do not understand creationists’ fixation on what they call the Cambrian explosion as proof of an intelligent designer since too many different life forms arose in the Cambrian to by the TOE and hence must be due to an intelligent designer. First of all something that occurs over a period from 530 million years ago to 480 million years ago, that is 50 million years, hardly qualifies to be described as an “explosion”. An awful lot can happen in 50 million years.
    In addition one has to look at the Cambrian in the context of the Earth’s Natural History. About 600 million years ago an Ice Age began on the planet that resulted in ice sheets on land and frozen ocean surfaces advancing all the way from the poles to the Equator. The Earth was covered by solid ice and snow which has a high albedo so most sunlight was reflected back into space making it impossible for the Earth’s surface to warm up and melt the ice. However volcanoes continued to erupt CO2 was steadily being released into the atmosphere and since the ice had stopped all precipitation, there was no mechanism for removing the CO2 from the air, Now, pay attention climate deniers; even though the albedo of the ice prevented most solar radiant energy from being absorbed the very high levels of CO2 that had accumulated in the atmosphere finally caused a powerful green house effect that melted the ice and with the low albedo continents and oceans absorbing so much solar radiation, surface temperatures on the Earth soared. During the millions of years of ice ball Earth followed by steamhouse Earth, life just barely hung on on Earth and was not able to floutiiis [flourish?]. By the time of the Cambrian the Earth’s climate was hospitable to life for the first time in 60 million years with a huge number of vacant ecological niches available to be filled

    Therefore, the Cambrian was as much as a repopulation event on a nearly lifeless planet as it was a sudden emergence of new life forms.

  10. Karl Goldsmith

    How is this news. They only have creationists on their podcasts.

  11. @Hans answers his own question: from “science can’t answer all questions” via “evolution theory can’t answer all creacrappy questions” to “the Grand Old Designer did it” is a giant leap for you and me but a small step for Klunckerdunkcer.

    @StephenK: several years ago I confronted an IDiot with this issue. I pointed out that 50 million years ago (the duration of the Cambrian non-explosion) Earthly flora and fauna was totally different from now he faked to not understand the concept of time (I paraphraze): “Huh? What has that to do with anything?”
    These people are dishonest down to the core of their bones.
    “Explosion! Too fast! Darwinism is falsified! The evolution tree has fallen!”
    “Stasis! Nothing happens! Darwinism is falsified! The evolution tree has fallen!”

  12. @KarlG: when was the last time any creationist produced any news? I think it was before our dear SC began his nice blog.

  13. “to dismiss intelligent design out of hand—to brand it piety masquerading as science—is, well, unscientific.” I strongly agree. But ID, or as Cuvier would have called it fixism, has not been dismissed out of hand, but examined on the merits and found wanting.

    It gets worse. Leaving aside carefully preserved ignorance about the Cambrian/Ediacaran radiation, Weigel writes “What Darwin cannot explain, in short, is “the origin of species” — the title of the British naturalist’s first, revolutionary book.”

    FIRST, ffs? What about
    The Voyage of the Beagle? To say nothing of

    1842: The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs
    1844: Geological Observations on the Volcanic Islands visited during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle
    1846: Geological Observations on South America
    1849: Geology from A Manual of scientific enquiry; prepared for the use of Her Majesty’s Navy: and adapted for travelers in general., John F.W. Herschel ed.
    1851: A Monograph of the Sub-class Cirripedia, with Figures of all the Species. The Lepadidae; or, Pedunculated Cirripedes.
    1851: A Monograph on the Fossil Lepadidae, or, Pedunculated Cirripedes of Great Britain
    1854: A Monograph of the Sub-class Cirripedia, with Figures of all the Species. The Balanidae (or Sessile Cirripedes); the Verrucidae, etc.
    1854: A Monograph on the Fossil Balanidæ and Verrucidæ of Great Britain

    After all, who cares about barnacles anyway, when they’ve got Colossians?

  14. Actually, it’s even worse. I actually went and looked up Colossians. It says “For by him were all things created”; perfectly consistent with acceptance of the science. Weigel may be forgiven for not knowing what Darwin wrote about barnacles, but as a theologian he can in no way be forgiven for his ignorance of what Henry Drummond wrote about evolution

  15. Michael Fugate

    The writers at First Things are ignorant of most history and most science. They rarely bother to check the simplest facts.

  16. Once again, I remind you of the fallacies of composition and division.
    Yes, the Bible says that God created all things. But The Bible does not say that God created species. Nor kinds.
    Did God create January and February? Did God create the handle and the bowl of the Big Dipper, the belt of Orion, the Zodiac? The Man in the Moon?
    The panhandle of Oklahoma? The International Date Line?
    There is a difference between reproduction of an individual, and evolutionary change in a population.
    There is a difference between an individual’s personal relationship with their creator and redeemer, and Universalism.

  17. BTW, off-topic but somewhat related to the point that I was trying to make, I just saw a news report about a debate between candidates for mayor of a small Midwestern town of the USA. One of the candidates was reported as saying ““A husband and wife need to be the same race … That’s how it’s been [since] … God created the heaven and the earth. He created Adam and Eve at the same time.”

  18. Re “But to dismiss intelligent design out of hand — to brand it piety masquerading as science — is, well, unscientific.” Whoa, this is graduate level apologetics! They take the straw man argument “ID is just religion wrapped in science” and make a second level straw man argument out of it.

    ID, plain and simple, is bad science. It is a non-testable conjecture. Go make some predictions based upon it and then come back to us. This is why ID has been rejected by science. ID has been rejected by the courts as being unsuitable for inclusion in public schools because constitutionally it is “piety masquerading as science.” So, clever, huh. They make the court’s arguments to be the arguments of the scientific community.

    Maybe this current crop of apologists aren’t complete idiots as I had surmised. A couple of them seem to have more than one brain cell to rub together. Still, dishonest, though.

  19. @PaulB redefines creacrap: “carefully preserved ignorance”.

  20. The distinction between science and rationalizing is obviously too subtle for many people to grasp.

  21. Gelernter has been an in-your-face crank all his life. I’m sure he’s “fun” to be around.

    As for Tooterville ID ™ which, if you put aside Paley etc, is the only ID being pushed these days doesn’t even rise to the level of bad science. It’s not science at all. It’s a marketing term invented to get around a legal decision that made it “inconvenient” to teach creationism as science in public schools, with some flim-flam hokey-pokey “science sounding” terms bolted on. None of the “terms” used by the Tooters have any definition, including the actual name “intelligent” and “design.” To say that that a marketing term can be investigated as science outside of the historical context in which the term was created would be equivalent to suggesting that the “infinite improbability drive” could be investigated by “simply hooking the logic circuits of a Bambleweeny 57 Sub-Meson Brain to an atomic vector plotter suspended in a strong Brownian Motion producer (say a nice hot cup of tea).”

  22. @FrankB, thanks.

    Now, is this, ultimately, from Berlinski, the worst allegedly rational and secular argument ever? “The trunk was supposed to branch into many different species, each species giving rise to many genera, and towards the top of the tree you would find so much diversity that you could distinguish separate phyla—the large divisions (sponges, mosses, mollusks, chordates, and so on) that comprise the kingdoms of animals, plants, and several others—take your pick. But, as Berlinski points out, the fossil record shows the opposite: “representatives of separate phyla appearing first followed by lower-level diversification on those basic themes.”

    It puzzled me for a while. then I looked across the road at a magnificent oak tree, and realised that the deepest division between mighty boughs had been, when first it occurred, a bifurcation of twigs

  23. @Paul Braterman
    Isn’t it puzzling how Indo-European languages – The earliest known are of the major branches: Hittite of the Anatolian branch, Mycenaean of the Hellenic branch, Vedic of the Indo-Aryan branch. You’d think that such distant branches would only appear after thousands of years.

  24. @TomS, nice one. I think I now understand the nature of the fallacy. One might call it the misplaced epithet. The correct “It is only after many years that the divisions between the branches appear major” becomes the incorrect “Branches with major divisions between them only appear after many years.”

    We meet exactly the same fallacy when creationists belittle historical science. “For good science, observations of a phenomenon should [wherever physically possible] be repeatable” becomes the incorrect “Only repeatable phenomena can be the subjects of good science.”

  25. When did the ancient Egyptians become the Ancient Egyptians?

  26. @docbull1351
    We’ve actually heard this one: How come monkeys aren’t becoming human?