A Discoveroid Dreams of Victory

Prepare to have your brain fried by this one. It’s at the creationist blog of the Discovery Institute, and their author today is Granville Sewell, one of the Discoveroids’ best thinkers. Although he’s not a Discoveroid “fellow,” he writes for their blog. Wikipedia informs us that he’s a signatory to the Discovery Institute’s “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism” petition. He’s known around here for arguing that the Second law of thermodynamics disproves evolution — see Discovery Institute Gives Us Their Best Argument

Granville’s post wallows in the deep waters of theology — specifically the First Cause, which is discussed in Wikipedia’s article on the Unmoved mover. The title of his brilliant contribution today is Once Again: Who Designed the Designer? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

At the 9-minute mark of a German TV interview [Link omitted.] with Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, retired Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research scientist, the interviewer asks, “If God or an intelligent designer exists, then who has created him? Who designed the designer?”

That’s how this mess begins. It’s no spoiler to say that it wanders all over the place and ends in a hopeless mess, but we’ll stay with it. Granville then quotes Lönnig. Here’s some of what he says:

What is the origin of the designer? It is possible to reason regarding intelligent design without asking about the origin of the designer. That is certainly a possible and legitimate question, but it does not change the reasoning, when there is a complex specific irreducible system, I can draw conclusions regarding a designer from that, but I can still leave open the other question.

In other words, Lönnig doesn’t have a clue. Now Granville steps in and tells us:

We are all familiar with the question “Who designed the designer?” and this is the answer we ID advocates usually give. Those who search for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence are confident they can recognize signals from intelligent beings when they receive them, long before they discover anything about the beings who sent them. But we all know this answer will not satisfy ID opponents. [Right, because it ducks the issue.] No matter how much evidence for design we discover in the laws of physics, in the laws of chemistry, and especially in living things [Hee hee!], they will always say (quoting Lönnig), “We cannot accept [design], because we would only have an explanation which in turn requires an even more complex explanation.”

Indeed. An “answer” that the cause is a supernatural designer doesn’t really answer anything. We discussed all that in #500: The First Cause. But Granville continues:

Many may say: But it is much easier to understand how matter and energy could be eternal, than how an intelligent designer could be eternal. But is it really? I think we all can agree that there must be some First Cause [Really?], and whether it is intelligent or unintelligent there seems to be, by definition, no hope of ever explaining the First Cause in terms of “earlier” causes!

What did he say? Who knows? He goes on:

And it is becoming more and more clear that it will never be possible to explain what has happened on Earth if we start from unintelligent First Causes. (I believe the arguments supporting this assertion are summarized nicely in this video. [Link omitted]) So why not assume a First Cause that can explain everything else?

What are those “unintelligent First Causes” he’s dismissing? Evolution? Probably. Here’s another excerpt:

In recent years, as scientific research has continually revealed the astonishing dimensions of the complexity of life, especially at the microscopic level, support for Darwin’s implausible explanation for the apparent design in life has continued to weaken [Huh?], and it is probably safe to say that further research will only continue and accelerate this trend. Thus many ID proponents are confident that eventually all scientists will be forced to abandon attempts at materialistic explanations, and acknowledge that the apparent design in life is real.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Dream on, Granville! Oh wait, He says those ID proponents may be too optimistic:

But I think they may be disappointed, because many scientists will still say, “Who designed the designer?”

That’s not the only thing scientists can say to creationists, but it’s certainly one thing. Does Granville see any hope for his version of creationism? Yes, it’s in his final paragraph:

What we can possibly hope for is that eventually scientists will be forced to quit pretending that Darwinism, or any other materialistic explanation for the complexity of life, is plausible and admit that their only real reason for rejecting design is that they have ruled it out a priori.

Keep hoping, Granville! And now we come to the end:

Perhaps we can hope that someday science professors will honestly admit to their students that if they had not ruled out design a priori, there would be no reason whatsoever for them to accept materialistic theories on the origin and evolution of life. If that happens [Hee hee!], that will be a very satisfactory outcome, and a huge improvement over the current sad and dishonest state of origins science.

We assume, dear reader, that you have a response to what Granville has told us. Let us know what it is, but please — keep it clean.

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

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8 responses to “A Discoveroid Dreams of Victory

  1. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig is a Jehovah’s Witness who uses his scientist status to pretend he is not. But as a former JW, I can say that virtually all of Lönnig’s objections to evolution and abiogenesis come from the Watchtower Society.

    JW writers *never* tackle the question of the hour: who designed the designer? Even a cursory bit of thought results in insurmountable obstacles for this claim. JWs, like most of the Discoveroids, claim that the Designer is really the God of the Bible. But the history of life is completely at odds with the notion of the Bible God as the “God of love”. From the Discoveroid point of view, all of the structures that animals use to prey on others and to defend themselves are the design products of this ‘loving God’. Obviously a Designer able and willing to design such things is not loving. So we have a fundamental contradiction for the Design advocates who think the Designer is the Bible’s God. An alternative is a Deistic God or something like that, but that contradicts the Christian proclivities of Discoveroids and their ilk. Virtually none of them will acknowledge these fatal problems.

  2. Our dear SC sounds a bit desperate: “What did he say? Who knows?”
    Granny Sewer is talking about the problem of infinite regress (“what caused the cause of the First Cause?” etc.). As he doesn’t manage to get the Second Law right nobody can expect him to formulate this problem decently either.

    ” many scientists will still say, “Who designed the designer?”
    See what I mean? Scientists never ask this question, because it’s not a scientific one.
    Otherwise it’s just one big “methodological naturalism can’t explain, hence God”. I’m sure everyone recognizes this and understands the problem. If not, ask TomS, because today I don’t feel like.

  3. The only dishonesty in the article is made by the creationist!

  4. Michael Fugate

    Humans by default assume agency – it is built into our language and perhaps our sensory/cognitive systems. We have often tried to convinced these “agents” to act in our favor with spotty success. Assuming non-agency has worked much better at getting nature to act in our favor.

  5. Then I’d like to know if the languages of the San, the Papuas and the indigenous Amazonians have build in agency.

  6. Karl Goldsmith

    How can you detect design when you claim everything is designed?

  7. To design means to take account of the rules to attain a goal.
    Design is not anarchy.
    All the intelligetn designers that we have knowledge of have been constrained by the laws of nature. For examle, the laws of thermodynamics were formulated in response to the imitations of the clever engneers of the Industrial Revolution. They could not design perpetual motion machines.
    If life violates the laws of thermodynames, design is precisely the wrong thing to search for. .

  8. Hans-Richard Grümm

    To make a case against evolution on the basis of its (alleged!) improbability, an IDists has to show that the existence of a designer/maker with all the unlimited powers and abilities which are necessary for his role is less improbable.