Discoveroids Say You Have Lost Your Mind

We found a real treat at the creationist blog of the Discovery Institute. It’s titled How Science Lost Its Mind, and the author is Granville Sewell.

Although he’s not a Discoveroid “fellow,” Granville 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.

Here are some excerpts from Granville’s new post, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Writing for The American Spectator, Jay Homnick has observed:

[Granville quotes from Accidents Happen:] It is not enough to say that design is a more likely scenario to explain a world full of well-designed things. Once you allow the intellect to consider that an elaborate organism with trillions of microscopic interactive components can be an accident… you have essentially “lost your mind.”

Who the flaming [*bleep*] is Homnick? Granville quoted the guy in a Discoveroid post a few years ago — see Granville Sewell: Intelligent Design Is So Obvious. We Googled on his name and came up with some bio info at The American Spectator. It doesn’t matter much. Granville says:

Before Darwin, nearly everyone, in every corner of the world, believed in some type of ‘‘intelligent design,” and the majority still do. [Hooray!] That is for good reasons. Since the publication of Origin of Species, science has discovered that living things are far more complex and clever than Darwin ever could have imagined. So how did it happen that the majority of our scientists “lost their minds” and are unable to see the design in living things that is so blindingly obvious to the layman?

How did you lose your mind, dear reader? Granville tells us:

I believe there are two primary reasons. First, when one becomes a scientist, one learns that science can now explain, without appealing directly to design, so many previously inexplicable phenomena that one comes to believe that nothing can escape the explanatory power of our science. Why should evolutionary biology be so different, why should it be the only scientific discipline where we cannot explain everything by appealing only to more fundamental laws of nature? (Though these fundamental laws of nature are actually themselves fine-tuned for life, as we are discovering.)

Very insightful! And here’s the next reason:

Second, when one becomes a biologist, or a paleontologist, one discovers many things about the origin of species, particularly the evidence for common descent from homologies (similarities), that give the impression of natural causes. [Ooooooooooooh! The mere impression of natural causes!] “This just doesn’t look like the way God would create things” is an argument used frequently by Darwinists, and by Darwin himself.

That’s how you became a fool! Granville continues by describing a video that’s embedded in his post:

Part I of the video below (a much improved version of a video I have highlighted in the past) shows why evolution is different. Part II shows why similarities do not prove the absence of design. These two themes were central to my 2000 Mathematical Intelligencer article, “A Mathematician’s View of Evolution” [link omitted], and have been the focus of most of my writings on intelligent design since then.

In Granville’s final paragraph, he informs us that his video is being translated into Polish — which has got to be one of the least important factoids in the universe. Then he finishes with this:

… I think you will find that the current version shows very convincingly “Why Evolution Is Different,” and “Why Similarities Do Not Prove Absence of Design.”

So there you are, dear reader. If you’re looking for some genuine intellectual adventure, we suggest that you look elsewhere.

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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18 responses to “Discoveroids Say You Have Lost Your Mind

  1. Michael Fugate

    He has a degree in English – makes him qualified to talk about biological design – given DI standards.
    https://londoncenter.org/fellows/DB69BB08-8C7A-11E9-BB80-0CCD4829D8DB/profile
    Why is “trial and error” so foreign to a certain brand of theist?

  2. This is so tiresome.
    Just look at how many violations of continuity – contradictory claims. How many things that “intelligent design” leaves unanswered.

  3. Mike Elzinga

    I wonder if he has made any attempt at learning how to get units correct when plugging his “X-entropies” into his “diffusion equation.”

    I’m guessing NOT.

  4. The claim is: before Darwin, people believed in intelligent design of living things.
    Let’s skip over some obvious issues that this claim doesn’t address. Just one not so obvious: Did people believe in design of individuals, or in design of arbitrary groups, like, taxonomic families (“kinds”, such as canines, felines, hominids). In the 18th century, a lot of serious, intelligent, well informed students of natural history believed that there was not such a thing as reproduction of individual living things, but that each individual existed from the beginning: preformationism.

  5. Dave Luckett

    I wonder if Sewell simply is not aware of the central fact of evolution: small random changes over generations, which are gradually culled if less successful than the optimum. The work demonstrating that the culling process is also gradual, caused by differential reproductive rates, was done in the ‘thirties of the last century. He seems to be incapable of grasping the necessary outcome – a continual and extremely finely graduated tuning of adaptation to environment.

    It’s obvious, however, that Sewell simply can’t believe that the only limits to the complexity that this process can generate are the laws of physics and chemistry themselves. That is, that if a complex structure can exist and is more effective, evolution can produce it. There exists no edict preventing increases in complexity. The laws of thermodynamics are not one. There is no signpost reading “Thus far, and no further!”. To believe that there is, as he necessarily does, is no more than a compulsive rejection of reality.

    But the solution is quite simple, at least theoretically. Sewell thinks there is such a barrier. He is the one making that assertion. He must be the one to demonstrate it. Cries of “It’s too complex to have evolved” are bootless and futile. Demonstrate it. Show this barrier. Submit it to peer evaluation. If it’s there, really there, collect your Nobel.

    Of course it won’t happen. Like all the others, Sewell does not possess the first skills towards that course of action. As Mike Elzinga says, he can’t get the units right. But the primary deficiency is imagination. Sewell can’t imagine how evolution can be right. Therefore, it must be wrong.

    And that’s what it comes down to, really.

  6. Michael Fugate

    The take home seems to be that given humans make things purposely, then it is also a given that humans were made purposely.

  7. Sewell suffers from a religious delusion. Everything else is apologetics. There’s nothing to discuss unless you want to debate whether it’s Levi-OH-sa or Levi-oh-SA, and I’ll side with Hermione in case you’re wondering.

  8. @Dave Luckett
    It’s worse than that.
    He can’t imagine how evolution can work, therefore ID must be the answer!?
    Can he exclude some third possibility?
    Can he imagine how ID can work?
    Can he even describe ID?

  9. chris schilling

    “Before Darwin, nearly everyone, in every corner of the world, believed in some type of ‘intelligent design’, and the majority still do.”

    BWAHAHAHAHA! Sewell really does think that argumentum ad populem should carry the day. Sewell flatters — and idealises — the “layman”, the same way Douglas Axe does children, when Axe claims they naturally “intuit” design. Both Sewell and Axe posit a lack of education as somehow granting their subjects a perspicacity superior to pointy-headed elitist biologists.

    In the videos Sewell sounds like a shaky old man — still stubborn and dogmatic, though — who hasn’t learnt from his mistakes.

  10. “and the majority still do.”
    BWAHAHAHAHA!
    Even in the USA the percentage of creationists was 46% at the max – and it’s declining. In all other western countries it’s considerably lower (though still surprisingly high). And those percentages include YECers, who are not satisfied with IDiocy.

    “one comes to believe that nothing can escape the explanatory power of our science.”
    BWAHAHAHAHA!
    Nope, Mr. Sewer, rather that IDiocy, like every other form of creacrap, has exactly zero explanatory power.

    “Part II shows why similarities do not prove the absence of design.”
    BWAHAHAHAHA!
    Nothing proves the absence of design, not even common descent of Homo Sapiens and Pan Troglodites or “from goo via the zoo to you”.

    “which has got to be one of the least important factoids in the universe.”
    Well, no – in the first place not for Poland; but more importanly, Poland is one of the European countries where alt-right (of which Donald the Clown is such a fine example) is very popular among the young generation. And alt-right promotes the same “christian” values as creacrappers.
    Personally I think this a more worrying development than the comedy called Brexit. To put it bluntly: neo-fascism is firmly on the rise and the efforts of DaveL’s dad threaten to become for naught.

  11. To prove the absence of design. To indicate the presence of design. To say anything about design, one ought to have some constraints on design, what limits there are on design.
    What constraints or limits are there on Divine design?

  12. Michael Fugate

    One needs to read the original article in the American Spectator to appreciate the depth of thinking behind ID.

  13. Fine, everything was designed.
    Now, tell us what happened and *link it to the rocks*. (i.e., geology and paleontology)

  14. @Michael Fugate
    Yes. It’s short, and it is not a major waste of time.
    Evolution means lots of things are accidents. As if there are not laws of nature involved. And if it is not possible that evolution occurs, then it must be that something-or-other-else, which we can call ID, must explain it all.

  15. Michael Fugate

    I wonder what they think about an accidental meeting of two people leading to a new job or a marriage – can it not be an accident and must be designed because it is good or will it necessarily end badly because it was an accident?

  16. @Michael Fugate
    Yes.
    The is so much stupid about that argument that it must be designed.

  17. Michael Fugate

    I am thinking that would be a good subtitle to Behe’s book “Good things don’t happen by accident”.

  18. Michael Fugate

    Or maybe “Nothing good happens by accident”.

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