Discoveroids Offer a Preacher’s Podcast Series

Before you begin reading this, dear reader, we warn you to unplug your irony meter. If you don’t, the thing will undoubtedly explode. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

Ah, you’re back. Now it’s safe to start. What we’re talking about is at the creationist blog of the Discovery Institute. It’s titled Listen: Kirk Durston on Fantasy Science and Scientism, and it has no author’s by-line. The idea of the Discoveroids — promoters of the “theory” of intelligent design — denigrating something as “fantasy science” is beyond amusing.

We know, you’re wondering who Kirk Durston is. We don’t write about him often. The last time was a year ago — see Intelligent Design Is the Logical Answer. There we quoted what the Discoveroids had said about him in an earlier post: “Dr. Durston is a scientist, philosopher, and clergyman with a PhD in Biophysics, an MA in Philosophy, a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, and a BSc in Physics.” They say he’s a clergyman, so we refer to him as rev Durston.

Okay, let’s get into it. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

On a new episode of ID the Future [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!], Kirk Durston, a biophysicist focused on identifying high-information-density parts of proteins, completes a three-part series on three categories of science: experimental, inferential, and fantasy science. Download the podcast or listen to it here [link omitted].

The rev says three categories of science are experimental, inferential, and fantasy science. Which one is your specialty, dear reader? If you’re one of those hell-bound fools who thinks evolution is good science, the rev would say that’s fantasy science. Anyway, returning to the Discoveroid post, they say:

Fantasy science makes inferential leaps so huge that virtually none of it is testable, either by the standards of experimental science or by those of the historical sciences, which reason to the best explanation by process of elimination. One example of fantasy science, according to Durston, is the multiverse.

Your Curmudgeon has never liked the idea of the multiverse, but the Discoveroids think we’re all devotees of that stuff. They tell us:

As he [Rev Durston] argues, that is an imaginative story largely untethered from evidence and testing, but told using math instead of literary devices.

The Discoveroids’ “theory” of intelligent design is also “an imaginative story largely untethered from evidence and testing,” and it doesn’t even use math. Anyway, the Discoveroid post continues:

Scientism, “atheism dressed up in a lab coat,” can lead to fantasy science of this kind because it commits itself to materialistic conclusions for philosophical reasons, not scientific ones.

Durston used that “lab coat” remark in his earlier post, and at that time we wrote:

We’ve often said that the Discoveroids have repackaged their creationist dogma into an ostensibly secular concept which they claim is a scientific theory. Despite ID’s complete lack of any scientific attributes, they promote it as a scientific alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution. But it’s a flimsy disguise — a reversible coat with meaningless science jargon on the outside and miracles on the inside — a garment made for flashers. And now, the Discoveroids are attempting to flip things around to claim that science is atheism in a lab coat.

It’s obvious to us that there’s nothing new in rev Durston’s podcast that he hasn’t said before. The final paragraph of the Discoveroids’ post is a couple of links to two earlier podcasts by the rev. We don’t link to that stuff, but here are the titles:

• “Listen: Biophysicist and Philosopher Kirk Durston on Experimental Science”
• “Biophysicist and Philosopher Kirk Durston on Experimental, Inferential, and Fantasy Science”

You wanna see ’em? Go ahead. If you learn anything, tell us about it.

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

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19 responses to “Discoveroids Offer a Preacher’s Podcast Series

  1. The rev, “Dr. Durston, is a scientist, philosopher, and clergyman with a PhD in Biophysics, an MA in Philosophy, a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, and a BSc in Physics.” Its hard to imagine the feverish mind working to imbue these sciences with mystical qualities. Or the mania of anyone obsessed enough with their illness to actually obtain degrees from a reputable university in these fields.
    Seems crazy to me. Oh wait !

  2. Michael Fugate

    Yes – Why accumulate all those degrees when the only job you have ever had is college evangelist?

  3. You refer to ID as a “story”. But a story has plot etc.
    “I was not bit by a dog today. ”
    That is not a story.

  4. Michael Fugate

    If scientism is atheism in a lab coat, then what is creationism – ignorance in a cheap suit? dogmatism in a safari jacket?

  5. There is an old jibe that ID is creationism in a cheap tuxedo.

  6. Dave Luckett

    So, I wonder which of the following the Rev Durston would regard as fantasy:

    Imperfect replication of all living things

    Heritable traits among all living things

    Differential advantage/disadvantage of all traits, in all living things

    Differential reproduction rates between different traits, in all living things

    Consequent conservation of advantage and culling of disadvantage, in all living things.

    I cannot observe any fantasy there. I see no “inferential leaps”. Those seem to me to be sober, factual, replicable observations of reality. But between them, they lead ineluctably to evolution. They must. They can’t not.

    It is the Rev who is peddling fantasy.

  7. Has anyone ever observed a supernatural origin of a new organ or function in a living thing? What it look like, if one were to see that?

  8. “Kirk Durston on Fantasy Science and Scientism,”
    What did I write recently? This is the cop out I referred to. True science is science that seems to confirm a particular theology, science that doesn’t is fantasy science and/or scientism. No need to listen to this thingy, the title says it all.

    “Your Curmudgeon has never liked the idea of the multiverse”
    Fortunately science doesn’t care what we do or do not like. I do not like the idea of Homo Sapiens being capable of cruel violence and psychological explanations for it, but so be it.

    “As he [Rev Durston] argue …..”
    And there you go. He has arguments, so [bleep!] evidence. Typical human. I don’t like that idea either, especially among unbelievers like me, but again so be it. Also among unbelievers, so one of my biggest fears is falling into this trap.

    “Scientism ….. commits itself to materialistic conclusions for philosophical reasons, not scientific ones.”
    Check again – this attitude invariably leads to strawmen.

    “If you learn anything, tell us about it.”
    It’s more likely that I’ll win the lottery without buying a ticket.

  9. @MichaelF aks: “Why accumulate all those degrees when the only job you have ever had is college evangelist?”
    To impress and increase your audience of course. That’s yet another funny aspect of creacrap. Its fans try to ride the very same bandwagon they try to derail.

  10. chris schilling

    “Your Curmudgeon has never liked the idea of the multiverse…”

    Creationists don’t like it much, either, but where else is a supreme being who exists outside of space and time going to reside?🤔

  11. Not in the multiverse, because other universes will have space and time as well! The multiverse is a materialist concept, exactly what Kirk Not Douglas rejects.

  12. chris schilling

    Does this mean that other universes which have their own time and space also have supreme beings who get to exist outside of that time and space, too? And so on and on, ad infinitum; or is there just one guy, acting alone?

    I ask on behalf of a friend whose brain hurt so much, he had to go and lie down.

  13. Would be fun.
    Still I have advise for your friend.

    “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”
    Ludwig Wittgenstein. Headache is what happens when you don’t listen.

  14. I presume the DI would descry this recent bit of ‘Fantasy Science’: Fossil worm shows us our evolutionary beginnings.

  15. oops! extraneous rubbish somehow invaded previous post!

    Dare I call on The Great Hand of Correction to remove the impurities, and give the post a deep clean?

    [Voice from above:] It must be difficult to type and swing from a tree branch at the same time.

  16. Michael Fugate

    20 seconds with soap and warm water should do the trick…

  17. “Inferential science” – isn’t that the same as Ham’s “historical science”?

  18. Whatever jargon works for the moment. Charitably, there is a short attention span.

  19. Karl Goldsmith

    No one else is more qualified to talK about scientism than the IDiots, they have claimed what they do is science for decades.