An Ark-load of Intelligent Design Scientists

Like all Darwinists, you probably imagine that no one in his right mind thinks there’s any value to the Discovery Institute’s “science” of intelligent design. Well, prepare to have your foolish world flipped upside-down.

At the creationist blog of the Discoveroids, they just posted something that will absolutely shock you. It’s titled Watch: Scientists Who Affirm Intelligent Design, and 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]:

In the debate about evolution [Hee hee!], there are really two questions at stake: First, does Darwin’s theory adequately explain the wonders of life? And second, does nature offer evidence of intelligent design?

We could say a lot about that little paragraph, but it isn’t necessary. Briefly, we’ll say that the “debate about evolution” is a creationist fantasy. No competent scientist thinks the topic is debatable — details, sure, but not the whole concept of evolution. As for Klinghoffer’s two questions, no one imagines that evolution explains “the wonders of life,” whatever that may mean. And no one (other than a flaming creationist) wastes time searching for “evidence of intelligent design.”

That takes care of the start of Klinghoffer’s post. Then he says:

It’s possible that someone could answer “no” to both questions.

How would that work? No, evolution doesn’t explain “the wonders of life,” and no, searching for “evidence of intelligent design” isn’t a waste of time. Who would give those answers? A flaming creationist! Okay, let’s move along. Klinghoffer says:

Leading up to Darwin Day, February 12 — this Friday — Discovery Institute offers a new brief video [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid video!] addressing the second question in the words of scientists themselves.

Wowie — Klinghoffer’s going to give us the words of “scientists themselves” about whether nature offer evidence of intelligent design. This should be fun! He tells us:

Observe the birthday of Charles Darwin with us by sharing this very cool montage [It’s “cool”!] with friends, relatives, and teachers. As these scientists see it, reality — from the elements that comprise nature, to the architecture of cells, to that of the universe as a whole — not only defies materialist explanations like Darwin’s but it provides positive testimony to purpose and guidance — that is, design:

Ooooooooooooh! The whole universe provides “testimony” to intelligent design! Isn’t that amazing? The video is embedded at this point in Klinghoffer’s post, and unless you actually watch the thing, you won’t have any idea who those creation scientists are. We don’t care, so we won’t be watching it. Anyway, Klinghoffer continues:

That’s important because when the evidence of biology and of cosmology are joined together [Like you and Uranus!], they direct us not only to affirming generic “intelligent design,” an unknown designer, but as Stephen Meyer shows in his forthcoming book, to the conclusion of recognizing a personal God. [Gasp!]

The last of Klinghoffer’s post is a pitch for Meyer’s book:

Return of the God Hypothesis is out on March 30. Consider pre-ordering that for yourself, and for other people in your life that you care about, now. [Link omitted!]

We’ve posted a few times about Meyer’s book — see, e.g.: Stephen Meyer’s New Book — Soon, But Not Yet. We imagine that they’ll be pitching the thing all year, so it’s gonna be fun. Anyway, that’s all Klinghoffer has for us, so we’re outta here!

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13 responses to “An Ark-load of Intelligent Design Scientists

  1. The heavens declare the glory of the designer. Sounds familiar

  2. Check the Lagrangian Klingon. The standard model of physics has no need of the the hypothesis that there is a god lurking somewhere in the universe.

  3. BTW tomorrow is not only the birthday of Darwin and Limcoln, but also New Year Day, the lunar new year as celebrated in China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam.

  4. Well, who do we have here? The dramatis personae in order of first substantive appearance:

    Michael Behe. PhD Biochemistry U Pennsylvania on sickle-cell anaemia. Well-known here. A revenant from an earlier age. Main schtick “irreducible complexity”, now long exploded, but he’s still flogging it. Made a complete idiot of himself at the Dover trial. Hasn’t done any useful work in decades.

    Casey Luskin. Ditto. Got a PhD in South Africa in geology, thesis nothing to do with evolution, but confirmed “deep time”. Never worked as a geologist. Back in business now at the same old stand; a DI employee.

    Richard Gunasekera. Biola, described as Research Professor of Science, Technology and Health Professor of Biological Sciences and Professor of Biochemistry. PhD Baylor. Quite an impressive list of papers, seems to have been active in research cell biology. Also, however, a “senior fellow” at the DI. Thinks it’s all too complex to be evolved.

    William Soo Hoo: PhD Biochemistry U Illinois. Now “senior director, assay development” with Sorrento Therapeutics, San Diego. 12 papers on immunology since 1986. Difficult to ascertain what his position is. His total contribution to the video is a half-sentence for which no evidence is presented.

    Don Galbadage: PhD Medical Philosophy Texas A&M, Master Public Health Epidemiology U Texas. Assoc, Professor, Public Health, Biola. Short list of research papers, main interest antibiotic resistance. He appears to think that pathogens are designed to develop resistance.

    Betsy Siewert: BSc. Research assistant at U Colorado. Molecular modelling. Co-author of six papers in peer-reviewed journals. Main interest appears to be drinking behaviour in adolescents.

    Cristi Cooper. Not sure. Can’t find anything about her. Like Soo Hoo, her total contribution is a half-sentence: (Design is found) “in the operation of the human brain” (The words in quotes are all she actually said.) I wouldn’t be surprised if the DI is quote-mining her, but it doesn’t matter, because there is not the faintest attempt anywhere to justify such an assertion.

    David Galloway. MD, MCh, Hon Prof Clinical Medicine U of Glasgow, UK. Many publications, all related to surgical subjects. He thinks “the features of the human body” imply design. Yes, well. Wisdom teeth, Doc?

    Ann Gauger. DI employee. Hasn’t done any research since grad school. Consented to be called a “researcher” at the DI’s fake research facility, when she knew damn well it wasn’t one, and that she wasn’t doing any research. Can be instantly dismissed as dishonest (aka “Annie Green Screen”).

    John Lennox: DS Mathematics. Bioethicist. Many publications in those fields. Really only interested in the existence of God, and has absolutely no expertise in evolutionary biology, or biology generally.

    Jonathan Wells. 2 PhDs, the first in religious studies from Yale, the second in molecular biology from UC Berkeley. He undertook the latter for the specific purpose of refuting the theory of evolution, because he’s a Moony. Now 78 years of age, and the windmills still aren’t falling. Keeps repeating the same old thing in successive books.

    Michael Egnor MD Columbia. Another surgeon, and DI fellow. Main issue appears to be a contention that one doesn’t need evolution to be a physician. Er. No. Apparently not.

    Charles H Townes (1915-2015), quantum physicist. Just a one-line quote in writing from him, because he’s, you know, dead.

    Bijan Nemati. PhD U Washington, high-energy physics, now apparently a senior engineer at JPL. Proponent of the “fine tuning” argument.

    Gunter Bechly PhD Tubingen, Germany. Paleo-entomologist. A stand-out. Thinks the fossil evidence points to “intelligent design”, apparently because it’s all terribly complicated. A DI fellow.

    Douglas Axe. PhD Chemical Engineering Caltech. Was “director” of the DI’s cardboard cutout of a “research facility”, called “the Biologic Institute”. Like Gauger, he knew it was nothing of the kind and was therefore lying in his teeth. Apparently an Adventist and YEC.

    Stephen Meyer PhD Philosophy of Science, Cambridge. He’s a scientist like I’m a chess grandmaster.

    Marcos Eberlin PhD Chemistry, U Campinas, Brazil. Mass spectroscopy researcher, did valuable work in that field. Would know beans about biology.

    Clunkers: the usual collection. “Information is only the product of a mind” (We know for sure that it isn’t) “Darwin thought cells were just blobs of jelly” (but I’m far smarter and I see all kindsa complicated stuff.) “We know from experience…” (No, we don’t.) “DNA is like a software program that someone would have had to write and encode”. (No, it isn’t.) “I have a hard time believing that random mutation can cause (whatever).” (Yes, I suppose you do. Fortunately, evolutionary biologists aren’t like you.) Nature’s ingenuity “surpasses human technology”, and “where you have such ingenuity, it implies design”. (No, it only implies a process that tries everything possible – not just conceivable – and only retains what works, however unlikely it seems. That’s exactly what design doesn’t do.)

    In order of ascending transgression, the video is tendentious, ignorant, pretentious, false and dishonest. Typical DI product. So what else is new?

  5. “First, does Darwin’s theory adequately explain the wonders of life?”
    No, as
    a) Darwin’s theory is a scientific one and hence doesn’t care whether phenomena are “wonders”;
    b) Darwin’s theory didn’t mean to explain “life” but (it’s even in the title of his famous book) the variety of living beings;
    c) Darwin’s theory has been expanded and adapted so much that modern evolution theory is far, far more adequate.

    Three clunkers is one question – Kclincky is on a ride!
    As for the second question, I refer to the short exchange of TomS and me underneath the previous blogpost.

    Kclincky: “It’s possible that someone could answer “no” to both questions.”
    Our dear SC: “How would that work?”
    The same way (albeit far less subtil) than proving that 1 + 1 = 0, 1 + 1 = 1 or 1 + 1 = 3.

    “The whole universe provides “testimony” to intelligent design!”
    Which confirms what TomS and me concluded yesterday – IDiocy only makes a difference for my morning temper (perhaps some other people too) now and then.

    “you won’t have any idea who those creation scientists are”
    OK, then I’ll do it. Or try.
    First one: MickeyB of “according to my definition astrology is science too” fame. Good start!
    Second one: the Attack Gerbil, so our dear SC might be tempted after all.
    After a couple of unknowns we can see Annie Green Screen, the mathematical apologist JohnnyL, moonie JonnyW and Mr. Egnorance and that’s only the first 50 seconds. To quote a famous Kevin Spacey movie: the usual suspects.

  6. Excellent comment, Dave Luckett. Thank you.

  7. Myself, I am not so much interested in the personalities as in what they do.
    All of these clever people over all of these years haven’t managed to describe Intelligent Design.

  8. TomS: Do you mean, “describe Intelligent Design”, or rather do you mean, “describe how intelligent design can be distinguished from the ordinary course of nature from observation of the end product”? Or perhaps something else?

    I ask, because describing it seems quite easy to do. All sorts of things that do not exist can be described, after all. What is not easy is to demonstrate its operation in reality.

  9. @Dave Luckett
    I mean “give a positive description of Intelligent Design”, which fits the claim “there is a non-natural explanation of phenomena”.
    Yes, there is such a thing as design, there are schools of design, where people learn architecture or fashion. But that is not what ID is about.

  10. TomS, agreed and passed by acclamation. ID is not about design. It’s about asserting that design exists in natural thiings, despite no process of design being observed. If the process is not (or cannot be) observed, then that assertion can only be made good if there is some property of the things claimed to be designed that can be demonstrated to be absolutely diagnostic of the process of design.

    Mere complexity, however great, is not such a diagnostic. Paley tried to suggest that fitness for a particular defined purpose could be one; but of course the trouble with that is that the purpose can also only be inferred ex post facto; and in any case the purpose of living things seems to be only to reproduce themselves, and they often fail at that.

    ID propentisists have spent well over thirty years now attempting to find such a diagnostic, and have failed miserably. Until they succeed – and I strongly doubt they ever will – Intelligent Design is merely vacuous.

  11. Theodore J Lawry

    @Dave Luckett. Thanks for doing all that work

  12. Theodore J Lawry

    I just watched the video, it certainly is short. It appears that 3 minutes of random images and evidence-free one-liners is all that the DI thinks ID is worth.

  13. I thought the video too long already; after 50 seconds I had enough. So my compliment for DaveL for his perseverence.