We were visiting the website of the Discovery Institute, and for some reason we thought of the Dung beetle — a splendid example of an insect that has evolved to thrive in its environment. We’ve written about them several times — see Dung Beetles Navigate by the Stars. That post links to a few others, including one you shouldn’t miss: Intelligent Design: The Dung Beetle’s Tale.
What was it at the Discoveroids’ website that made us think of that amazing creature? We’re not sure, but we noticed this new post at their creationist blog: Dominic Halsmer: Aesthetic Arguments for Intelligent Design. It’s very brief, and it has no author’s by-line. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
On a classic ID the Future episode [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!], Dr. Dominic Halsmer [Who?], Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at Oral Roberts University, continues a conversation with host Casey Luskin about Halsmer’s peer-reviewed paper “The Coherence of an Engineered World,” published in the International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics.
Most of you have heard about Oral Roberts University, of which Halsmer is a dean. Wikipedia says it’s “a private evangelical university in Tulsa, Oklahoma.” But we’re not familiar with the journal that published Halsmer’s paper. Ah, Wikipedia mentions them in its article on Wessex Institute of Technology in England. Wikipedia says:
The Wessex Institute of Technology previously organised a conference on design and nature, whilst WIT Press publishes the International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, which has attracted attention for the subject matter of some of the papers presented and published.
What attracted attention to that publication? Wikipedia continues:
Contributions to its 2004 International conference programme included a joint paper by Scott A. Minnich and Stephen C. Meyer [Hee hee!] reiterating claims disputing evolution of the bacterial flagellum. [BWAHAHAHAHAHA!] The paper was cited in the landmark Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District legal case, being the first direct challenge brought in the United States federal courts testing a public school district policy that required the teaching of intelligent design. Doubts have been raised as to whether proper peer review has been followed for these conferences.
If you want to know the role played by the flagellum in the Kitzmiller case, see Kitzmiller v. Dover: Michael Behe’s Testimony.
Okay, we know who Halsmer is, and we know about the journal in which he published. Let’s return to the Discoveroids’ post, which tells us:
Dr. Halsmer explains some of the aesthetic arguments for design from beauty in science, engineering, and the study of humanity.
There are “aesthetic arguments” for the Discoveroids’ theory of intelligent design? We didn’t know that. This is exciting! What follows is the end of the Discoveroids’ post:
How do modularity, specificity, adaptability, durability, and other aspects of engineering systems argue for intelligent design in nature? [Good question!] To find out, download the podcast or listen to it here. [Link omitted!]
This looks like an impressive, heavyweight, peer-reviewed, scientific argument, dear reader. You’d better study up on it.
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