Casey Luskin Explains Everything!

This one at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog is really delightful. Even the Discoveroids’ title is delightful: Casey Luskin: Why Intelligent Design Is Worth Defending. 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]:

A new ID the Future episode [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!] spotlights The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith.

That’s a link to the book at Amazon. It has four authors, including Casey and at least two other Discoveroids, so you know the contents must be top quality. Then the Discoveroid post says:

Host Eric Anderson interviews one of the anthology’s co-editors and contributors, geologist Casey Luskin. [Hee hee!] The two focus on just one of Luskin’s contributed essays, addressing two primary questions:

Two primary questions? What could they be? The Discoveroid post tells us what they are:

Is intelligent design true? And is it worth expending the energy to defend it against powerful opposition?

Wowie — those really are important questions! How does Casey respond?

Luskin answers both questions in the affirmative [Hooray for Casey!], and explains why he sees the new anthology as a great resource in the cause of intelligent design.

Casey’s opinion should be good enough for you, dear reader! The Discoveroid post ends with a link to their podcast. If you want to see it, click over there and have a ball! We’re outta here!

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

14 responses to “Casey Luskin Explains Everything!

  1. Derek Freyberg

    “Casey Luskin Explains Everything!” says our host.
    Is that anything like “Casey at the Bat”?
    For the non-US-ians, “Casey at the Bat” is an American poem of 1888, the last verse of which reads:
    “Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright,
    The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
    And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
    But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Casey has struck out.”

  2. Derek Freyberg

    SC: Sorry for the double post, please delete the first one, which I thought had not posted.

  3. I would rather watch a Ryan Reynolds infomercial before I would watch a Casey Luskin podcast. Before I would watch a Casey Luskin podcast, I would sooner watch a Ryan Reynolds movie where he plays Ryan Reynolds, starring Ryan Reynolds, which is every Ryan Reynolds movie ever.

  4. My immediate reaction is that the basic question is:
    What is Intelligent design?

  5. Dave Luckett

    The first perversion of the truth occurs immediately after the introduction. At 1:20, Luskin says he is now “on the other side of the mike” after interviewing the contributors to the anthology “The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith”. The host, Eric Anderson, reminds him that he, Luskin, is a contributor too. This instantly shatters the illusion of disinterest that Luskin was attempting to project, and Luskin can only respond with a lame and reluctant “yeah”.

    Luskin then goes on to describe the gestation of the project, and again blunders, inadvertently exposing the completely incestuous nature of the world of ID. The cast is of the usual suspects, and they all “influenced” one another, he says. The echo chamber Luskin lives in was thus revealed. He lists the contributors, and the names are familiar to all here. There’s not a genuine working biologist among them, of course.

    The host then describes the book in much the same terms the Duke of Gloucester described Edward Gibbon’s works: “Another damned thick square book! Always scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh, Mr Gibbon?” 600 pages! But he hastens to reassure the listeners that it’s really very easy, and all the chapters are short. He might as well have said that it can be managed by the hard of reading. An eye-roll is the only possible response.

    Casey agrees enthusiastically, emphasizing how “readable” and “brief” the chapters are. Again, the implication of what demographic this is really aimed at is inescapable. “You’ll get the answers in between six to nine pages, from a qualified expert,” gushes Luskin. The last four words are an unblushing falsehood, but it is capped by a worse one. “And then you too can be an expert,” he finishes, triumphantly.

    That so idiotic a lie can be uttered after the first, is testament to the intellectual world Luskin is merchandising, here. Expert? Is Luskin crazy? Anyone who has had the slightest brush with the real religious philosophy OR the biology would hear that and stare in disbelief that anyone could be so insouciantly mendacious. But that’s par for the course with the DI.

    Luskin would like to think the book could be used as a text book for teaching a course in “Science and Faith” at a “religious University”. I’m sure he would like to think that. “Thar’s gold in them thar shills!”

    The host wonders what it would offer to “old-timers” who have been in this debate for twenty years. He means religious creationists, of course. Luskin offers several talking points that might stand up in vestry meetings of churches that tolerate people who accept evolution, if those people know little about it. But don’t try this with anybody who knows what they’re doing.

    Luskin goes on to explain that he and Dembsky, for two, never gave up on ID, they just took a kind of furlough to pursue other interests, and have now returned. Yeah, right. Maybe people have forgotten the Wedge document or the Kitzmiller trial. Me, I’d have stayed away longer, just in case.

    The listener is urged to read Dembsky’s contributions to discover his “latest thinking” on ID, but is assured that he has never changed his ideas, thus rendering the exercise moot. But, says Luskin, this is just the latest evolution of his thinking. Uh huh. “Evolution”, yet. So, what’s changed? Luskin has already answered that question: nothing.

    “So there’s a lot of new material,” declares the host. Point? What is this thing, a point? “And it’s really affordable, too”. $30 for a paperback. $22 for the kindle, which is a steal, in a sense.

    Then we come to Luskin’s own contribution, entitled, “What is ID and how should we defend it?” The host asks, “What was your goal in writing this?”

    It immediately becomes obvious that Luskin is not going to answer the first of those questions. The first consideration is, he says, “Is ID true?”

    No, that is not the first question. The first question is, “What is it?” That is, “What exactly does it propose?” If that question is not answered, we are looking in darkness in a closed cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn’t there anyway. But Luskin continues to feel his way. He finds some places where the cat isn’t, and that’s about the limit of his achievement.

    It’s a roll-call of the old clunkers, not a syllable different in two or more decades. Complexity! Specificity! Information! Programming! Computer code! Machine-like structures! Fine-tuning for life! And the fact that it was all blown sky-high long ago, and that no biologist gives it the time of day, doesn’t faze Luskin at all. Why should it? This, he can sell to some people. So, he’s selling it.

    That commercial consideration is not, of course, the reason Luskin asserts for his actions. His asserted reason is simply religion. Luskin defends ID because he thinks it gives a reason to believe in God. As C S Lewis said, in another connection, “Believe this, not because it is true, but for some other reason.”

    And the host adds some telling words: it’s not academic, ivory-tower stuff, he says, it’s really about where people live. That is, it’s not rationally defensible, and it has no rigorous scholarship behind it, and it’s utterly intellectually barren. Its appeal is to the emotions, It’s all about what people want to believe.

    We come to the end. Relief floods through me. It’s over. Listening to Luskin is the intellectual equivalent of hitting yourself in the head with a hammer – it’s so good when you stop.

  6. @Dave Luckett
    Thank you. Especially for pointing out that, once again, they do not address the question, “What is it?”

  7. I’m convinced the Discovery Institute is a cargo cult except their cargo is free cash and fancy titles.

  8. Dave thanks for listening to the podcast, I would sooner listen to 24 hours straight of Imagine Dragons before I would listen to the podcast.

  9. Yes Dave, thank you for that sacrifice! I would rather stare at a dead cat for a couple of hours than listen to Luskin and his like for 10 seconds.

  10. @Dave Luckett c/o whatever mental institution he is resident –

    Absent a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster I would suggest that you put the lime in the coconut, fill it with tequila, put the lime in the coconut den you salt the edge. Put the lime in the coconut, add some more tequila. Put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up.

    Den call, “Doctor! Is there something can take? Doctor, to relieve my brainy ache! Doctor, is there nothing you can do? I’m covered in Attack Gerbil poo!”

    “You take the lime and the coconut and mix ’em all up. Take the lime and the coconut and you add tequila. Take the lime and the coconut, salt around the edges. Take the lime and the coconut and drink it all up!”

  11. We had a motivational speaker at an engineering conference many years ago. He said “If you read 7 books about something it makes you an expert.” I did not have the heart to tell hime that he was in the presence of a room of PHD semiconductor engineers, and that they had spent *years* learning their craft, with a lot of hard original study along the way.

  12. @KeithB
    It has been attributed to one Malcolm Gladwell (?) in.his book “Outliers” that 10,000 hours of pravctice makes one an expert.

  13. Thank you, doc. The tequila tree not being native to our shores, but the thought of limes a happy one, your prescription varied by substituting Old Bundaberg Dark in an epic dark ‘n’ stormy. Two of those, and you don’t care that there’s only one way in and no way out of this place, and that the waiters all wear long white coats.

  14. It was a dark night, not stormy, but bitterly cold and damp with a light mist in the air that would eventually soak to the skin if you were out long enough. London, last century. The winter of disco tents, but that’s another story. The undergrads in the House were planning a charity night of caroling and collecting coins in red cans. Seemed like a terrible idea, but after a few pints it sounded like an outstanding idea! Tally-ho, a caroling we shall go!

    An hour later we were froze to the bone, damp and totally spiritless. We shambled into a pub (of course!). The barkeep took one look at us, calculated how many reports he would have to file if we all expired, and set us up with a Magical Elixir: port and brandy. Never had one before but it was worth risking certain death to discover.