Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2021 — #2 & #1

[Imagine Twilight Zone Music] You are about to leave reality and travel into another dimension — a dimension of the mind, a dimension that exists beyond the laws of nature, unknowable by evidence and reason — a wondrous land of Oogity Boogity! You have embarked on a journey into the realm of miracles and mysticism, where your only guide is faith. There’s a signpost up ahead: Next stop — The Drool Zone.

At last our year-end adventure reaches its thundering climax as we arrive at the summit of the Discovery Institute’s list of their Top Ten stories for the year that just ended. These are the momentous events that have thrilled the Discoveroids and their generous patrons.

We’ve already discussed the first eight items on their impressive list — see #10, and then #9, #8, and #7, and then #6 and #5, and then #4 and #3.

And now, on the first day of the New Year, we bring you the Top Two items that appeared last year at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog. We know how anxious you are for this information, so with no delay we being you #2 Story of 2021: Caltech Finds Amazing Role for Nonctenoding DNA.

As they’ve done with all the other items in their latest Top Ten list, they don’t give the title of (or a link to) their earlier post — only the date when it appeared at their creationist blog. They say this one was originally posted on 03 December. It’s about junk DNA, so we ignored it when it first appeared. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Scientists at Caltech may have sounded the final death knell for the “junk DNA” myth.

Yeah, yeah — there’s no such thing as junk DNA. Every precious atom in your genome was deliberately placed there by the intelligent designer — blessed be he! We’re scanning their post to see if there’s anything else worth posting here. Well, okay, here’s the final paragraph:

This is a paper to remember. It shows in hindsight the fruitfulness of the ID perspective over the evolutionary one. Evolutionary thinking dismissed these non-coding RNAs as junk. ID thinking would have approached the unknown with the premise, “If something works, it’s not happening by accident.”

Magnificent, wasn’t it? And now, at last, we arrive at the Discoveroids’ Number One post for 2021: Happy New Year! #1 Story of 2021: Cambrian Explosion Goes Nuclear.

They say it’s something they originally posted on 08 April of last year, written by Günter Bechly, a Discoveroid senior fellow. We didn’t bother to blog about it when it first appeared. Like the other Discoveroids, Günter seems to suggest that the Cambrian Explosion is when the Intelligent Designer was super busy designing organisms. Here’s an excerpt:

Charles Darwin was quite aware that the sudden appearance of animals in the fossil record poses a major problem for his theory, but he hoped that this problem was due only to our insufficient knowledge of an incomplete fossil record, and therefore will dissolve over time with future research. However, 150 years of paleontological exploration after Darwin has made the problem far worse: not for nothing is it called the Cambrian Explosion.

That’s what we’re dealing with. You can click over there to read it all — if that’s your pleasure. We’ve already spent too much time on it.

Now you’ve seen what the Discoveroids regard as their Top Ten items for the year. We don’t know what to say about it — except what we said after last year’s list: it’s a tragic pile of [*bleep*]. What’s your opinion, dear reader?

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

17 responses to “Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2021 — #2 & #1

  1. If you look up the word “pathetic” in the dictionary, there is a picture of Stevie Meyer. Widdle Stevie hitched his philosophical horse to the Cambrian Nixplosion in grad school and has been riding that poor, old dead nag ever since. In nearly 30 years the Tooters have not advanced beyond their quote-mining (thanks, Gerbil!) and lying about the so-called Cambrian Nixplosion.

    Hashtag Sad.

  2. Imagine if someone invented a coffee machine and it took 50 million years for the cup of coffee. Would we think they are a genius or would we think they are incompetent.

  3. I waited 50 million years for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Srsly.

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    So the Cambrian was a long span. When exactly was the ID at work? At the beginning, the first month or so, or the whole time? If it was the whole time, when did he stop? If it was only the beginning, did he step in again to create new things, or move evolution along?

  5. Why did the designers take so long, etc.? Why did so many of their designs go extinct? And, of course, why did they bother with designing when the universe was fine-tuned for life?

  6. Even by DI standards,#1 is disappointing. It centres on my friend Greg Retallack’s long expressed skepticism about the Ediacaran fauna, and goes on to feature Bechly having come across a paper publshed in 2018.

    So the most impressive achievement the Di have to boast of this year is Bechly catching up on his reading! But once again, I have to thank DI for directing my attention to what is indeed an interesting paper

  7. This is a paper to remember. It shows in hindsight the fruitfulness of the ID perspective over the evolutionary one. Evolutionary thinking dismissed these non-coding RNAs as junk.

    I like how he both appropriates and disparages “evolutionary thinking”. (Because presumably the paper was written by “evolutionary thinkers”.)

  8. Christine Marie Janis

    Well, now Dr. Bechley, if Dickinsonia was the only Ediacaran organism that had been proposed to be a metazoan in past few years then you might have a point. But evidence is unfolding for many of these forms to have animal affinities, and of course we still have undoubted complex metazoans such as Kimberella in the Ediacaran. Not that his readers know anything about this, of course.

    His interpretation of the Linneman et al (2018) is hilarious, not to say intentionally misleading. The authors are arguing for a relatively short (half a million years) **faunal turnover** in Namibia from one dominated by Ediacaran type organisms to one dominated by Cambrian ones. They are not proposing that half a million years was all that it took for the evolution of metazoans from nothing, as Bechly implies. Bechly knows this, of course.

    And what they describe as the new fauna at the base of the Cambrian is not a fully-formed Burgess Shale type assemblage (as Bechly implies) but a series of trace fossils (that can only be made by animals with muscles, i.e. bilaterian metazoans). Bechly also knows that, of course, but knows that his readers do not. So much lying for Jesus.

    BTW, the paper is behind a paywall, but I’ve downloaded a copy if anybody wants it.

  9. @Christine Marie Janis, the point about replacement rather than transformation had occurred to me, and I’m a mere chemist by trade, not (as Bechly is) a biologit,sort of.

    I’m less convinced than you are about conscious dishonesty; viewing through a selective prism can have similar effects, if you can manage to regard all the counterexamples to your thesis as unimportant. As to whether that’s better than conscious lying, or worse, I’m not sure

  10. The brilliant @ Paul Braterman gives us a new word for 2022: biologit (bi-OL-o-git) denoting an unpleasant, silly, incompetent, annoying disgrace to the human species who uses academic credentials to cloak his intentions to obfuscate and deceive in an attempt to curry favor within a maleficent cult.

    See also: geologit.

  11. If Bechly was a layman, such sort of selective interpretation of data might be understandable. As a professional paleontologist, its unconscionable.

  12. Stephen Kennedy

    The Cambrian Explosion when many new organisms were designed. As I have stated before concerning my gamma camera patent and why I am not rich, there is an enormous step required between designing something and actually turning that design into a working physical entity. The DI seems to assume all you have to do is design something and it will come into existence on its own. If only it were that easy.

    I am somewhat surprised that no one calls out the DI to explain how the things that the Intelligent Designer designs turn into populations of living organisms. Maybe I am more focused on this issue since I have personal experience with designing something but ran into major difficulties in turning it into an actual product. Furthermore, turning a design of an inanimate object like a gamma camera into a functioning gamma camera should be simple compared to turning a design for a fish into a living fish.

  13. “I am somewhat surprised that no one calls out the DI to explain how the things that the Intelligent Designer designs turn into populations of living organisms.”

    Just in this arena, I’ve called them out, you;ve called them out, TomS is caling them out all the time for this reason and others even more fundamental. But do they answer?

  14. Very simple. The Designer says words, and then it happens. And then it mooed upon the face of the waters for some reason.

  15. I just realized, the Designer must have invented words. Therefore, creationists must be historical linguistics deniers, along with all their other denial baggage they carry around.

  16. “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

    There you go. The origin of all the languages. Go to, let us go down, checkmate!

  17. @Richard, I have seen a version of this argument used by a YEC to refute deep human history: