The Greatest Discoveroid Podcast in the World

It’s been difficult lately to find any amusement at the creationist blog of the Discovery Institute, but something popped up today. It’s titled Your Designed Body: “Irreducible Complexity on Steroids”, 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 new episode of ID the Future [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!], Your Designed Body [Amazon link!] co-author and physician Howard Glicksman talks with host and neurosurgery professor Michael Egnor about Glicksman’s new book, written with systems engineer Steve Laufmann.

The book they’re talking about was published by the Discovery Institute, and you know what that means. The cost is “only” $23.36 in paperback, so go ahead and buy a dozen of them. They’ll make great Christmas gifts. Okay, getting back to the Discoveroid post, it says:

Glicksman walks through a series of systems in the human body that are each irreducibly complex [so they say], and are each part of larger coherent interdependent systems. As Glicksman puts it, the human body is “irreducible complexity on steroids.”

Ooooooooooooh! What a great book! Then they ask us:

How could blind evolutionary processes, such as neo-Darwinism’s joint mechanism of natural selection working on random genetic mutations, build this bio-engineering marvel?

What a great question! What’s the answer? Here it comes:

Your Designed Body [the book they’re talking about] makes the case that it couldn’t. It’s not even close.

Wowie! But then … where do our amazing bodies come from? The Discoveroids explain:

What is required instead is foresight, planning, and engineering genius. [Gasp!]

And the Discoveroid post ends with this:

Download the podcast or listen to it here. [Link omitted!]

Okay, dear reader, you know what to do: watch the podcast and then buy the book. And tell ’em the Curmudgeon sent ya!

Copyright © 2022. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

15 responses to “The Greatest Discoveroid Podcast in the World

  1. “Hey I think I will create something far far more defective than myself, and indeed even the angels I already have, because I’m such a freakin genius.”

  2. Let us assume that it can be proved that there is something about the world of life which cannot be the product of evolution.
    But is there design?

  3. “When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” –Arthur Conan Doyle, spiritualist and faerie believer

  4. @richard
    If one removes evolution, as being impossible, what is left?
    Who, what, when, where, why, how?

  5. @TomS According to the creationist false dilemma, evolution is the “which is impossible”, and the “whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth” is the capital D Designer God.

  6. Narrative fiction always starts with a question. The question always starts with the words “What if…?”

    In this case, the question is “What if biological systems can’t be explained by natural causes, specifically natural selection among naturally occurring inheritable variations?”

    Well, yeah. What if that? You can ask that question, and that can produce a narrative. A story.

    For the “what if” question need not be about anything current, or possible, or real. Sure, it can be “What if a man whose property was entailed away from the female line had only daughters?” Perfectly possible, in 1810. The result is “Pride and Prejudice”. But it could be, “What if humans could go to the stars?” or “What if people could travel in time?” or “What if (some) magic worked?” or “What if there really were ghosts?”, and the results could be “Star Trek” or “The Time Machine” or “Lord of the Rings” or “Hamlet”.

    That is, the result of a “what if?” is narrative. Story-telling. Now, I’d be the last person on the planet to decry story-telling. It’s one of the most human of traits, and it can help understanding of the real world, which includes other human beings. But it’s what it is. It’s story-telling.

    For the DI to emerge from the world of narrative, the “what if” question has to have the “what if” cut out. The issue has to be one of known, demonstrable fact, ie, “These biological systems can’t be explained by natural causes.”

    But that is not known as fact. The DI would like to think so. It would like others to think so. But it cannot demonstrate it as fact. How exactly those systems arose may not be known in close detail, but the idea that they are not explained by natural causes is a springboard to a narrative, not a statement of fact.

    So the DI is selling a narrative. Well, what’s wrong with selling narrative? I am guilty of that myself.

    Yes, but I sold fiction. I knew it was fiction. Everyone who read it knew it was fiction. It was never presented as anything else. The DI is trying to kid you that its narrative doesn’t have that “what if?” at the beginning; that it is not fictional narrative. That is, they are misrepresenting their product, and selling it. This book is being sold for money.

    That is not just falsehood, and not just misrepresentation. It’s fraud.

  7. @richard
    But there are these alternatives to evolution
    * life has always existed
    * there are an infinity of places and times available for the possibilities
    * some agency not limited by the constraints of design is responsible
    * I do not know the answer, and maybe nobody knows

  8. Eddie Janssen

    “What is required instead is foresight, planning, and engineering genius.”
    So, God had a meeting with his angels and told them they had to start research to create all sorts of animals, plants and what have you not. And ofcourse a human body.

    How this proces would look like is brilliantly performed by Mr. Deity in a serries of short films on Youtube.

  9. Mr. Deity got rid of the firmament as soon as people got telescopes because He was tired of looking at it. Which makes sense.

  10. @Eddie Janssen
    Quite so!
    An engineer or other designer shows genius in overcoming difficulties.
    For an omnipotent or omniscient agent, there are no difficulties. There is no need to consider the properties of matter or the laws of nature – as if they were not determined by their creator, as if they they rather constrained what a designer could do.

  11. See the quotations of John Stuart Mill, “Three Essays on Religion” under Theism, in wikiquote.org.

  12. “As Glicksman puts it, the human body is “irreducible complexity on steroids.””

    This is just so silly, a moments reflection can come up with numerous examples.

    Somebody has to say it: The most obvious counterexample is the fact that the folks in this podcast seem to be talking just fine without a brain.

  13. Recent article from Quanta which has bearing on the repeated Creationist claim that the cosmos exhibits “fine tuning.”

    Why This Universe? A New Calculation Suggests Our Cosmos Is Typical.

    Our universe is the way it is, according to Neil Turok of the University of Edinburgh and Latham Boyle of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, for the same reason that air spreads evenly throughout a room: Weirder options are conceivable, but exceedingly improbable.

    The universe “may seem extremely fine-tuned, extremely unlikely, but [Turok and Boyle are] saying, ‘Wait a minute, it’s the favored one,’” said Thomas Hertog, a cosmologist at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium.

    The mathematics involved in the argument are waaaaaaaaaay above my pay-grade–but brighter minds that frequent this blog may find the article of interest.

  14. @KeithB
    See a sketch of a history of a concept of irreducible complexity in the Wikipedia article. IC is mostly pointless as a concept.

  15. “How could blind evolutionary processes, such as neo-Darwinism’s joint mechanism of natural selection working on random genetic mutations, build this bio-engineering marvel?”

    God is an infinitely omnipotent genius engineer… except it can’t do that. “Can’t touch this.” –MC Hammer