Category Archives: Intelligent Design

Fine-Tuning, Therefore Oogity Boogity

This one at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog will absolutely persuade you to abandon your sinful Darwinism. The title of the Discoveroids’ post is Life: Fearfully and Wonderfully Fine-Tuned, 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]:

A new ID the Future episode [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!] spotlights the incredible fine-tuning of life.

What the flaming *BLEEP* is the fine-tuning of life? Yes, we live on this planet, but that doesn’t mean that some deity tweaked us so that we could live here; nor does it mean that the deity tweaked the Earth so it would accommodate us. We evolved to live here. Those organisms that couldn’t survive didn’t pass their inadequate characteristics to the next generation. This isn’t complicated, folks! Ah well, let’s continue with the Discoveroid post. They say:

Robert J. Marks hosts Stockholm University professor of mathematical statistics Ola Hössjer and University of Miami population geneticist Daniel Díaz. The three discuss strategies for extending the concept of fine-tuning to biological systems [Great idea!], and along the way touch on population genetics, entropy, and probability theory.

It sounds like an absolutely thrilling conversation. After that the Discoveroids tell us:

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

The Discoveroid post continues:

At the center of the discussion are three technical papers — here, here, and here [All three links omitted!] — each co-authored by one or more of the three members of the podcast discussion.

Isn’t this fun? Let’s read on:

This episode is reposted from Mind Matters News, a website of Discovery Institute’s Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence.

Wowie — the Discoveroids are re-posting their own stuff! Hey — we’ve arrived at the end of their post. Here’s the last of it:

Head over to their podcast page [Link omitted!] to find the other episodes in this interview series.

Would ya believe it, that’s all there is to their post. It wasn’t very long, but you gotta admit, the thing was jam-packed with important information. There’s no doubt about it — Darwinism is doomed!

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

Casey Ain’t No Kin to No Monkey

This one is really going to shake your confidence in Darwinism. We found it at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog, and it’s titled Human-Chimp Similarity: What Is It and What Does It Mean? Good question, isn’t it? Well, what does it mean? You’re about to find out.

The Discoveroid post was written by Casey Luskin, everyone’s favorite creationist. If you don’t know who he is, see Guess Who’s Returning to the Discovery Institute, followed shortly thereafter by Casey Is Back — O the Joy! Okay, let’s get started. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

For years we’ve been told that human and chimp DNA is some 99 percent identical. The genetic similarity statistic is then used to make an argument for human-ape common ancestry, and human-ape common ancestry is then employed in service of the larger philosophical point that humans are just modified apes, and nothing special. It all amounts to an argument against human exceptionalism. This sort of thinking is embodied by Bill Nye (“The Science Guy”) in his 2014 book Undeniable:

[Casey quotes Bill Nye:] As our understanding of DNA has increased, we have come to understand that we share around 98.8 percent of our gene sequence with chimpanzees. This is striking evidence for chimps and chumps to have a common ancestor.

Casey is horrified and says:

But is this really true? In response to the newly released episode of Science Uprising on human origins [Link omitted!], we have recently received questions [from drooling idiots] about the true degree of human-chimp similarity. With that in mind, let’s review some past coverage on the issue.

He then quotes several articles that give different figures for the similarity of human and chimp DNA, after which he tells us:

Whatever the exact percentage of human-chimp genetic similarity (however you want to measure it) turns out to be, let’s grant that it will be fairly high, probably 84 percent or greater. Does this necessarily require the conclusion of common ancestry? [It doesn’t?] Is the case for common ancestry, based upon the degree of similarity, an objective or rigorous argument that’s capable of being falsified? For example, if a 1 percent genetic difference implies common ancestry, but then that statistic turns out to be wrong, then does a 4 percent genetic difference mean common ancestry is false? How about 7 percent or 10 percent genetic difference? 25 percent? At what point does the comparison cease to support common ancestry? Why does the percent genetic similarity even matter? [Is that a serious question?] It’s not clear that there is an objective standard for falsification here, any identifiable reason why a particular percentage of genetic similarity should be taken to indicate common ancestry.

Clever, huh? If there’s no specific number that will clinch the deal, then numbers don’t matter! He continues:

The case for human-chimp common ancestry is rendered significantly weaker once one realizes that there are other potential explanations for functional similarities: notably, design based upon a common blueprint. [Gasp!] Intelligent agents often re-use parts and components that perform common functions in different designs. It’s a good engineering design principle to follow! Everyday examples of this include wheels used on both cars and airplanes, or touchscreen keyboards used on both phones and tablets.

Casey is so brilliant! Then he spends several paragraphs quoting other Discoveroids. If you want to read that stuff, go right ahead, but we’re moving on. He says:

Of course some will cite shared NON-functional (as opposed to functional) genetic similarities between humans and chimps as better evidence for common ancestry. I agree that non-functional shared DNA could be a potential argument for common ancestry, but I’m skeptical that many of the DNA elements cited in these arguments are actually non-functional.

He cites a few instances where some DNA elements once thought to be non-functional were later found to have a function, so he dismisses that whole line of argument. Clever, huh? Then he makes a very strange argument:

Since many of the building blocks used by humans and chimps are similar, it’s no wonder that our protein-coding DNA is also so similar. Common design can explain these similarities. [Hee hee!] But it’s important to bear in mind that one can use identical building blocks — bricks, mortar, wood, and nails — to build very different houses. So it’s not just about having similar building blocks, but how you use them. This is where genetic similarities between humans and chimps probably aren’t so meaningful, when you consider how the building blocks being used can be very different.

Did you follow that? Good — you can explain it to us. Next, he quotes some of his Discoveroid colleagues about about human-chimp genetic differences. Obviously, there are differences, because humans aren’t chimps. We’re skipping that stuff. Ah, how about this:

And this leaves aside the vast cognitive and behavioral gulf between humans and chimpanzees. We are the only species that uses fire and technology. We are the only species that composes music, writes poetry, and practices religion. We are also the only species that seeks to investigate the natural world through science. We write papers about chimps; not the other way around. All of this is possible because we humans are the only species that uses complex language.

Wow — Casey’s right! We’re not chimps! Then he brings the whole thing to a thundering climax. Here it is:

The human race has unique and unparalleled moral, intellectual, and creative abilities. Regardless of the level of similarity of human protein-coding DNA to chimps, clearly that similarity is only a small part of the story. [Well, it’s obviously not the whole story!] If anything, it testifies that protein-coding DNA sequences are only one of multiple crucial interacting factors that determine an organism’s biology and behavior.

So there you are. Casey ain’t no kin to no monkey, and neither are you — unless, of course, you’re a Darwinist!

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

Discoveroids Predict Desperate Darwinist Behavior

There’s a frightening title to the latest post at the creationist blog of the Discovery Institute: Is Darwinism a Theory in Crisis?, and it has no author’s by-line.

Just below the title is an amazing photograph of Jonathan Wells, about whom we’ve written recently — see We’re Defeated by Evolution’s Biggest Problems. For background information about Wells, we referred you to one of our earlier posts, Discovery Institute: The Genius of Jonathan Wells. But if you really want to know about him, see his write-up at Wikipedia: Jonathan Wells (intelligent design advocate). They have a lot of information about his multi-decade career with the Unification Church — i.e., the “Moonies” — and then his affiliation with the Discoveroids.

Okay, that’s who Wells is. Now lets get back to the Discoveroid post. 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 [Amazon link], and specifically, an essay in the new anthology by biologist Jonathan Wells, “Is Darwinism a Theory in Crisis?”

They blogged about a different chapter of that book recently, about which we wrote We’re Defeated by Evolution’s Biggest Problems. Okay, back to the Discoveroids. They say:

As Wells and host Casey Luskin [Hee hee!] note, the essay title alludes to philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn’s influential 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

Is Darwin’s theory in crisis? Let’s find out. The Discoveroid post tells us:

Kuhn argued there that if one studies the history of scientific revolutions, one finds that when the scientific evidence has begun to turn against a dominant scientific paradigm — when its days are numbered — its adherents do not simply concede defeat. [They don’t?] Instead they use all their institutional power to suppress dissent and punish proponents of any competing paradigm.

Well, yeah — that’s what Galileo encountered. But we’re a bit more civilized now — at least that’s how it seems to us. For example, when the eternally oscillating model of the universe was challenged by observations that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, not slowing down because of gravity, we don’t recall any violent opposition. Anyway, the Discoveroid post continues:

This is the period of crisis, which can last for years and even decades. Wells contends that modern evolutionary theory is a current instance of a dominant paradigm in crisis.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We’re getting near the end of the Discoveroids’ exciting post. Here’s another excerpt:

He briefly makes the case in this episode, and at greater length in his essay, which appears in the newly released anthology from Harvest House, edited by William Dembski, Casey Luskin, and Joseph Holden.

Sounds wonderful. Their post ends with this:

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

Okay, dear reader, you better start getting ready. The Moonie-Discoveroid is predicting some extreme times ahead, as the traditionalist Darwinists “use all their institutional power to suppress dissent and punish proponents of any competing paradigm.” It’s going to be wild!

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

Big or Small, the Universe Is Proof of Oogity Boogity

Once again, the absence of real news brings us to the creationist blog of the Discovery institute, where we find this amazing post: The Big Myth: Big Universe Is a Problem for Religion. It was written by Mike Keas, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” who teaches at Biola University, a bible college. One of our last posts about him was Discoveroids Attack the New Cosmos Series. Here are some excerpts from Mike’s new post, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Self-appointed spokesmen for science often use the enormous size of the cosmos, with its billions of galaxies, as a club to beat up Christianity. They say people in the Western tradition had to wait till modern science to grasp that the universe was huge, and had to shed their historic Judeo-Christian views to do so. Not true.

Wow — that’s a powerful opening paragraph! Oh by the way, the Discoveroid post begins with an editor’s note that tells us their post is actually an excerpt from Mike’s chapter in a new book. We linked to that book in a recent post about another Discoveroid’s chapter in that book — see We’re Defeated by Evolution’s Biggest Problems. Okay, back to Mike’s chapter, which says:

Prominent scientists from centuries past, including Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) and Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), recognized that the universe is vast. [How vast?] They saw in this no contradiction with their Christian beliefs. Yet celebrity TV science educator Bill Nye, the “Science Guy,” is among those who suggest that the sheer scale of the cosmos means humans are insignificant.

Interesting. Galileo agreed with the heliocentric theory of Copernicus, and he was accused of heresy. Neither of them, nor Pascal, had even the slightest idea how big the universe is. It’s a lot bigger than the biblical concept of a happy garden under the dome of the firmament. Bill Nye certainly has a more accurate concept of the universe. Where is Mike going with this? He tells us:

In the last minutes of his 2010 Humanist of the Year acceptance speech, Nye — speaking for science and all humanity — delighted the American Humanist Association with this:

[Mike claims Bill Nye said this:] I am insignificant … I am just another speck of sand. And the Earth really in the cosmic scheme of things is another speck. And the sun an unremarkable star … And the galaxy is a speck. I’m a speck on a speck orbiting a speck among other specks among still other specks in the middle of specklessness. I suck. [Gasp!]

What does Mike say about that?

Nye’s audience laughed approvingly, no doubt because they believed that “I suck” really means religion (which teaches that we don’t suck) sucks. But Bill Nye isn’t so much the science guy as he is the scientism guy. Scientism is atheistic dogma masquerading as objective science.

Wow — scientism is really bad stuff! Mike then spends a few paragraphs on something C. S. Lewis wrote in 1943. We’re skipping that, after which Mike says:

Do you see the problem? No matter how God might have made the universe and life, skeptics [The creeps!] would surely complain about something to the point of disbelief. What we have here isn’t truth-seeking, but rather, game rigging.

Mike then sums it all up with this:

Atheists [The fools!] would find ways to spin a story that ridicules belief in God no matter what the size or contents of the cosmos. Bill Nye’s God-bashing cosmic storytelling fails the credibility test. Keep all this in mind the next time you hear this popular myth invoked to mock religious believers.

And now we come to the end:

For both Jews and Christians, here is the situation: We believe in an omnipotent, infinite God, and modern astronomical discoveries have confirmed that we inhabit a majestic universe befitting just such a creator. The psalmist got it right 3,000 years ago: “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1).

Well, dear reader — did Mike Keas convince you? If not, please tell us what the problem is.

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