Category Archives: Intelligent Design

Discoveroids Try To Rebut God of the Gaps

Once again our entertainment comes from the Discovery Institute — which indicates the total absence of actual creationist news in the world. Anyway, the latest gem at their creationist blog is titled Watch: The Multiverse Is Some Scientists’ “God of the Gaps”. It was written by Klinghoffer. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

The “God of the gaps” label is a favorite with critics of intelligent design.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It’s a “favorite” only in the sense that it’s a fallacy used all the time by creationists, so those of us on the science side of the debate often mention that it’s being used again. Anyway, Klinghoffer says:

It’s a fallacy, of course, since ID theory appeals not to what we don’t know but to what we do know about how creative and intelligent agents operate.

Amazing, isn’t it? More than amazing, it’s revolting. Let’s get serious here. Wikipedia’s article on God of the gaps says:

“God of the gaps” is a theological perspective in which gaps in scientific knowledge are taken to be evidence or proof of God’s existence.

God of the gaps is one of the principal arguments of creationists, and we point this out all the time. That bothers them, and sometimes they deny what they are so obviously doing. A good example is this from several years ago: Klinghoffer: “We Don’t Use God of the Gaps”. If you need any incentive to read it, we used Discoveroid logic to explain the origin of the female breast. But we apologize for the digression. Returning to the topic of the day, Klinghoffer tells us:

But it’s not the case that debates about ID are free of appeals to a “Gaps” deity. Philosopher and scientist Kirk Durston identifies “Science’s ‘god’ of the gaps”:

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, it’s the folks on the science side of the debate who use a god of the gaps. Klinghoffer continues:

By “science” he means a rigid, question-begging notion of scientific thinking. [Huh?] As biologist Eugene Koonin put it, “By showing that highly complex systems, actually, can emerge by chance and, moreover are inevitable, if extremely rare, in the universe, the present model sidesteps the issues of irreducibility and leaves no room whatsoever for intelligent design.”

Fortunately there’s just a little bit left to the Discoveroid post. Here it comes:

This brand of scientific ideology requires a “God of the gaps” — Koonin’s “present model” — to explain away mysteries like the origin of life. And it finds its God, as Durston explains, in the form of the multiverse.

The multiverse? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! And that, boys and girls, is how you rebut claims that your “science” of intelligent design relies on the god of the gaps. Oh, we almost forgot — there’s some kind of video you can watch at the Discoveroid post, titled Science’s ‘god’ of the gaps.. Watch it at your own risk.

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

Was Carl Sagan an Ignoramus?

You’ll be amazed by what we found at the creationist website of the Discovery Institute. It’s titled Before Carl Sagan Said It, Science Debunked It, and the thing 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!], Privileged Planet co-author Jay W. Richards sits down with host Eric Anderson to discuss the gold rush of extrasolar planet discovery and how the Privileged Planet hypothesis [Hee hee!] has held up since 2004.

We’ll jump in to give you a bit of background. As many of you already know, Jay W. Richards, a Discoveroid senior fellow, along with Guillermo Gonzalez, or “Gonzo” as we call him, co-authored the classic creationist book, The Privileged Planet, a “fine tuning” argument applied to Earth. Richards was a former faculty member at Biola University, a bible college, where he taught apologetics.

Okay, back to the Discoveroids. They say:

Richards teases an anniversary edition of The Privileged Planet in the works [That’s exciting!], and he and Anderson discuss the statement that Carl Sagan is perhaps most famous for.

You know what statement they’re talking about. It was in the introduction to every episode of Sagan’s Cosmos series: “The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be.” What does Richards have to say about it? The Discoveroid post tells us:

Richards explains how science had already disproven the famous Sagan claim [What?] by the time the astronomer first uttered it to millions of viewers in his documentary series Cosmos.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What else is there besides the cosmos? Maybe Cosmos Number Two? Perhaps the firmament? Maybe the cave where the Intelligent Designer lives? Are we missing anything?

Oh, we almost forgot — the Discoveroids’ post ends with this:

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

Okay, dear reader, you know what you’ve gotta do. Listen to the Discoveroids’ podcast, then come on back to let us know why Sagan was a fool!

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

Discoveroids Attack the “Church” of Science

This one is delightfully overflowing with unintended irony. It’s at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog, titled From Matt Ridley, Smart Remarks on Scientocracy — and a Howling Irony, and it was written by Klinghoffer. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

There were some excellent comments about science and scientocracy from Matt Ridley in a weekend interview in the Wall Street Journal — but also a howling irony. Ridley, a self-professed “science critic,” distinguishes science as a “philosophy,” a way of seeking knowledge with roots in the Enlightenment, from science as a self-promoting, self-protecting “institution,” a “global guild.”

That sounds like a reasonable distinction. But Klinghoffer reacts strangely to Ridley’s views:

“Conformity,” Mr. Ridley says, “is the enemy of scientific progress, which depends on disagreement and challenge. Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts, as [the physicist Richard] Feynman put it.” Mr. Ridley reserves his bluntest criticism for “science as a profession,” which he says has become “rather off-puttingly arrogant and political, permeated by motivated reasoning and confirmation bias.” Increasing numbers of scientists “seem to fall prey to groupthink, and the process of peer-reviewing and publishing allows dogmatic gate-keeping to get in the way of new ideas and open-minded challenge.”

Okay, Ridley doesn’t approve of groupthink. Klinghoffer tells us:

In Mr. Ridley’s view, the scientific establishment has always had a tendency “to turn into a church, enforcing obedience to the latest dogma and expelling heretics and blasphemers.” This tendency was previously kept in check by the fragmented nature of the scientific enterprise: Prof. A at one university built his career by saying that Prof. B’s ideas somewhere else were wrong. In the age of social media, however, “the space for heterodoxy is evaporating.”

Egad — is science turning into some kind of church? Klinghoffer continues:

Isn’t that the truth? Science as a “church” policing its members for their obedience to “dogma,” pursuing and “expelling heretics and blasphemers.” That’s the experience of ID proponents in academia, tracked and punished by the Darwinists, in a nutshell.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, it’s a cruel world. Let’s read on:

And yet…Ridley needs to put in a dig at intelligent design [Gasp!], right in the middle of some smart remarks about what’s worrisome about the hankering of scientists to be put in charge of everyone, as in the present pandemic.

[Klinghoffer quotes from the Journal article, which quotes Ridley:] He asks: “If you think biological complexity can come about through unplanned emergence and not need an intelligent designer, then why would you think human society needs an ‘intelligent government’?” Science as an institution has “a naive belief that if only scientists were in charge, they would run the world well.” Perhaps that’s what politicians mean when they declare that they “believe in science.” As we’ve seen during the pandemic, science can be a source of power.

Klinghoffer is confused. He tells us:

I’m not sure what that even means. Because, in the evolutionary perspective, brilliant invention emerges from mindless material processes, therefore brilliance in a societal context will emerge readily even if unintelligent people run the government? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the worldview, the values, of those in government more than on their IQ. People of low, average, or high intelligence, if they’ve got a faulty picture of reality projecting at the back of their thoughts, can do a lot of damage if you put them in charge.

This is just weird. We don’t need government to run our lives. All they have to do is keep us free. See The Folly of Economic Creationism.

In his final paragraph, Klinghoffer attacks Ridley:

What is the function of the dig at ID, though? It seems to me it is to provide self-protection. [Groan!] Science is a “global guild” and this “critic” is assuring readers that despite sounding like a “heretic” or a “blasphemer” — perhaps even like one of those intelligent design rascals — he’s really quite safe and tame. He is a member of the “church” in good standing…well, maybe not perfect standing, but good enough for a hearing by the mainstream media. Unfortunately, that undercuts the cogency of much of the rest of what he has to say.

Tragic. Absolutely tragic. Ah well, what else would we expect from the Discoveroids?

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

Behe’s Best Argument for Intelligent Design

Like a bunch of Holy Moly monks from the Dark Ages, the gang at the Discovery Institute continues to use theology as the foundation of their “scientific” argument for intelligent design. A good example is the latest post at their creationist blog, titled Biologist Michael Behe Tangles with Two Philosophers. 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]:

A new ID the Future episode [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!] feature Darwin Devolves [Amazon link] author and Lehigh University biologist Michael Behe speaking about the logic and evidence of intelligent design with two philosophers, Pat Flynn and Jim Madden.

You know who Michael Behe is. He’s a Discovery Institute Senior Fellow and a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University. He has tenure, so he’s never been Expelled. His colleagues at Lehigh are so impressed by his brilliance that they publicly disassociated themselves from him by issuing this statement: Department Position on Evolution and “Intelligent Design”. Also, as most of you know, he was the Discoveroids’ star witness in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. We wrote about his catastrophic appearance there in Michael Behe’s Testimony.

Regarding Behe’s staring role in their latest podcast, the Discoveroids say:

In a friendly, stimulating exchange, Flynn and Madden press Behe with objections — some philosophic, others scientific — to see how well his position stands up to scrutiny from experts who have engaged the subject.

Ooooooooooooh! This is exciting! Can Behe stand up to such scrutiny? The Discoveroids tell us:

Here in Part 1 of a three-part series [Ooooooooooooh! There are two more parts coming!], Behe counters the charge that ID is an argument from ignorance, and then the three men compare the contemporary design argument to philosopher Thomas Aquinas’s Fifth Way.

Wikipedia has an article on Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274) and his five arguments for God: Five Ways (Aquinas). Here’s how they introduce their description of his Fifth Way — the Argument from Final Cause or Ends:

We see various intelligent objects in the world behaving in regular ways. This cannot be due to chance since then they would not behave with predictable results. So their behavior must be set. But it cannot be set by themselves since they are non-intelligent and have no notion of how to set behavior. Therefore, their behavior must be set by something else, and by implication something that must be intelligent. This everyone understands to be God.

Ooooooooooooh! Overwhelming, isn’t it? No wonder the Discoveroids regard Behe as their greatest intellect.

The rest of their post is a plug for Behe’s latest book and then a link to the podcast they’ve been praising, so we’ll quit here. But we want to hear from you, dear reader. Did you find Behe’s argument persuasive? If not, why not?

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