Category Archives: Intelligent Design

Surprise! Intelligent Design Is Theology

The Discovery Institute has a strange new post at their creationist blog today. It’s about theology — an unexpected topic for a group that promotes itself as a science outfit. Their post, which has no author’s by-line, is titled Is ID Bad Theology? No, but the Objection Is. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

On a new ID the Future episode [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!], philosopher Jay Richards responds to Mark Vernon’s charge that intelligent design is bad theology.

Who are those people? We know nothing about Richards, other than the fact that he often hosts Discoveroid podcasts. As for Mark Vernon, the guy who said intelligent design is bad theology, Wikipedia says he’s a writer, broadcaster and journalist with a degree in theology from Oxford. He also has a physics degree and a PhD in philosophy from other schools. Let’s see how the issue plays out. The Discoveroids tell us:

No, Richards says, the charge itself is based on bad theology, bad reasoning, and a faulty understanding of both intelligent design theory and theism.

Harsh criticism, but why would a science outfit — which is what the Discoveroids claim to be — worry about theology? Maybe we’ll find out. The Discoveroids say:

First, in the context of biology, the theory of intelligent design doesn’t specify the identify of a designer or the specific means of causation. It merely makes an argument to intelligent design as the best explanation for certain features of the natural world.

Right. It’s like William Paley’s Watchmaker analogy. You know how it goes — if something looks designed, then by golly it is designed! The Discoveroids rely heavily on the watchmaker analogy, and claim that they have an amazing ability to detect design. Their post continues:

Second, even if it did involve arguing that the designer was God and that God had intervened at particular points in the history of the cosmos, such as in the origin of life or the emergence of human beings, it would hardly be blasphemy. Far from it.

Blasphemy? Why would a science outfit be concerned about such a thing? Astronomers never give it a thought. Neither do physicists, or any other scientists — including biologists. But the Discoveroids are concerned, and they respond to the charge.

It would be orthodox theism [Oh, then it’s okay!], an outlook shared by theists as diverse as Christians, Jews, and Muslims, just to name a few. Under theism, God is understood as free and able to create both ex nihilo (out of nothing) at the beginning of creation, and within the created order.

Is this making any sense to you, dear reader? Same here, but let’s read on:

God, Richards says, “is under no obligation to conform to Mark Vernon’s rules of tidiness and propriety.” Vernon has mistaken a narrow deism for theism and then charged theists with blasphemy [Gasp!] for considering God free to act within the created order.

That’s the Discoveroids’ defense of the charge that their “theory” of intelligent design is bad theology. They insist that it’s good theology. We’ll take their word for it.

Hey — right at the end of the post we’re told who Richards is — and it’s something we knew and should have remembered:

Richards is a senior fellow of Discovery Institute and co-author, with Guillermo Gonzalez, of The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery.

So there you are, dear reader. In case you were having doubts, the Discoveroids’ “theory” of intelligent design is theology. And not just any theology, it’s good theology. Don’t ever doubt it!

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

An Ark-load of Intelligent Design Scientists

Like all Darwinists, you probably imagine that no one in his right mind thinks there’s any value to the Discovery Institute’s “science” of intelligent design. Well, prepare to have your foolish world flipped upside-down.

At the creationist blog of the Discoveroids, they just posted something that will absolutely shock you. It’s titled Watch: Scientists Who Affirm Intelligent Design, 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]:

In the debate about evolution [Hee hee!], there are really two questions at stake: First, does Darwin’s theory adequately explain the wonders of life? And second, does nature offer evidence of intelligent design?

We could say a lot about that little paragraph, but it isn’t necessary. Briefly, we’ll say that the “debate about evolution” is a creationist fantasy. No competent scientist thinks the topic is debatable — details, sure, but not the whole concept of evolution. As for Klinghoffer’s two questions, no one imagines that evolution explains “the wonders of life,” whatever that may mean. And no one (other than a flaming creationist) wastes time searching for “evidence of intelligent design.”

That takes care of the start of Klinghoffer’s post. Then he says:

It’s possible that someone could answer “no” to both questions.

How would that work? No, evolution doesn’t explain “the wonders of life,” and no, searching for “evidence of intelligent design” isn’t a waste of time. Who would give those answers? A flaming creationist! Okay, let’s move along. Klinghoffer says:

Leading up to Darwin Day, February 12 — this Friday — Discovery Institute offers a new brief video [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid video!] addressing the second question in the words of scientists themselves.

Wowie — Klinghoffer’s going to give us the words of “scientists themselves” about whether nature offer evidence of intelligent design. This should be fun! He tells us:

Observe the birthday of Charles Darwin with us by sharing this very cool montage [It’s “cool”!] with friends, relatives, and teachers. As these scientists see it, reality — from the elements that comprise nature, to the architecture of cells, to that of the universe as a whole — not only defies materialist explanations like Darwin’s but it provides positive testimony to purpose and guidance — that is, design:

Ooooooooooooh! The whole universe provides “testimony” to intelligent design! Isn’t that amazing? The video is embedded at this point in Klinghoffer’s post, and unless you actually watch the thing, you won’t have any idea who those creation scientists are. We don’t care, so we won’t be watching it. Anyway, Klinghoffer continues:

That’s important because when the evidence of biology and of cosmology are joined together [Like you and Uranus!], they direct us not only to affirming generic “intelligent design,” an unknown designer, but as Stephen Meyer shows in his forthcoming book, to the conclusion of recognizing a personal God. [Gasp!]

The last of Klinghoffer’s post is a pitch for Meyer’s book:

Return of the God Hypothesis is out on March 30. Consider pre-ordering that for yourself, and for other people in your life that you care about, now. [Link omitted!]

We’ve posted a few times about Meyer’s book — see, e.g.: Stephen Meyer’s New Book — Soon, But Not Yet. We imagine that they’ll be pitching the thing all year, so it’s gonna be fun. Anyway, that’s all Klinghoffer has for us, so we’re outta here!

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

Discoveroids Battle Against Disinformation

This one at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog is really strange. The title of their new post is For Darwin Day, Website Resists Disinformation Campaign Against Intelligent Design. BWAHAHAHAHAHA! — the Discoveroids are battling against disinformation! The thing was written by Klinghoffer, so you know it’s good. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

One of the key terms of this cultural moment is “disinformation,” also known as “misinformation.” Much of the time these words are aimed by censors at ideas they simply don’t like. [We’re all familiar with it — especially from creationist websites!] Kevin Roose, writing in that leading propaganda organ, the New York Times [Link omitted!], even advocates for a federal-level government “task force” led by a “reality czar” to tell Americans what’s true and what’s not, thus combatting “the scourge of hoaxes and lies.”

That sounds like the New York Times. But how can Klinghoffer, a big-time blogger for the Discoveroids, write a post about misinformation? This should be fun! He says:

The truth is that the theory of intelligent design has been the object of a disinformation campaign, marked by lies and conspiracy theories, for many years.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! After that he tells us:

There has been an urgent need for online resources that present the truth about science-based critiques of Darwinism and the case for intelligent design. Evolution News, the daily voice of the ID movement, is one source. [Well, it’s a source of something!] But where do you go for a general introduction to ID for the total newcomer? Or for the intermediate or advanced learner?

Where do you go for the stuff the Discoveroids always promote? We might suggest the bathroom. Anyway, he continues:

This week leads up to Darwin Day on Friday, February 12 — the birthday of Charles Darwin. For the occasion, the Center for Science & Culture is delighted to launch IntelligentDesign.Org. [Link omitted!] Everything about ID that ought to be at Wikipedia, and much more, is right there.

That’s what the world needs — another Discoveroid website! Let’s read on:

The web address has been around for some time, but we have revamped the site to the point where it is now completely new. … There’s a huge amount to explore, including videos, articles, news, a curriculum, frequently asked questions, and more. All the science stars of the ID movement are represented including [List of Discoveroid geniuses omitted!] But much else is brand new. This is where to send a friend, family member, or teacher who asks, “What’s intelligent design?”

We still think the bathroom is a better choice. Hey — we’ve arrived at Klinghoffer’s final paragraph. Here it is:

Of course I am leaving a lot out, so I’ll [He means “You’ll”!] just have to go and check out IntelligentDesign.Org [Link omitted again!] for yourself. Look back here later for news about a brand new video, “A Scientific Assent” — that is, to intelligent design — that will be featured at the site, as well. [Sounds fantastic!] This is a major step forward for truth against lies.

That last sentence is a real winner! We wish the Discoveroids well with their new website. If you ever visit the place, dear reader, let us know what we’re missing.

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

Creationist Wisdom #1,069: Design Is Everywhere

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Bristol Herald Courier of Bristol, Virginia. It’s titled Despite Talley’s column, maybe we are more than just dust, and the newspaper has a comments feature.

Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Tim. Excerpts from the letter will be enhanced with some bold font for emphasis and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Here we go!

You’ve heard the phrase “Kick them when they’re down”; well, Ben Talley does just that in his “Dust in the wind” Education Beat column last Sunday (Jan. 24). To folks who are mentally, emotionally and even physically exhausted from all that 2020 has thrown at them, he delivers the coup de grace (a final blow or shot given to kill a wounded person) [Thanks for the definition!] by declaring that humans are just dust — cosmic dirt in a cold, indifferent, purposeless universe.

Humans are just cosmic dirt? That’s horrible! This is the column that has Timmy so upset: All we are is dust in the wind. Timmy says:

As one famous scientist once put it: “The cosmos is all that ever is, or was, or ever will be.” [Timmy can’t remember Carl Sagan’s name!] Boy, that’s encouraging! Science claims that the Darwinian mechanism of mutation and natural selection is responsible for the origin of life. [No, that was chemistry, not evolution!] If this mechanism is an accurate description of reality, then by necessity, evolution must also be responsible for creation of the cell and the vast quantity of instructional information it contains.

That was bad, but now brace yourself for an ark-load of blather about “information.” Timmy tells us:

Can nature create information? Science assures us that it can. But there is a little problem with all of this that science does not willingly disclose to the public. The problem is that the staggering complexity of the cell itself defies any explanation for its existence through a chance-based process like Darwinism.

It appears that Timmy has totally swallowed the Discoveroids’ concept of “information,” about which see Phlogiston, Vitalism, and Information, and also Intelligent Design Is the Science of Information. He continues:

The complexity of life is far, far beyond the reach of chance. [BWAHAHAHAHAHA!] We know that chemicals left to themselves do not make a biological cell. The only other causal agent known to mankind is design.

Timmy says “we know” that you can’t get a biological cell from chemicals “left to themselves.” That claim isn’t based on a law of nature, and it’s actually quite likely that it will happen — given enough time and the proper environment — see Casey and the Miller-Urey Experiment, #2. What other creationist clunkers does Timmy have for us? Let’s read on:

Our common experience as intelligent beings tells us the only plausible source of things like design, information and instructions is intelligence.

Ooooooooooooh! That’s our common experience. Another excerpt:

Life looks designed. Maybe it is.

Hey — that’s a terrific argument! And now we come to the end:

We do not have to strain to see design in nature. It is all over the place. And whoever the Designer is, mankind is His greatest work. Maybe we are more than just dust.

That was an amazingly persuasive letter, don’t you agree, dear reader?

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