Category Archives: Intelligent Design

A Great Victory for Intelligent Design

Your Curmudgeon is having a difficult time figuring out how to deal with this one. We’re all accustomed to seeing the Discovery Institute seizing upon the most trivial items and claiming they mean another victory for their “theory” of intelligent design. But this one is different. It’s titled Evolution — The Board Game, written by Klinghoffer. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Look what I stumbled on at the local community center: it’s Evolution, the board game, from North Star Games. I have not played it, but I will say it’s cute, quite pretty actually, and seems durably and intelligently constructed.

Then he quotes from the manufacturer’s description:

In Evolution, players create and adapt their own species in a dynamic ecosystem with hungry predators and limited resources. Traits like Hard Shell and Horns will protect you from Carnivores, while a Long Neck will help you get food that others cannot reach.

With over 12000 different species to create, every game becomes a different adventure. So gather your friends around the table and see who will best adapt their species to eat, multiply and thrive!

Very nice, but what does it have to do with anything? Klinghoffer tells us:

From the Amazon reviews [here ya go], it sounds fun and challenging, with plenty of strategy and choices available to players. Make the smart decisions, adapt your animal and equip it with all the right traits, such as Cooperation, a Long Neck, or Intelligence, and your species will thrive. Players may also spawn or create new species, following the same procedures.

Where is Klinghoffer going with this? Be patient. He continues:

Wait a minute… choices, decision, strategy, options… Adding features like Intelligence or a Long Neck, you “create” your species and “adapt” it… In Darwinian evolution, species may “adapt” (an intransitive verb) but an outside agent does not “adapt” (transitive sense) much less “create” them through deliberate choices. These are not my words, but those of North Star Games. Does all this sort of make you think of anything?

We think we see where he’s going. Here it comes:

A reviewer on Amazon, Tung Yin, took the words out of my mouth.

[He quotes the review:] Yes, this game is actually more like intelligent design than evolution. I played one time with my kids where we couldn’t pick what traits we wanted to assign; everything was random. Boy, did we get some hilariously bad creatures! It was interesting to try that way once…. [Emphasis added.]

Klinghoffer put that reference to intelligent design in bold font. Let’s read on:

Well, well. I bet it was interesting, but it sounds like the reviewer wouldn’t want to try the Darwinian way again.

Right. That’s because Darwinism is for fools! Another excerpt:

Evolution the board game, when played with something more like the actual rules of Darwin’s theory, fails “hilariously.” When played as an exercise in intelligent design, it succeeds.

Aha! Another triumph for the Discoveroids’ “theory.” Klinghoffer ends his brilliant post with this:

Another reviewer, who says she teaches seventh-grade science, urges, “GET THIS FOR YOUR CLASSROOM!!!” since the game “truly teaches the actual principles of evolution.” Does it, now? Ha. What else can I say? Ha.

The Discoveroids have triumphed over Darwinism yet again. Impressive, isn’t it?

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Bobby Jindal — He’s Back!

Jindal-Newman

It’s been a long time since we wrote about the former governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, also known as Bobby Jindal, the Exorcist. As you may recall, Jindal’s creationist gyrations made him our sixth Buffoon Award Winner.

In 2008 when he was governor, the Louisiana legislature — controlled by Democrats at the time — almost unanimously passed the Louisiana Science Education Act (the LSEA), which was based on the Discovery Institute’s anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act. Jindal, although he had been a biology major in college, enthusiastically signed it.

The Louisiana creationist popped today at the web site of National Review as the author this bizarre essay: Learning with, and from, people who don’t agree with you is a vital part of college life. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

While seemingly obsessed with promoting diversity based on gender, orientation, ethnicity, and (belatedly) class, the liberal establishment is far less concerned with ideological diversity. Liberals routinely deny or dismiss as irrelevant the underrepresentation of conservatives in the media, Hollywood, and higher education. My goal is not affirmative action for conservatives in these professions (along with quotas for liberals in the hierarchy of the military, financial institutions, and churches). However, I do believe the current imbalance is bad for universities, liberal students, and conservatives.

Not very controversial — so far. Then he says:

Back when the academy did not automatically suspect the writings of all dead European white men, students learned from the great liberal thinker John Stuart Mill about the importance of free debate and the marketplace of ideas. Trying to persuade others of our core beliefs is good for them, but also good for us. Being exposed to different ideas and first principles, articulated by their most coherent and articulate adherents, is one of the great benefits of going to college.

Still nothing to get excited about. He continues:

For today’s students, who come to campus already believing in inherent bias, systemic racism, gender fluidity, and the need for drastic government action to mitigate global warming, I would argue they are better served by being forced to consider the world from the perspective of smart professors and students who disagree with them.

Okay, now the fun begins. He tells us:

I would make the same point about conservative students who believe in free markets, Western civilization, and intelligent design, but I don’t suspect most professors need encouragement to challenge these views!

Think about that, dear reader. Jindal speaks of conservative students “who believe in free markets, Western civilization, and intelligent design.” What a discordant collection of concepts! Your Curmudgeon has no problem with free markets and Western civilization — indeed, we strongly advocate those Enlightenment concepts — but how does a goof-ball idea like intelligent design fit in with those?

What could be more unlike free markets, or unguided biological evolution, than a supposedly all-powerful intelligent designer? We’ve written about this before — see Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand and Charles Darwin’s Natural Selection, and also Evolution: the Biosphere and the Shopping Mall. Such posts always upset a few of our readers, but we’re used to that.

We’ll leave Jindal here. Although his essay goes on and on, he doesn’t say anything else that interests us. We’re not surprised to see that he’s still a creationist.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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The Universe Insults the Discoveroids

We saw this article at PhysOrg but didn’t pay much attention to it: Ingredients for life revealed in meteorites that fell to Earth. They say, with our bold font:

Two wayward space rocks, which separately crashed to Earth in 1998 after circulating in our solar system’s asteroid belt for billions of years, share something else in common: the ingredients for life. They are the first meteorites found to contain both liquid water and a mix of complex organic compounds such as hydrocarbons and amino acids.

[…]

The study, published Jan. 10 in the journal Science Advances [Organic matter in extraterrestrial water-bearing salt crystals], provides the first comprehensive chemical exploration of organic matter and liquid water in salt crystals found in Earth-impacting meteorites. The study treads new ground in the narrative of our solar system’s early history and asteroid geology while surfacing exciting possibilities for the existence of life elsewhere in Earth’s neighborhood.

[…]

Queenie Chan, a planetary scientist and postdoctoral research associate at The Open University in the U.K. who was the study’s lead author, said, “This is really the first time we have found abundant organic matter also associated with liquid water that is really crucial to the origin of life and the origin of complex organic compounds in space.”

We should have realized that this would be seen as a threat to creationists. Klinghoffer just wrote about it at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: From CNN, Vapid Science News Headline of the Day: “Ingredients for Life Found” in Space Rocks. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Typical vapid science news headline of the day, from CNN: “Ingredients for life found in meteorites that crashed to Earth.” [Link omitted.]

Vapid headline? Okay. Then he quotes from the CNN story and says:

The “ingredients for life” are not the same thing as life, not any more than the English alphabet represents the “ingredients” for the next Great American Novel.

To drive home his brilliant point, he tells us:

Don’t believe me? Here are those ingredients. You just have to multiply them a bit and get them in the right order: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Brilliant rebuttal. He concludes his post with this:

Now go write the novel. You may submit it for our evaluation here and if you do, I might reconsider the claim that we’re anywhere closer today to understanding the origin of life than we were before these space rocks were closely studied.

So there you are. The chemical ingredients for life found in two asteroids that are billions of years old, means nothing, dear reader. Absolutely nothing. Life on Earth is the unique creation of the intelligent designer — blessed be he! Accept no substitutes.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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AIG: The Miracle of Eye Contact

The evidence for creationism continues to pile up — according to Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. The title of his new post is Study: Eye Contact Makes Baby’s Brain Waves Sync with Yours. It’s another example of what we call the Creationist Scientific Method:

1. Select a conclusion which you hope is true.
2. Find one piece of evidence that possibly might fit.
3. Ignore all other evidence.
4. That’s it.

Here are some excerpts from ol’ Hambo’s post, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

The more we learn about God’s creation, the more we should be moved to worship and stand in awe of him — because his creation is amazing! It seems no matter where researchers look, or what kind of research they do, they discover layer upon layer of complexity. And researchers just discovered another layer of complexity to our brains.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Everything researchers find is evidence of creationism. Hambo says:

A recent study found that when adults and babies make eye contact, their brain waves actually fall in sync, giving them shared patterns of brain activity. This happens as brain waves “meet in the middle” — baby’s waves become more like the adult’s, and the adult’s become more like the baby’s. Scientists believe this may help babies and their caregivers communicate better.

He’s talking about an article in Science News: Staring into a baby’s eyes puts her brain waves and yours in sync. It’s a popularization of this paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: (PNAS) Speaker gaze increases information coupling between infant and adult brains, which you can read online without a subscription.

Interestingly, the first sentence of the PNAS paper says: “According to the social brain hypothesis, human brains have fundamentally evolved for group living.” Hambo doesn’t mention that hypothesis. Instead he declares:

Our brains really are incredible! And the more research that’s done, the more we realize what they are capable of. There’s no way our complex brains could come about by random chance processes — they clearly show the fingerprint of an Intelligent Designer. [Hambo’s capitalization.]

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] An Intelligent Designer! He continues:

And that Designer is the Creator God of the Bible, who has made us “fearfully and wonderfully” [scripture reference].

Amazing! That’s pretty much all Hambo has to say. He ends his brief post by promoting a DVD by one of his creation scientists, which you can buy for only $59.99:

You can learn more about the phenomenal, miraculous design of the human body — including the digestive, circulatory, and respiratory systems — in this DVD set from AiG’s Dr. David Menton, Body of Evidence [link omitted].

So there you are, dear reader — another splendid example of creation science. Isn’t it time you abandoned your sinful belief in evolution?

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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