Thursday, August 27, 2015

Inside the mind of an Intelligent Design Creationist

The blog Evolution News & Views (sic) is part of the public outreach of The Center for Science and Culture, a subsidiary of the The Discovery Institute.

Ann Gauger is a researcher at The Biologic Institute, which is funded by The Discovery Institute. She wrote an article for Evolution News & Views entitled What If People Stopped Believing in Darwin? I think it's safe to assume that this is a common view of a leading Intelligent Design Creationist and close to the position of other members of that cult.

It's important to understand what they are thinking and where they are coming from in the debate over rationalism vs superstition. Here's her entire post—this must be the standard view of evolution among such people. It shows us that we are having very little impact after 25 years of debate and it shows us that the leading figures at the Discovery Institute are truly delusional.
What if people stopped believing in Darwin? Let's say they just suddenly stopped one day, awakening as from a brain fog of misty narratives and just-so stories? I mean they stopped believing in things like the grand sweeping stories of eons of time giving rise to the vertebrate I, or new body plans springing from the brow of the Cambrian whole and entire, or things like whale evolution or "sudden radiations" of whole new classes of animals or plants. Imagine those ideas going away overnight, by some mysterious process.

What would change?

Well, textbooks would change, for one. And a newfound humility might briefly sweep the halls of academic biology. Biology students might feel free to express their opinions on origins. The world would see a new flush of academic freedom.

Guess what? It's happening right now, but it's happening slowly, not overnight. That's because more and more people are recognizing that evolutionary biology's explanatory power is inversely proportional to its rigor. Yet there is still an enormous amount of pushback from people strongly invested in the Darwinian story.

Will people's worldviews change? I doubt it. The old Darwinian paradigm is failing and scientists are in search of alternative explanations, ones that don't involve nasty words like design and teleology. I think only those open to the possibility of an immaterial explanation of things, the idea of mind and information, would find their way to intelligent design. Most would cling to their worldviews despite the collapse of their favorite paradigm. They'd just start looking for another materialistic explanation.

That's why they say scientific revolutions happen one funeral at a time.


79 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. I wonder what prediction will be fulfilled first, the demise of evolution or the second coming. These creationists are hilarious.
      I came across two mormons today. They were shocked when I asked them if they were mormons before they could say a word. They were in awe, like "how did you know?" Seriously?
      Religious wackos must be missing a chromosome or two. LMFAO

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    2. I think you meant rationalism vs superstition, not rationalization.

      Thanks.

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    3. I think it should be rationalism versus rationalization.

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    4. what irony to listen to all of you accuse creationists of irrationality while exhorting the 'power' of evolution to 'create'.

      WTF??

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    5. So Steve, do you feel unguided errors and contingency were sufficient to create the evolution of today's languages from their historic roots, or do you feel this can only be explained by (1) a supreme guiding intelligence, or (2) the Tower of Babel?

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    6. Oh, and Steve, since we've never in our lifetimes seen someone start out as as a native speaker of ancient Latin and end up as a speaker of modern English, do you accept that languages change over time at all?

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    7. Ah, and one more thing: We've never seen an "intermediate form," i.e., a language that is half Latin, half English, so would we be correct to dismiss Latin as an ancestral language to English?

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    8. Does anyone know what a "vertebrate I" is?

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    9. Does anyone know what a "vertebrate I" is?

      If deliberate, it's actually rather elegant writing.

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    10. So its evidence by analogy??!! Sure, we play along with that.

      What you (pl) unwittingly lend support to is evolution being an intelligent process unless I missed where intelligent bipedalling hominids adapted language without the aid of their brain stems.

      So it seems your(pl) argument is that intelligent organisms in particular mimic intelligent nature in general by purposefully adapting their communication tools as enivironmental conditions change.

      Yeah, I can go along with that.

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    11. You must think that the Germanic tribes adopted Grimm's Law at an Allthing and thus started to pronounce their "p" as "f" ? The *evolution* of languages has very little to do with intelligence - unless we are talking about Esperanto.

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    12. Judmarc:

      What about John Stuart Mill?

      While English is not descended from Latin, French makes a pretty traditional form for many elements of Latin that are present in English.

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    13. Poor Steve - no no, creationists use analogies as evidence. Intelligent people use analogies as teaching tools. You missed that, I suppose.

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  2. Speaking of funerals, which of the gerbils could replace Behe, who must be approaching retirement?

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    1. I'm sure they'd be just as glad to be rid of him, what with his inconvenient statements in favour of common descent and his admission that God designed horrible diseases like malaria to cause human suffering.

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    2. Mikkel,

      That was the funniest part of that whole thread with Ray Martinez. That, along with Ann Gauger's psychological case study of projection and self-delusion here, show just how tenuous a grip on reality some creationists have. Or maybe they don't even care how they sound anymore.

      They sure threw Behe under the bus when his IC hypothesis failed every single test. They still seem quite enamored with the bacterial flagellum though.

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    3. Mikkel, what Chris means is that Gauger is a much a problem and Behe has been with their unflappable manner and ability to talk to the popularize Intelligent design.

      If they were not such a threat, there wouldn't be so many posts by Larry Moran detailing the IDiocy of it all.

      Yes, yes, we know...the death of Intelligent Design is imminent. Let just all wait for Behe to retire, right?

      Hehe, petrushka hoisted on his... um own petard.

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    4. I could not have demonstrated my point better than you have Steve. Thanks.

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    5. Wuz that Chris??

      You mean your point that Chris is convinced nature possesses no intelligecet but the product of this non-intelligent process he calls evolution produced Chris, an self-styled intelligent hominid.

      So how does that go Chris? non-intelligent nature > some rumbling and mumbling about emergence and some other woo sounding theorums and what not > oh, and *poof* here he is in the flesh, Chris the intelligent hominid.

      Oooooohh, THAT point. Right?

      Talk about a "Reverse Dunning-Kruger Effect"!!!

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    6. Steve,

      Things *poofing* into existence and 'woo sounding theorems' are the claims of religion, not science.

      Projecting the inadequacies of your religious beliefs onto science does not constitute an argument.

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    7. Steve, kindly explain to us what you understand the Dunning-Kruger effect to mean, and what you mean when you refer to the "reverse Dunning-Kruger effect"? We could all use a laugh.

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  3. So she sees acceptance of "intelligent design" as contingent on rejection of materialism. Interesting admission on her part.

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  4. Speaking of funerals, which of the gerbils could replace Behe, who must be approaching retirement?

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    1. Hear Ye, Hear Ye !!!!!!!!!!

      Intelligent Design is on its death bed!!

      Intelligent Design is on its deathbed!!

      Intelligent Design is on its deathbed!

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    2. It's never been alive in the first place.

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  5. Creationists have been saying for 115 years that "Darwinism" is already dead, or on its deathbed, or collapsing, or crumbling, or "people are starting to have doubts."

    One can attribute such optimistic speculation, when it appears in the young and inexperienced, to nativity and ignorance. But when it appears in a creationist of such advanced years, as it so often does, and does with Gauger, the only explanation for repeated claims contrary to one's own life experience is dishonesty-- desperate, pathetic, sweaty lying. They know evolutionary theory is not "crumbling, collapsing, in a crisis, already dead, people are starting to have doubts" etc.

    Their "Wedge Document" is now 19 years old, and they have so far achieved *none* of their 5-year, 10-year, or 20-year goals.

    They're screwed.

    As for the cliche "more and more scientists are starting to believe creationism", they have been using that cliché for 50 years. They know it's not true. The only place you will find "more and more" scientists believing in IDcreationism is in the cemetery.

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    1. Just as Diogenes has been saying that intelligent design is dead.

      So Diogenes, just when will intelligent design actually um..you know...die??!!

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    2. As an idea, 'GodDidIt' won't die. But the Discovery Institute will die when the fascist billionaire liches who sign their paychecks either die or figure out that they're getting nothing for their money. Meyer, Luskin and Klinghoffer can tapdance and say "But Hitler was a Darwinist!" only so many times before donor fatigue sets in.

      There are many young evolutionary biologists. e.g. Joe Thornton and Eugene Koonin are still young and have long careers ahead of them. By contrast the Discovery Institute has not raised up a younger generation of ID scientists as they had planned in the Wedge Document.

      Who have they got to carry on the work? Gauger's a sexagenarian by the look of her. Dembski's career has gone nowhere even Christian-wise, not to mention science-wise. Behe's nearing retirement. Luskin's approaching middle age and still has no Ph.D. and is stupid. Jonathan MacLatchie is young but still has no Ph.D., and nowadays he is more interested in straight Christian apologetics than science. The commenters at Uncommon Descent have little to no exposure to scientific research and are obnoxious, obscene and politically tone deaf to how unlikeable they are. (Sorta like the Trumps of Intelligent Design.)

      That leaves you with Winston Ewert. Ewert, who admits Dembski's CSI can be created by natural processes. You can have him, but he's not a movement.

      The Design argument in some form goes back to Aquinas at least and will continue to evolve, but the Discovery Institute will be dead in ten years.

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    3. Oooh. I wouldn't bet a bottle of blended scotch on ten years. There are too many escape hatches. Fine tuning. Undetectable tweaking.

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    4. Meyer, Luskin and Klinghoffer can tapdance and say "But Hitler was a Darwinist!" only so many times before donor fatigue sets in.

      A perfect example of the big lie. Schicklgruber specifically rejected common descent in Mein Kampf. No Darwinist he. Of course, lying is endemic amongst creationists like Luskin and Klinghoffer, loyal followers of Josef Goebbels..

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  6. "Inside the mind" assumes facts not in evidence.

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  7. Most of the commenters over at the DI blog have no exposure to real science. They're part of a self-contained community of creationists and so its no wonder that the delusional thinking has been ratcheting up over the years at UD. But Gauger was part of the scientific community until recently and she undoubtedly peruses Science, Nature etc from time to time. She has no excuse for making these comments. She knows its not true

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    1. She's learned that you can get paid for doing experiments that don't work. Everyone has been saying that negative results should be published. She and Doug Axe are cornucopia of negative results.

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    2. Yep, yep, we all know only skeptics do REAL science.

      If creationists do science, its all just JUNK science.

      Why, of course. How could it be any other way??!!!

      What a riot!!!

      Evolutionists are like alcoholics. Deny, deny deny, deny, deny, until.............

      HI folks, Im an evolutionist!!! I've been an evolutionist for years. It took a long time to realize my addiction.

      But Im OK now. Im at peace with evolution. I know I will always be an evolutionist even though deep down I know its all about intelligent design. My own evolutionism has always fed off design. Evolution can't do shit without design. It can't explain thing without reference to 'power', 'create', 'design', 'adjust', 'repair', 'modify'.

      I mean, I got to a point where I couldn't tell the difference between evolution and design. But I just couldn't get myself to utter the letters ID. Ive been an evolutionist so long, its hard, man. Its hard.

      That's why Im here, folks. I need your help. Help me deal with my evolutionism. I know I can't change but with time I will heal.

      Clapping all around.

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    3. Should we rename Poe's law to Steve's law or something? hahaha

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    4. I must admit Steve has amazed me here - there was a comment preceding the one he published that was apparently even *less* worthwhile. I cannot imagine what that could possibly have been.

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    5. @Steve

      I think you need more exclamation marks - and periods in your ellipses, that'll really drive your point home.

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    6. to Steve, who sarcastically said:

      "Yep, yep, we all know only skeptics do REAL science.

      If creationists do science, its all just JUNK science. "

      I surmise, from your language, that you are a 13 year old boy who has learned about science and evolution from the Answers in Genesis website. If so, you have been completely misinformed.

      Or am I wrong, and you have PhD in biology and have published laboratory research that confirms some creationist hypothesis?

      Can you tell us your basis for insulting my esteemed colleagues who work in evolutionary biology? If you will show me yours, I'll show you mine.





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    7. Steve is surely right. The tidal wave of top notch, peer reviewed papers from the Discovery Institute can no longer be ignored. Time for the atheistic evolutionists to concede defeat and humbly ask the DI to reveal the name of the intelligent designer.

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    8. Steve is surely right. The tidal wave of top notch, peer reviewed papers from the Discovery Institute can no longer be ignored.

      Well, presumably they all still carry the dubious moniker "Manuscript in preparation".

      Time for the atheistic evolutionists to concede defeat and humbly ask the DI to reveal the name of the intelligent designer.

      Hahaha.

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    9. The "Reverse Dunning-Kruger Effect" is rather strong here.

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    10. The "reverse Dunning-Kruger effect"? Is that where one is suitably honest regarding the limits of his own knowledge and abiility, and so makes sure to confirm his opinions with objective evidence?

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    11. "The "reverse Dunning-Kruger effect"? Is that where one is suitably honest regarding the limits of his own knowledge and abiility, and so makes sure to confirm his opinions with objective evidence?"

      Amazing, isn't it - how completly un-self-aware, naive, self-defeating, and absurd creationists can be.

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  8. Have any of you gentlemen ever looked into the Brazilian Intelligent Design Society? Do their arguments differ from those that you adress here?

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    1. No, I don't think so, but they have a funny Corkscrewado Jesus logo (a good idea for a small gift to be given to conference participants). Of course they got the handedness of the DNA helix wrong. If they ever order those souvenirs, they'd better fix the chirality or people will protest: everybody is accustomed to standard corkscrews, which are like standard DNA.

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    2. It's like the same nonsense as American ID but they can play real football

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    3. everybody is accustomed to standard corkscrews, which are like standard DNA.

      Maybe it's a Southern Hemisphere/Coriolis Effect thing?

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    4. No. They don't have any "arguments." No research, no proposals, no theory, no nothing. Just a lot of fluff. However, nice conference in a nice hotel and possibly some Brazilian Booth Babes who, no doubt, are there by intelligent design.

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  9. "Biology students might feel free to express their opinions on origins."

    This phrase says it all. She obviously thinks that all "opinions" are created equal, and have equal validity.

    Students are certainly free to express their opinions, but they are also expected to defend them with sound logic and evidence. If they can't, and continue to push their "opinions", they will not last long in school or in science. Most of us would say that this is as it should be. Ann and her ilk (fellow travellers?), however, see this as a suppression of there rights to expression.

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  10. And a newfound humility might briefly sweep the halls of academic biology.

    I'm assuming this picture comes complete with academics on their knees praying to the finally proven intelligent designer. Some of us without sufficient humility might continue to wonder why an intelligent designer would require prayers and worship, but anyway....

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    1. Nothing's more "humble" than Christians saying that distant galactic clusters were created for them by an omnipotent magician who loves them, that the creator of the Universe sympathizes with their desire for a raise in pay and a BMW, that the creator of galactic superclusters sometimes alters the laws of physics just to open up a parking space for them when they need it, and hates who they hate, and will supernaturally punish the political party they do not vote for, and agrees with them about which sexual positions are abominations that should be made illegal. Yup... humility all right.

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  11. This is one of many problems I have with some creationists. They know science pretty well; most of them know it very well, like Behe, Gauger, Myer and especially Axe. Those people do real lab tests something 99.9 % of people her have never done. If we were to take this one very important piece into consideration on this blog, who would qualify here as an expert in the field?
    My bet is 90%

    I removed a comment here because I know it would make me banned.

    The problem I mention before is their lack of scripture knowledge. They don't understand that Satan is a god of this world. If that is true, how could "the truth be taught in schools about anything but what is against God's existence?

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    1. So we're all part of the giant Satanic conspiracy? Cool.

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    2. Complete with a decoder ring and a secret handshake.

      I love the smell of conspiracy theories in the morning.

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    3. They don't understand that Satan is a god of this world.

      As has been demonstrated here repeatedly, your skepticism seems misplaced. You believe without question fantastical stories for which no evidence exists, yet you are suspicious of evidence-based human investigations into the nature of things simply because they conflict with religious stories.

      I hope at the very least you are not skeptical about the power of religious indoctrination.

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    4. They don't understand that Satan is a god of this world.

      Not in Judaism or Islam. (Satan isn't mentioned at all in the foundational Jewish scripture, the Torah.) Only Christian texts refer to him as a God or ruler of the world. Congratulations for elevating him to equal billing.

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    5. Judmarc

      Both Judaism and Islam recognize the existence of Satan in one form or another. It is true that only Christian texts refer to Satan as the ruler of the world directly. The old testament indirectly refers to Satan as the one who was given authority over the Earth such as in Job 1-2.

      Personally, Satan's rulership of this world is one of the very few things that justify injustice, evil, and the stubbornness of people who at any cost and lie would insist that science has proven that God doesn't exist and is no longer needed despite so many gaps that I know about. What about someone who follows the atheistic-Darwinism? Atheism first, then Darwinism in this order? It is a cliché.

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    6. Same old, lame old, god of the gaps crap.

      Hey screwed up mind, which so-called "God", out of the thousands that people have conjured up and the millions (or billions) of versions of all those so-called gods? How many versions of your imaginary, so-called "God" are there? Why does your imaginary, so-called "God" only exist in gaps (whether real or imagined gaps)? How small do the gaps have to be before you and other "God" pushers don't have any gaps left that you can squeeze your imaginary, so-called "God" into? Instead of your imaginary, so-called "God" being a creator, you're a creator, a creator of gaps to fit your imaginary, so-called "God" into. Your imaginary, so-called "God" is small, really really small.

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    7. Moving goalposts has been proven to be the best defense.

      Removing goalposts has been proven 100%.

      Well, what's the alternative?

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    8. Sceptical Mind seems to be getting more and more rabid as time goes by. The bible has been proven to be scientifically accurate? Missed that one. Of course you can find web sites making exactly the same claims about the Koran and the Vedas. Maybe they're all scientifically accurate, even though they contradict each other frequently?

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    9. You realize calling Satan a God is heresy.

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  12. The old Darwinian paradigm is failing and scientists are in search of alternative explanations, ones that don't involve nasty words like design and teleology.
    What do you think the old paradigm is? Natural selection? Do we still think this is the whole show?

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  13. CULT?! Superstition??
    Anyways this was a great statement by her. Well done. There is a revolution going on and with already acceptance of God/Genesis amongst many it will continue to do well. the only problem is gaining audiences .
    I don't think 15 years will go by before evolution, as now presented, will be rejected by all paid science writers.
    I still say the pace could be quickened if iD/YEC really pressed home the non existence of BIOLOGICAL scientific evidence for evolution.
    however ID thinkers also cheat here by using geology paradigms to make criticisms of evolution. The cambrian explosion stuff etc etc.
    We must insist biology can't be done on and with rocks!!
    it would force evolutionism into supporting evidence claims from non biological evidence. LIke geology/fossils, biogeography, comparative anatomy, comparative genetics, lines of reasoning and guessing.
    SANDWALK should one day make a case for bio sci evidence!!
    Thats the way to snap people out of cults. Raw cold facts!!

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    1. I still say the pace could be quickened if iD/YEC really pressed home the non existence of BIOLOGICAL scientific evidence for evolution.

      Yeah, go for it. One could bury you under a mountain of the stuff and you would still insist it did not exist.

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    2. I don't think 15 years will go by before evolution, as now presented, will be rejected by all paid science writers.

      If I had time I would go back and document all of the similar predictions you have made. Pretty sure you have been saying 15 years for some 5 years now. Will the downfall of evolution always be 15 years in the future?

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    3. Cult: a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.

      Superstition: excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings

      Sounds like religion to me.

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    4. Allan Miller
      If i could still speak after the burying it couldn't be that heavy.
      creationists should say there is not even a shovelful and make them prove us wrong.
      We should aim at the science credentials of evolutionism.
      Instead its just blasting away at hundreds of points brought up.
      There is a better way to bring down a wrong idea in "science".

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    5. If i could still speak after the burying it couldn't be that heavy.

      Yeah ... yeah, that's some rebuttal.

      There is a better way to bring down a wrong idea in "science".

      Yes - demonstrate its wrongness. Stop talking shite about the appropriate implement for moving the evidence and address it. Preferably without talking shite.

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  14. Seriously, I find it interesting that some movements have the desire to convince themselves that they are gaining ascendency while others have a persecution complex and the need to see themselves as the lone voice in the wilderness. Most interesting is of course the question what determines which it is in a particular case.

    And then there are the movements that want both at the same time: We represent the silent majority but we are also at the same time an embattled minority in an immoral world of sheeple. Whatever fuels the current narrative I guess, but trying to accommodate both beliefs in the same mind can't be healthy.

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  15. What does Gauger think would be different in scientific progress compared to 150 yr ago prior to evolutionary theories? Wasn't the creationist worldview the prevailing view then? See where science ended up from there?

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  16. "That's because more and more people are recognizing that evolutionary biology's explanatory power is inversely proportional to its rigor. Yet there is still an enormous amount of pushback from people strongly invested in the Darwinian story."

    Such blatant projection is rarely seen. Except among creationists, with whom it is standard fare.

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