Commentary on the so-called Creation/Evolution/Intelligent Design Debate and Right-Wing nuttery in general - and please ignore the typos (I make lots!)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"Intelligent Design" creationist 'logic'

On occasion, I peruse the Discovery Institute's ARN discussion forums. I say on occasion because I can rarely stomach the gibberish there for any length of time or frequency. However, on occasion, the claims made by the Intelligent Design creationists (IDCs, for short) can be both illuminating and entertaining and provide some interesting insights into the inner workings of the IDC mind.

Of late, "JoeG" (Joe Gallien) has been fairly prolific on the ARN board. He was very taken by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richard's book and video "Privileged Planet", and has made many, many internet discussion board, comments, and blog posts "challenging" non-IDCs to see the video and dare to stay a non-IDC.

Anyway, he has recently started a thread at ARN laying out the claims made by Gonzalez and Richards indicating that the earth is "privileged" and therefore, somehow, evolution did not occur, or something. I have pasted a few of the 'facts' that indicate the privileged status of earth below, in lovely lavender, for entertainment value, interspersed with my smarmy comments:

d. Just so happens that our Moon is 400x smaller than the Sun, which is 400x farther away
e. Both with a very circular shape
f. Allows for perfect solar eclipses

Sure, because I guess an imperfect solar eclipse would just be so un-privileged.
And after all, if it were not for total solar eclipses, solar telescopes would never have been thought of, and would never have been able to allow us to discover the things that you can during an eclipse. Because, apparently, if there were no solar eclipses, no human would have ever thought about studying the sun...

g. Confirmed Einstein’s prediction with the 1919 solar eclipse (gravity bends light) when scientists photographed the Stars behind it. We could have only made that discovery during a total solar eclipse.

Yes because, again, if it were not for these perfect eclipses, we would NEVER have been able to observe light being bent by gravity...

i. Observing & studying the Sun’s chromosphere is made possible

Yes, because, again, if it were not for the eclipse, we would never have thought of a way to check out that cool stuff.

b. Clear- allows for good viewing
c. Ours is <1%>
d. Allows in the right kind of light for viewing

These refer to the atmosphere. I guess the "right kind" of viewing is viewing only in the visible spectrum and through an atmosphere known for producing distortions.

b. Great for observing & scientific discovery
9. Location in the galaxy
a. We are between spiral arms
b. Perfect for viewing

Perfect for viewing what? Why, the things we can see!
If we were on the other side of the galaxy, THE EXACT SAME ARGUMENT COULD BE MADE!

What amazes me the most is that these 'arguments' - child-like in their simple-mindedness as they are - were actually considered groundbreaking and irrefutable by two doctorate-degree wielding professionals - one an astronomer (Gonzalez) and a philosopher (Richards), and that so many people - folks like Joe Gallien - are so convinced of the validity of these claims.


Looney said...

Well, I will agree with you that that the Creationist argument in the article is complete junk.

Dave Wisker said...

The whole Privileged Planet is just a thinly-disguised version of the banana argument creationists use. Look how the moon and sun fit! Look at how the banana fits in the hand!

Honestly, one wonders if they really think they are fooling anybody by trying to put lipstick on a pig.

Doppelganger said...

It really is simple-minded stuff. I cannot uinderstand how an adult can be taken in by such cartoon nonsense. But then, we are talking about creationists...

Paul (probably - maybe Liz) said...

It really is simple-minded stuff. It's so much more sophisticated to take no notice and just keep putting it all down to co-incidence. Remind me to bring my loaded dice to play with you sometime: you are so trusting.

Doppelganger said...

More irrelevant gibberish.

It IS simple minded to think that the universe was not just designed, but designed FOR US, because we can observe all the stuff we can...

If you cannot see that, well,I don't think that there is anything anyone could write that would convince you of the childishness of such a position.

Patashu said...

Wow, you mean the sun and the moon are both -circles-? Who'da thunk it? We're living on a priviledged planet after all!

Joe G said...

Has Page even read the book? My bet would be "no". Page, as usual chooses to "argue from ignorance".


It just so happens that "TPP" is based on scientific research. Do you know how many of Gonzalez's peer-reviewed publications went into its creation?

BTW Page why do you continue the lie about my claims to be a scientist?

I never claimed that is was because of any degree. I have always maintained it is because of what I do. I even had the title of a research scientist. And I am sure my research was more important that yours will ever be.

I will say this- it does take a child-like mentality to argue from ignorance and to misrepresent what other people say.

You are still pathetic and still a twit

Doppelganger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doppelganger said...

AH, manly Joey Gallien makes an appearance - note how manly he is by calling me by my last name and calling me names! Rugged!

No, Joey G. , I have not read Gonzalez and Richards (straight from 'Queer Eye' it seems) creationist laugh riot, nor do I intend to. I have also not seen their slickly produced advocacy video, targeted at layman with a creationist bent,nor do I intend to. I have read your brilliant and insightful summaries of it, and I have read several reviews of both the book and video by folks substantially more competent and far less ideologically driven than you and if even half of what they wrote is accurate, it is a simpleton's concept designed to beguile other simpletons. Like, you.

I know all about your supposed 'title' and how super duper important you are. But it is no lie that you claimed to be a scientist because you have a BS degree - that was your first 'excuse.' You added the 'but.. but... my TITLE!' later.

And yes, Joey G., I am sure that your 'scientific research' is so much more important than mine was or will ever be. I am certain that the amazing scientific research that you do - that apparently in part consists of watching slickly prepared advocacy videos - is more important than anything anyone else has ever done - hanging cable and installing software is just head and shoulders above what anyone else could ever hope to do scientific research on!

And all of GG's amazing scientific research... Pity that he basically stopped doing it when he finally got a tenure-track poition. Seems to happen alot with the creationism crowd - once they become creationists, their 'research' all but stops. Can't waste time doing research when you've got videos to make and anti-darwin essays to write...

But you really put me in my place little Joe. You got me. You let me know, will you, when you plan to drive through my town NOT to go skiing. And be sure to let your nephew in the FBI know about it to. And also, be sure to write it up for all to gawk in amazement at the next time you see some psychic levitate a coral reef... And be sure to utter a few prayers to Allah for me, will ya - you crazy Muslim you! And you be sure to tell Zahee Hawass that it was impossible for humans to have built the pyramids.

Talk about twits...