Saturday, August 24, 2019

Taking a break from James Tour

I was recently advised of an essay by David Gelernter enraptured with Steve Meyer's 2013 book "Darwin's Doubt." Meyer has basically claimed that the Cambrian Fauna had no precursors therefore GOD DID IT! err, The Magic All Powerful Un-named Sky Daddy DID IT!

David Gelernter's errors of fact and reasoning began almost immediately. For example on the first short page he wrote, "Intelligent design as Meyer explains it never uses religious arguments, draws religious conclusions, or refers to religion in any way."

ID creationism has no theory, and the founding individuals admit it is merely a religious argument devoid of science.

Philip Johnson;
"This [the intelligent design movement] isn't really, and never has been, a debate about science, it's about religion and philosophy." World Magazine, 30 November 1996.
"Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools." American Family Radio (10 January 2003).

In a 1999 article for the Christian magazine Touchstone “Signs of Intelligence,” Dembski confirmed the foundation of ID in John 1 when he assured readers that "Indeed, intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory." (“Signs of Intelligence,” 1999).

Michael Behe: "Well, I've said that quite a number of times. I think I said that at the beginning of my testimony yesterday, that I think in fact from -- from other perspectives, that the designer is in fact God." Dover, 2005 Day 12 11PM, Cross Examination by Eric Rothschild.

Paul Nelson, "Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don't have such a theory now, and that's a real problem. Without a theory it's very hard to know where to direct your research focus." July/August 2004 Touchstone Magazine interview.
Second page

I was hoping to limit my replies to David Gelernter to just one error per page of his six page spew. But the second page alone had not one error that was more lame or inviting comment than the others. I had to pick two.

The first new paragraph has this truly outrageous false statement;

"Meyer and other proponents of I.D. are the dispassionate intellectuals making orderly scientific arguments. Some I.D.-haters have shown themselves willing to use any argument—fair or not, true or not, ad hominem or not—to keep this dangerous idea locked in a box forever."

Here are some "dispassionate intellectuals making orderly scientific arguments" utterly and totally debunking ID creationism;

Mark Perakh 2003 Unintelligent Design New York: Prometheus Press

Robert T. Pennock (Editor)
2001 Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics: Philosophical, Theological, and Scientific Perspectives MIT Press

Matt Young, Taner Edis (Editors),
2004 Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism Rutgers University Press (My contribution, Chapter 8 “The explanatory filter, Archaeology, and Forensics” was used in the 2005 Dover ID trial).

Barbara Carroll Forrest, Paul R. Gross
2004 Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design Oxford University Press

Andrew J. Petto (Editor), Laurie R. Godfrey (Editor)
2008 Scientists Confront Creationism: Intelligent Design and Beyond W. W. Norton & Company.

These are all very calm and modest compared to the ID creationists whining about the mean ol' science meanies that exposed their frauds. And for a great example of "ad hominem" see the recent attacks from the Discovery Institute directed at me.

The second gross error, page 2 and continuing...

David Gelernter gets busy with Steve Meyer's main argument that there is no possible scientific explanation for the Cambrian Explosion so therefore God (err the super special designer dude) did it!

First, apparently David Gelernter has limited his reading to creationist sources. I'll suggest to him, and anyone fooled by him to read the following professional literature;

Valentine, James W.
2005 On the Origin of Phyla University of Chicago Press

Erwin, Douglas H., James W. Valentine
2013 The Cambrian Explosion: The Construction of Animal Diversity New York: Roberts and Company Publishers

Steve Meyer cites James Valentine, and Douglas Erwin many times in his book, but never seems to get their argument straight. He seems to mention them merely to say he is unconvinced, and so it is magic after all.

The Cambrian was the focus of Meyer's 2013 book, and we will revisit this in greater detail later.

I think I'll just send interested readers to Jerry Conye's commentary on Gelernter written last May, and a compilation of reviews of Steve Meyer's "Darwin's Doubt."

I have just read an expanded critique of Gelernter's creationist essay; "David Gelernter is Wrong About Ditching Darwin." that I highly recommend.