Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Bizarre Pro-ID Article

This article by someone named Kazmer Ujvarosy, the founder of some group called Frontline Science, is truly one of the strangest defenses of intelligent design I’ve ever seen. It’s so incoherent that one wonders if it’s a parody of some sort; it reads a bit like Alan Sokal’s famous Social Text hoax, the sort of thing that just leaves you shaking your head and wondering what on earth the man is talking about. He begins by accusing ID critics of offering “lame and demonstrably false arguments”, then says:

First of all, they allege that ID theorists failed to name the designer. The fundamental problem with this criticism is that intelligence in fact has been named as the designer–after all, the theory itself is called Intelligent Design. Thus the designer is intelligence. And because there is absolutely no demonstrable evidence that an intelligence above and beyond human intelligence exists, by default the credit for design in nature goes to human intelligence.


Things that make you go….huh? This is just plain bizarre. Humans have been in the universe for a geological microsecond; it’s obviously absurd to argue that human intelligence is responsible for design in the natural world, which existed for some 15 billion years before we arrived. And of course, human intelligence is merely a label we give to the set of capabilities that human beings have, capabilities that are an artifact of the evolution of the human body, the brain in particular. But it just gets weirder:

If ID critics want me to be even more specific, Christ identified himself as that intelligence which created the universe to make reproductions of himself in the form of human beings. In other words we find design in nature because Christ constitutes the seed of the universe, or the cosmic system’s input and output. As he disclosed it in Revelation 22:13, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

In essence Jesus is telling us that he constitutes the beginning and the end of the cosmic system, similarly as a seed constitutes the beginning and the end of a plant system.

Now, now, now. John West is not going to like it that you’re defending ID in such starkly Christian terms; that script is supposed to be used only when you’re speaking to churches and other groups of believers. To echo Bull Durham, you’re gonna have to learn your cliches. You’re gonna have to learn them, you’re gonna have to know them. Write these down:

The identity of the designer is not relevant to the inference of design; if you came across Mt. Rushmore, you don’t need to know what color or religion the sculptor was in order to infer that the faces were carved by the willful application of intelligence.

Okay, number two:

Intelligent Design Theory is a scientific research program embraced by a growing number of scientists. Darwinists like to claim that it’s religiously motivated because it serves their materialist agenda and the fact that we offered the same definition for creation science that we now offer for intelligent design does not matter.

Okay, last one:

I just want to take em one game at a time and the Intelligent Designer willing, things will work out.

The weirdness continues:

Second, ID critics allege that the theory fails to provide testable claims. Again, this criticism is demonstrably false: ID is eminently testable, has been tested, and is being tested constantly. As a matter of fact, ID needs no testing at all. The fact that design is the basic quality of intelligence is so self-evident that anyone who doubts it has to be exquisitely ignorant or entirely delusional.

Well isn’t that interesting? Let me translate: “ID is testable, but it needs no testing so I don’t have to tell you how it could be tested. Because I say so.” Thanks, Kazmer; that cleared things right up.

What needs to be demonstrated is not the fact that design is the basic quality of intelligence, but the abysmal absurdity that the formation of systems in nature–from atoms to the universe–is the basic quality of zero intelligence. Needless to say, the burden is on the critics of Intelligent Design to demonstrate that structure formation in the universe is the product of zero intelligence. Those who rabidly promote that nonsense are most qualified to do the demonstrations, having near-zero intelligence themselves.

Zing! Good line, Kazmer, but you’re still being quite incoherent. Since humans did not exist until the last couple hundred thousand years ago, and came about as a result of evolution, you’re still making no sense at all. Human intelligence is tied directly to the human brain; indeed, it is an artifact of the human brain, without which it does not exist. What you need to do is find some source for a disembodied intelligence, something no one else has ever produced any evidence for.

It just gets more and more bizarre from there on, leading to statements like this:

Overwhelming evidence for the relation of all creatures to Christ by universal common descent has been provided by paleontology, comparative anatomy, biogeography, embryology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, and other scientific disciplines. Whereas evolutionists stick to Darwin’s invention tenaciously–namely to the supernatural entity misleadingly named “natural selection”–, we predict that universal common descent’s mechanism is epigenesis. Thus the process of development from Christ’s genotype to the mature universe for the production of progeny in Christ’s image is epigenetic.

All of these predictions are falsifiable, provided ID critics can demonstrate that instead of Christ the universal common ancestor is a minimal life form, and ultimately zero intelligence; that universal common descent is not a fact; or that epigenesis is not a viable mechanism for development from the seed of the universe.

Based on the knowledge that Christ created the universe to have children in his own image we also predict with great confidence that the cosmic system yields end-product or output in the form of human beings. This prediction is falsifiable, provided ID critics can present a being that exists beyond and above human beings. If they have such a superhuman being in their closet, we’d like to have it presented for our examination.

If at this point you’re beginning to wonder what sort of substance Kazmer has in his pipe, you’re not alone. This sounds remarkably like the sort of gibberish that a freshman philosophy student would babble out after far too many bong hits of some really strong redbud. There’s much more of this sort of thing in his essay, which is worth reading in full just so you can join me in scratching my head and wondering if he actually means it or not.

Comments

  1. #1 Dr X
    January 30, 2007

    I Kazmer Ujvarosy is just offering a parody of ID, he is certainly going deep with it. A forum post by someone using the same name is sixth from the top.

    http://www.iscid.org/boards/ubb-get_topic-f-6-t-000602.html

  2. #2 dr x
    January 30, 2007

    That’s ‘If’ Kazmer Ujvarosy, not ‘I’ Kazmer Ujvarosy.

  3. #3 TomMil
    January 30, 2007

    Overwhelming evidence for the relation of all creatures to Christ by universal common descent has been provided by paleontology, comparative anatomy, biogeography, embryology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, and other scientific disciplines.

    Cockroaches are descendants of Christ? Sort of puts the Da Vinci Code in a whole new light doesn’t it?

  4. #4 TomMil
    January 30, 2007

    Either that or the crucifix design was all wrong.

  5. #5 Altabin
    January 30, 2007

    Over at OverwhelmingEvidence, Dembski’s site for “teens” (actually populated by thirty- and forty-somethings, when it’s populated at all), there’s been a lot of discussion of Ujvarosky, here. The user “quizzlestick” posted an adulatory review, describing Ujvarosky’s piece as a “peer-reviewed article” on ID. The subsequent discussion has to be read to be believed. Apparently, elsewhere Ujvarosky has claimed to have discovered a cure for cancer: it consists of ingesting your own semen, “just as Jesus did.” Many of the semi-regular commenters at OE are now confused as to whether they have to defend sperm-eating – or even start doing it – if they want to be bona fide IDists.

    It’s been estimated that about 20% of OE’s posters are actually taking the piss – more than a few closet Darwinists are probably laughing up their sleeves in this thread. But still, funny stuff – and Ujvarosky is definitely for real (though which reality is still open to debate).

  6. #6 kehrsam
    January 30, 2007

    That reads like Japlish. He gives you just enough to think that an idea is coming, but then lets it peter out. Did you notice his description of himself?

    Kazmer Ujvarosy is the founder of Frontline Science, an independent think tank, based in San Francisco.

    He is dedicated to the analysis of complex problems, and the development of realistic, concrete proposals on issues of global concern. His stance is independent, interdisciplinary, with an analytical rigor, and a view to the future.

    He is uniquely qualified to help you understand what makes scientific sense, and what does not, based on cause-and-effect and systems principles.

    Not a single verb other than “be.” I suppose it is possible to have less sunstance (some of my comments here come to mind…) but it would be a challenge.

  7. #7 MartinC
    January 30, 2007

    I saw that thread on Overwhelming Stupidity. While it has a lot of the hallmarks of a hoax, I think it just sounds too mad to be anything other than, well, a mad guys ranting. The cancer cure rationale was that malignant mutations in cancer could be proofread using non mutated source material – the patients own sperm which is to be ingested (presumably the Intelligent Designer doesnt want Women to have a cancer cure).
    Now obviously anyone with the slightest element of critical thinking can see though this in a second but the IDers cannot – as they clearly do not think critically. I think the whole Kazmer Ujvarosy episode is showing up their real weakness. IDers and their targets dont need to be convinced of the finer points of evolutionary theory, they simply need to be led in the direction of critical thought.

  8. #8 kehrsam
    January 30, 2007

    Apparently, elsewhere Ujvarosky has claimed to have discovered a cure for cancer: it consists of ingesting your own semen, “just as Jesus did.”

    Jesus had cancer? Sorts of puts the “There is no greater love than this, that a man should lay down his life for his friend” in a new context. And since all of the words for “death” in greek can also be used for “orgasm”….

  9. #9 David Durant
    January 30, 2007

    Ah, why you have to be careful when googling the ‘net. When having a quick look for Mr Ujvarosky you might accidentally end up looking at stuff like this: http://www.shelleytherepublican.com/ which just makes you want to lie down in a dark room to recover.

    I wish I could take on Ed’s way of dealing with people like this (they’re idiots) but instead it just depresses me that not only do they exist but there are enough of them around to form a community…

  10. #10 argystokes
    January 30, 2007

    Worry not, David. Shelley the Republican is but a clever parody. As for Ujvarosky, well, that’s just some freaky shit.

  11. #11 sharon
    January 30, 2007

    Shelley the Republican really is a parody. (And they have sokalled Overwhelming Evidence at least once.) The truly disturbing thing is that it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference.

  12. #12 David Durant
    January 30, 2007

    > Shelley the Republican is but a clever parody.

    Ah-ha. That leaves me feeling slightly better but with another conundrum… Which is worse – that I would fall for that site or that there are enough people actually like that out there for it to be plausible? :-)

  13. #13 JanieBelle
    January 30, 2007

    Not to pick nits, but isn’t “Bizarre Pro-ID” a little redundant?

    I mean, I know this one is even more out there than usual, but still.

    Just wonderin’.

  14. #14 llDayo
    January 30, 2007

    I read this article yesterday and sent a comment to the writer.

    I just read this article about critics of ID needing to disprove it. One
    mistake IDers seem to make on the subject is that complexity somehow denotes
    design. I’m sorry to say, simplicity would be an indication of a designer as
    any decent engineer today in any field would tell you. Simplicity makes a
    design more efficient and any good design will not have extras thrown in to
    make the product harder to use. Maybe you’d like to answer a simple question
    for me. If my body was designed through an intelligent creator, why’d he
    make it so my sinuses (and my children’s sinuses) would react to substances
    that are not harmful to our us? My poor 3-year-old daughter is getting her
    adnoids removed this week (something I had done when I was a child as well)
    because of frequent ear infections. Is this designer so horrible he couldn’t
    perfect simple things like this?

    He replied today:

    Randy, if you’re an engineer, or simply have common sense, you’ll realize
    that no reproduction is as perfect as the original. During the process of
    reproduction errors can happen, and even more errors when the product leaves
    the manufacturing plant.
    For example when a Ford automobile leaves the assembly plant, and it gets
    involved in accidents, can you blame the manufacturer? The records we have tell us that the world system yielded the product called
    Adam, who was the image of the Intelligence who created the world for the
    production of human beings in his own image. Adam is described as a product
    that pleased the Creator. But what Adam and his descendants did after the
    process of their production terminated cannot be blamed on Adam’s Creator.
    So whatever defects we have, we can’t blame it on the Person who created the
    world for the production of Adam. This is what the observation of nature tells me, and what our oldest records
    indicate. In any case we, as the cosmic system’s output, have the potential to provide
    feedback in the form of prayer to our Creator. If you have no hope in
    today’s health industry, in your place I’d give a chance to prayer. Best wishes, Kaz

    He seems to have sidestepped the entire point I made for indicating design (simplicity) and instead went into a defense of the supposed creator screwing up my sinuses. I don’t have much more to comment on it at this point since it didn’t address what I originally sent so I’ll let you guys have all the fun.

  15. #15 Evil Bender
    January 30, 2007

    Yeah, I think this guy’s real. More or less on a friend’s dare, I actually took the time to examine the “logic” at work here. I don’t really think it was worth my time, in retrospect, but if anyone’s interested, I’ll toss the link below.

    Here.

  16. #16 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 30, 2007

    Same here. It was tough but I powered through. The circular arguments almost had me jamming a pen in my eye but I was able to continue on.

  17. #17 Kristine
    January 30, 2007

    That’s ‘If’ Kazmer Ujvarosy, not ‘I’ Kazmer Ujvarosy.

    I, Kazmer.

    I think I just came up with a musical. Autobiographical musical, because the guy is for real (if you want to call him that).

    Shelley the Republican really is a parody.

    Sorry I told you where to put your biblical-character-petting-dinosaur drawing, Shelley!

  18. #18 dogmeatIB
    January 30, 2007

    Now rather than an argument in favor of ID, wouldn’t a lot of the convolutions this guy jumps through be a better argument for the “fact” that the Buddhist concept of the universe is the “Truth?”

  19. #19 TW
    January 30, 2007

    Wow. What a fruitcake. I tried working my way through the thread on OverwhelmingEvidence but it became too painful to go on. The logical fallacies were making my eyes bleed.

    The Kazmer character must be a parody. Is this a spoof based on Borat?

    Thanks for finding this.

  20. #20 MartinDH
    January 30, 2007

    Kazmer recently seagulled the Talk Origins newsgroup. He then declared that, according to “Darwinists”, all people are animals and he did not debate animals. I’d sure like to listen in on the debate between him and his houseplants.

  21. #21 Hrafn
    January 31, 2007

    Kazmer Ujvarosy appears to be a genuine crank.

    He has published a number of articles during the time I’ve been watching the evolution wars, generally in conservative online rags with low editorial standards (this is the fourth article of his that the American Chronicle has published this month).

    Somebody should put up a rogues gallery of obscure incoherent verbose creationists, so we can tell at a glance the genuine cranks from the parodies. :)

  22. #22 bcpmoon
    January 31, 2007

    But wait, if he writes that:

    And because there is absolutely no demonstrable evidence that an intelligence above and beyond human intelligence exists, by default the credit for design in nature goes to human intelligence.

    Then there is no God, because God would be above human intelligence. All design is human, not divine. Well, well, well, donĀ“t let the IDers read that…

  23. #23 MartinC
    January 31, 2007

    He’s definitely a crank, not a clever, Onion inspired parody, like Jonathan Wells.

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