Pharyngula

Lonely broken-hearted creationists

Aww, poor Intelligent Design creationism is feeling unloved. Or perhaps it’s jealousy. David Klinghoffer, that clueless ideologue at the Discovery Institute, is whimpering that blogging scientists aren’t paying enough attention to his brand of creationism.

Darwinian scientists who blog — in other words, those whose comments are most readily accessible to us — may indeed not pay attention to ID arguments, but that’s certainly not because of any lack of “rigorous and persuasive ideas” on ID’s part. The proof is that Darwin defenders are typically very busy indeed picking on other arguments that no thoughtful and critical person would remotely regard as “rigorous and persuasive.” What those other arguments have in common is that, unlike ID, they’re too weak to effectively fight back.

As a convenient example, right over at Panda’s Thumb, Scanlan’s colleage PZ Myers contributes a longish post (1500+ words) attacking some guy’s rather… well, strained attempt to discover the details of all of embryology in two vaguely formulated verses from the Koran. Dr. Myers complains:

I have read the entirety of Hamza Andreas Tzortzis’ paper, “Embryology in the Qur’an: A scientific-linguistic analysis of chapter 23: With responses to historical, scientific & popular contentions,” all 58 pages of it (although, admittedly, it does use very large print). It is quite possibly the most overwrought, absurdly contrived, pretentious expansion of feeble post hoc rationalizations I’ve ever read. As an exercise in agonizing data fitting, it’s a masterpiece.

Who is Hamza Andreas Tzortzis? On his Facebook page, he is identified as “a convert to Islam, …an international lecturer, public speaker & author. He is particularly interested in Islam, philosophy and politics.” How Dr. Myers discovered Mr. Tzortzis and what an easy punching bag he makes, I do not know.

Don’t worry, Davy! I think you’re just an easy a punching bag as Tzortzis, and just as obscure and irrelevant! Also, I think Intelligent Design creationism is just as strained, just as ludicrous, just as fallacious as Tzortzis’s Muslim creationism, or Ken Ham’s fundamentalist creationism, or Hugh Ross’s old earth creationism, or Biologos’s theistic evolution. I despise you all equally.

Big hug, OK?

Now I know these guys are used to cherry-picking all of their data and seeing whatever they want to see, but Klinghoffer has made a ridiculously bogus claim, that we don’t pay attention to Intelligent Design creationism’s arguments. Of course we do! It’s just that right now ID is rather spent — they’ve blown it in all of their attempts to legislate creationism into the schools, they’ve got nothing credible published, and their predictions have all fallen flat — in 2004, Dembski predicted the demise of “molecular darwinism” in 5 years, which, you may notice, has passed. Instead, it looks like ID has lapsed into a twitching coma, with nothing new to say…not that they ever did, since all they were was warmed over William Paley in the first place.

Besides, ID creationism was only a puppet for the religious creationists anyway. Almost everyone in the movement is devout in some way or another (cue Berlinski to swirl in superciliously and declare that no, his only god is Berlinski), and their support was entirely derived from a creationist base that saw ID as a convenient secular facade to plaster over the godly superstition of its underpinnings. Sorry to say, that base was only loyal when they thought ID was a useful mask…as it has failed, they’re all flocking to the Hams and Hovinds and local megachurches instead. You know, the religiously-driven fanatics that Klinghoffer so lightly dismisses as our easy targets.

But it’s silly to claim we haven’t addressed their arguments. Personally, I’ve reviewed Meyer’s Signature in the Cell and

Jonathan Wells’ Icons of Evolution and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design. I’ve tackled Casey Luskin and Michael Egnor
and
Paul Nelson
and
Michael Behe
and
William Dembski. I’ve written general critiques of ID creationism. I’ve trashed ID creationism repeatedly, and with bemused enthusiasm.

Let’s not forget all those other science bloggers and writers who’ve also stomped on ID repeatedly: Ian Musgrave,
Wesley Elsberry,
Carl Zimmer,
John Wilkins,
Larry Moran,
Steve Matheson,
Jeff Shallit,
Allen MacNeill,
Jerry Coyne,
Ken Miller and many more. Or the whole danged gang at the Panda’s Thumb. We’ll all continue to take swipes at ID creationism occasionally, but the Discovery Institute just has to learn that as far as creationism goes, we’re polyamorously promiscuous, and we’re happy to screw the whole damned bunch of anti-science goombahs.

ID is just one minor and particularly pretentious form of the pathology. We don’t focus on only ID, and it’s not because we’re afraid that they’ll “effectively fight back”. They won’t. What they’ll do instead is pretend our critiques never existed…just as Klinghoffer does here.

(Also on FtB)