Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rabbi really, really wants Intelligent Design to be true, so it must be!

I've tried to respond to this post, but they're rather sluggish about approving comments that might expose their idiocy, so I'm posting my reply here.

The Rabbi writes:
The obvious and most significant conclusion that can be drawn from all their splendid work in the lab is that the only reasonable explanation for the emergence of life is Intelligent Design!


The mere fact that something CAN be accomplished by intelligent design does not indicate that it can ONLY be accomplished by intelligent design, nor does it indicate that other similar occurrences are most likely the result of intelligent design.

The fact that I have an intelligently designed machine in my kitchen that can freeze water doesn’t mean that the best explanation for the polar ice caps is a giant, intelligently designed freezer.

I’ll agree that this subject (the creation of life in the laboratory) doesn’t significantly add to the origin of life discussion (meaning it doesn't confirm a source, despite demonstrating a possible mechanism) – which means, in case you missed it while eagerly rushing toward a presentation of your own, unsupported hypothesis, that it doesn’t lend any significant credence to ANY position regarding origins. Including intelligent design.

So, congratulations to the Intelligent Design crowd for, once again, posting their sloppy thinking publicly. It goes a long way toward helping to educate the next generation.


  1. I like to read a small post for a change, I don't have enough time to read this blog, to my great sadness. This post short, sweet and straight to the point. And I love the example.

  2. I replied:
    "Not to mention: life created by human intelligence is still purely natural. If human beings can make something happen in nature, then clearly that thing can happen… in nature. No supernatural creator is required."

  3. Wow, I am sorry to say that Rabbi Moshe Averick really does not get it. I haven't seen such a jumble of argument from ignorance, authority, and just plain lack of understanding of the quotes from the various doctors that were included in his post. (some of which I can't find a reference to, so I am assuming that they may, in fact, be doctored)

    and Matt, your post is there now

  4. I sometimes get frustrated with how myopic those who support the supernatural can be. It gets so bad sometimes that I find it hard to even work up the motivation to argue.

  5. Never trust an online news paper that doesnt have a science section.

    And if you think that article was infuriating read this:

  6. After citing a quote which is quite easily understood the author then writes....

    "let me translate the aforementioned citation into clear, plain language that can be understood by all."

    If I was a regular reader of this newspaper/magazine I would be offended at his assumption that I was illiterate.

  7. I would really like your post ,it would really explain each and every point clearly well thanks for sharing.

    Audi All Road Quattro Turbocharger

  8. I'm going to make a vague reference to a post and then follow up with a spam link to a product.

  9. How the mind of the creationist works:

    Unsuccessful experiments = intelligent design.

    Successful experiments = intelligent design.

  10. I was surprised to see you responding to Avarick article. I just wrote about it on my blog. I enjoyed seeing a very good(and much more brief!) synopsis of his faulty argument that because we can make something, all instances of that something are made by someone.

    Here's my site, I'd appreciate feedback:

  11. It doesn't matter how many ways we discover ways life could have started naturally. We'd still be banging our heads against this wall of willing ignorance.

    This makes me sad.

  12. If A then B.
    B is true.
    Therefore, A.

    Couldn’t B be due to a cause different than A?

    Sure, it could, but it isn't. Because, you know, A causes B. And there's B right here. So, clearly A is true.


  13. Your reply is up, Matt (and Moishe has replied to it), but you're screaming down a well over there. It's stupidity all the way down.

  14. My comment to Rabbi Moshe, if it goes down the memory hole:

    Moshe: I’m stunned that you think quote-mining George Wald from almost SIXTY YEARS AGO (he uttered the words you quote in *1954*!) is responsive to anything.

    People here have been trying to explain this to you, rather patiently, without much success. Here’s another go:

    When you say that the only alternatives are life arising spontaneously or supernatural creation, you are either misrepresenting the current state of scientific knowledge or ignorant of it.

    George Wald had an excuse: he was writing during the Eisenhower administration. What’s yours?

  15. The article looks just like a huge god of the gaps argument. Basically, "science can't explain this, hence God."

    It's also dishonest. Just because there's no definitive unanimous agreement among biologists about how life might have formed doesn't mean there aren't plausible hypotheses of the actual mechanism. Saying that scientists "have no idea" is just dishonest.

  16. I wonder: is a theist a de facto supporter of a form or other of intelligent design, whether he holds the Big Bang and evolution as true or not?

  17. @Guillaume

    No, not necessarily. The God as Creator/Intelligent Designer is a very patriarchal (mostly Abrahamist) mythological framework. Other theistic origin stories have natural processes occurring to form the cosmos, or the cosmos being generated or born instead of designed/created, or the cosmos being the side effect of another action (separation of a pre-existing sky god/dess & earth god/dess). One of the popular late Helleno-Roman mythic motifs was the Platonic Good emanating "down" into ever more physical levels. Not really a design or creation per se, but a fall. The physical world is seen as just a thinning out of the ideal divine "signal".

    Any of these mythical models could work equally well with an acceptance of the Big Bang & evolution (perhaps much better actually than trying to shoehorn in an intelligent designer who can't design worth shit).

  18. Wouldn't it be great if the Olympics worked the way he thinks things do? The German gymnast goes up onto the rings, does a really good routine, socres come in from the judges, and oh look, only an 8.7. Well that's not a perfect ten is it. Therefore, France doesn't need to do their routine and automatically wins gold and everyone can go home happy.

  19. And if Germany does get a perfect 10, then France complains that ten is an artificial standard, it's all unfair and Germany is disqualified.

  20. @Ibis-Oh I know there were many creation myths where there was no intelligent design, heck the idea that the creator-god is also the ruling-god is a relatively new concept (there were plenty of ruling gods that were either created by accident or the children of lesser, primitive gods). I was more wondering about contemporary theists. I should maybe narrow down my questions to Abrahamic theists: can they believe in God without also believe in some kind of intelligent design?


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