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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Location: Surreality, Have Fun Will Travel, Past Midnight before a Workday

Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Oh, Weary of O’Leary!

I must admit that I’ve underestimated Denyse O’Leary at Uncommonly Denyse. Just when I thought this mindless hack had an empty gullet, she coughs up a hairball to end all hairballs:

Design arguments: Does bad design mean no design?

In other words, we’d rather call God stupid than give him up. Then, to completely contradict her idiotic point, she links, as usual without irony, to this article:

Of Designers and Dunces

(by someone named Roddy Bullock) which is prefaced by this finger-wagging quote:

We thought, because we had power, we had wisdom.
– Stephen Vincent Benét

which is exactly the position in which their designer is—a powerful dunce. Gee, that’s brilliant. I’m quaking in my shoes. A Dunce-Designer, a nincompoop God. Let us worship him.

But wait, there’s more. Well actually, there’s more of the same. They get around the Dumb Designer bit to place the blame on (what else?) "Darwinists." First they play the “all Darwinists see design” flat-out lie, then make a dubious foray into archaeology and art history:

And that is the point: Venus de Milo stands today permanently flawed, but her current condition is not her original condition. From Paris of Troy to Paris, France and from original perfection to time-worn disfigurement, Venus is worse for the wear. But she still inspires those willing to see beauty rather than defect. By criticizing the quality of Venus’ design by focusing on her flaws, one would be committing an error that is grossly obtuse at best, and grossly arrogant at worst. Likewise, to be so pompous as to judge in humans the quality of design by apparent flaws in design smacks of pretentious conceit.

First of all, these dorks know jack shit about art. Secondly, they know jack shit about mythology. Thirdly, Venus is missing her arms because they were broken off; that is hardly analogous to children being born blind or hideously deformed. Are these latter-day medievalists attributing birth defects to damage done to an originally perfect creation, in other words, to (what else) human sin? You be the judge:

Perhaps, just as Venus held the Apple of Discord, our human race once held its own apple of discord, and by desiring “fairest one” status perfect design was forever disturbed by this world’s god of discord.…With each passing generation an organism’s genetic information can only stay essentially the same or degrade. The notion of increasingly beneficial genetic information occurring naturally over time to, say, grow new arms, is a modern myth. Despite Darwinists’ every effort to show otherwise, the evidence shows that unintelligent, unguided change over time progresses inexorably in one direction: to more and more flaws in a once-good design. Evolution, correctly understood, is therefore a fact and comports perfectly with religion.

You see, the designer has rough spots in his creation because he never intended for humanity to (or never knew that humanity would) go searching around looking at how things work. And this after making that screen spew The Privileged Planet, which argues that the whole cosmos was arranged precisely so humanity would discover it!

But historians now accept that the left arm is original to the work; it was intentionally not as well finished as the rest of the statue because it would have been raised above eye level and difficult to see. Such a technique was a standard practice for many sculptors of the era—less visible parts of statues were often not as well finished since they would typically be invisible to the casual observer.
We may never know [always with them, human are helpless] why certain of our features are designed the way they are, but what we do know is that every feature, whether deemed bad design or good, clearly evidences a designer. Such knowledge cannot easily not be known. [emphasis mine]

“Such knowledge cannot easily not be known.” There you have it, folks—the words of wisdumb! Can you prove that it didn’t happen? Future mutations such as these can affect you in the future! We must stop this war between scence and religion before it lasts forever!

Unbelieveable. Just unbelieveable.


Blogger JanieBelle said...

I promise, I'll go back and read this post in a sec (we were worried about ya', you'd been MIA!), but first I gotta spread some Good News!

Jesus Camp Bites the Dust!

Happy Dance, Happy Dance!


November 13, 2006 11:53 AM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

"... one would be committing an error that is grossly obtuse at best, and grossly arrogant at worst. Likewise, to be so pompous as to judge in humans the quality of design by apparent flaws in design smacks of pretentious conceit."

I see in this a lovely summation of both Christianity and ID.

Grossly obtuse, grossly arrogant, pompous, judgemental, flawed, pretentious, conceited, and deserves a smack.

November 13, 2006 11:57 AM  
Anonymous AJ Milne said...

I have a notion this is the way of all religions: they tend to evolve further and further toward non-negatability. Got something that looked vaguely like an actual prediction (stuff should look 'designed')? It didn't pan out, and got you into trouble?

No problem. Shave off those rough edges, make the original idea even *more* ambiguous, ensure it cannot possibly be construed as making any predictions whatsoever...

Give it a decade or so, and you've got the orbital teapot god. It *could* be there... because there's now no evidence that could possibly be brought to bear that demonstrates otherwise. And never mind that there was never any evidence *for* it in the first place, either...

I figure IDC's pretty much there, now. They made the mistake earlier of making a few claims that, hazy as they were, could to a degree be critiqued. Behe's claims re flagella were hedged well enough that he probably thought they were pretty safe, but he *still* got hung out to dry on some of it, when homologous parts and simpler subassemblies turned up...

So that's gotta go away, now, too.

Soon it's gonna be 'ya gotta *believe* it's designed... see, ya hold your hand over the slide, and you just *feel* that good ole' designertude pouring offa it... And if you *can't* feel it, brother, well, you just ain't trying' hard enough... We'll pray for ya, ya poor benighted thing, you...

November 13, 2006 1:43 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Soon it's gonna be 'ya gotta *believe* it's designed

AJ, what they’re saying is that even we “Darwinists” already believe in design! They cannot conceive of anyone viewing the world differently than they do. I always saw this, but now I really see it—I understand now that what is “designed” to them seems obviously so, that they think we’re denying something when in fact we just don’t see it their way at all.

Strangely enough, I think that I see where they’re coming from, finally. It’s rather like the “framers’ intent” interpretation of the Constitution. One cannot blame bad design on the designer, since the intention was pure—it is we who have fallen away, etc. However, this does not resolve the issue of how a presumably omnipotent designer could not “know” that things would fall from “grace,” or how this corruption is “bad” in the first place.

Let me go off on a really weird tangent here (being that I am a lit-nerd, creative writer, and all):

I consider myself a pretty good judge of character and I’m once again going to raise Dembski above the others, because he is neither scientist nor theorist, but a poet—some of his prose is actually beautiful (though I don’t believe a word of it), even lyrical, because he’s a Christian contemplative, and I’m familiar enough with religious literature to recognize that. His wife has intentionally written poetry (I’m pretty sure it’s indeed she, there aren’t too many Jana Dembskis around) that, while the subject matter turned me off, the form and meter were impressive to me. Perhaps Dembski is exploring what happens to him when he writes; if so, then I must say that when I write creatively, I work as evolution does, undirected; I do indeed cobble bits of action and dialogue together, some of which have been floating around in my mind for years, waiting to find a use; I neither write in chronological order nor have (except rarely) a coherent view of the whole before I begin. Small wonder I’m not bothered by the undirected processes of evolution!

However, I suspect that Dembski begins with coherent, whole patterns and tries to set them down on paper, and watches them collapse. While he by no means approaches the genius of the theorist Antonin Artaud in his writings, there is much unsaid between the lines of what he says that reminds me of Artaud’s work. (I wrote a novel about Artaud’s life.) Artaud devoted much of his life to the observation of his own attempts to communicate in various forms (poetry, essay, play scenarios, letters) and how the promise of language, the potential of optimal attainment, eroded even as it built its pattern. This falling away from the ideal is what Dembski sees around him: with him, the glass is always 1/64 empty. For me, the erosion and the “mistakes,” whether in human creation or in natural evolution, are part of the pleasure (and the disappointment) of the creative act.

The true “gap” in all of this is between a personality like that of Dembski’s, and that of mine (ours?). I cannot persuade him to find at least some joy in something that obviously horrifies him (and which can be, at the same time, a horror to me, too), and he cannot persuade me to find comfort in pretending that this horror in existence does not exist and is not, in the final analysis, eternal, inevitable, and inescapable.

November 13, 2006 2:43 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Oh, and I meant to say, raise Dembski above the other IDers only, not anyone else (certainly not scientists or theorists). He’s still just a small fish in an only slightly larger pond, but his writing (for what it is) is far better than anything by DaveScot or O’Leary. (And I’m not talking about his blogging; that’s perfectly awful.)

November 13, 2006 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To quote every evil Darwinist's favorite acrobatic, intellectual mutant (okay, mine at least), "Oh my stars and garters!"
Surely Denyse O'Leary can now safely be crowned the Queen of the Tards. She has taken the art of crafting ridiculously wrong prose designed solely to reduce one's IQ to a new level of perfection, and it is a thing of frightening beauty to behold!

November 14, 2006 12:21 AM  
Anonymous deadman_932 said...

Heh. The truly amazing thing is that Dembsky regards this feeble-thinking creature -- "The Church Lady" as we dubbed her at AtBC-Panda -- as something worth having on board, as it were.

I have a much lower opinion of Dembsky's prose and mental abilities than you do, Kristine. Perhaps that's because I read his tard-awful "apologetic" on evil where he essentially claimed God to be an insane being that was "father" to all mankind...then took a "belt" of punishment ( actually, destruction and genocide)to utter innocents for the sins of a few...but this is GOOD, y'unnerstan'--serves as a warning, but don't ask too much about the babies that drowned, they probably deserved it (original sin!). All that crap left me with a very low opinion of his "skills," and I haven't gotten over it yet. Maybe I'll re-read some of his other stuff later and see if I can see what you do.

AJ: I like your idea on the increasing nebulousness of religion through time. The odd thing is that even though it's based on "faith" which inherently incorporates NOT knowing, they keep trying to prove it while making it as ambiguous and unfalsifiable as possible. There must be a correllation there, possibly sub-concious recognition of the corner they're working themselves into.
Anyway, cheers to all!

November 14, 2006 4:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gah, I should spell-check my posts when I'm up late.

November 14, 2006 4:15 AM  
Blogger DaveScot said...

Dear Pottymouth,

I noticed you inquired at ATBC as to what I do. The short answer is that I do whatever I feel like doing.

I used to be a hardware/software design engineer until I made enough money at it that I never needed a paying gig again for the rest of my life. I left the rat race in February, 2000 at the tender age of 43 to become a bum with a really good tan, a soccer dad, a river rat, and hedonistic partaker of various and sundry other leisure activities that are for the most part not prohibited by law.

Life is good. Thanks for asking.

Kind regards,

November 14, 2006 6:48 AM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

Check the comments.

November 14, 2006 7:29 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Well, well. Look who's back, everyone! The original Potty Mouth, DuhveScot.

I noticed you inquired at ATBC as to what I do.

Cavortin' with godless blogs? Be careful there, dearie. You might contract an STD (Sudden and Transforming Duh-scovery).

The short answer is that I do whatever I feel like doing.

The shorter answer is: couch potato! No wonder gravity is the “strongest force.”

I hope I never make so much $$$ that I become so self-smug and irrelevant (I’m actually doing quite well myself, thank you very much) that I write like I’m a Georgia-hopping trailor-trash frat boy in a Borat flick.

Yes, I have a lot more respect for Dembski’s writing than that of this maroon, Deadman, probably because I grew up reading that kind of religious literature and have a certain immunity to the whole “suffering” bit. That’s part and parcel of Christianity (and apparently, of blogging).

Frankly, I credit Dembski with more intelligence (certainly more taste) than the rest. But who knows, perhaps I am like Borat, chasing a dream, with the discovery of the soul-shattering porn DVD bearing down upon my illusions! *Laughter*

November 14, 2006 9:16 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Surely Denyse O'Leary can now safely be crowned the Queen of the Tards.

A Poem for Dave (the other Dave, not fapman D(D)T):

The Queen of Tards
Made some nards
All in her bloggy way.
The Dave of Tards
Stole her cards
And gambled the trailor away!

November 14, 2006 10:03 AM  
Blogger PiGuy said...

...Georgia-hopping trailor-trash frat boy in a Borat flick


Why is it that Dave needs to keep telling us stuff like "My IQ's somewhere north of 150" and "I'm a self-made gazillionaire"? I think that I've got an idear...

You know that car commercial where two women make judgements about the guy who's driving? (i.e.: driver of gas-guzzling SUV: "He's compensating for something!")

My guess: Dave's not telling us how smart and rich he is so that we'll respect him (long since crossed that bridge). He needs to keep saying it so that maybe he'll believe it.

I think that we all have a pretty good idea of what you've got under the hood, Dave. Too bad that you don't feel better about it!

November 14, 2006 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Borat said...

I do not know what this old lady DavidTardy upset so much about. But it thrill me. Want photo, maybe phone numbers.

November 14, 2006 10:41 AM  
Blogger PiGuy said...

Careful, Borat - you'd better ask if he's in the Chi Psi frat before you go any further!

November 14, 2006 1:49 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Hey, this isn't a dating service, Borat!

November 14, 2006 4:18 PM  
Blogger DaveScot said...

Actually the braggart affectation is intelligently designed to provide an endless stream of entertaining reactions from the peanut gallery. It works like a charm. I play you like a fiddle.

November 14, 2006 4:20 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Oh, did you read that, everyone? He plays me like a fiddle! (This from someone who is as predictable as tear-off calendar.) Jesus H. Christ, I’m at work and having a hard time keeping a straight face!

Everyone cool, this is a conference eye-roll at the expense of Dembski’s little tag-along brother.


Hypothesis tested. Results positive.

November 14, 2006 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankly, I credit Dembski with more intelligence (certainly more taste) than the rest. But who knows, perhaps I am like Borat, chasing a dream, with the discovery of the soul-shattering porn DVD bearing down upon my illusions! *Laughter*

"Dembski" and "porn" are two words that should never be used in the same thought. *shudder*

November 14, 2006 11:07 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

"Dembski" and "porn" are two words that should never be used in the same thought. *shudder*

Sez you.

Different strokes for different folks! ;-)

(I think I hear J-Dog barfing somewhere.)

Come on. He isn't that bad looking. Besides, you're a dude. I think he's a cutie-pie. And he's such a prude--the perfect victim for my evil plot!

November 14, 2006 11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sez you.

Different strokes for different folks! ;-)

Fair enough. If Dembski does Dover is what floats your boat, then who am I to stand in the way of your pleasure? ;)

November 15, 2006 10:19 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

DT just accused me of being "obsessed" with him. Classic projection.

Poor thing. He doesn't know I'm only using him to get to the bespectacled creationist wizard!

November 15, 2006 11:28 PM  

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