Saturday, April 07, 2012

Creationist word salad

What a tosser!

The latest issue of Acts & Facts from the Institute for Creation Research offers its usual collection of antievolution essays and articles. A one-page “research” piece (that's how the page header describes it) by Jeffrey Tomkins offers yet another in a long series of ICR pokes at natural selection, a concept that ICR really seems to think they have on the ropes. Once again, evolution is on the brink of utter demolition. Surely it cannot stand much longer!

It's a good thing that creationists are about as patient in anticipating the demise of evolution as they are in awaiting the return of Jesus Christ. I believe that the one is just as imminent as the other—and I'm sure they agree with me in that statement (if not in my interpretation of it).

Acts & Facts contributor Tomkins boasts a Ph.D. in genetics from Clemson, but apparently failed to grasp the context in which genes operate. He seems to have studied them without managing to recognize them as the mainspring of evolution. Tomkins has, however, a explanation why evolution through natural selection cannot be the creative force responsible for today's diversity of life on planet earth. Brace yourself for this key paragraph from his article:
Environmental stresses and stimuli cannot exercise the creative causation of highly complex pre-coded genetic information that underlies irreducibly complex systems of adaptation. Organismal interaction with the environment involves highly complex and dynamic physiological and genetic responses to a wide range of physical and chemical sensory cues. These environmental cues are perceived by complex systems of cell sensor networks that interact with an organism’s highly engineered genetic system. While adaptation systems are complex and flexible, they are not evolvable on a grand neo-Darwinian scale. They are pre-engineered, pre-programmed, and irreducibly complex in the strictest sense of the term, and they unequivocally imply the infinite intelligence of our Creator God.
Well, that was clear, wasn't it? It takes begging the question to new heights of redundant prose.

Dare we try to unpack some of the word salad that Dr. Tomkins tossed for us? Let's give it a shot by considering specific words and phrases:
  • highly complex: the warning shot across the bow!
  • pre-coded genetic information: “pre-coded” implies a coder!
  • irreducibly complex systems: it's Behe time!
  • highly complex: What I tell you three times is true!
  • complex systems: so four times is a total clincher!
  • highly engineered genetic system: the coder has transmogrified into an engineer now.
  • pre-engineered, pre-programmed, and irreducibly complex: the engineer, coder, and Behe in three-part harmony.
  • unequivocally imply: no room for doubt!
Are you as persuaded by the author's argument as I am? Yes, that's what I thought.

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