The Discovery Institute fails again

The Intelligent Design creationists have done it again: thrown together another piece of sloppy scholarship to defend themselves from a non-argument. John Lynch is lazing in the balmy Mediterranean, and casually demolishes them in an afternoon in a Cretan cafe. It sounds like hard work, philosophizing.

Anyway, the gist of the Discovery Institute claim is, oh, no, we didn’t invent intelligent design creationism in response to recent American court cases — it’s an old argument with roots in antiquity. Which, of course, is something no one has ever argued against. We know the argument from design is ancient. We’ve said it repeatedly: a 20th century right wing think tank in Seattle had merely plucked an old rationale that Paley had made in the early years of the 19th century and recycled it, ignoring the logical refutations of design made even earlier by Hume and the empirical argument against it deployed by Darwin. I can’t imagine anyone familiar with the DI ever suggesting that they might have been original or creative.

Lynch goes into considerable more detail on the philosophical foundations of the idea, but again the lesson is the same: the DI is pretty much incompetent at everything they do.