Creationist Quote of the Week: A Face-Palm/Head-Desk Moment

I can’t resist mentioning this. Over at the James Randi Educational Foundation Forum a commenter named wowbagger compiles a list of questions for intelligent design advocates. Question 2G reads:

If I were to claim that the “deducing of an Intelligent Designer” was nothing more than a type of paredolia phenomenon, how could you demonstrate otherwise?


Which is actually a good question. Anyway, someone at Science Against Evolution has decided to have a go at answering the questions. The answer to question 2G is, well, see for yourself:

We presume he means “paranormal phenomenon.” We can only wonder what is going on in his head that would cause him to ask such a question. Without knowing that, it is tough to answer, but we will try.

In the 1960’s, there was great scientific interest in Extra Sensory Perception (ESP). Scientific studies were done to confirm or deny the existence of mental telepathy by testing to see if one subject could correctly tell shapes (star, circle, square, etc.) printed on special playing cards viewed by another subject. That was real science, regardless of whether or not ESP really exists. Carefully controlled experiments were conducted and the results were statistically analyzed. That’s how real science works.

Suppose the ESP experiment allowed the subject viewing the card to say the name of the shape out loud to determine if vocal transmission of information really occurs. We would expect the blind subject to be able to tell the shape on every card correctly because he could hear what the other subject said. We consider spoken communication “normal” and mental telepathy “paranormal.” But, when you think about it, we just consider spoken communication normal because we know it happens all the time. Mental telepathy is considered paranormal because we think it isn’t normal. Does Wowbagger think we should not study things we think aren’t normal?

There are some things in quantum physics, string theory, and cosmology that seem downright spooky. Should scientists not study them? What is the value in declaring certain subjects to be off-limits to science? Just because a subject is called “paranormal” doesn’t mean it can’t be studied scientifically.

Before answering it probably would have been a good idea to find the definition of pareidolia Would have saved him the embarrassment of babbling about ESP and spooky quantum theory. Instead, they could have told us about how intelligent design theory is not based on the same phenomenon as seeing the face of Jesus in mold growing in your refrigerator.

(Hat tip to Khan)

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