Something’s definitely run amuck

| 69 Comments

Today on the DI Media Complaints Division blog, William Dembski writes,

I recall posting on my blog a gorgeous picture of wildflowers, hinting at the wonders of God’s creation, and seeing comments by atheistic evolutionists who dismissed it as merely “sex” run amuck.

I actually remember this post. It was a post Dembski put up on May 14, 2005 at Uncommon Descent. Quoth Dembski:

The Extravagant Design of Nature

May 14, 2005

Posted by William Dembski under Darwinism, Intelligent Design

Have a look at the following image and consider what your gut is telling you: (1) that nature is full of extravagant design that we should not expect on materialistic principles; (2) that nature has programmed us through evolution (e.g., sexual selection) to appreciate beauty in nature so that we can be good little robots and spread our genes. Here’s the image.

wildflowers.jpg

Dembski now says “atheistic evolutionists…dismissed it as merely ‘sex’ run amuck” (hmm, why the scare quotes? Nevermind.) But that’s not what I remember. Back then, us PT posters had a discussion of whether or not the photo was a fake. We concluded it was. If you know anything about mountain wildflowers (which are typically small and scattered), and/or if you’ve been to the Grand Tetons and snapped the photo at that viewpoint, it’s easy to be suspicious.

For some reason we never got around to posting our findings on it – probably because everyone was deeply immersed in the Kitzmiller case and related battles. But, googling it now, I find that:

1. “Grand Tetons and Wildflowers, Wyoming”, has become quite popular (I think it was so even before 2005), being copied all over the web, reproduced on posters, etc.,

2. It has been noted to be a fake by professional photographer Ralph Nordstrom of ralphnordstromphotography.com:

There is an image on WebShots that is a bit closer to the point, another totally fabricated image. This one is called “Grand Teton and Wildflowers, Wyoming.” This photograph is not possible. First of all, I have photographed at this same location in the Tetons. It’s the famous Ox Bow bend in the river and I can vouch for the fact that there are no wildflowers growing anywhere around there, especially in such profusion. Second, the ‘wildflowers’ presented here are anything but wildflowers. Rather, they are a photograph from a lush domestic garden superimposed on the otherwise beautiful photograph of Mt. Moran and the river. Certainly this is not fine art.

…and by the online Museum of Hoaxes.

Back in 2005, someone from PT actually found what looks like the original source of the flowers part of the photo, which came from a photo of some garden. I can’t find that now, though.

Anyway, the point:

In Dembski’s head: those atheistic evolutionist just dismiss this glorious photo of God’s creation as ‘sex’ run amuck.

In our actual heads: Wow, that does look intelligently designed, but it’s not the nature part that’s intelligently designed, it’s the photo itself and the garden they photoshopped in front of the mountains. Heh heh IDists are dumb.

I will agree, though, that if anything is magical and supernatural, it’s Photoshop. This cute family who visited the spot agrees:

Grand_Tetons_family.jpg

This message was brought to you by the Crawling-completely-into-the-heads-of-ID-advocates Division, Department of Long Memory, Pedantry Lab at the University of Ediacara.

Update: PT commenter AJ found the original of the flower garden. It turns out to be from a garden in Salem, Oregon, the center of the horticulture industry in the Willamette Valley. The photo, “Iris Garden, Salem, Oregon,” is by Adam Jones, you can buy a poster of it here.

adam-jones-iris-garden-salem-oregon-usa.png

I haven’t tried to find the specific original of the Grand Tetons, as there are a few zillion possibilities.

69 Comments

As I understand it, everything at DI is fake. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Why would Dembski be so taken with a photograph created to improve upon God’s handiwork?

As usual, their design detection remains woefully inadequate.

Not surprising when they deliberately redefine design to include what has all of the hallmarks of non-teleological evolution.

Glen Davidson

Dimski, it’s “amok” you dumbass

See, since the photo was doctored it actually was ‘designed’ which must make Dembski God err.. the designer.

Of course the photo has many hallmarks of design and we understand that this result can be accomplished by humans using photoshop or the equivalent.

As an ex-gardener I can tell that the majority of the recognisable plants in this picture are man-made hybrids. I can identify Russell Lupins, Iris hybrids, Pansies and French Marigolds. These will definitely not grow wild in the mountains. The plants as shown look more like an English cottage garden. Dumbski is lying through his teeth to claim these as natural.

Glen Davidson said:

As usual, their design detection remains woefully inadequate.

Not surprising when they deliberately redefine design to include what has all of the hallmarks of non-teleological evolution.

Lately, as Glen notes, they have been arguing that the fitness surfaces are specially chosen by a Designer, and that after that natural selection may be able to explain adaptation. Presumably they also subsume under this view sexual selection and coevolution with pollinators, i.e. “‘sex’ run amuck”. In other words, they too envisage evolution by ‘sex’ running amuck. That puts them in a poor position to be horrified by it.

My first thought was “fake” on this photo too. Some of these plants aren’t even wild flowers, and several certainly not native to the Grand Tetons. However, I was willing to submit to Dumbski the benefit of the doubt and think it was an amazing cultivated garden with a fantastic view. But really the plants don’t look like natural (garden natural) clumps anyway.

It is amazing what the Discoveroids will do.

Are matzke et all playing dense for any particular purpose?

Whether the pic has been doctored or not is beside the point.

These obviously bored folks are in desperate need of a point so photoshop comes to the rescue?

No blog post is better than a sloppy one.

SteveP. said:

Are matzke et all playing dense for any particular purpose?

Whether the pic has been doctored or not is beside the point.

The “point” of the ENnV post was is pretty much just Dembski imagining that other people think things differently from him, so that’s kind of petty and insignificant. But Dembski’s the one who brought it up again after all these years anyway, and Matzke was just reminded of what most people in the “atheistic evolutionists” really thought of the picture, which didn’t happen to line up with Dembski’s imaginings.

So who really had the sloppy blog post?

I’m looking at the original blog entry by Dumbski and this ad appears on it:

The End-Time is Here 2008 was God’s last warning. 2012 is economic collapse & WW III www.the-end.com

Which made me almost die laughing.

ksplawn said:

SteveP. said:

Are matzke et all playing dense for any particular purpose?

Whether the pic has been doctored or not is beside the point.

The “point” of the ENnV post was is pretty much just Dembski imagining that other people think things differently from him, so that’s kind of petty and insignificant. But Dembski’s the one who brought it up again after all these years anyway, and Matzke was just reminded of what most people in the “atheistic evolutionists” really thought of the picture, which didn’t happen to line up with Dembski’s imaginings.

So who really had the sloppy blog post?

Yeah, that was the point, and the fact that Dembski has apparently kept this fake photo in his mind for 7+ years.

Yes, it took us 7 years to get around to correcting him, but actually that’s pretty good for the U. of E., which runs on geological time.

dalehusband said:

I’m looking at the original blog entry by Dumbski and this ad appears on it:

The End-Time is Here 2008 was God’s last warning. 2012 is economic collapse & WW III www.the-end.com

Which made me almost die laughing.

It’s particularly funny when juxtaposed with the graphical ad to the right, which on my screen at least is a hot girl in sunglasses, a blue t-shirt that says “meh” on it in large letters, and underwear.

Karen S. said:

Why would Dembski be so taken with a photograph created to improve upon God’s handiwork?

Confirmation bias. That, and the fact that he’s a credulous IDiot.

The End-Time is Here 2008 was God’s last warning. 2012 is economic collapse & WW III www.the-end.com

LOL! And when has the end-time not been here? The Rapture Industry is right up there with death and taxes.

Thanks to Dembski for once again reminding us that the “scientific” method that ID employs is to look at something, consult your gut, and to then proclaim “it’s designed!” without once considering what you can learn about it.

Dembski:

hinting at the wonders of God’s creation,…

If those flowers in the foreground really are from a garden, they aren’t even god’s creations.

They were created by human plant breeders aiming for larger, more colorful flowers.

Dembski gets everything wrong and manages to throw in a lie as well. I doubt this is by design though. Believing in fundie religion seems to cause cognitive impairment.

This is an empirical observation, but just look at, for example, Michele Bachmann. Two degrees, one in law, passed the bar exam, and now seems unable to get anything factual, not matter how simple.

Another example are the 4 or so creo trolls on PT.

The End-Time is Here 2008 was God’s last warning. 2012 is economic collapse & WW III www.the-end.com.

The next End of the World is scheduled for May 27, 2012 by one Ronald Weinland of a HW Armstrong spinoff. And if you laugh at him, you will die of cancer.

If you miss that one, the next one is June, 2012 by some guy named “Jesus” whose cult is based in Texas.

And if you miss both of them, Ends of the World are scheduled at frequent intervals until the sun goes red giant about 2 billion years from now.

SteveP. said:

Are matzke et all playing dense for any particular purpose?

Whether the pic has been doctored or not is beside the point.

I recall people saying the same thing about the “staged” peppered moth photos in biology textbooks, but I don’t remember you coming to the rescue with that argument.

Dembski’s gaffe is even more funny when you add the surrounding text back in. He’s basically telling Falk: ‘look here, buddy, quoting Psalm 19 isn’t going to convince them. After all, these people can’t even see God’s handiwork in this here wildflower picture.’

!!!!

Here’s his whopper in all its beautiful, opaque, originality:

Moreover, for Falk to echo the psalmist is hardly an argument for the world proclaiming God’s handiwork and glory, because many atheistic evolutionists will deny Falk’s confident affirmations of divine perspicuity.

I’ve seen this directly. I recall posting on my blog a gorgeous picture of wildflowers, hinting at the wonders of God’s creation, and seeing comments by atheistic evolutionists who dismissed it as merely “sex” run amuck. Thus, when Falk echoes Psalm 19, what more is he doing than giving expression to his own faith? Indeed, what more is he saying to atheists than merely “I see God’s hand in all of this and you don’t – you’re blind and I see.”

The surrounding text makes it clear that Dembki was NOT giving the picture as an obvious example of some designer’s handiwork that atheists ignorantly rejected. He’s giving it as an obvious example of God’s handiwork that atheists ignorantly rejected!

This is a spectacular example of the science-stopping power of ID. To Dembski, its such an obvious example of God’s design that he does not bother questioning whether it might have been photoshopped.

raven said: …just look at, for example, Michele Bachmann.

OT, but did you catch the news that Michele “Crazy Eyes” Bachmann is now a citizen of Switzerland? See (among others) http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS[…]?id=16307863

The photo of the flowers appears to be called Iris Garden, Salem, Oregon, USA. The photographer is Adam Jones.

TinEye can be really useful for stuff like this.

Having lived in Wyoming for a long time, two things tipped me off right away: 1) The garden is clearly in full summer bloom, yet the snow on the mountains comes down almost all the way to ~7000 feet elevation, which indicates early spring. 2) I recall there is a variety of lupin that grows in Wyoming, but it is small and blue. These are definitely flower garden varieties.

AJ said:

The photo of the flowers appears to be called Iris Garden, Salem, Oregon, USA. The photographer is Adam Jones.

TinEye can be really useful for stuff like this.

Nice! Heh, Salem, Oregon is the center of the state’s horticulture industry.

The top photo would do quite well in N.I.P.A. !

Having lived in Wyoming for a long time, two things tipped me off right away: 1) The garden is clearly in full summer bloom, yet the snow on the mountains comes down almost all the way to ~7000 feet elevation, which indicates early spring. 2) I recall there is a variety of lupin that grows in Wyoming, but it is small and blue. These are definitely flower garden varieties.

But a judge might point that out, if he was sharp enough !

Nick,

I admit that this is a bit off topic, but thought I would urge you and others here at Panda’s Thumb to protest what I view as irresponsible journalism by “science” journalist Suzan Mazur in her recent interview with University of Chicago microbiologist James Shapiro at the online journal Counterpunch (e-mail address: [Enable javascript to see this email address.]):

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/05[…]adigm-shift/

For example, Mazur had this to say about NCSE, its “status” as an “appendage” of AAAS, and its relationship to both Jerry Coyne and the 2008 Rockefeller University symposium:

“In pinpointing some of the most obnoxious behavior in defense of Darwinian scenarios, I am reminded of the keynote speaker of the Rockefeller University Evolution symposium — University of Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne — who stood before an audience of distinguished scientists in the spring of 2008 to do damage control, first trashing Creationism and then declaring that he could cite 300 examples of natural selection but didn’t have enough time to do so. The speech was arranged by the National Center for Science Education — an appendage of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. I understand the AAAS has since asked for assistance steering it to scientists who are thinking about self-organization.”

Here’s an excerpt of what I wrote to Counterpunch as a complaint:

“I would appreciate some sort of retraction or correction with regards to Mazur’s ‘observation’ on your website, especially since her remarks do not indicate that this was a symposium meant to summarize the evidence for biological evolution from a primarily biochemical and molecular biological perspective, as well as an event held to commemorate a year early, both the bicentennial of Darwin’s birthday and the 150th anniversary of the original publication of Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’.” “When noted Conservative commentators like John Derbyshire, Charles Krauthammer and George Will have condemned repeatedly efforts by creationists to teach ‘scientific creationism’ in American public schools, and other conservatives and Republicans, like Timothy Sandefur of the Pacific Legal Foundation, noted skeptic Michael Shermer, Federal Judge John R. Jones (who presided over the 2005 Kitzmiller vs. Dover (PA) Area School District trial) and past and current Presidential candidates Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and Mitt Romney recognize the scientific validity of biological evolution and have, in several instances, also condemned the teaching of creationism, then it is irresponsible for Mazur as a ‘science’ journalist to have mocked Coyne’s ‘trashing creationism’. It is also quite irresponsible for Mazur to accuse the organization I belong to, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), of ‘arranging’ Coyne’s ‘speech’. She is also irresponsible in claiming that NCSE is an ‘appendage’ of the American Association for the Advancement of Science when, in reality, both are separate, independent, organizations; the former devoted to educating the public on what is sound, acceptable, mainstream science in biology and geology; the latter, one of our nation’s premier scientific societies.”

TomS said:

Paul Burnett said:

Off Topic Trivia, but “amuck” (or “amok”) is the only word from the Malay language used in everydaqy English.

“Orangutan”, which is literally in Malay “forest man”. Also “ketchup”.

The word “ketchup” is derived from the Malay “kĕchap,” which was, in turn, borrowed from Amoy Chinese, “kê-chiap” (鮭汁), meaning “carp juice.” Originally, kê-chiap was a pickle made from fish brined in herbs, but then the sauce evolved along with its name as it made its way into Western Culture.

Nick Matzke said:

So, basically, if anyone is going to spend time trying to change the minds of conservative evangelicals, it might as well be BioLogos; almost anyone else has much poorer odds and is probably not making good use of their time.

The Gnu atheists’ vehement hostility to the BioLogos guys is pretty bizarre I think. It’s basically friendly fire. On the other hand, the more the Gnus bash BioLogos, the more cred BioLogos will have with conservative evangelicals, so it may all work out in the end.

I am gaining a lot of respect for Nick Matzke over the last couple of months.

apokryltaros said:

TomS said:

Paul Burnett said:

Off Topic Trivia, but “amuck” (or “amok”) is the only word from the Malay language used in everydaqy English.

“Orangutan”, which is literally in Malay “forest man”. Also “ketchup”.

The word “ketchup” is derived from the Malay “kĕchap,” which was, in turn, borrowed from Amoy Chinese, “kê-chiap” (鮭汁), meaning “carp juice.” Originally, kê-chiap was a pickle made from fish brined in herbs, but then the sauce evolved along with its name as it made its way into Western Culture.

Truly, I say, this is a thread worthy of the University of Ediacara.

who stood before an audience of distinguished scientists in the spring of 2008 to do damage control

??

damage control?

LOL

Nick Matzke said:

apokryltaros said:

TomS said:

Paul Burnett said:

Off Topic Trivia, but “amuck” (or “amok”) is the only word from the Malay language used in everydaqy English.

“Orangutan”, which is literally in Malay “forest man”. Also “ketchup”.

The word “ketchup” is derived from the Malay “kĕchap,” which was, in turn, borrowed from Amoy Chinese, “kê-chiap” (鮭汁), meaning “carp juice.” Originally, kê-chiap was a pickle made from fish brined in herbs, but then the sauce evolved along with its name as it made its way into Western Culture.

Truly, I say, this is a thread worthy of the University of Ediacara.

http://www.dsng.net/2005/02/english[…]ed-from.html

thomasjneal.nz said:

who stood before an audience of distinguished scientists in the spring of 2008 to do damage control

??

damage control?

LOL

Absolutely, and I should add that before she began writing at Counterpunch, she was writing for Scoop.nz. I’ve tried stressing to that moron St. Clair just how inaccurate a journalist she is, and in reply, he wrote something ridiculous to the effect that she’s a “gifted and tireless reporter”. BS. I can think of many, starting with those who can write well on science, like John Rennie, Andrew Revkin and Carl Zimmer. I hope you’ll complain to Counterpunch, and you can also write to St. Clair here:

[Enable javascript to see this email address.]

John said:

Nick,

I admit that this is a bit off topic, but thought I would urge you and others here at Panda’s Thumb to protest what I view as irresponsible journalism by “science” journalist Suzan Mazur in her recent interview with University of Chicago microbiologist James Shapiro at the online journal Counterpunch (e-mail address: [Enable javascript to see this email address.]):

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/05[…]adigm-shift/

For example, Mazur had this to say about NCSE, its “status” as an “appendage” of AAAS, and its relationship to both Jerry Coyne and the 2008 Rockefeller University symposium:

“In pinpointing some of the most obnoxious behavior in defense of Darwinian scenarios, I am reminded of the keynote speaker of the Rockefeller University Evolution symposium — University of Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne — who stood before an audience of distinguished scientists in the spring of 2008 to do damage control, first trashing Creationism and then declaring that he could cite 300 examples of natural selection but didn’t have enough time to do so. The speech was arranged by the National Center for Science Education — an appendage of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. I understand the AAAS has since asked for assistance steering it to scientists who are thinking about self-organization.”

Here’s an excerpt of what I wrote to Counterpunch as a complaint:

“I would appreciate some sort of retraction or correction with regards to Mazur’s ‘observation’ on your website, especially since her remarks do not indicate that this was a symposium meant to summarize the evidence for biological evolution from a primarily biochemical and molecular biological perspective, as well as an event held to commemorate a year early, both the bicentennial of Darwin’s birthday and the 150th anniversary of the original publication of Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’.” “When noted Conservative commentators like John Derbyshire, Charles Krauthammer and George Will have condemned repeatedly efforts by creationists to teach ‘scientific creationism’ in American public schools, and other conservatives and Republicans, like Timothy Sandefur of the Pacific Legal Foundation, noted skeptic Michael Shermer, Federal Judge John R. Jones (who presided over the 2005 Kitzmiller vs. Dover (PA) Area School District trial) and past and current Presidential candidates Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and Mitt Romney recognize the scientific validity of biological evolution and have, in several instances, also condemned the teaching of creationism, then it is irresponsible for Mazur as a ‘science’ journalist to have mocked Coyne’s ‘trashing creationism’. It is also quite irresponsible for Mazur to accuse the organization I belong to, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), of ‘arranging’ Coyne’s ‘speech’. She is also irresponsible in claiming that NCSE is an ‘appendage’ of the American Association for the Advancement of Science when, in reality, both are separate, independent, organizations; the former devoted to educating the public on what is sound, acceptable, mainstream science in biology and geology; the latter, one of our nation’s premier scientific societies.”

Counterpunch is the left wing counterpart to Stormfront. The fact that Ms. Mazur is writing for that web site discredits he without even considering the content of her posts. When one gets into the pen with the pigs, one may expect to emerge with a coating of mud.

Dembski is even more of an idiot than I thought. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of gardening knows those are NOT wildflowers. The “design” is “extravagant” because these are the product of 200 years of artificial selection. Fail.

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on May 9, 2012 2:06 PM.

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