Rep. Rick Brattin of Missouri has submitted what may be the strangest anti-evolution bill ever. HB 291 is, in some ways, a standard “teach intelligent design along with evolution” bill, but when you dig into the details and definitions in the bill you’re just left shaking your head. It starts out tamely enough, with this silly but standard definition of ID:
(3) “Biological intelligent design”, a hypothesis that the complex form and function observed in biological structures are the result of intelligence and, by inference, that the origin of biological life and the diversity of all original species on earth are the result of intelligence. Since the inception of each original species, genetic material has been lost, inherited, exchanged, mutated, and recombined to result in limited variation. Naturalistic mechanisms do not provide a means for making life from simple molecules or making sufficient new genetic material to cause ascent from microscopic organisms to large life forms. The hypothesis does not address the time or sequence of life’s appearance on earth, time or formation of the fossil record, and time or method of species extinction. The hypothesis does not require the identity of intelligence responsible for earth’s biology but requires any proposed identity of that intelligence to be verifiable by present-day observation or experimentation.
So just some vague and non-identified “intelligence” created life on earth — but not God, remember. Never call it God because then it would be obvious that they’re just talking about a religious belief. But then it goes into extraordinary detail on all of the various “concepts inherent within the hypothesis” of ID, including:
(a) The origin of life on earth is inferred to be the result of intelligence directed design and construction. There are no plausible mechanisms or present-day experiments to prove the naturalistic origin of the first independent living organism;
(b) All original species on earth are inferred to be the result of intelligence directed design and construction. There are no significant mechanisms or present-day experiments to prove the naturalistic development of earth’s species from microscopic organisms;
Notice so far that these are purely negative, “not evolution, therefore God” — I mean, therefore the unspecified “intelligence” that created all the “original species on earth.” And note the change from “plausible mechanisms” in the first part to “significant mechanisms” in the second. That’s rather odd.
(c) Complex forms in proteins, enzymes, DNA, and other biological structures demonstrated by their constituent molecules in regard to size, shape, quantity, orientation, sequence, chirality, and integration imply intelligent design was necessary for the first life on earth. Intelligence is capable of designing complex form;
(d) Complex functions demonstrated by growth, reproduction, repair, food metabolization, waste disposal, stimuli response, and autonomous mobility in microscopic organisms imply intelligent design was necessary for the first life on earth. Intelligence is capable of designing complex function;
Translation: “Wow, that’s really ‘complex.’ God must have done that.”
e) Within the history of human experience, all exhibits of recurring discrete symbols from a set of symbols arranged in a specific sequence which store information and can be read by human intelligence, is itself the result of intelligence. DNA contains stored information for the assembling of proteins and enzymes which can be read by humans and is the result of intelligence. The recurring discrete symbols sequenced within DNA which store information are the molecules adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine;
Seriously? The amino acids are “recurring discrete symbols”? Talk about bizarre analogies.
A terrible argument. Remember Michael Behe’s idea that God may have built all future evolutionary developments into the genetic code of the first cell, to lay dormant for hundreds of millions of years until they are expressed to develop new functions. Talk about a “genetic burden” — and one that then requires the invocation of a miracle to keep from being turned into gibberish by mutations that can’t be weeded out by natural selection because they don’t code for anything.
(f) Intelligence-directed design and construction of all original species at inception without an accompanying genetic burden is inferred rather than random mutational genetic change as a constructive mechanism. Random mutational genetic change results in an increasing genetic burden and species degradation rather than species ascent;
(g) Intelligence-directed action is necessary to exceed the limits of natural species change, which is a combination of autogenous species change and environmental effected species change. Multi-generation breeding experiments illustrate the limits of natural species change and its inadequacy for developing required genetic information found in dissimilar species;
So “natural species change” combines “autogenous species change” (change that arises from within) and “environmental effected species change” (change arising as a result of environmental change), but these things have “limits” that are never defined. Where is this limit? At the genus level? Family? Order? They don’t say, of course, because they can’t.
(h) The irreducible complexity of certain biological systems implies a completed design and construction at inception rather than step-by-step development, as indicated by the structures observed for sight, hearing, smell, balance, blood coagulation, digestion, and hormone control;
*yawn* Like this claim hasn’t been disproven many times, including by Behe himself on the witness stand in the Dover trial.
(i) The lack of significant transitional forms between diverse species existing today and in the fossil record implies all original species were completed at inception rather than by a step-by-step development from other species. A lack of transitional forms is illustrated by the appearance of large complex life forms in the Cambrian fossil record without any significant previous fossils;
That’s an old chestnut from the creationist jokebook. Still bullshit.
And here’s where things really get weird. Among the alternatives to evolution that they want taught: destiny.
(4) “Destiny”, the events and processes that define the future of the universe, galaxies, stars, our solar system, earth, plant life, animal life, and the human race and which may be founded upon faith-based philosophical beliefs;
Uh, what? And then there’s the definitions of hypothesis and theory:
(7) “Hypothesis”, a scientific theory reflecting a minority of scientific opinion which may lack acceptance because it is a new idea, contains faulty logic, lacks supporting data, has significant amounts of conflicting data, or is philosophically unpopular. One person may develop and propose a hypothesis;
(9) “Scientific theory”, an inferred explanation of incompletely understood phenomena about the physical universe based on limited knowledge, whose components are data, logic, and faith-based philosophy. The inferred explanation may be proven, mostly proven, partially proven, unproven or false and may be based on data which is supportive, inconsistent, conflicting, incomplete, or inaccurate. The inferred explanation may be described as a scientific theoretical model;
Swing and a miss. Not even close. Not even close to being close. The best part is that Brattin, the sponsor of the bill, told a local paper, “I’m a science enthusiast. I’m a huge science buff.” No you’re not. You’re another ignorant creationist blathering about things you are utterly clueless about.