Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mystery Noise Investigation Enrages Discovery Institute

Take a look at at this article about a mystery noise that's been annoying neighbors in Pikesville, Maryland.

Residents reported explosions and flashes of light in the middle of the night. They reported the noise to the police, who seemed skeptical until they captured it on video. According to the article,

"Whatever it is there's a scientific explanation," said Johns Hopkins University Physicist Dr. Peter Armitage, who reviewed the video tape evidence and went to the neighborhood where it's happening to see if he could find any possible causes.

Armitage says more evidence is needed before he can form a scientific conclusion.


[Bonnie] Friedman agrees. "We even said maybe it's aliens. We're at the point where we'll listen to anyone's theory. We just need to stop it because my homeowners need to sleep."

This has apparently enraged the Discovery Institute. Spokesman John West said, "Scientific materialism--the claim that everything in the universe can be fully explained by science as the products of unintelligent matter and energy--has become the operating assumption for much of American politics and culture." He took issue with Armitage's claim that the noise and light must have a scientific explanation: "Although this line of reasoning exhibits a surface persuasiveness, it ignores the natural limits of scientific expertise... If the history of scientific materialism in politics shows anything, it is that scientific experts can be as fallible as any one else."

Biologist Jonathan Wells thinks Bonnie Friedman is not being fair by considering aliens as a valid explanation, but not God: "Probably everyone would concede that attributing design to space aliens doesn’t ultimately solve the problem; it just moves the solution further away.... Why not God?"

Sounds pretty convincing to me. I don't know why the Baltimore County police aren't considering the possibility that this sound-and-light show is supernatural. After all, the Bible tells us that God intervenes all the time in human affairs. Why not in Pikesville, Maryland?


[All quotes from DI spokesmen are genuine, although they have been taken out of context for comic purposes.]


Eamon Knight said...

But the cause was INTELLIGENT! Therefore the DI was right all along!

Alex said...

Unbelievable. You know, I had a vague desire to try and write a humours "response" from the Discovery Institute regarding the solving of this case. I was tossing around ideas, something along the lines of "clearly those Heathen Atheists Scientists set this whole thing up so that they could frame God". But really, nothing I came up with sounded anywhere near as ludicrous as their original statements about this "mystery". They are truly beyond parody.

RBH said...

Well, hell, the Disco Dancers were right, weren't they? After all, it was an intelligent agent that generated the phenomena. :)

Eamon Knight said...

W.r.t my and RBH's attempts at humour: keep in mind that I've actually *seen* IDiots try to argue exactly what we just said. Poe's Law strikes again.