Tuesday, June 09, 2009

"One Of The Coolest Animals On The Planet..."

And it started so promisingly, too.
One of the coolest animals on the planet has got to be the cuttlefish.
Aw, shucks.

So, yeah, PZ reports on Casey Luskin's "News & Views" column that attempts to find God in cuttlefish. I know, I know, if there's gonna be evidence of a supreme being anywhere, start with the cuttlefish. Can't blame Luskin for trying.

Seems that a new technology is using reflection and refraction to bring color to TV screen, e-books, and the like. The same phenomenon that causes rainbows on oil slicks and soap bubbles can be controlled (and is controlled, in the iridophores of cuttlefish) to reflect specific colors. Very cool.

Seems also that Casey Luskin sees the intentional design of these screens as evidence that the same ability in cuttlefish must also have been designed. Of course, this overlooks ... um, pretty much all the evidence in both the cuttlefish and the lab that is working on the TV screens, but it's Luskin. Not very cool.

Oh, and Cuttlefish also have separate color mechanisms as well--the chromatophores do not work by this same method, nor do photophores. So, take the mound of data, and ignore every part of it except what fits your conclusion, et voila!

There is a sort of intellect—an odd and stunted kind—
Which casts about, and claims that what it’s seeing was designed;
It matters little what was seen, although that may seem odd,
For everything is evidence the world was made by God

From Plato on through Cicero, Aquinas, Berkeley, Paley,
(It seemed, among philosophers, the list was growing daily)
There was no watch that did not show its purpose had been planned—
To tell the time, and testify to God’s Designing Hand.

The use of probability to argue has been tried
To argue such unlikely outcomes must have had a guide—
The Strong Anthropic Principle finds overwhelming odds
Which lead naïve observers to conclude the work is God’s.

The arguments have come and gone, with little left to show;
Complexity is not enough to prove design, you know.
Since Darwin showed complexity could build up by selection
The theory of design has seen a drop-off in affection

But there are some, a faithful few, who will not let it drop;
They ply their ancient arguments; they’ll likely never stop;
Like silly Casey Luskin, who has got a simple wish—
All he wants is proof that God designed the cuttlefish.

Now engineers and scientists have made a sort of screen
That’s different from the sort of thing we’ve previously seen—
Controlling iridescence through the thickness of the layers,
A neat design (and what is more, it answers Casey’s prayers)!

But cuttlefish are different—even Luskin could deduce;
To take the first example—TV sets don’t reproduce!
While color was a problem that the laboratory solved,
Such was not the case with cuttlefish; that process just evolved

And their skin contains chromatophores (and photophores, for some)
Along with the iridophores—comparisons are dumb.
It’s a way to sell technology, a way to make it cool,
But an argument for God’s Design? Well, only for a fool.

Oh! Somewhere on the internet, stupidity is rare
And Casey Luskin’s “News & Views” are never spotted there.
He never will admit it; he’ll deny it with a pout;
But there is no joy in Dumville—flighty Casey has Struck Out.


Krystalline Apostate said...

Absolutely classic. How long did that take you to put together?

Cuttlefish said...

Glad you like it! I guess total time, start to finish, was a bit under 2 hours. That included walking the dog, feeding the cats, and a couple other things--including reading Luskin's post, and a couple of news announcements about the process, and a search to see if I could find the original paper (I could not). That's not wasted time, of course, but time while I am able to think.

Kaz Dragon said...

Superb. I even read it out loud to myself. :)

curiousgeorgie said...

It's not even like the scientists just randomly came up with it as "OMG, I just figured out the (objectively) best way to design a color tv using refraction!" They were inspired by cuttlefish. So I don't get how the process would be at all analogous to how god would've done it. What was he/she inspired by?

Rogue Medic said...

So you are admitting that, as a Cuttlefish, you are a Tool of Luskin? This is just some ruse to confuse us. So that we do not realize that between posts you return to the Luskin Lair for further demonic instructions?

Sorry, couldn't help myself. ;-)