As reigning President of the Design Opposition Grassroots Movement of America, my job is to provide you with answers to this design “controversy.” My last interview [with PZ Squiddy of Uvula] had not been well-received by the atheist and evolutionist community. Some have accused me of being a Poe. Others have called me a “worthless hack,” a “bumbling idiot” and a “knuckle-dragging moron.” It was panned as “pitiful: unintelligent, dishonest and very unfunny.” Also it was “not nicely done.” I want to thank everyone for their constructive criticism, especially Mom, and for not impeaching me just yet.
In honor of Apri 1st, which I’m told is International Atheist’s Day, I called up Professor Rickroll Dawggins, outspoken uber atheist, evolutionist, author of several books [including my faves, “The Religion Contagion” and “The Mean Gene” [the latter I accidentally picked up because of my fascination with professional wrestling]] and noted media hog.
Rickroll met me at the local Bowl-O-Rama where our interview began over nachos and diet sodas.
Me: “Thanks for agreeing to this interview. I was just talking to PZ Squiddy…”
Dawggins: “Squiddy? Why were you talking to Squiddy when you could’ve been talking to me? He’s not even one of the Dauchsunds of Doom, you know. He’s more of a cat person, I think.”
Me: “I thought you guys were the Four Horsemen.”
Dawggins: “No, no, no. The Four Horsemen comes from religious symbolism. We changed it. Dogs are better. More evolutionary than horses. Plus it plays off We’ve got T-shirts and everything. Huxley was Darwin’s bulldog, you know.”
This guy was waaaaaay smarter than me, so I was just gonna have to take his word for it that war-like weiner dogs were better overall.
Me: “Anyway the designists say that the evidence for design is all around us in kind of an obvious way. What do you say to that?”
Dawggins: “Well, it does look designed, but we must always remind ourselves that it’s only apparent design – it only looks and acts designed, but it’s not reeeeally designed.”
Me: “I see. In your book “Climbing Mount Apparently Impossible…”
Dawggins: “Yes, I wrote that. Best seller. Rave reviews from a credulous fawning media. Go on.”
Me: “Um, OK. In your book, you say that the chances that everything we see – bridges, highways, cars, computers, books, cell phones – coming about by blind, insufferable odds only looks really, really bad. Something like one in infinite bajillion times the chance that the Earth would suddenly become a Rubik’s Cube or a really big pair of pants. Which is arguably well past the range of probability for what’s even remotely possible. But you claim that we can overcome this series of improbable Free Lunches…”
Dawggins: “Apparently impossible.”
Dawggins: “Apparently impossible Free Lunches’ That’s what I wrote. You said Improbable. It’s a theme, you see. Apparent design. Apparently impossible. We’ve got T-shirts and coffee mugs with that on it, you know.”
Me: “I know. Anyway, you said we can overcome this… apparently impossible string of Free Lunches…”
Dawggins: “By assuming that we can overcome each apparently impossible Free Lunch, one at a time. And why shouldn’t we? Look around. We’re here! Bridges? Here! Cell phones? Here! Branded coffee mugs and T-shirts? Here! here! You see the odds…”
Me: “Infinity bajillion times the chance that the planet would suddenly change into a Rubik’s Cube or a really big pair of pants.”
Dawggins: “Yes, those odds are easy to dismiss if we just take baby steps. As I wrote in my best-selling book, “Natural selection is a cumulative process, which breaks the apparent impossibility up into small pieces. Each of the small pieces is apparently impossible, but not ludicrously so.” It just takes practice. Why sometimes I’ve believed as many as six or seven apparently impossible things before breakfast!”
Me: “Didn’t the White Queen say something like that Alice in Through the Looking Glass?”
Dawggins: “Apparently not. After all, if I said I said it when it was said by someone fictiously else, that would be plagiarism.”
Me: “You made a comment about books having no Author…”
Dawggins: Yes, in “The Religion Contagion. I said that these fellows who go about believing jabberwocky like the idea that the presence of complex, specified information encoded into our DNA implies an Author are the same Flat Earther history-deniers who believe that books are similarly written by authors. Tossers! Doesn’t matter if there’s more information than all the world’s libraries in our DNA. None of the books in all the world’s libraries were written either!”
Me: “So they were just apparently authored.”
Dawggins: “I say, you’re getting the hang of it. Too’right!”
Me: “Is your snitty British accent real?”
Me: “Creationist nutjobs say that, even if we can get around the sheer… apparent impossibility of it all, when we point out that small changes lead to big changes, that’s misleading.”
Dawggins: “How so?”
Me: “They say that observable changes via natural selection or speciation don’t add any new genetic information as required by microbes to man phyletic evolution. That observable changes in nature only shuffle the deck, so to speak.”
Dawggins: “Who’s side are you on here?”
Dawggins: “No, no, no. They’ve got it wrong as usual. The blighters should have said it’s like shuffling the deck while adding cards from time to time.
Me: “Where do the new cards come from?”
Dawwgins: “From shuffling the deck of course!”
Me: “But that still only gives you 52 cards… well, 51 actually. I lost one somewhere, so I don’t exactly have a full deck.”
Dawggins: “Apparently. But if we shuffle the deck over and over for millions of years anything becomes possible!”
His answer confused me a little and I was pretty sure he’d just insulted me somehow, but I was just happy to bask in the glory of his radiant brilliance. It might not make that much sense to me, but he is after all Darwin’s Weiner Dawg and, let’s face it, he is soooo much smarter than me. Mine is not to question or even comprehend, but to parrot the breathtaking brilliance of the masters. I decided to return to the subject of design.
Me: “What if the evidence for design were undeniable?”
Dawggins: “It’s not. I’ve denied it plenty of times. That’s the trick of it. Just read the opening chapter of my newest uncritically accepted best-seller, The Greatest Snow on Earth, and follow my example: Simply repeat ‘Evolution is true’ over and over, all the while denying the existence of design or a Designer or a controversy and suchwhat posh. That’s how it’s done.”
Me: “But if the evidence were absolutely undeniable?”
Dawggins: Well, then it would only be apparently undeniable. Look, this entire design argument is a smokescreen to allow stealth creationists to sneak God back into schools. Think about it: Who’s the Designer? It’s got to be God. Everybody knows that. They say the identity of the Designer isn’t important, but Who else could it be? There’s no other candidates for the Designer, so it’s got to be God. Therefore Intelligent Design is just stealth Creationism, right?”
Me: “It makes perfect sense to me. You’re saying that it’s a good thing that it’s all only apparent design because if design were actual and undeniable, you’d have to start believing in God. And your an atheist so…”
Dawggins: Great Scott! whatever gave you that idea? If the evidence for design were undeniable, its obvious that we were designed by space aliens who were only apparently designed themselves.”
I thanked Dr. Rickroll Dawggins for his time, bought an obligatory “the Mean Gene” T-shirt and decided to bowl a few frames while I thought about what he said. Or apparently said anyway.
Most of what he said was so smart that it just confused me and my under-evolved brain. Yet I came away knowing I had just been in the shadow of apparent greatness.
President of D.O.G.M.A.
The Gilded Parrot is the Official newsletter of D.O.G.M.A. Join us next issue for another opportunity to put our thinking caps up on the shelf a bit and go straight to the experts.
Note to members: Remember! At next month’s meeting, I’d like to explore the possibility of changing the group’s name to show fawning devotion to Dr Rickroll Dawggins. I’d like the acronymn to spell D.A.W.G.M.A. instead of the current random hodgepodge of letters.
Also, I forgive most of you for trying to impeach me for my last interview at last month’s meeting. I’m getting better. Thank you for the stay of execution.