Intelligent Design and the Discovery Institute
From my blog:
(I apologize in advance if the links do not carry over, but they can be found in the original post on my blog)
The D.I. has issued a rather professional, and well written, argument for intelligent design. The arguments are bogus, of course, but it is much more eloquently written B.S. than I have seen from other creationists.
In the article, the author attempts to present the positive evidence for intelligent design, since I.D. is so often accused of being a negative argument against "Darwinism"; whatever that is. I encourage all of my readers to read the article.
Here are their evidences for intelligent design:
1. Natural structures have been found that contain many parts arranged in
intricate patterns that perform a specific function (e.g. complex and
specified information), such as irreducibly complex machines in the cell.
The bacterial flagellum is a prime example. The specified complexity of
protein bonds, or the simplest self-reproducing cell are other examples.
As most of my readers will know, the irreducible complexity argument does not hold water. The reason is that it assumes that evolution cannot change the function of parts (also called co-option or exaption). It also ignores the fact that organisms can become dependent on structures that were once less important (for instance jelly fish have no heart, brain, or liver, yet we need both of them to live.) This video explains the evolution of the flagellum. If you are looking for a more prestigious source, try this peer reviewed article from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
2. Biological novelty appears in the fossil record suddenly and without
similar precursors. The Cambrian explosion is the prime example.
"Some Late Precambrian Ediacaran fossils (~580-560 Mya) bear strong resemblances to colonial coelenterates called pennatulids, or sea pens.
...There is also evidence for the presence of arthropods as well as echinoderms before the beginning of the Cambrian."
http://www.asa3.org/ASA/topics/Evolutio ... iller.html
Another thing to think about is that many of the organisms before the Cambrian did not fossilize well, as they did not have hard parts (And of course many fossils are just bone).
3. Similar parts have been found in organisms that even Darwinists see as
separated by more closely related forms that do not contain the similar
parts in question. Clear examples include genes controlling eye or limb
growth in different organisms whose alleged common ancestors are not
thought to have had such forms of eyes or limbs.
Now, I am just speculating here, but couldn't hox genes have evolved in the common ancestor of all of these organisms, and then later co-opted in all of the lineages to control the development of eyes and limbs? It's just a speculation on my part, but really, why couldn't it have? Also, I consider this a restatement of the "common design" argument, which I have already slaughtered.
4. Genetic research continues to uncover functions for “junk-DNA,” include
functionality for pseudogenes, introns, LINE, and ALU elements.
Examples of unknown DNA functions persist, but design encourages
researchers to investigate functions, whereas Darwinism has caused some
scientists to wrongly assume that non-coding DNA is junk.
I am in agreement with them on this... partially. I think that so-called "junk" DNA should be studied, because who knows? Maybe junk DNA was co-opted for a very important purpose. I would say this is a fulfillment of design prediction, but I would also say that evolution does not predict pseudogenes functionless. It really is not negative prediction for evolution. I also think it is important to point out that this hasn't been ignored, at least not completely. Francis Collins, a theistic evolutionist, and head of the Human Genome Project, led an investigation into this, and found these pseudogenes to serve a purpose.
So, all in all, out of 4 lines of evidence, they got one right, which turns out to not be incompatible with evolution. The Intelligent Design Movement was started about 15 years ago, and this is the best they can do? It is obvious that this is a movement which is big on ideology and not on science.