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Intelligent Design Added to Primary School in Britain

Creationism gains foothold in schools

THE government has cleared the way for a form of creationism to be taught in Britain’s schools as part of the religious syllabus.

Lord Adonis, an education minister, is to issue guidelines within two months for the teaching of “intelligent design” (ID), a theory being promoted by the religious right in America.

Until now the government has not approved the teaching of the controversial theory, which contradicts Darwinian evolutionary theory, the basis of modern biology.

1/1/07 Update: Additional information from Truth in Science

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Larry Arnhart asks: “Why don’t social conservatives embrace Darwinism?” O’Leary tries to explain

In a December 26 comment, Larry Arnhart, author of Darwinian Conservatism, asked,

Why would “family values” conservatism be contrary to Darwinian conservatism? In my book, I show how Darwinian science supports family values and traditional morality as rooted in human biological nature. So where’s the conflict?

Where’s the conflict? Well, how about from the beginning to the end?

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The Book is in What Section?

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” -William Shakespeare

In The Grand Canyon is How Old? PZ Myers whines like a little girl that the National Park Service includes in its bookstore The Grand Canyon: A Different View. The book attempts to explain the formation of the Grand Canyon from a young earth creationist point of view. The book isn’t in the science section of the bookstore but rather in the inspirational section.

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Carl Zimmer Hears the Sound

Carl Zimmer hears the sound of taxonomy exploding. PZ Myers, in his haste to dismiss the notion that genotype and phenotype aren’t increasingly at odds in where to place different critters in the so-called Tree of Life, inadvertently refers to an article by his comrade-in-arms Carl Zimmer which backed up the very point I was making.

“But there are times, I must confess, when I feel like I am watching a blind fistfight.” -Carl Zimmer

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Back in June I made a post here at UD that included my foreword to Ken Poppe’s book RECLAIMING SCIENCE FROM DARWINISM (see here). In the post, I did not indicate the book to which it would be a foreword since the book was not yet out and I didn’t want to jeopardize its reception. As it is, the publisher sanitized the foreword. Below the fold is the original as I had intended it.

Let me urge you to get Poppe’s book. It is available at Amazon.com here.

Cover of Reclaiming Science from Darwinism

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The Acceptance of Evolution and the Path of Compliance

Here’s an old study that I recall reading about as an undergraduate psychology major. It is about groupthink, those who adopt it and those who don’t. As you read it, ask youself who in the debate over evolution and ID is following the path of compliance and, alternatively, the path of independence (note that the distinction is not quite as neat as pro-ID and anti-ID): “Opinions and Social Pressure” by Solomon Asch http://www.panarchy.org/asch/social.pressure.1955.html

Dennett gives scientific reasons ID will prevail

It is my speculation the notorious Beyond Belief Conference and Dawkins call to make religion illegal are signs secularism could be on the brink of crisis. Ironically, Daniel Dennett unwittingly gives powerful “scientific” reasons why secularism is doomed and why religion (which tends to be ID-friendly) will prevail as the dominant paradigm in human culture. See Evolution is Cruel to Dawkins and Dennett.

Mike Gene said it so well:

And therein may lie the most cruel irony of evolution. While it may make it possible for Richard Dawkins to be intellectually fulfilled, it also means that Dawkins, from an evolutionary perspective, embraces a world view that is maladapted to his biological essence and thus is nothing more than another evolutionary oddity whose lineage is a dead-end.

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Other problems for Human Evolution, Nachman’s U-Paradox

Cornell geneticist John Sanford pointed out many problems confronting the theory of Darwinian evolution, particularly human evolution. (See: Genetic Entropy ) Many of his arguments were subtle. Among them was his discussion of a somewhat obscure paper: Estimate of the Mutation Rate per Nucleotide in Humans by Nachman.

Nachman writes:

The high deleterious mutation rate in humans presents a paradox.

What Nachman’s paper discusses is the idea of purifying selection (getting rid of bad mutations). If a population on average is receiving 3 deleterious mutations per individual, each female would have to be making 40 offspring to provide sufficent population resources to purge the bad mutations out of the population. But only 3 deleterious mutations per individual might be extremely optimistic. What if we’re dealing with more?
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Venter: Cracking The Ocean Code

I just watched Cracking the Ocean Code on the Discovery Science Channel last night. It’s on again at 3pm Eastern Time today and tomorrow. Really amazing. Venter basically circumnavigated the globe stopping every 200 miles to sample the microscopic life in the ocean which he is now shotgun sequencing back at his lab. In the shakedown cruise to the Sargasso Sea hundreds of new species and over a million unique new genes were discovered upon analysis. We’ve only catalogued about 1% of all species on the planet and have sequenced just a tiny fraction of those catalogued. As sequencing methods improve and prices plummet saying this is just the tip of the iceberg is a vast understatement.

News fix if you can’t sleep

I hope to blog on Larry Arnhart wondering why family values conservatives do not embrace Darwinism tomorrow. Meanwhile, if you need a news fix, go here, here, and here, where I have been posting news and comments from the ID controversy for several days, between stabs at various jobs.

Humans only 94% similar to chimps, not 98.5%

There’s a bigger genetic jump between humans and chimps than previously believed

A lot more genes may separate humans from their chimp relatives than earlier studies let on. Researchers studying changes in the number of copies of genes in the two species found that their mix of genes is only 94 percent identical. The 6 percent difference is considerably larger than the commonly cited figure of 1.5 percent.

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Michael Behe On Falsification

In the DVD Case For A Creator, in the Q&A section, Michael Behe was asked, How would you respond to the claim that intelligent design theory is not falsifiable? Behe responded: The National Academy of Sciences has objected that intelligent design is not falsifiable, and I think that’s just the opposite of the truth. Intelligent design is very open to falsification. I claim, for example, that the bacterial flagellum could not be produced by natural selection; it needed to be deliberately intelligently designed. Well, all a scientist has to do to prove me wrong is to take a bacterium without a flagellum, or knock out the genes for the flagellum in a bacterium, go into his lab and grow that Read More ›

O’Leary’s recent columns of interest : On neuroscience implications/applications of intelligent design

For links to all go here.

1. A recent ChristianWeek column: Faith@Science: The God gene? Spot? Circuit? Okay, maybe a Module?

(Note: This is the column I wrote shortly after finishing my work on The Spiritual Brain, explaining why notions of a God spot, gene, module, or circuit in the brain are completely ridiculous.)

For more go here. Read More ›