Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

The School of Nanometry

The finding that the protein components, called “ankyrin repeats,” exhibit such unprecedented elastic properties could lead to a new understanding of how organisms, including humans, sense and respond to physical forces at the cellular level, the researchers said. The nanometer-sized springs are also ideal candidates for building biologically-inspired springy nanostructures and nanomaterials with an inherent ability to self-repair, they reported. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter. “Whereas other known proteins can act like floppy springs, ankyrin molecules behave more like steel,” said Piotr Marszalek, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at the Duke Pratt School of Engineering. “After repeated stretching, the molecules immediately refold themselves, retaining their shape and strength.” “The fully extended molecules not only bounce Read More ›

Dover’s done talking intelligent design, but rest of the world isn’t

No end to debate likely: Dover’s done talking intelligent design, but rest of the world isn’t By MICHELLE STARR Daily Record/Sunday News Jan 15, 2006 — If people believed a ruling in federal court would end the national debate about intelligent design, they were wrong. Judge John E. Jones III’s ruling in December was celebrated by supporters, who called it thorough and impressive, while those who believe intelligent design is science denounced Jones as an activist judge, or even incompetent. MORE

Evolve Yourself, Inc. — ID’s New Success and Motivation Institute

Evolve yourself intelligently to the new and more successful you. . . .** For some time now I’ve been wanting to complement Darwinalia, Inc. (which will soon be in operation — I have three partners and we own www.darwinalia.com) with an ID-based success and motivation course (complete with infomercials). I had been thinking about something like “Designed for Success” or “Designed to Flourish.” But the more I thought about it, especially with intelligent design taking the hits it has lately, it’s time simply to co-opt the language of evolution and interpret it in an ID-friendly way (in this vein, recall my post about intelligent evolution on this blog some months back — go here). Yes, ID is itself evolving! I Read More ›

Ed Brayton – Hypocrite Extraordinaire

Ed Brayton posts this seemingly virtuous opinion that anonymous ID proponents should not have their real names exposed. Yet among my first experiences with Ed Brayton was him exposing my real name in a public comment on Panda’s Thumb. Ed lifted my real name from a private email I sent to him. I don’t particularly try to hide my real name, which is why Ed got it in a private correspondence, but I don’t advertise it either. Now I ask you, when you catch a guy redhanded in such duplicity how far can you trust him in other matters? About as far as I can throw the Oskaloosa High School Football Team…

Jack Krebs Wanted To Present Alongside Bill Dembski

Jack Krebs at Panda’s Thumb is all bent out of shape because he wanted to present an opposing view alongside Bill Dembski. He then implies that Bill declined because Bill’s afraid of Jack or intimidated or something. Excuse me, Jack, but you demanding an opportunity to present alongside Bill Dembski and calling him chicken for refusing is like the Oskaloosa High School Football Team demanding to play the University of Texas Longhorns and saying the Longhorns are chickens for refusing. Sorry Jack, but you’re just not in the same league as Bill.

The Dembski-Ruse Road Show Continues

Intelligent Design forum features Dembski & Ruse Jan 12, 2006 By Staff Baptist Press MARIETTA, Ga. (BP)–An upcoming dialogue between a key Intelligent Design proponent and a Darwinian evolutionist from Florida State University reflects the fact that, “Our commitment to truth leads us to believe that we have nothing to fear from public discussion of important topics,” said Robert Stewart, associate professor of philosophy and theology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. The 7 p.m. Feb. 3 dialogue between ID proponent William Dembski and evolutionist Michael Ruse is the featured event of NOBTS’ two-day Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum, to be held at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga. MORE

Sythesizing perfect magnetite crystals

[From an engineer friend of mine–what’s the evolutionary explanation for the synthesis of perfect magnetite crystals in bacteria?] I’m in Houston at a custom short course (all week long) in nanotechnology for [snip] given by a group of profs at Rice Univ. It’s been a very intensive course, but very informative. One interesting thing that came up was the description of a bacteria that is able to synthesize an approximately linear array of the most perfect crystals of magnetite (better than any that experts have been able to do thus far) internally, which it uses to align itself with the earth’s magnetic field so that it can navigate with respect to the oxygen gradient in the mud in which it Read More ›

Roger Scruton replies to Dawkins

Thursday 12 January 2006
Dawkins is wrong about God
Roger Scruton


Faced with the spectacle of the cruelties perpetrated in the name of faith, Voltaire famously cried ‘Ecrasez l’infâme!’ Scores of enlightened thinkers have followed him, declaring organised religion to be the enemy of mankind, the force that divides the believer from the infidel and thereby both excites and authorises murder. Richard Dawkins, whose TV series The Root of all Evil? concludes next Monday, is the most influential living example of this tradition. And he has embellished it with a striking theory of his own — the theory of the religious ‘meme’. A meme is a mental entity that colonises the brains of people, much as a virus colonises a cell. The meme exploits its host in order to reproduce itself, spreading from brain to brain like meningitis, and killing off the competing powers of rational argument. Like genes and species, memes are Darwinian individuals, whose success or failure depends upon their ability to find the ecological niche that enables reproduction. Such is the nature of ‘gerin oil’, as Dawkins contemptuously describes religion. Read More ›

Secularists Once Again Call For The Suppression Of Knowledge

Secularists Once Again Call For The Suppression Of Knowledge

by Frederick Meekins

Since the 1920’s or thereabouts, secularists have invoked the imagery of the Scopes Monkey Trial as evidence that conservative Evangelicals are bent on suppressing knowledge in the realms of science and literature.

Most following the news are no doubt aware of the ongoing angst on the part of unbelievers and Modernists regarding the propriety of introducing Intelligent Design into the Biology classroom since in their eyes suggesting anything but the materialist hypothesis (itself a faith-based assumption) diminishes the rigor of so-called scientific education. Instead, they suggest such ideas should be considered as part of the Social Studies or Humanities curriculum.

Yet such gestures of enlightened magnanimous compromise are little more than a canard. For when it becomes time to examine the metaphysical issues within what liberals previously promoted as the appropriate venue for such a discussion, they then cry Separation of Church and State. Thus, what they really want is a monopoly on the perspective taught across all of public education. Read More ›