Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

ID Foundations, 14: “Islands” vs “Continents” of complex, specific function — a pivotal issue and debate

In the current discussion on [Mis-]Representing Natural Selection, UD commenter Bruce David has posed a significant challenge: . . . it is not obvious that even with intelligence in the picture a major modification of a complex system is possible one small step at a time if there is a requirement that the system continue to function after each such step. For example, consider a WWII fighter, say the P51 Mustang. Can you imagine any series of incremental changes that would transform it into a jet fighter, say the F80 and have the plane continue to function after each change? To transform a piston engine fighter in to a jet fighter requires multiple simultaneous changes for it to work–an entirely Read More ›

Philo and Origen are not your friends, Dr. Alexander: A short survey of what two Biblical allegorists taught about Adam and Eve

Dr. Denis Alexander, who is the Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at Cambridge University, is an eminently qualified molecular biologist with a very odd combination of theological beliefs. In a recent article in The Guardian (December 23, 2011) entitled, Evolution, Christmas and the Atonement, he rejected belief in a literal Adam and Eve and an historical Fall, on the grounds that it was totally incompatible with scientific discoveries over the last few decades, which clearly indicate that “we last shared a common ancestor with the chimps about 5-6 million years ago, and humans have been gradually emerging through a series of hominid intermediates ever since.” Dr. Alexander had no time for belief in an immaterial soul, Read More ›

More popcorn: A virtual tour of the cell (and a link to another)

Courtesy North Dakota State U: [youtube YM2X1c4K1x0] (And for those wanting a narrated version of the famous XVIVO vid, cf here.) Remember, we are looking at these videos in light of Denton’s remark of 1985: To grasp the reality of life as it has been revealed by molecular biology, we must magnify a cell a thousand million times until it is twenty kilometers in diameter [[so each atom in it would be “the size of a tennis ball”] and resembles a giant airship large enough to cover a great city like London or New York. What we would then see would be an object of unparalleled complexity and adaptive design. On the surface of the cell we would see millions Read More ›

A Scientific Study In Evolutionary Musicology

Darwinism has been the most prolific progenitor of junk pseudoscience in the history of junk pseudoscience. One might even call Darwinism the universal common ancestor of junk pseudoscience in the last century and a half. (“Junk pseudoscience” is not redundant. Pseudoscience is worthless. Junk pseudoscience is less than worthless, that is, destructive.) Once unsupported Darwinian speculation and storytelling became acceptable within the academy, and was legitimized as “science,” all bets were off. One might write a paper with the title, A Scientific Study In Evolutionary Musicology: How Darwinian Evolution Explains the Origin of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor. This might make for a great Ph.D. thesis for a young musician with a double major in music and evolutionary Read More ›