David Tyler has a background in physics (BSc and MSc) and a career that has led him into management (PhD). He had 8 years experience in applied research followed by other industrial experiences. As a UK academic, he is involved in teaching and research. He seeks to counter ideologies that seek to confine Christianity to personal, private and subjective spheres of life. Science is not a value-free platform for the development of knowledge, but a human activity that is built on metaphysics that scientists bring to their work. These issues are explored in his current literature blogs at Access Research Network.
Intelligent Design

Design principles in the feather

Before biomimetics, there was little interest in studying biological materials to gain inspiration for human invention. This is because researchers assumed that living things originated via “blind watchmaker” mechanisms. Since most researchers had discarded any thoughts of intelligent agency, it seemed only natural to think that living things would not help the human quest for […]

Intelligent Design

A liberating voice on the feathered dragons

Evolution: Education and Outreach is usually a disappointment. The journal could do with more philosophically savvy writers and more critical reviewers. The various contributions provide very little evidence that they understand Kuhn’s thesis about the way science develops. Most of the authors are working in a silo and fail to understand anyone who operates outside […]

Intelligent Design

Introgressive hybridization and the Galapagos finches

A branching pattern of variation was central to Darwin’s concept of speciation. As one population of organisms follows one trajectory, another population may spin off in a different direction. When they are sufficiently far apart, they are considered to be separate species. The Galapagos finches have been regarded as exemplars of Darwinian transformation, even leading […]

Intelligent Design

Quantum effects confirmed for photosynthesis

Quantum phenomena in biology are receiving the attention of more and more researchers, with photosynthesis being the process getting the most attention. Back in 2007, it was apparent that quantum effects were effective for “explaining the extreme efficiency of photosynthesis”. Then, in 2010, the photosynthetic apparatus of cryptophyte algae was the focus of research, because […]

Intelligent Design

Neanderthals behaving like us

There are two competing paradigms about Neanderthal capabilities and culture. The first considers Neanderthals to be cognitively inflexible, with a limited use of technologies that was unresponsive to environmental change. The second recognises a much wider range of behaviours and technologies, with adaptation to specific local conditions. The paper considered in this blog belongs to […]

Intelligent Design

Antarctic acorn worms break a “crucial evolutionary link”

Earlier this year, in March, Nature reported that soft-bodied worms from the Burgess Shale fossil beds in Canada, given the name Spartobranchus tenuis, have been identified as ancient examples of acorn worms. They were hailed as a “missing link” in the vertebrate family tree: “a crucial evolutionary link between two distinct living groups of animals: […]

Intelligent Design

Neural tissue preservation in a Cambrian arthropod

Palaeontologists have been developing some highly sophisticated tools for analysing fossil specimens. Of particular interest are techniques that probe the details of soft tissue preservation. In the research considered here, the 30 mm specimen was found at the Chengjiang lagerstatte locality in southwest China. It had large, claw-like appendages on its head and many jointed […]

Intelligent Design

A jaw-dropping placoderm fish

People who think sharks are “primitive” fish may be commended as being reasonably up-to-date with the evolutionary literature, but they need to take note of a new fossil fish that has thrown all the ideas into the melting-pot. Only a year ago, as an apparently coherent story was beginning to emerge, a specialist in vertebrate […]