Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

The Bacterial Flagellum Revisited: A Paradigm of Design

Going back to my undergraduate days, I have long been struck by the engineering elegance and intrinsic beauty of that familiar icon of intelligent design, the bacterial flagellar nano-motor. In tribute to this masterpiece of design, I have just published a detailed (31 pages, inclusive of references) literature review in which I describe the processes underlying its self-assembly and operations. My essay also attempts to evaluate the plausibility of such a system having evolved by natural selection. Here’s a short excerpt to whet your appetite. The bacterial flagellum is a reversible, self-assembling, rotary nano-motor associated with the majority of swimming bacteria. There exists a number of different models of this rotary motor (Pallen and Matzke, 2006; Soutourina and Bertin, 2003). Read More ›

On the Origin of Protein Folds

A common objection to the theory of intelligent design (ID) is that it has no power to make testable predictions, and thus there is no basis for calling it science at all. While recognising that testability may not be a sufficient or necessary resolution of the “Demarcation Problem”, this article will consider one prediction made by ID and discuss how this prediction has been confirmed. Click here to continue reading>>>

Latest ENCODE Research Validates ID Predictions On Non-Coding Repertoire

Readers will likely recall the ENCODE project, published in a series of papers in 2007, in which (among other interesting findings) it was discovered that, even though the vast majority of our DNA does not code for proteins, the human genome is nonetheless pervasively transcribed into mRNA. The science media and blogosphere is now abuzz with the latest published research from the ENCODE project, the most recent blow to the “junk DNA” paradigm. Since the majority of the genome being non-functional (as has been claimed by many, including notably Larry Moran, P.Z. Myers, Nick Matzke, Jerry Coyne, Kenneth Miller and Richard Dawkins) would be surprising given the hypothesis of design, ID proponents have long predicted that function will be identified Read More ›

Richard Dawkins On His Recent Encounter With John Lennox (Updated)

My friend Peter Byrom kindly transcribed this communication he had with Richard Dawkins on twitter following Dawkins’ recent encounter with John Lennox in New York on the subject of God’s existence. Can you imagine John Lennox having this kind of post-debate attitude? What arrogance. ————- (a few days ago:) Richard Dawkins @RichardDawkins “The Lord hath delivered him into my hand” (TH Huxley). I needed no help: John Lennox delivered himself. Reeled out the rope to hang himself Richard Dawkins @RichardDawkins Charlie Rose “In Pursuit of Truth” PBS air time tbc. You’d be amazed what a “sophisticated theologian” (John Lennox) is capable of believing Richard Dawkins @RichardDawkins John Lennox, in all seriousness, thought he could get away with the old “Stalin Read More ›

Registration Is Now Open For 2012 UK Intelligent Design Conference In Malvern, England

Lifted From here. 2012 INTELLIGENT DESIGN CONFERENCE SEPTEMBER 28- 29th Darwin or Design? The question that shakes the very fabric of human existence Elim Conference Centre, Malvern, Worcestershire, UK Sponsored by the Centre for Intelligent Design, Glasgow, UK Why this Conference? It is becoming increasingly apparent that the scientific case for Darwinism as a complete explanation of origins is deeply flawed and that the arguments for design are becoming highly credible.  It is also apparent that the way in which we view ourselves and our place in the universe is profoundly affected by how we think about these matters.  This conference will get to the core of the scientific and philosophical issues involved. So, here’s a one-off opportunity to listen Read More ›

Event Announcement: “Design in Nature?” Conference in Cambridge

“Design in Nature?” The Tyndale Philosophy of Religion group is hosting an important conference at Hughes Hall, Cambridge on July 14th to discuss that question. The natural world appears to be full of order from the macro-scale of the apparent ‘fine-tuning’ of the universe to the inside of the cell. Is this apparent order real and, if so, how did it get there? This one-day Cambridge Conference will feature four perspectives on different aspects of the question as to whether this apparent order should lead us to think there is intelligent design, or if it can be explained in purely naturalistic terms (e.g., in the case of biology, Darwinism). Here’s the speaker line-up: Dr. Stephen C. Meyer (Director, Discovery Institute’s Read More ›

Discovery Institute 2012 Summer Seminars, JULY 6-14, 2012 Seattle, WA

Two years ago, I had the tremendous opportunity to travel to Seattle, Washington, and take part in Discovery Institute’s yearly summer seminar for undergraduate and graduate students. Truth be told, it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I had the chance to interact at a one-on-one level with key ID scholars including William Dembski, Jonathan Wells, Paul Nelson, Richard Sternberg, Stephen C. Meyer, Scott Minnich, Michael Behe, Douglas Axe, Ann Gauger, Jay Richards, and Bruce Gordon (and more!). I also made many good friends from all over the world, most of whom I have remained in contact with even until now. If you are a postgraduate or undergraduate student who is keen on ID and is Read More ›

On the Origin of Mitochondria: Reasons for Skepticism on the Endosymbiotic Story

With regret, ENV recently noted the passing of biologist Lynn Margulis. Margulis, a scientist whom I admired greatly, was never a stranger to controversy, going so far as to call neo-Darwinism “a complete funk” and asserting that “The critics, including the creationist critics, are right about their criticism. It’s just that they’ve got nothing to offer by intelligent design or ‘God did it.’ They have no alternatives that are scientific.” She was a scientist who wasn’t afraid to think creatively, disregarding the scorn of her colleagues. According to the Telegraph, a response to one grant application she made said: “Your research is crap. Don’t ever bother to apply again.” Click here to continue reading>>>

Larry Moran Defends “Junk DNA”

Earlier, I responded to remarks made by PZ Myers at the recent Skepticon 4 conference. His subject: “Junk DNA.” On his Sandwalk blog, University of Toronto biochemist Larry Moran has posted a response to my article. Since the post is relatively civil (unusually for Moran, he refrains from calling me an “IDiot”) and offers some scientific criticisms of what I wrote, I will offer a rebuttal. Click here to continue reading>>>

Treasure in the Genetic Goldmine: PZ Myers Fails on “Junk DNA”

Readers may recall my encounter with developmental biology professor PZ Myers earlier this year. In that brief interaction, I came to appreciate Myers’s ability to charm his adoring fans and followers irrespective of the scientific robustness of his claims, or the accuracy with which he represents the views of those with whom he disagrees. Click here to continue reading>>>

The Face of a Frog: Time-Lapse Video Reveals Never-Before-Seen Bioelectric Pattern

Jonathan Wells has already drawn our attention to a recent paper by Vandenberg et al. in the journal Developmental Dynamics. The authors make the startling and innovative discovery that bioelectrical signals are essential for the proper formation of the head and face in frog embryos. Physorg.com reports, Click here to continue reading>>>