Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

“Flopping around, witnessing the rebellion”


Here’s a note from a biology graduate student at one of the the nation’s best universities:

At [snip] university, a recent seminar focused on the biochemistry of metabolic pathways. As evidenced by the professor’s behavior, this material screams design. Twice the professor brought up ID as a joke, but the class fell silent. After excitedly explaining how cholesterol metabolism was regulated, the professor said that it was all because of ID and expected the class to laugh, except it didn’t. The professor even asked, “Why isn’t anyone laughing?” But no reply. The second time, the professor was explaining regulation of heat generation in the mitochondria and then said, “Isn’t that amazing? Is it intelligent design?” The class went quiet again, but this time the professor’s tone was different. I actually think this person secretly believes in design. Of course, push come to shove, the professor would bash ID.

Experiences like this tell me that students are actually quite open and excited about ID, unless they’ve already made up their minds against it. The ID movement is on a roll. The younger generation is catching on and that’s why ID is going to win. It will be interesting to see the anti-ID faculty flop around as they witness the rebellion.

Gumpngreen, Bingo on both counts. I don't care if there's a speciation wall or no wall. Let the clads fall where they may. But the old narrative has failed. Nice try. No cigar. pmob1
I used to believe without question the evolutionary narrative. After all, why would my teachers mislead me? After becoming a software engineer I developed an interest in reading scientific literature. Compelled by evidence and the force of reason I came to reject the wholesale evolutionary narrative. Notice that I didn't say I reject evolution entirely... Gumpngreen
DaveScot, Re: analogous link between software and DNA Right. A whole lot of fairly neutral linking is going on and the popular gestalts are usually code-like or otherwise related to info-tech. A lot of folks are just “making connections” without regard for Big Explanations like Darwinism or ID. Someone in cladistics might pay lip service to the theory of slow, lineal sequences but basically they’re just matching patterns with the aid of powerful technology. What qualifies as a relevant match is subjective. Increasingly, the matches don’t sit at all well on the old common ancestor timelines. So they start playing around with other groupings, paraphyletics, polyphletics, etc. Why wouldn’t they just pop free of Darwinist sequences altogether and let the homologs fall where they may? It wouldn’t affect their inquiry at all except to free it up a little. Just play with the patterns for awhile. Same thing in other disciplines. Techs are “seeing” (and now looking for) code, complexity, and information everywhere. That’s where it’s happening. Darwinism is a 19th Century novel that reads pretty good if you like boxes of claws, bits of hide, piles of old wing bones, that sort of thing. But as soon as you turn on the new stuff and start coding out, Darwinism is a flat out bore and a half. All you do is bump your head on it. It’s worthless. I think the techies are already looking at these old Boomers and going Hey what’s up with these frumpy old goofs? Darwinism is the Classic Rock of science. pmob1
In response to crandaddy's narrative: David, You could have been describing my life, right up to and including your feeling of surprise at finding that evolution is overwhelmingly accepted by scientists. The difference is that I then began investigating why scientists accept evolution, and found that the evidence was stronger than I had imagined. Over time I was swayed, and now I am a Darwinist ("Come to the dark side, Luke! :-) "). I just can’t shake the feeling that people who doubt evolution are in some sort of denial (especially doubters of common descent; skepticism about natural selection is a little more understandable). The converging lines of evidence are striking and difficult to explain by any other means. Eventually I believe that the lion's share of the public will accept evolution here, as they do in Europe. But it will take some time, given the toehold that creationism and ID have in the US. keiths
Growing up in a conservative Christian home, I had always been taught to believe that evolution was bad and creationism was good. And so in the naivety of my early childhood, that was what I believed. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that anybody besides strong atheists believed that all of biology could be explained from A to Z without some sort of intelligent intervention; the evidence is just so overwhelming! Imagine my surprise when I found out that that was the default presumption of science! I just can't shake the feeling that people who believe this are in some sort of denial. They're certainly a minority in the population at large, and I think it's only a matter of time before they become a minority in the scientific community as well. David crandaddy
Excellent point DaveScot, but I would also contend that the quantity, quality and sophistication of the evidence are all increasing at a rapid pace. The correlation between habitability and discoverability revealed by Gonzalez and Richards, and the elucidation of the details of bio-nanotechnology by Minnick are just a couple of examples. GilDodgen
Gil "One of the main reasons for the aforementioned desperation is the fact that the evidence for design is becoming overwhelming, in both biology and cosmology." I disagree. The evidence is and has been overwhelming for quite some time. The main reason is the evidence is becoming accessable to more and more people. By accessable I mean both available and comprehensible. Availability is being greatly enhanced by the proliferation of WWW access and comprehension is being enhanced by growing understanding of computer technology. Once the pieces are in place to make the analogous link between software and DNA there's no going back. Software doesn't create itself and everyone knows that. DaveScot
Darwinian fundies regularly miss either the Specified or the Complex (or even both) when critiquing ID. jaredl
The largest web review network has started noticing this site. http://www.stumbleupon.com/url/www.uncommondescent.com/ It is wonderful to watch people struggling to defend a worldview against their own scientific logic. Whom ever the intelegent designer is (I hope I am right;) It is becoming more and more undeniable that he exists. Leapoffaaaith
When it comes to reaching the younger generation I think the largest obstacle will be teaching a complete understanding of ID. A partial understanding leads to an early dismissal. Now obviously many will choose to research the topic on their own but I'm talking about understanding for the new generation as a whole. I had my own criticisms of ID that were not fully answered until I read multiple books on the subject...but I kept an open mind and kept on pursuing these answers, something many will not have the will to do. Opponents will do anything they can to block this information from reaching them in the first place, making the task even more difficult. Then of course the other obstacle is apathy... Off topic: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20051201-5668.html The editors of Ars have taken it upon themselves to regularly denounce ID. http://www.space.com/searchforlife/seti_intelligentdesign_051201.html Is it just me or are they missing the "Specified" in CSI? Whatever the case I imagine this article will be regularly quoted soon enough. Gumpngreen
"The minute the flow of rewards shifts, the minute the table tilts just a little, is the minute all these Darwinist eggheads roll right down the chute, claiming some version of design as their own." Anyone read Biocosm? The premise is kind of quacky, which is why I was quite surprised Michael Shermer, editor of Skeptic Magazine, had a positive blurb on the back. It is, what I imagine will be, the first of many materialist attempts to sythesize some of the basic data and logic of the ID movement. ThomasR
Flopping Around I think you’re absolutely correct er right. The Correct cadres are going the way of Dan Rather. But this might pose tough problems for our fearless leaders in the ID movement. ID will probably catch on just like Darwinism: long before it is supported by compelling empirical evidence. This is because, ID, like Darwinism back when, fits the times like a glove: the info age, info theory, neural netting, bio-design, nano, robotics, etc. The minute the flow of rewards shifts, the minute the table tilts just a little, is the minute all these Darwinist eggheads roll right down the chute, claiming some version of design as their own. They will claim they invented it. They will believe they did invent it. And it needn’t be Creator design. It can be ET design or even pagan design or some other flavor. The triumph of Darwinism shows that paradigms need not be logical, or even coherent. pmob1
[Off Topic] Speaking of rebellions... Heh... Help cut the legs off the Iraqi insurgency. Find out how at ... dchammer
I can see the nervous smirk on this teacher's face as the professor truly wrestles with the implications of what the professor is witnessing on the biochemical level. As professor contemplates the worldview he or she has bought into for so long. Of course I may be jumping to unwarranted conclusions. ;) Bombadill
I'm not sure this is just a matter of poking fun. It suggest to me a deep ambivalence. William Dembski
It would be more professional if your professor just stuck to the facts, as in "Just the facts ma'am." Poking fun of ID would just be confusing... and tiresome. JimSpace
The desperation of the Darwinists is transparently obvious as the rebellion brews. Actually, older folks do occasionally become converts and join the revolt. I'm one of them. One of the main reasons for the aforementioned desperation is the fact that the evidence for design is becoming overwhelming, in both biology and cosmology. It is no longer reasonable to expect a technically-savvy person to believe that random mutations can engineer the information and functionally integrated machinery of living systems, even if the failed experiments are discarded by natural selection. As a fellow software engineer says, "The information in DNA isn't like a computer program; it is a computer program." GilDodgen

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