Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design

ID article in Guardian

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Here’s an indicator how the ID debate is shaping up in the UK. Please note the extensive comments at the end of this article at the Guardian website (go here).

Intelligent design is a science, not a faith
By Richard Buggs
Tuesday January 9, 2007
The Guardian

. . . If Darwin had known what we now know about molecular biology – gigabytes of coded information in DNA, cells rife with tiny machines, the highly specific structures of certain proteins – would he have found his own theory convincing? Randerson thinks that natural selection works fine to explain the origin of molecular machines. But the fact is that we are still unable even to guess Darwinian pathways for the origin of most complex biological structures.

Science has turned lots of corners since Darwin, and many of them have thrown up data quite unpredicted by his theory. Who, on Darwinian premises, would have expected that the patterns of distribution and abundance of species in tropical rainforests could be modelled without taking local adaptation into account? Or that whenever we sequence a new genome we find unique genes, unlike any found in other species? Or that bacteria gain pathogenicity (the ability to cause disease) by losing genes?

But, whatever the limitations of Darwinism, isn’t the intelligent design alternative an “intellectual dead end”? No. If true, ID is a profound insight into the natural world and a motivator to scientific inquiry. The pioneers of modern science, who were convinced that nature is designed, consequently held that it could be understood by human intellects. This confidence helped to drive the scientific revolution. More recently, proponents of ID predicted that some “junk” DNA must have a function well before this view became mainstream among Darwinists. . . .

SOURCE

45 Replies to “ID article in Guardian

  1. 1
    mstreet says:

    The comments seem to indicate that ID isn’t taking, but it’s a small sample.

  2. 2
    a5b01zerobone says:

    This is interesting.

    In the 2001 census 72 per cent of Britons described themselves as Christian but only about 6.3 per cent go to church on any given Sunday.

    The United States on the other hand has a higher level of church attendance than any other developed country. 20% of Americans actually go to church one or more times a week.

    My point is that ID is taking root in secular 21st century Britain. This is extraordinary!

    I guess this is some kind of proof that ID truly is a science.

  3. 3
    a5b01zerobone says:

    Hi MStreet.

    What’s interesting about the anti ID comments is this.

    The Manchester Guardian is generally in sympathy with liberal and left-wing ends of the political spectrum. The “evolution of the world is moving inevitably towards Socialism” kind of thing. This is reflected in the paper’s readership.

  4. 4
    bFast says:

    Good on the Guardian for publishing a view that isn’t their own. The comments are rich. “Hey, you guys have had 6000 years to figure out who the designer is …” That proves it right there — I’m sold, I’m a darwinist now.

  5. 5
    a5b01zerobone says:

    Hi bFast.

    I saw this comment too and just had to shake my head.

    “Hey, you guys have had 6000 years to figure out who the designer is …”

    I think this poor person is not only confusing ID with Young Earth Creationism, but assuming that ID is religious in nature.

  6. 6
    Atom says:

    Yeah, props to the Guardian. As much as Leftists seem to embrace Darwinism as unquestionable axiom, they still published an openly pro-ID article.

    It warms my heart to see Leftists living out their beliefs, proving that they really do embrace open discussion of ideas, even ones they disagree with.

  7. 7
    crandaddy says:

    A brief skim through the comments should be enough to convince any thinking person that ID critics are motivated at least as much (and probably more) by their personal prejudices than any ID advocate. That these people so authoritatively and condescendingly pontificate such stupid, fallacious arguments simply takes the breath away! Every time I wade through such dreck, I become more convinced that I’m on the right side.

  8. 8
    Atom says:

    Crandaddy

    I couldn’t agree more.

  9. 9
    Imaginer says:

    Reading the comments section reminded me of how I felt reading Ken Miller’s book. If their arguments are so strong, why be so emotional, defensive, etc? Miller’s book was tonally so different from what I read in Behe/Johnson that, independently of any understanding of the evidence, it was clear to me which party KNEW they were on the side of right – the side that could afford to be polite, deferrent, understated, cautious, giving credit where credit is due. It’s a cruel fact known by all bullying young boys – the more defensive the target, the more one’s taunts have really hit home. Judging from the comments section at the Guardian, this guy has really hit home.

  10. 10
    rabbite_uk says:

    I live in the UK and it’s a nice surprise to see such an article appear in the Guardian (one of the most leftie papers).

    Perhaps from the comments, one can see why newspapers are reluctant to comment on the origins debate or heavily bias it in favor of the ToE. Some readers have threatened to cancel their subscriptions – such is their offence.

    As one would expect, most of the comments are just hot air – I could only really see one which appeared to refer to science: LuisGarcia January 9, 2007 09:44 AM (this might be GMT time). As I am not a biologist, can anyone here answer his 15 questions?

    Also good to see a British chess grandmaster (James Plaskett) appear in the Comments as an ID supporter.

  11. 11
    antg says:

    I also noticed the comments (at least 3) with people threatening to leave the Guardian. I read the CIF (comment is free) part of the Guardian quite regularly and I don’t recall anyone ever threatening to quit reading the paper because of a CIF article – and trust me, there are contributions from all sorts of POVs.

    What is it about ID that is so exteme, subversive and downright dastardly that somewone would quit the paper because there was an opinion in support of ID expressed?

  12. 12
    dacook says:

    I’m once again amazed, though by now I shouldn’t be, at how quickly Darwinism’s defenders turn to name-calling, straw-men, and ad-hominem counterattacks.
    Look for the three standard replies:
    1. disbelievers in Darwinism are ignorant creationists
    2. They don’t understand the real science.
    3. The vast majority of Those Who Know believe in Darwinism.
    Variations of these make up by far the majority of the complaining comments after the piece.
    If you nail a Darwinist down to discussing actual evidence, they usually end up having to make a defense AGAINST the evidence (fossils, Cambrian expl., molecular clock discrepancies etc. etc..).

  13. 13
    bFast says:

    Rabbite_uk, I appreciate that there is one poster in the guardian that engaged brain before engaging keyboard. The poster did bring up some interesting questions. I plan to take a bit of a whack at them:

    1: Why does life only use 20 aminos? While it is true that there are more available aminos, I fail to see what this question has to do with design v. evolution. Both modes could theoretically have used a different combo of aminos. The selected set of aminos has, however, worked surprisingly well. Was this because natural selection lucked out, because any reasonable combination would work well, or because an intelligence with the foresight to see all that has developed selected the 20 that are used?

    2: “What are probable reasons for the peculiar and utterly puzzling presence of ribonucleotide fragments in biochemical cofactors?” There are a lot of unanswered puzzles in biology. My question is, “how can biology declare their theory as ‘fact’ when there are still so many unanswered questions?”

    3: Why is the ribosome a ribozyme? See answer #2.

    4: “With the premise that they have been designed, what are probable reasons for the forms of the Wnt proteins and the subsequent signalling pathways vital for embryogenesis? Bear in mind that “elegance” and “efficiency” are not descriptors which could possibly be applied to the Wnt signalling pathways by anyone sane.”

    One must give that with our current understanding of biology there is a lot of it that is not designed with “elegance” and “efficiency” in mind. I find this to be a reasonable argument against ID. However, there is buckets of other suff that appears designed with “elegance” and “efficiency” in mind. Could it be that I don’t see the elegance and efficiency of some portions because I don’t completely understand them? In general, I find some value in this argument.

    5: “Why is the human genome >=96% entirely nonfunctional?” I think that this is a huge leap. From what I understand about 50% of the human genome is to some statistical extent “conserved”. If it is conserved, NDE requires that it have function. The option are: 44% of the genome has unknown function, or 44% of the genome is conserved in a way that is incompatible with NDE. Some front-loading hypothesees suggest that the human genome has the genetic information for other organisms floating around in it. If the human genome also knows how to make a hawk, it would buckets of unused DNA that is conserved by a yet not understood mechanism.

    6: “Given the premise of deliberate design, what are probable reasons is this [duck foot] webbing retained, not through a lack of BMP4, but through the production of both normal amounts of BMP4 and the additional production of the protein Gremlin, which simply blocks the action of BMP4?

    As NDE is really good at destroying stuff to make a better solution, it would seem that the NDE hypothesis would choose the destruction of BMP4 rather than the more difficult creation of the protein Gremlin. Beyond that, see my response in question #2.

    7: Why are cactus spines built out of the same elements as “normal” leaves, despite their very different form and function?

    See answer 8, below.

    8: “Why are reptilian scales and bird feathers built from very nearly the same proteins?” This finding does suggest common ancestry of feathers from lizards. However, it also could suggest efficient reuse of existing technologies. As many IDers, like myself, buy into common ancestry, it is no surprise that birds actually did evolve (by non-NDE mechanisms) from lizzards/dinosaurs.

    9: “What are probable reasons for the similar morphology but very dissimilar use of bones in pterosaur, bird, and bat wings, given that all these have the ultimate function of flight?” From an ID perspective, it would seem that the designer enjoys playing with as many variations as possible. The better question, why are bird wings made from a different set of the five digits of the limb than the three bones of the dinosaur hand are?

    10: “Why aren’t there any flying marsupials?” I don’t know. See #2.

    11: “What are probable reasons that approximately 1 in every 100,000 whales are born with apparently vestigial and functionless leg buds at the position that hind limbs would likely be?”

    This phenomenon would imply that whales are the common descendants of land animals. Those of us IDers who also accept common ancestry haven’t got any trouble with this at all.

    12: Why do baleen whales develop and calcify teeth in utero, which are then resorbed just before birth? See answer to #6.

    13: “Why do so many creatures of phylum Mollusca have better eyes than we do?” I have never test-driven a mollusc eye. Eagles also have a much better eye than we do. I have found the “blind spot” to be such a bother in my everyday life — like what blind spot? Though the thing theoretically exists, it doesn’t appear to exist in my eyes.

    14: With the principle of design in mind, why do box jellyfish … have three different types of eyes. … the lensal image focussed well behind the retina, leading to the conclusion that all they would be able to see are large, extremely blurry and diffuse images?”

    Why the heck would NDE produce such an incomplete work product? Is it because jellyfish are a recent evolutionary product?

    Primarily, see answer #2.

    15: “What are the probable reasons that despite their skeletal adaptations to a bamboo diet (i.e. dentition and the famous “thumb” used for stripping bamboo leaves), pandas have a carnivore’s lower digestive system, which unfortunately leaves most pandas in the wild in a perpetual state of near-starvation?”

    See answer #14, above. At least in this case the “its a recent and incomplete evolutionary product” answer is reasonable. The bigger question with pandas remains, how did the giant and lesser panda both develop their “thumb”, though they have very different apparent lineages. Why did they not just develop a true-digit thumb as we did, or develop a sixth digit? The panda’s thumb is a puzzling case of an unusual convergent solution that fits a designer hypothesis much easer than it fits an NDE hypothesis.

    Now, if there are any bona-fide biologists out there that can enhance my answers, please feel free. I know that there are much richer answers available especially when discussing the eye.

    (* for the evolutionary sorts, I refer to NDE to distinguish the RM+NS portion of the the MET from all of the stuff that I see as valid. Remember, I, like many buy into MET’s view on common ancestry.)

  14. 14
    a5b01zerobone says:

    “Why is the human genome >=96% entirely nonfunctional?”

    Junk DNA is a term that has been used, often erroneously, to describe various sequences in a genome, including non-coding regions, introns, pseudogenes, and repetitive sequences.

    Cutting edge research is showing that ‘junk DNA’ is a critical component of truly ‘expert’ cellular control regimes.”
    – Richard Sternberg and James A. Shapiro

    Rosetta Genomics has exploring this region and has discovered about half the microRNA genes known.

    “Why are reptilian scales and bird feathers built from very nearly the same proteins?” This finding does suggest common ancestry of feathers from lizards. However, it also could suggest efficient reuse of existing technologies. As many IDers, like myself, buy into common ancestry, it is no surprise that birds actually did evolve (by non-NDE mechanisms) from lizzards/dinosaurs.”

    True this could be the case, but keep in mind Storrs L. Olson, the Curator of Birds at the
    Smithsonian Institution flatly rejects the idea of feathered dinosaurs and the theropod origin of birds. He could be proven wrong in time, but I am skeptical of the dinosaur-bird connection.

    “With the principle of design in mind, why do box jellyfish … have three different types of eyes. … the lensal image focussed well behind the retina, leading to the conclusion that all they would be able to see are large, extremely blurry and diffuse images?”

    Is there any real evidence that box jelly fish have blurry vision? Or is this just speculation?

  15. 15
    GilDodgen says:

    With the premise that they have been designed, what are probable reasons for the forms of the Wnt proteins and the subsequent signalling pathways vital for embryogenesis? Bear in mind that “elegance” and “efficiency” are not descriptors which could possibly be applied to the Wnt signalling pathways by anyone sane.

    I can’t count the number of times I’ve gone back to some of my old software code that I hadn’t looked at in many months, and thought, “Why did I put that code in there? That’s unnecessary and/or inefficient.” Nine times out of ten, when I remove or modify the “inelegant, inefficient or unnecessary” code, the program promptly goes down in flames. Upon reflection I will recall that the problem I was trying to solve was not as straightforward as I had originally thought, and a more complex or more circuitous solution was necessary.

    The phenomenon described above is even more acute when one attempts to modify code written by someone else.

    So, I would not be surprised if we eventually discover that many of those apparently “awkward and inefficient” biological solutions are, in fact, optimal or near optimal solutions.

    That’s an ID-based prediction folks. You may write that down.

  16. 16
    trystero57 says:

    “It warms my heart to see Leftists living out their beliefs, proving that they really do embrace open discussion of ideas, even ones they disagree with.”

    Agreed! It is unfortunate for ID, however, that the arguments published in mainstream newspapers so far – principally the Guardian (the Times, for instance, does not discriminate between YEC and ID, and refers to Truth in Science as a creationist organisation) – include such red herrings as the “second law” argument (see here).

  17. 17
    bFast says:

    GilDodgen, my experience exactly.

  18. 18
    jb says:

    @GilDogden in #15

    Yep! Exactly my experience with network administration as well, which is my area. Same thing. Things that seem bizzarely unecessary to an outsider turn out to be necessary indeed because of factors that aren’t readily apparent at first. And that was my experience with coding as well, when I used to do that in college.

    (one could probably say the same thing looking under the hood of a car as well)

  19. 19
    a5b01zerobone says:

    trystero57, obviously there is going to be infighting in the ranks of the hallowed hall about science concerning putting ID in British school curiculum. This is an explosive issue! It threatens to overturn the way things have been done for over a hundred years now.

    As for opposition, I think we all realize that there are going be tough times ahead. There are an enormous amount of a lot of social factors are involved with Darwinism. We have to remain steadfast.

    I am impressed that British chess grandmaster James Plaskett is supportive of ID. He and other people that work with advanced mathematics understand that by the rules of the mathematics of statistics, evolution as posited by the Darwinian theory is impossible.

  20. 20

    jb, bFast, GilDogden: Is there an ID prediction here — things in biology that at first seem stupid (to Darwinian eyes) will on closer inspection show themselves to be clever and necessary.

  21. 21
    Atom says:

    @WmAD #20:

    Why not, it happened with the inverted retina, right?

  22. 22
    GilDodgen says:

    jb, bFast, GilDogden: Is there an ID prediction here — things in biology that at first seem stupid (to Darwinian eyes) will on closer inspection show themselves to be clever and necessary.

    Bill,

    That’s precisely the prediction. Instead of looking at a biological system and saying, “Look what a silly thing Darwinian processes threw together,” perhaps we should be saying, “There’s undoubtedly a reason why this system is designed the way it is. Let’s try to figure out what aspect of the problem we are overlooking.”

    My question is, Which approach is the real science stopper?

  23. 23
    bFast says:

    There’s always the appendix, the tonsils, what else already fulfills this prediction?

  24. 24
    trystero57 says:

    “That’s precisely the prediction. Instead of looking at a biological system and saying, “Look what a silly thing Darwinian processes threw together,” perhaps we should be saying, “There’s undoubtedly a reason why this system is designed the way it is. Let’s try to figure out what aspect of the problem we are overlooking.””

    Interestingly, this is like the flipside to the coin of Dawkins’ argument *against* ID: he says something like,

    “Scientists always need to do a lot more work and, of course, they will – such work would never be done if scientists were satisfied with the lazy default of the following kind: if you don’t understand how something works, never mind – just give up and say God did it.”

    So in that sense, the answer to your question “which is the real science stopper” might be: neither.

  25. 25
    Designed Jacob says:

    bFast: “Hey, you guys have had 6000 years to figure out who the designer is”

    You’ve got to admit, that’s pretty witty. I laughed, and I’m a YECer.

  26. 26
    IDist says:

    BTW, there was a debate between Richard Dawkins and Andy McIntosh (the director of TiS).

    McIntosh (who’s a professor of thermodynamics at University of Leeds) was trying to say something against thermodynamics and darwinism, but Dawkins interrupted and started asking him “are you implying that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics?”

    Now I don’t know much about thermodynamics myself 😀 and I can’t judge what McIntosh was saying, but Dawkins was so rude and didn’t give McIntosh the chance to say what he wanted to say.

    more details here:
    http://www.truthinscience.org......ew/219/63/

  27. 27
    idnet.com.au says:

    I am reminded of Dan Dennett when he wrote

    “Again and again evolutionists, molecular biologists, biologists in general, see some aspect of nature which seems to them to be sort of pointless or daft or doesn’t make much sense – and then they later discover it’s in fact an exquisitely ingenious design – it is a brilliant piece of design – that’s what Francis Crick means by Orgel’s Second Rule.”

  28. 28
    trystero57 says:

    “Orgel’s Second Rule.”

    Is that the one that states “evolution is cleverer than you are”? (It’s hardly a pro-ID position!)

  29. 29
    Pellionisz says:

    The main question by Guardian is:

    “…isn’t the intelligent design alternative an “intellectual dead end”? No. If true, ID is a profound insight into the natural world and a motivator to scientific inquiry. The pioneers of modern science, who were convinced that nature is designed, consequently held that it could be understood by human intellects. This confidence helped to drive the scientific revolution. More recently, proponents of ID predicted that some “junk” DNA must have a function well before this view became mainstream among Darwinists.”

    Well, it seems certainly true that among Darwinists-turned-Atheists, such as Richard Dawkins, the view that most “junk” DNA must have a function is still much less of a “mainstream” compared to those who suspect a design (even of a mathematical kind) in the DNA. Where is such a tabulation of science findings on functionality of different sorts of “junk” DNA e.g. by Richard Dawkins, as compared to the tabulation of a “blogger” who suspects design:

    http://www.junkdna.com/new_cit.....on_of_junk

    The above news column on “junk” DNA would welcome comparable SCIENTIFIC interpretation by “Richard Dawkins” of “non-coding DNA”.

    While the question by the Guardian is important (if particular views lead to “intellectual dead end”), the issue of “Junk” DNA itself is much more vital for human kind, since hundreds of millions are dying of “Junk DNA diseases” while the urgency of plunging into active research is overlooked because on ANY ideological grounds.

    Those looking at

    http://www.junkdna.com/junkdna_diseases.html

    will realize that for those to whom SCIENCE of “junk” DNA is still not the “mainstream” are socially guilty because of putting priority on ideology over survival.

    Hundreds of millions of patients don’t appreciate delay of medicine by ideology.

    pellionisz_at_junkdna.com

  30. 30
    scordova says:

    Dr. Pellionisz,

    Thank you so much again for visiting. I’m going to have to do more at UD to showcase to our readers your fine work and that of your colleagues….

    The design detection methods of ID are highly in synch with the concept of finding linguistic structures in physical artifacts (like DNA). I presume, language detection (a form of design detection) is relevant to your scientific research.

    Salvador

  31. 31
    idnet.com.au says:

    Great post Pellionisz. It’s good to hear from you.

    trystero57
    Don’t you think there is irony in a process that is based on environmental assortment of random mistakes being considered by great minds to be smarter than theyare? The alternative, that there is actually a Designer who is smarter than they are, is repugnant to them so they give credit to dumb chance and NS.

  32. 32
    scordova says:

    Dr. Pellionisz,

    I just posted something to alert readers to your fine scientific work and concerns, here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/archives/1947

    Salvador

  33. 33
    Pellionisz says:

    As I stated above, the “news column” on “Junk” DNA will give equal time to both camps of belief systems when it comes to SCIENTIFIC facts and arguments.

    The survival interest of patients of “Junk DNA diseases” will override any ideology. Ultimately (since it will not matter), most people will not know when e.g. Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s or cancers will become treatable or even curable, what was the “belief system” of those who helped resolve these formidable problems.

    Is the private ideology of Pasteur, Salk (etc) ever an issue?

    pellionisz_at_junkdna.com

  34. 34
    scordova says:

    Dr. Pellionisz,

    There ought to be a larger amount of people from the ID community pursuing research in your field. At the present time, the numbers just aren’t there as many of them are still matriculating through schools and some are only beginning to appreciate the research opportunities that may await them. Research in your field is ripe for them to distinguish themselves and make a very positive contribution. I ache over the fact many who can be a part of your enterprise are being demonized by university systems and the media, and thus they opt to pursue other careers….

    Many in the ID community are intensely interested in uncovering hidden language and codes in DNA and other structures within the cell. Some believe an appropriate model for curing disease is through comparitive sequencing so that one can synthesize a “repair manual” that describe the proper operating architecture. This is not hard to see in that we tend to know various diseases and injuries are “broken designs”. Comparative methods help us understand what the optimal architecture is. That is how some cancers may be cured….

    A larger amount of bioinformatic research in looking for designs and making correlations to seemingly unrelated structures will benefit everyone. ID is generally friendly toward looking for these hard-to-find correlations, especially in places that have been written off as useless evolutionary artifacts.

    Thank you for alerting me to the tabulation of retrotransposons, SINEs, Lines, etc.. One anti-ID professor spoke at our IDEA club and insisted these were biological mistakes. I had been looking for data on this for some time now. You have enlightened me and many others, and probably let others know about important research avenues by you willingness to talk to to us. My sincere thanks…..

    Salvador

  35. 35
    kengee says:

    YEC are always talking about something that will blow away belief in and old earth. If ID want’s to be taken seriously in the science community it needs to stand up and articulate what it is. I can only find popular books written along the same lines as YEC material. What the theory, why is it better and how can we decide between NS and ID. how does ID tie in with the rest of science geology and what not. Are the camps of YEIDer’s and OEIDer’s? What is the source of genetic variation and what are it’s limits. For instance can genetic variation within a group cause selection pressure. During “creation” events are individuals / pairs made or are populations made? Can we talk about ID without reference to evolution?

    PS. This site is great I haven’t laugh this much since the life of Brian. the level of comment by posters on articles they clearly have not read is breathtaking. There also seems to be a high level of YEC who seem to think that ID is a stepping stone to creationism.

  36. 36
    trystero57 says:

    idnet.com.au:

    “trystero57
    Don’t you think there is irony in a process that is based on environmental assortment of random mistakes being considered by great minds to be smarter than theyare?”

    No. Even if you don’t accept the thesis, you can’t legitimately accuse it of being logically contradictory (I assume that’s what you mean by “ironic”?). Have you actually read Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (from which I think this quotation is taken)?

    “The alternative, that there is actually a Designer who is smarter than they are, is repugnant to them so they give credit to dumb chance and NS.”

    Methinks you have a cart/horse problem here.

  37. 37
    Pellionisz says:

    “Many in the ID community are intensely interested in uncovering hidden language and codes in DNA”

    I don’t think interest is limited to “many in the ID community”. *Everyone* knows that there IS a code in the DNA. The existence of a code is not debated – since DNA governs biological growth.

    The question today is not even IF “Junk” DNA is causing people to face lethal diseases. I just talked with Malcolm J. Simons (my Australian co-author in the experimental support of quantitative predictions of FractoGene; full text available at http://www.junkdna.com/fractog.....ionisz.pdf ). It is public knowledge that Dr. Simons was the first to claim that under Darwinian notion (which is his belief) “Junk DNA” would have been squeezed out by the very pressures that Darwinists rest the theory of evolution. Thus, he claimed that “Junk” DNA was no “Junk”.

    It is also public knowledge that Malcolm suffers from one of these very diseases (multiple myeloma) that originate from non-coding (“Junk”) DNA.

    We are *all* potential targets, thus we *all* must speak to one another, and make sure that we understand not if, but how “Junk” DNA operates along with the genes.

    There is absolutely no difference in the core belief of either camp that this paramount scientific problem is just as possible to explore, and to understand, as any other phenomena in nature.

    Thus, for the survival of dear Malcolm (and the rest of us…) let’s put away any and all alienating factors – and work the problem!

    The duty of scientists is nothing less. Society will not treat those kindly who retard the investigation of “Junk” DNA for any reason of ideology.

    Pellionisz_at_junkdna.com

  38. 38
    scordova says:

    The duty of scientists is nothing less. Society will not treat those kindly who retard the investigation of “Junk” DNA for any reason of ideology.

    Along those lines, I have asked one of my bitter opponents, Mark C. Chu-Carroll to do what he can to raise support for your work. He seems to be connected to some good people

    The two sides may battle each other, but I think we can come to terms in support of this imporant work. Best wishes to you, and you colleague Malcolm Simons.

    Salvador

  39. 39
    idnet.com.au says:

    trystero57

    The quotation was taken from a talk by Daniel Dennett marking the anniversary of publication of The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. It is not a quote mine, and yes I have read the entire speech, and many of Dawkins’ works.

    I find in their works the words of men who are trying to convinvinve themselves and others of something that is obviously not true, simply by endless repetition.

    Darwin’s idea is not very complicated, I find that it is simply inadequate as an explanation for biological reality. Others like Richard and Daniel, who have no alternative possibility to something like NDE find it the best explanation on offer. If there is no Intelligent Designer, I must agree with them. If we are allowed to consider the possibility that there may be an ID then I think the balance of probabilities falls strongly in favour of the design hypothesis.

  40. 40
    PaV says:

    Pellionisz wrote:
    “Those looking at

    http://www.junkdna.com/junkdna_diseases.html

    will realize that for those to whom SCIENCE of “junk” DNA is still not the “mainstream” are socially guilty because of putting priority on ideology over survival.”

    This reminds me of the reason that Lomborg the Skeptical Environmentalist; not because he wasn’t an environmentalist–he remains one to this day–but rather because he saw the environmentalists pushing an agenda that would waste untold financial resources to bring about little change in the First World countries while resultingly spending few dollars on Third World countries where tremendous environmental remedy could be had.

    “IDists aren’t scientists. They’d just say God did it, and then abandon the labs, while we’re finding cures for bacterial infections and cancer.” So cry the Darwinists; yet, it is they who seem to be abandoning the labs and failing to look for strategies that will lead to such cures when it conflicts with their ideology. Strange.

  41. 41
    trystero57 says:

    “It is not a quote mine, and yes I have read the entire speech, and many of Dawkins’ works. ”

    Fair enough. (The tone of my previous post was more accusatory than intended, for which apologies.)

    “I find in their works the words of men who are trying to convinvinve themselves and others of something that is obviously not true, simply by endless repetition.”

    Really? I think both Dennett and Dawkins are masters of persuasive writing, but I suppose it depends what beliefs you bring to the table…

  42. 42
    Pellionisz says:

    RE:
    “The two sides may battle each other, but I think we can come to terms in support of this important work. Best wishes to you, and you colleague Malcolm Simons.”

    “’IDists aren’t scientists. They’d just say God did it, and then abandon the labs, while we’re finding cures for bacterial infections and cancer.’” So cry the Darwinists; yet, it is they who seem to be abandoning the labs and failing to look for strategies that will lead to such cures when it conflicts with their ideology. Strange.”

    The US is very strong on “Systems”; it is a highly effective Society, e.g. when it comes to delivery “for the masses”. The paradox lies with the undeniable fact of one of the biggest and greatest “paradigm shifts” that we find ourselves regarding “Junk” DNA. (Harvard economics professor Christiansen’s bestseller “The innovator’s dilemma” describes best the problems and opportunities in major disruptions).

    The bigger the inertia of “Systems” are, the more difficult (for most…) to take, let alone take advantages of, profound changes in axioms. (IBM not only did not win the “IBM PC” shift from mainframes to personal computers, but had to sell its PC division altogether, years ago.)
    Malcolm Simons (Darwinist) has been the lone champion for 20 years (since 1987!) that “Junk” DNA had such a “design” to it, that it could be used for diagnostic purposes. The “Systems” failed him – Darwinists were not ready to discard their basic tenet, and the “New System” (PostGenetics; http://www.postgenetics.org) was not born till 2005 (exactly a Century after William Bateson coined the term “Genetics).
    Creating a System (PostGenetics, especially PostGenetic Medicine) is the answer, based on a collective effort. “Finger pointing” (who is rushing to the lab or who isn’t) is not helpful. It is not even true that e.g. Francis Collins, an IDist, “isn’t a scientist”. He is very much involved in lab work NIH-wide. If he is not a scientist, he is? Richard Dawkins is also a scientist. Their personal polemics (“institutionalized” by further “Establishments”; an “endowment” to trumpet from secured ivory tower, and “Time Magazine” to cash in on polemics) may not be most helpful e.g. to find a cure for Multiple Myeloma. (There isn’t a cure, only “therapy” for this “Junk” DNA disease – as of yesterday on of the most severe effects of the very chemotherapy it was diagnosed on my friend, inducing a syndrome even more worrisome than the disease, rendering no further therapy possible).

    It is also bespeaks the greatness of US, that whenever “Systems” fail – creates an enormous opportunity for individuals to make colossal difference. (Ultimately, it does not matter if on a “charity” basis, e.g. the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation doled out half a Billion dollars to ease the Malaria problem, or on an “entrepreneurial” basis; the same Bill Gates can do charity because *he* was the winner of the Mainframe/PC disruptive technology…)
    There may not be time for “PostGenetic Medicine” to deliver for those already suffering from inadequate therapy, rendering further therapy impossible.

    However, we don’t have to agonize if “Junk” DNA issue will be settled on basis of “belief”. As wealthy philanthropists get older (and richer) they might pro-actively act (either “charity”-based, e.g. to non-profit PostGenetics Society), or investing in the fundamental information technology of mining “short repetitive sequences”. It is known that microRNA-s (used to be part of the “Junk”) are capable of stopping various cancers. Forward-looking “mover and shaker” individuals will want to have those microRNA banks filled with plenty of needed microRNA-s when *their* time might come around (their bank accounts are already filled, but does any wealth help when it presently can only by “lethal therapy”?)

    Who asks the question if Israeli Rosetta Genomics and German Max Planck Institutes are making a deal

    http://www.junkdna.com/new_cit.....t_sequence

    towards the use of microRNA-s for a novel “Pharma”, if they are based on “ID” or “Darwinian” “belief systems”?

    Most likely, the least of their consideration is who designed the “non-coding DNA” (that codes…). They are preoccupied with their design on how to use best the scientific knowledge for the benefit of human kind.

    Another illustration of importance of entrepreneurial agility is that Dr. Rigoutsos’ (of IBM Watson Ctr, the “hub of IBM Universe”), with his technology of search for short repetitive sequences “pyknon”-s is engaged in using it for “new kinds of medicine”.

    Where? At IBM?

    No. He became a visiting lecturer of MIT. For the microRNA work, he teamed up with forward-looking Singapore:

    http://www.junkdna.com/new_citations.html#ibm_gis

    Ideology should allow some breathing space for agile Pharma Industry. They love “drug design” (of novel kind). The more “design” *they* find in the DNA, the more convincing it is for Society. People won’t have to be convinced based on ideology – they will pay for it.

    People believe in what they like to believe, anyway – no rational argument ever changed hardcore believers. Entrepreneurs will cash in while “non-coding DNA is cheap”. Patients will pay for the “designer drugs”.

    People will believe best that “Junk” DNA really wasn’t “Junk” when it saved their life.

    Pellionisz_at_junkdna.com

  43. 43
    idnet.com.au says:

    trystero57

    All beliefs must remain open to challenge. If they do not they are dogmas, not beliefs.

    For me, a belief is the personal response I make to my evaluation of the available evidence.

    For Richard Dawkins, the definition of a belief is, holding onto ideas for which there is no evidence.

    Whatever beliefs I hold about God should be subject to correction by data, as are all other beliefs I hold.

    Richard Dawkins became an atheist at the age of 9. He based his decision, and it was a decision, on the fact that there are many religions, so the probability of selecting the right one is very small. He decided they are all false. He is still living out his 9 year old decision. He still feels that his rejection of theism is a response to his personal rational evaluation of the evidence.

    If Dawkins is correct and there is no transendent reality, he still has not formulated his arguments in a way that is able to convince me that they are the best and only interpretation of the data.

    Pascals wager should caution Richard that he may do well to daily re evaluate his beliefs. If there is a personal God, and if morality and justice are important to that God, then life becomes a different game.

    The Selfish Gene was written a long time ago. At that time Nature was not publishing hundreds of papers about control systems and feedback loops and microswitches and molecular machines. At that time we thought it would be relatively easy to create life, and also easy for life to arise in a Urey Miller flask. It seems to me that Richard has his share of dogmas that he holds onto tenaciously to avoid making his whole life up to now, look foolish.

    Anthony Flew, on the other hand, now looks foolish to many. He hasn’t embraced God, but he has left atheism. He looks to me like a wiser man, who holds tentative beliefs that respond to evidence, rather than grasping immutable dogmas.

  44. 44

    […] Pellionisz lamented here that it is the ID proponents who show more interest than people like Dawkins in the highly important areas of research within biology [and imho, evolutionary biology is not a highly important field of research, SYSTEMS Biology is]. Pellionisz then added: the issue of “Junk” DNA itself is much more vital for human kind, since hundreds of millions are dying of “Junk DNA diseases” while the urgency of plunging into active research is overlooked because on ANY ideological grounds. […]

  45. 45
    Pellionisz says:

    The “ideological” question if “junk dna” is useless or it is an integer part of the genome is over. The US-government sponsored international consortium ENCODE declared “Junk DNA” as a scientific issue dead (see analysis at http://www.junkdna.com). (There were so many attendants at the “funeral” that the junkdna.com domain now had to be moved to a more protected and higher capacity server…)

    From now, the question is: “if it is not junk, how it works?”

    FractoGene (http://www.fractogene.com) shows a fractal design of the genome.

    “How it works” becames a vital issue for those suffering from what used to be called “junk DNA diseases”; http://www.junkdna.com/junkdna_diseases.html

    Implications are widespread; from philosophy to resource allocation.

    It is a new era; the dawn of “Genomics beyond Genes” (PostGenetics; http://www.postgenetics.org)

    pellionisz_at_junkdna.com

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