The Altenberg 16. Freelance reporter Suzan Mazur (Scoop, March 4) pulls back the veil on one of evolution’s little known secrets—Darwinism is dead as a theory of evolution: “It’s not Yasgur’s Farm, but what happens at the Konrad Lorenz Institute in Altenberg, Austria this July promises to be far more transforming for the world than Woodstock. What it amounts to is a gathering of 16 biologists and philosophers of rock star stature—let’s call them ‘the Altenberg 16’—who recognize that the theory of evolution which most practicing biologists accept and which is taught in classrooms today, is inadequate in explaining our existence. It’s pre the discovery of DNA, lacks a theory for body form and does not accommodate ‘other’ new phenomena.” Mazur explores the views of the Altenberg 16 “self-organization proponents” and their attack on Darwinism as they desperately search for another materialistic explanation for life in a six-part E-Book. The Altenberg Summit Proceedings are to be published by MIT Press in 2009.
None of these people are ID proponents; they explore self-organization theory.
Atheists and Agnostics Defend ID. Darwin v. Design public debates took an interesting turn in 2008 as atheists and agnostics took up the torch for ID and Christians went to bat for Darwin. This surprising role reversal was most evident at a November 7 debate in Texas where agnostic Dr. David Berlinski, a well-knowskeptic of Darwinism, and Dr. Bradley Monton, an atheist philosopher of physics both defended intelligent design while theistic evolutionist Dr. Denis Alexander, a biochemist and editor of Science & Christian Belief, and well-known atheist and physicist Dr. Lawrence Krauss defended evolution. Monton explains in a podcast interview why intelligent design deserves a place at the table in the scientific debate, despite extreme pressure to the contrary from his Darwinist peers. Another example of this trend was agnostic philosopher and sociologist Steve Fuller’s defense of ID in his newest book Dissent over Descent and the ensuing public debate about the book in the online pages of the New Humanist. Meanwhile atheist New York University Law professor Thomas Nagel authors an article defending the constitutionality of teaching ID.
Biologic Institute Releases Stylus: A System for Evolutionary Experimentation. Scientists working at the Biologic Institute, where researchers are exploring intelligent design concepts in biology from experimental, computational, and theoretical perspectives, published a peer-reviewed paper in PLoS One (June 4) on their state-of-the art open-source evolution simulation program, Stylus. Over the past decade there has been considerable hype about computer simulations of Darwinian evolution. The most hyped is Avida at the MSU Digital Evolution Laboratory. Avida researchers claim their work is not a simulation, but actually is Darwinian evolution in action. Why is Stylus significant? Researcher Douglas Axe explains that if realism is important, Stylus shows how far Avida falls short as an “instance of evolution.” Stylus is also going to open new avenues of research into how much or how little organisms can evolve and whether it really is possible to go from the simplest building blocks of life to the more complex and necessary functions of life without any guiding intelligence at all.
By now many people know there is something wrong with Darwinism – but these people were in a position to learn that through their work. The mainstream media, threatened with loss of their gatekeeper role due to the Internet (with the resulting financial losses), continue the steady morph into the government media, leaving serious news to dedicated Web sites and blogs. Incidentally, in that year, the British Royal Society Expelled its education director Michael Reiss, a theistic evolutionist. In this, they continued an established pattern: Christians for Darwin accommodate atheistic evolutionists (the clear majority of professionals), and the atheists despise them in return.
Next: 2009: The modern (neo-Darwinian) synthesis is – safely – admitted to be fading
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