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Another UK science professor stands up for ID

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Stuart Burgess is Professor of design and nature in the department of mechanical engineering at Bristol University. He argues that intelligent design is as valid a scientific concept as evolution.
I’ve been designing systems like spacecraft for more than 20 years. One of the lessons I’ve learnt is that complex systems require an immense amount of intelligence to design. I’ve seen a lot of irreducible complexity in engineering. I have also seen organs in nature that are apparently irreducible. An irreducibly complex organ is one where several parts are required simultaneously for the system to function usefully, so it cannot have evolved, bit by bit, over time.

Against The Grain: ‘There are strong indications of intelligent design’

(HT: Nota Bene from the Discovery Institute)

a5b01zerobone, Remember also that labeling an organ 'vestigal' is an arguement from incredulity- "I can't really imagine/figure out what the purpose of that organ is" and 'we may not see what the purpose of that organ is right now but ID scientists are working on it'. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. devilsadvocate
a5b01zerobone: Keep in mind that degeneration can lead to useless features. Remnants, if they exist, are not evidence for evolution over inteligent design. Take blind cave fish or salamanders... is this evidence for evolution? or degeneration and loss? I suspect it is natural selection, as one articel I read suggest - selecting for eyeless animals that won't get infections from scratched up eyes. But it's not macro-evolution, nor is it evidence of building up any CSI. JGuy
a5b01zerobone, The appendix is lymphoid tissue not digestive tissue, which leads medical professionals to believe the function of the appendix is related to the immune system not the digestion of cellulose, as was previously asserted. Currently, the thought is that the appendix may function as a training ground for immune cells in infants and young children. The immune cells learn to identify the different anitigens associated with the digestive system. A similar function can be found in the thymus gland (once thought to be a vestigal organ). The thymus gland is active in infants and children, reaching its maximum size in adolescence after which it undergoes involution and becomes virtually non-functional in older adults. The appendix also comes in handy for reconstructive surgery of the bladder. A good synopsis of the function of the appendix can be found on www.sciam.com- look under "Ask the experts" "What is the function of the appendix?" devilsadvocate
This is great news, Professor Burgess should be applauded for his bravery putting his career on the line like this. On a slightly different note but still related to the article. I was wondering if anyone knew what purpose the human appendix serves? Most of the material on the internet says that it is an evolutionary remnant. Yet according to ID shouldn't an organ in a designed organism have a function? Thanks a5b01zerobone
Visual for last post: http://www.backpain-guide.com/Chapter_Fig_folders/Ch05_Anatomy_Folder/Ch5_Images/05-2_Cervical_Vertebrae.jpg JGuy
Pav, There is an idea for you. I haven't perfected, I'll leave that to you other brains. But it still holds as an interesting concept - I think. Consider the fit of the curvature of the knee surface between the femur and tibia ends. Parts of one are positively curved (concave?) where the other surface is negatively curved (convex?). If these are represented by mathematical functions.. then what you have here are two distinct mathematical functions that yiled mating mathematical curves. NEat..well.. I think so. This cna be applied to other mating surfaces... but I think the vertebrate, knee, shoulder and hips are probaly most notable. The vertebrae probably the most sophisticated mathematical functions for mating surfaces. Thoughts anyone? JGuy-- JGuy
PaV, Isaac Newton is quoted as saying, "In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God's existence." JGuy-- JGuy
Should we start the count-down timer on his career clock? JGuy
Great opinion article. I liked especially the part about the four-bar knee being irreducibly complex. Who would have thought that such a seemingly simple aspect could be "irreducible"? PaV

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