Intelligent Design

ID in the News

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The Intelligent Design Bogeyman
By David Limbaugh
August 04, 2005
http://www.davidlimbaugh.com/mt/archives/2005/08/new_column_the_5.html

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The Little Engine That Could…Undo Darwinism
By Dan Peterson
Published 8/5/2005 12:05:32 AM
http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=8543

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God’s chance creation
George Coyne
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn claims random evolution is incompatible with belief in a creator God. Here, in an exclusive rebuttal of that view, the Vatican’s chief astronomer says that science reflects God’s infinite purpose
http://www.thetablet.co.uk/cgi-bin/register.cgi/tablet-01063

5 Replies to “ID in the News

  1. 1
    josephus63 says:

    George Coyne may be the Vatican’s chief astronomer, but this has got to be one of the weakest arguments I’ve ever read. “These are very weak images” he says of his own musings about how God deals with the universe. “A parent must allow the child to grow into adulthood, to come to make its own choices, to go on its own way in life. Words that give life are richer than mere commands or information.” Regardless, ‘Words that give life’ are going to make an impression of information on the very universe they call into being.

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    DaveScot says:

    I voted in support of Frist’s new position but not without reservation.

    Embryonic stem cell research promises to yield great medical benefits to people of all ages who are seriously ill or handicapped. The embryos being used are hardly even embryos. Stem cells are harvested when the fertilized egg has divided just a handful of times and the fertilized egg is destined for destruction in either case. No harm is being done. No pain is being caused.

    My resevation stems (pun intended) from the fact that because embryonic stem cell research is being curbed in the United States it’s forcing more research into the alternative turning back the clock on adult stem cells. The benefit of learning how to turn back the clock is tremendous as it overcomes the immune rejection problem. If therapeutic stem cells developed from embryos are employed they cause an immune response because the cells are “not me” to the immune system and it attacks them. Immunosuppressive therapy then has to be used. However, if we harvest adult stem cells from the patient and turn back the clock so they may be employed just like embryonic stem cells there is no immune response. This is far superior.

    I think it is an unintended but beneficial consequence of embryonic stem cell restrictions steering the biggest research funder in the world to fund more adult stem cell research and less embyronic stem cell research. Therein lies my reservation.

  4. 4
    DaveScot says:

    “The Little Engine That Could” got me thinking about the God-of-the-gaps accusation. I’ve mentioned before that Darwin-of-the-gaps is just as unscientific. But what got me thinking is that it isn’t the continuing “gaps” that ID is exploiting. The gaps are filling and it’s in the filling, not the gap, where ID gets its evidence.

    For instance, a Darwinist will typically say that because we don’t know how cellular machinery could self-assemble IDists will rush in and say God did it. That’s wrong! IDists like Bill Dembski are rushing in as that particular gap is filled and exploiting new knowledge, not lack of knowledge. In the not so distant past we didn’t how a cell could self-assemble and we still don’t. In the not so distant past we didn’t know how a cell could be engineered but now we do. There isn’t much of a gap there anymore. We know that cells are nanometer scale machines and we know a lot of the details in their construction and operation. We also know there’s nothing going on in a cell that can’t be described in well understood engineering terms and we are successfully reverse engineering the cell.

    The Darwinist’s dilemma is they know the gap is being filled but it isn’t filling the way they want. Their dwindling hope is that when we understand completely the engineering details of cellular machinery, with that will come understanding of how said machinery could self-assemble in nature. Well, the engineering detail is piling up rapidly, in great depth already, but it isn’t doing a darn thing to explain self-assembly. In fact as cellular machinery is more and more well understood in engineering terms it becomes more and more obvious that it didn’t (couldn’t) assemble itself – the appearance of design isn’t an illusion.

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    DaveScot says:

    Put another way, there are contrasting views framing the big questions.

    The Darwinist looks at cellular protein synthesis (DNA and ribosomes) and asks “how could this evolve through random mutation and natural selection?”. The IDist looks at it and says “how could this be engineered by an intelligent agent?”.

    The Darwinist then goes off on a wild goose chase unsuccessfully trying to explain protein synthesis in RM+NS terms. In effect they’re convinced it was an accident and they’re trying to reconstruct the accident. They can’t (so far) and call it a gap.

    The IDist (admitted IDist or not) goes off and with growing success reverse-engineers protein synthesis. The IDist views it as a purposeful design (a machine that synthesizes proteins) and does what engineers do; reverse engineers it. This approach is filling the so-called gap.

    Now I ask which approach yields more fruit – reverse engineering or accident reconstruction? Reverse engineering is winning hands-down and this plays right to Bill’s statement that biologists need to become engineers to have any hope of understanding the machinery in living cells. Treating cellular machinery as a purposeful design instead of a freak accident is the approach bearing all the fruit.

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