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Intelligent Design: It’s All About God

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Glenn McGee of “The Scientist” writes this:

A leading synthetic biologists said to me recently that she is working so hard on building and animating an artificial bacterium primarily so that she can prove to advocates of intelligent design that it doesn’t take a God to create life. I wish her luck, and Godspeed.

I think we’re supposed to be alarmed. I’m shaking in my boots. 🙂

Go here for the full article.

By taking existing material and making it do something that you call "life" isn't doing anything to prove or disprove the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Now all she has to do is create and animate her own cosmos. Then her work will be done. It will be good. And she will rest. beervolcano
I'm not a scientist but wouldn't such work merely reinforce the positive arguments for the detection of Intelligent Design? mark_sprengel
How is this going to disprove ID? If she builds it up step by step, but none of the intermediate steps are useful, how does that hurt the ID argument? Secondly if she has to do something complex (which isn't step by step), she would show it is indeed irreducibly complex. I'm finding that scientists don't make the greatest philosophers. geoffrobinson
The darwinites always going on about God. They're obsessed! mmadigan
This guy obviously does not understand ID. He is conflating it with extremely ocnservative religious views that are certainly not universally held by proponents of ID.
This is nothing new. The anti-ID crowd are forever claiming that ID is nothing more than a religious apologetic. However, when asked for which religion, given that IDPs are Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Moonies, Agnostics, and who knows what else, the anti-ID crowd don't seem to have an answer. Of course, what they really want with this tripe is for people to associate ID with fundamentalist Christianity, YEC and all the rest. In other words, its nothing but yet another straw man argument. The anti-ID crowd builds so many straw men that I sometimes wonder why they don't sell them at fairs and conferences. They could fund their entire enterprise with the proceeds. DonaldM
Thie reminds me of an old joke that goes something like this. A scientist and God are talking: Scientist: Hey, God, we've really progressed in our scientific knowledge down here to where we can now create life from scratch. God: Really?? Show me. Scientist: Be glad to. (Scientist bends down to scoop up a handful of dirt to begin the process) God: Hey, go get your own dirt! DonaldM
Will this endeavor be deemed unscientific because of the biologist's obvious religious motivation? Charlie
This guy obviously does not understand ID. He is conflating it with extremely ocnservative religious views that are certainly not universally held by proponents of ID. I also find it very hard to believe that a synthetic biologist has a primary goal of somehow sticking it to ID folks. Surely that is not what was written on the grant proposal. There are so many possible and extremely practical uses for human engineered life forms. I would imagine that the scientist in question has some ambitions that are a bit more lofty then playing a bit role in a "culture war." Unfortunately it seems as though that is the precise aspiration of the author of the article. ftrp11
Josh - it's almost a given that some creature is going to be purely synthetic. I wish you'd read K. Eric Drexler's "Engines of Creation". It's a real eye-opener. It was written 20 years ago and science is right on track fulfilling its predictions. After we figure out how to reprogram bacteria to build things at the atomic scale to specification we have it build a replacement for itself made out of pure carbon so we don't have to rely on fragile bacteria to build stuff for us. A purely synthetic creature in the nanotech track will be able to work in environments that would destroy anything made of protein. http://foresight.org/eoc/ I agree with you that claims of needing to accept mud-2-man evolution is essential to understanding biodiversity and bacterial resistance to antibiotics is ridiculous. Darwinian narrative apologists extrapolate micro-evolution (which almost everyone accepts as valid) such as bacterial adaptation to new toxins to bacteria turning into baboons. The former is not proof of the latter and it's just ignorant to claim that it is. DaveScot
Did anyone hear about the Teem theory? Check out secondevolution.com. I think you'll get a kick out of this. I'll suspend judgment for now. This guy thinks he has solved the problem to everything about evolution. Benjii
So, if she fails, will she then proclaim that it does indeed take a God to create life? Also, I thought evolution was an open and shut case. If it is, why is she wasting her time and money? Saxe saxe17
BTW- let this website contact Ken Miller and others to let them know that the IC argument they claimed to refute isn't actually refutable, since it's based on "faith". When will these yahoos ever learn? They want to have their cake and eat it too- 'ID is untestable, but we tested it and proved it false.' Ugh. Josh Bozeman
This is just ridiculous:
The real worry, though, is about the future of science. Children educated in a system in which untestable statements of faith are treated as privileged hypotheses are hardly prepared to face a world in which evolution is a fact of life. The next generation of scientists will face the rapid evolution of viruses and the implications of decreasing diversity in animals. We cannot afford to raise a generation of doctors who believe that drug-resistant bacteria are a punishment from God rather than an evolutionary process induced by the misuse of antibiotics. Whomever or whatever created the universe, let's hope they wanted us to be intelligent, too.
They constantly say that it will take intelligence to create a bacterium from "scratch"- tho, they're using the parts from nature, not parts THEY made themselves. No creature would ever truly be synthetic in the full sense- that's impossible. Yet, they come out with these absurd strawmen arguments that pain ID supporters as not believing in adaptation by bacteria and the use of antibiotics (studies have shown that the bacteria ALREADY have the resistance from the start- ancient bacteria was studied and even it has the resistance to chemicals not created for billions of yrs!), or that ID will lead to people believing that God causes disease. I don't even know of a creationist who believes that! More ignorance and arrogance. Josh Bozeman
DaveScot said: "What science IS proving here is that intelligent design of life is possible without supernatural means." Yes, nicely said. Indeed, science is also proving here the need for an intelligently designed process for making the copy. Or will they argue it was her random thoughts that constructed the theory, got the funding, built the lab, purchased the equipment, etc...? dougmoran
This is kind of funny. While I agree it doesn't take a deity of some sort to tinker with the mechanistic aspects of living things what we are accomplishing isn't creating life so much as copying it. We're mastering the mechanics of working with protein machinery but we're not inventing it like we invented the television. It's like we found this advanced technology and we're learning it inside and out but the bottom line will always remain that we didn't create life - someone or something else preceded us on that score. What science IS proving here is that intelligent design of life is possible without supernatural means. DaveScot

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