Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Intelligent design makes it into Nature journal


Or so one would assume. From Sarah Zhang at the Atlantic:

In “The Energy Expansions of Evolution,” an extraordinary new essay in Nature Ecology and Evolution, Olivia Judson sets out a theory of successive energy revolutions that purports to explain how our planet came to have such a diversity of environments that support such a rich array of life, from the cyanobacteria to daisies to humans.

Judson divides the history of the life on Earth into five energetic epochs, a novel schema that you will not find in geology or biology textbooks. In order, the energetic epochs are: geochemical energy, sunlight, oxygen, flesh, and fire. Each epoch represents the unlocking of a new source of energy, coinciding with new organisms able to exploit that source and alter their planet. The previous sources of energy stay around, so environments and life on Earth become ever more diverse. Judson calls it a “step-wise construction of a life-planet system.” More.

At the end of the year, if there is any money left over, maybe we should offer a contest for Best Denunciation of Design in Nature While Actually Assuming It Is True.

See also: What we know and don’t know about the origin of life

The link posted @9 shows how design got into nature... implicitly. Dionisio
Latemarch, Interesting comment. Thanks. Dionisio
This whole theory relies on the reducing atmosphere changing to an oxygen atmosphere. I thought that that theory had been disproved. The earth has always had an oxygen atmosphere.
However, many scientists have now abandoned the notion of a reducing early Earth atmosphere. Instead, they believe Earth had a neutral atmosphere, composed primarily of carbon dioxide, with smaller amounts of nitrogen and hydrogen, similar to the modern atmospheres of Mars and Venus. Researchers who have repeated the Miller-Urey experiment under the new atmospheric assumptions, including Miller, have shown that this new mixture does not produce amino acids. Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2009-09-scientists-hypothesis-life.html#jCp
They've abandoned it because there is such poor evidence for either reducing or anoxic atmosphere in the rocks. Pitiful....still pulling out the Miller-Urey experiment that produces pitiful amounts of only some racemic AAs in an abundance of tar. Latemarch
Check this out: https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15459 Dionisio
News, The comment @7 shows that your politely dissenting interlocutors seem more attracted to your OP headlines than roaches to the traps sold at large DIY stores. They seem to have major issues understanding your ‘tongue in cheek’/’winking’ style of writing OP headlines. Perhaps those folks are tense, stressed out and/or too anxious when reading any text you write? Poor things. I hope someday they can get over that depressing state of mind. You may want to tell them to relax, chill out, take it easy, then read your OPs. What's apparently happening is that the ongoing biology research is discovering at an accelerated pace that the complex complexity seen in the biological systems is more sophisticated than thought and it seems to point to designed systems. That frustrates some folks out there, who keep barking up the wrong trees and eventually get furiously vitriolic and sometimes even disrespectful in their harsh and angry comments. Poor things. Let's show compassion to them. Dionisio
Dionisio, these are not witty 'tongue in cheek' headlines. What they plainly show is a mature women desperately trying to have a 'with it' youthful flare. It fails dismally. I can see a NEWS headline without having to read the rediculous and pointless , 'NEWS for O'Leary', or 'O'Leary for NEWS', moniker. These headlines are often tortuous efforts at humour, followed by equally tortuous unfunny text, with barely concealed sarcasim. Sarcasim sits poorly when your entire POV is an ironic effort at science. And funniest, she doesn't realise the smirks and guffaws that follow her headlines. There is little more rediculous than a fortyish man or woman trying to, 'hang out'. rvb8
News, Your politely dissenting interlocutors seem to have major issues understanding your 'tongue in cheek'/'winking' style of writing OP headlines. Perhaps those folks are tense, stressed out and/or too anxious when reading any text you write? Poor things. I hope someday they can get over that depressing state of mind. You may want to tell them to relax, chill out, take it easy, then read your OPs. :) Dionisio
This idea of ‘Energy Expansion’, is fascinating and new.
A century and a half of naturalistic origin paradigm establishment has finally identified the energy sources available to each of their hypothetical epochs of life? What am I missing here? LocalMinimum
What does Judson's essay have to do with intelligent design? Nothing, as far as I can see. The only designer mentioned is the graphic designer, but as they are identified to name ("F. Zsolnai"), this is nothing to do with ID. Bob O'H
RVB8, mirror? KF kairosfocus
The marvellous way NEWS can find, read, gestate, and expell ideas is amazing. Never has there been a woman so able to mock that which she refuses to attempt to come to grips with. This idea of 'Energy Expansion', is fascinating and new. That the first part of evolution was driven by geochemical forces fits with what scientists hold. That sunlight drove the evolutionary cycle there after also seems logical; of course we must exclude supernatural tinkering at this point. After chemicals, and the sun, we have a product of chemicals and the sun; oxygen. Then with evolution in overdrive, meat appears, and then man's need to cook it, fire! Once again, an evolutionary narrative that makes sense, is logical in structure, and most importantly, fits with what we know about physics, chemistry, and thermodynamics. The opposing view; God didit! rvb8
Then one particular type of animal—those of the genus Homo—figure out fire. Fire lets us cook, which may have allowed us to get more nutrition out of the same food. It lets us forge labor-saving metal tools. It lets us create fertilizer through the Haber-Bosch process to grow food on industrial scales. It lets us burn fossils fuels for energy.
It also led to the surplus of energy and other resources, some of which could be allocated to science. That research revealed some time ago that all life depends on exploitable sources of energy to function. I don't see anything in there that would qualify as Intelligent Design, though. Seversky

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