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March 2014: Events that made a difference to ID

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Further to February 2014 (and to Barry’s suggestion that readers kindly remember Uncommon Descent in their year end giving – via the Donate button (our Christmas stocking) on the main page):

My sense is that we are making some headway against what Leon Wieseltier has referred to as Darwinist dittoheads, and I’d like to point to some more stories, this time from March 2014, that explain why:

Okay, so the stories that stood out in March were about how old, taken-for-granted truths are collapsing, although so far no structure has emerged to start putting the facts together (most successfully we would argue, in an information theory-related way, but we would need a safe space for that).

Here’s what I mean:

– Science news release admits evidence for speciation “implicit in Charles Darwin’s work” is scarce. Quoted:

Size differences among fish and competition for breeding space lead to the formation of new species, according to a new study, but empirical evidence for this is scarce, despite being implicit in Charles Darwin’s work and support from theoretical studies.

Yes, that’s the trouble, isn’t it? What everyone knows, including judges on the bench, ain’t so. Now, we can of course abandon science, as those who want to dump falsifiability propose, or we can try to figure out what is going on.

– We are finding lots of stuff that breaks the rules, for example… Found: A plant with no plastid genome:

But two teams have now independently found the first examples of plants whose plastids seem to lack a genome, including a giant rot-scented flower and a group of single-celled algae. Neither case is iron-cast yet, but given the teams’ intense searches, these plants’ plastid genomes are either missing, well-hidden, or can be found only at very low levels.

– New Royal Society paper demotes genes: “merely a means of specifying polypeptides.” In the age of epigenetics and horizontal gene transfer, that’s no surprise, but it is instructive to hear it spelled out — and the news certainly hasn’t reached popular culture yet. Pop culture still talks in terms of genes-for. See also: There’s a gene for that… or is there?  While we are here anyway, far from being all-powerful, DNA does not wholly determine biological form, and We are far from a good theoretical model of organisms’ development None of which has been good news for Genes ‘r us or Genes Rule.

– Remember the Tree of Life of schoolbook lore? How about, Debate!: Tree of life? Forest of life? What about matchwood? This topic was unpacked at the Nelson-Velasco debate, where an academic insisted “Hold it despite opposition. Anything else is ‘fascism.’” Sure, prof, but fascism is just so cool these days, even if it is utterly unproductive for science.

– The Darwinian claim about “vestigial organs” got the air let out of it once again: See Appendix, no “vestigial organ,” is a safe house for useful bacteria, researcher says.  Are therre really any vestigial organs at all? Any actual junk DNA?

– Contrary to the classic view of evolution, stressful situation can recruit otherwise inactive genes. See Evolution: In blind cave fish, a protein change supports controversial evolution mechanism From Scientific American:

In the classic view of evolution, organisms undergo random genetic mutations, and nature selects for the most beneficial ones. A recent study in Science adds a twist to that theory: variability already present in a population’s genome may remain hidden in times of plenty but come unmasked in stressful situations, ready to help with adaptation.

– Tree of intelligence does not exist. See, for example, Claim: Crows’ causal understanding rivals that of 5-7 year old children: There were many mor stories later in the year on this topic, but the gist is, the wall that is supposed to separate humans-and-other-primates from other animals does not really exist. It separates humans from other animals. That suits an information theory understanding better than a naturalistic, Darwinian one.

It’s not so much what we know as what we know that ain’t so that is the enemy of research.

See also:

See also: January 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  (My sense is that we are making some headway against what Leon Wieseltier has referred to as Darwinist dittoheads.)

February 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  We are definitely past having to care what Christians for Darwin think.

April 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  Despite these developments, naturalists would prefer chaos and nonsense to signals that point away from naturalism.

May 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  BUT then things took a really odd turn: It turned out that everyone who doubts Wade’s race theories is a creationist. Hey, is “creationist” the new “think for yourself”?

June 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  In June we began to think seriously about William Dembski’s then upcoming Being as Communion, a more philosophical look at design in nature

July 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  Among many other events, a UD Post where a famous chemist says no scientist understands “macroevolution” passed 200,000 views.

August 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  Famous Darwin follower, Jerry “Why evolution is true” Coyne, was really mad that information theorist William Dembski is allowed to speak at his fort, Fort Chicago University

September 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  It was becoming obvious that no one who knows the facts need be defensive about doubting the naturalist spin.

October 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  Even establishment science media are now moving to recognize the problems with Darwinian evolution theory.

November 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  Not only has the kill-ID bomb not exploded, but lots of people besides us are beginning to notice that fact.

December 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  Fake Facebook pages started in an attempt to discredit ID theorists. (People fake Rolexes, not Timexes.)

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