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National Canadian newspaper tries (tried) to understand ID


National Post(A friend advises, this ran a decade ago.  No one who matters in Canada would have the guts to say it today, not if they are boffins or part of legacy media. National Post was  freer then, as I remember. )

From a no-byline article in Canada’s National Post, 2005:

… the theory of intelligent design holds that there are tell-tale features of living systems and the universe that are best explained by an intelligent cause. The theory does not challenge the idea of evolution defined as change over time, or even common ancestry, but it does dispute Darwin’s idea that the cause of biological change is wholly blind and undirected.

Either life arose as the result of purely undirected material processes or a guiding intelligence played a role. Design theorists favor the latter option and argue that living organisms look designed because they really were designed.

But why do we say this? What tell-tale signs of intelligence do we see in living organisms?

Over the last 25 years, scientists have discovered an exquisite world of nanotechnology within living cells. Inside these tiny labyrinthine enclosures, scientists have found functioning turbines, miniature pumps, sliding clamps, complex circuits, rotary engines, and machines for copying, reading and editing digital information-hardly the simple “globules of plasm” envisioned by Darwin’s contemporaries.

Moreover, most of these circuits and machines depend on the coordinated function of many separate parts. For example, scientists have discovered that bacterial cells are propelled by miniature rotary engines called flagellar motors that rotate at speeds up to 100,000 rpm. These engines look for all-the world as if they were designed by the Mazda corporation, with many distinct mechanical parts (made of proteins) including rotors, stators, O-rings, bushings, U-joints, and drive shafts.

Is this appearance of design merely illusory? Could natural selection have produced this appearance in a neo-Darwinian fashion one tiny incremental mutation at a time? Biochemist Michael Behe argues ‘no.’ He points out that the flagellar motor depends upon the coordinated function of 30 protein parts. Yet the absence of any one of these parts results in the complete loss of motor function. Remove one of the necessary proteins (as scientists can do experimentally) and the rotary motor simply doesn’t work. The motor is, in Behe’s terminology, “irreducibly complex.”More.

In the intervening ten years the the trolls, the profbots, the aren’t I good girls, and the Templeton-funded Christian Darwinists have – it seems – prevented any serious discussion. Mediocrity reigns as before. 

See also: It’s 2016, and some sciences face serious questions

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