Jonathan Wells (see photo) is one of the leading intelligent design creationists. (As we'll see, that says a lot about the intellectual vacuum that characterizes that cult.)
Wells is best known as the author of Icons of Evolution, a book that makes a virtue out of lying for Jesus (and for Reverend Sun Myung Moon). Almost everything that Wells writes about is demonstrably wrong but that never seems to stop him. He should be an embarrassment to the intelligent design creationist cult except that the members of that cult are all incapable of separating fact from fiction when it comes to science. I've posted previously about two of Well's most egregious falsehoods in Icons because we dissected them in a course I taught last semester [Peppered Moths and the Confused IDiots; Fossil Horses and Directed Evolution].
Recently (Feb. 29) Wells posted an article about the evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria and claimed that the authors (Maurice et al. 2008) did not make use of evolution in their study [The Irrelevance of Darwinian Evolution to Antibiotic Resistance]. Here's what Wells said about the work from Dardel's lab.
Third, Dardel and his colleagues made their discovery using protein crystallography. They were not guided by Darwinian evolutionary theory; in fact, they had no need of that hypothesis.When I first saw the Wells article I seriously wondered whether Jonathan Wells was mentally stable. It looks like he has become completely unhinged since the point of his article is so far from the truth that even a kindergarten student can recognize the lies. (Not surprisingly, the other intelligent design creationists were completely sucked into the lie.)
Ian Musgrave was the first one to hold his nose and post a rebuttal of the Wells article [How stupid do they think we are?]. Somebody had to do it—thanks Ian for doing the research. Your title says it all.
Now, here's the best part. The senior author of the study, Frederic Dardel, posted a comment on The Panda's Thumb website [Frederic Dardel comment]. Here's what Dardel said ...
As principal investigator of the study under discussion, I’d like to strongly support the view advocated this page. In fact, I was completely amazed to see how our work has been misrepresented by M. Wells.Delicious. PZ Myers picked up on this and posted an article with the title Wells says something stupid again. Of course he did, that's why we call them IDiots.
Actually, we did indeed use darwinian evolution within this work (something unusual in structural biology). In order to obtain an enzyme with increased stability (a critical point for structural studies), we used selective pressure to obtain mutants of the enzyme. We selected for bateria with increased aminiglycoside resistance, by plating them on antibiotic containing medium. It turned out that some bacteria evolved such stabler enzymes variants which made this whole study possible !
Finally, I would not consider myself as a chemist, I got my PhD in molecular microbiology. It seems that M. Wells finds it easier to portray us as non-biologists, and hence implicitly as non-evolutionists.
Now, in light of this you might expect Jonathan Wells to apologize and admit he was wrong. Hands up all those who think he'll do the honorable thing.
WRONG! You guys just don't understand the creationist mentality. Here's how it works, quoting today's posting on Evolution News & Views [Being Hated by the Right People].
As Johnny Cash reputedly once said, “It’s good to know who hates you, and it’s good to be hated by the right people.”You just can't make this stuff up. Wells is an IDiot. I intensely dislike Wells and the lying tactics he uses to promote his cult of intelligent design creationism. I hope that puts me among the "right people."
Darwinist bloggers P. Z. Myers and Ian Musgrave hate me. In fact, Myers writes, “My animus for Jonathan Wells knows no bounds.” Well, at least he (unlike Musgrave) spells my name right.
The most recent outbursts by Myers and Musgrave were provoked by my February 29 blog on Evolution News & Views, in which I predicted that Darwinists would try to take credit for a recent French discovery regarding antibiotic resistance. And indeed they did.
In the course of claiming credit for Darwinism, Musgrave claims that I completely misrepresent evolution, molecular biology, genetics and history. Wow. At least I get points for comprehensiveness. As proof of my misrepresentations, Musgrave cites Wikipedia, which everyone involved in this controversy knows is about as balanced and reliable on this issue as P.Z. Myers’s Pharyngula or The National Center for Science Miseducation’s Panda’s Thumb.
The principal researcher in the French study disagrees, and wrote to Musgrave’s blog that "we did indeed use Darwinian evolution within this work (something unusual in structural biology). In order to obtain an enzyme with increased stability (a critical point for structural studies), we used selective pressure to obtain mutants of the enzyme."
So the researchers used artificial selection to good advantage. But artificial selection is not Darwinism. People were using artificial selection for centuries before Darwin came along, and they didn’t need Darwin to explain it to them. Darwin argued that an analogous process also operates in natural populations – and so it does. But he and his devoted followers went much further and claimed that it also explains the origin of new species, organs and body plans, which it doesn’t.
[Photo Credit: Evolution News & Views]
Maurice, F., Broutin, I., Podglajen, I., Benas, P., Collatz, E. and Dardel, F. (2008) Enzyme structural plasticity and the emergence of broad-spectrum antibiotic resistance. EMBO Rep. 2008 Feb 22 [Epub ahead of print] [PubMed]