Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Facts Supporting Intelligent Design Creationism?

 
We all know that the Intelligent Design Creationist movement consists almost exclusively of attacks on science. The idea seems to be that if you can cast doubt on evolution then this is evidence in favor of God.

Some unnamed Professor has challenged students to come up with facts that support Intelligent Design Creationism. The only criterion is; "fact can be any observation in biology that is substantiated by publication in a scientific journal,"

Casey Luskin attempts to meet the challenge over on the Discovery Institute propaganda site, Evolution News & Views: Helping Students Answer a Professor's Challenge to "Find a Fact" That Supports Intelligent Design (Part 2).

Here's a list of "scientific" publications submitted by Luskin. I haven't read all of them but, of the ones I've read, there isn't a single one containing a fact that supports the existence of God, let alone evidence that he/she designed anything at all. Furthermore, many of them aren't from a scientific journal. It looks like Casey Luskin has goofed, once again.

Let me know if any of these publications contain evidence of Intelligent Design Creationism. Is this the best they can do? (I've put asterisks in front of the ones I've read.)
*Douglas D. Axe, "Extreme Functional Sensitivity to Conservative Amino Acid Changes on Enzyme Exteriors," Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol. 301:585-595 (2000)

*Douglas D. Axe, "Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds," Journal of Molecular Biology, 1-21 (2004)

*Michael Behe, Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (Free Press, 1996)

*Michael J. Behe & David W. Snoke, "Simulating Evolution by Gene Duplication of Protein Features That Require Multiple Amino Acid Residues," Protein Science, Vol 13:2651-2664 (2004)

Geoff Brumfiel, “Outrageous Fortune,” Nature, Vol. 439: 10-12 (Jan. 5, 2006)

Bract, "Inventions, Algorithms, and Biological Design," in Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design (Vol. 1.1, 2002)

*William A. Dembski, The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance Through Small Probabilities (Cambridge University Press, 1998)

a. William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, “Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success” (In publication, 2009)

b. William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, “The Search for a Search: Measuring the Information Cost of Higher Level Search” (In publication, 2009)

*William Dembski and Jonathan Wells, The Design of Life: Discovering Signs of Intelligence in Living Systems, (FTE, 2008) (see www.thedesignoflife.net)

*Wayt T. Gibbs, “The Unseen Genome: Gems among the Junk,” Scientific American (November, 2003)

Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Wesley Richards, The Privileged Planet: How our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery, (Regnery, 2004)

*Graham Lawton, "Why Darwin was wrong about the tree of life," New Scientist (January 21, 2009)

Hiroaki Kitano, ”Systems Biology: A Brief Overview,” Science, Vol. 295: 1662-1664 (March 1, 2002)

Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, "Dynamic genomes, morphological stasis, and the origin of irreducible complexity," in Dynamical Genetics pp. 101-119 (Valerio Parisi, Valeria De Fonzo, and Filippo Aluffi-Pentini eds., 2004)

Casey Luskin, “Human Origins and Intelligent Design,” Progress in Complexity and Design, (Vol 4.1, November, 2005)

Casey Luskin, "Intelligent Design Has Scientific Merit in Paleontology," part of the "Does Intelligent Design Have Merit?" debate at OpposingViews.com (September, 2008)

*Wojciech Makalowski, “Not Junk After All,” Science, Vol. 300(5623) (May 23, 2003)

Stephen C. Meyer, Marcus Ross, Paul Nelson & Paul Chien, "The Cambrian Explosion: Biology's Big Bang," in Darwinism, Design, and Public Education (John A. Campbell and Stephen C. Meyer eds., Michigan State University Press, 2003)

*a. Stephen C. Meyer, “The Cambrian Information Explosion,” in Debating Design (edited by Michael Ruse and William Dembski; Cambridge University Press 2004)

b. Stephen C. Meyer, “The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories,” Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Vol. 117(2):213-239 (2004)

Scott A. Minnich & Stephen C. Meyer, “Genetic analysis of coordinate flagellar and type III regulatory circuits in pathogenic bacteria,” in Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Design & Nature, Rhodes Greece (M.W. Collins & C.A. Brebbia eds., 2004)

Paul Nelson and Jonathan Wells, “Homology in Biology,” in Darwinism, Design, and Public Education, (Michigan State University Press, 2003)

*Richard v. Sternberg, "On the Roles of Repetitive DNA Elements in the Context of a Unified Genomic– Epigenetic System," Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 981: 154–188 (2002)

J.T. Trevors and D.L. Abel, "Chance and necessity do not explain the origin of life," Cell Biology International, Vol. 28: 729-739 (2004)

D. L. Abel & J. T. Trevors, “Self-organization vs. self-ordering events in life-origin models," Physics of Life Reviews, Vol. 3: 211–228 (2006)

Øyvind Albert Voie, "Biological function and the genetic code are interdependent," Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, Vol. 28:1000–1004 (2006)

Jonathan Wells, "Using Intelligent Design Theory to Guide Scientific Research" Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design (Vol. 3.1.2, November 2004)

Jonathan Wells, "Do Centrioles Generate a Polar Ejection Force?," Rivista di Biologia / Biology Forum, Vol. 98:71-96 (2005)


10 comments :

  1. The smae-old same old.

    I'm especially tickled that Luskin mentions Wells' silly Rivista paper on centrioles - it was by the authors admission at best an hypothesis, not 'facts', and poor old Johnny's hypothesis was refuted before it was even published (i.e., no, centrioles do NOT generate the force he implies just because they sort of, kind of, look a bit like turbines...).

    Pretty Pathetic.

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  2. The only criterion is; "fact can be any observation in biology that is substantiated by publication in a scientific journal,"
    ...
    *Michael Behe, Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (Free Press, 1996)
    ...
    William A. Dembski, The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance Through Small Probabilities (Cambridge University Press, 1998)
    ...
    William Dembski and Jonathan Wells, The Design of Life: Discovering Signs of Intelligence in Living Systems, (FTE, 2008) (see www.thedesignoflife.net)
    ...
    Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Wesley Richards, The Privileged Planet: How our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery, (Regnery, 2004)
    ...
    -----
    Following directions FAIL.

    Is Luskin so stoopid that he thinks those are published in scientific journals? Or does he think we're stupid enough not to notice that he isn't even trying?

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  3. I'd quibble that it needs to be more that "mere" publication in a scientific journal alone.

    There are plenty of papers whose conclusions have since been shown to be wrong. There are papers that are intentionally only presenting a hypothesis, or those presenting observations, followed by only speculation, not conclusion, as no conclusions could be drawn. There are also those papers that ought not to have been published in the first place, for a variety of reasons!

    As Bayesian Bouffant points out about a half of those listed aren't even from journals, and one or two of those that are, are not reporting research findings, but are "review" papers, in which opinion can be expressed. A couple of those listed are from popular science magasines. One is even cites a web-hosted "debate"!

    As a footnote, I've never seen "In publication" before. "In press", yes, but "In publication", no. I wonder what Dembski really means by that?

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  4. My favorite, citing an online discussion:

    Casey Luskin, "Intelligent Design Has Scientific Merit in Paleontology," part of the "Does Intelligent Design Have Merit?" debate at OpposingViews.com (September, 2008)

    EPIC FAIL

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  5. Bayesian Bouffant said:
    "Is Luskin so stoopid that he thinks those are published in scientific journals?"I'd bet that he's NOT that stupid, though it might be kinder to think that he is.

    "Or does he think we're stupid enough not to notice that he isn't even trying?"The students involved will notice, as will the professor. But that's not who he's trying to fool.

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  6. Also, any bets on where these are going to be published?

    a. William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, “Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success” (In publication, 2009)

    b. William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, “The Search for a Search: Measuring the Information Cost of Higher Level Search” (In publication, 2009)

    (To be followed by "The Search for a Search for a Search")

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  7. I'd quibble that it needs to be more that "mere" publication in a scientific journal alone.There is more: the criterion specifies any publish observation.

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  8. The Barefoot Bum,

    Really, I think it has to be more than "mere" observation. As I mentioned in passing some papers report observations, followed by speculation as no conclusions can really be drawn. (This isn't idea, in that work would ideally start with testing a hypothesis, but reality is that some work is data gathering/surveys with the hope of revealing something.)

    I should add that no paper I've read on protein evolution supports "design" when they are read properly. I can't remember specifically what I've read, but I read a lot of these. When I find time! :-)

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  9. I will add that Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design was Dembski's house e-journal, supposedly a quarterly that hasn't been able to generate enough content to publish since 2005. I've read the papers there; nothing in them.

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