Chris Hogue is a Canadian biochemist/bioinformatician who works on protein folding (among other things) at the National University of Singapore. He used to be a professor in my department here at the University of Toronto. I miss him, and wish he were still here.
Chris blogs at BioImplement and he has just started a new series of posts on Complexity and Evolution. His goal is to explain how human design can inform us about evolution. The idea is to refute the arguments of Intelligent Design Creationists who treat intelligent design as something mystical that's1 beyond naturalism.
Here's how Chris explains what's coming ...
The thread connecting these examples of human design is that each one is an analogy to biological evolution, from which evolution may be better understood by laypersons. Now by posting new examples like this, I realize that they may all be stolen by the “intelligent design” (ID) creationists to argue against evolution. My view on ID follows that most clearly expressed in the 2005 court judgment from the Pennsylvania Kitzmiller v. Dover case: “The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory.” Of course a few scientists have written in defense of evolution and against ID nonsense in the classroom, the most strident of whom is Richard Dawkins. I now add my voice in support, as in his final interview with Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens lamented “It’s the shame of your colleagues that they don’t form ranks and say, ‘Listen, we’re going to defend our colleagues from these appalling and obfuscating elements.’”I know Chris and I can assure you that his upcoming posts will be provocative and informative.
So into the breach, I add my voice with some new arguments, after this small bit of throat-clearing. I will try to avoid being derivative as I come armed with my own capacity for inquiry, insight, and argument. My examples will show how ID concepts force the gerrymandering of human design history, and surround it with mystical borders to make their claims. The individual steps in human design are small, slow and absolutely require the intellectual imprinting of lessons by trial and error. Students who are led to think falsely about human design, or any complexity as having mystical origins are harmed by the diminishment of their own aspirations of creativity. We all need to understand how small steps and tools lead to human creativity and any object of complexity. I will reveal these small steps and show, where I can, the failures that led to success.