Wednesday, July 05, 2006

V4 also debuts Automated Intelligent Design Technology ...

ID knows it has made it when it appears in sophisticated software (albeit for sewer design!) product descriptions [Graphic: MWH Soft Infosewer]:

MWH Soft releases new version of InfoSewer

MWH Soft announced the worldwide availability of the V4 Generation of InfoSewer for power ArcGIS users. This latest version introduces valuable user-driven enhancements and functionalities, along with architectural and database improvements that make sophisticated sewer systems analysis and design applications fast and easy to use.

V4 also debuts Automated Intelligent Design Technology, which for the first time puts expert-level, high performance techniques in the hands of every user that enable automation of the most challenging wastewater collection systems design, expansion and rehabilitation activities. These enhancements equip wastewater utilities with unprecedented power to improve system management, operation and regulatory compliance. ... (my emphasis)

Seriously, the absorption of "intelligent design" into mainstream terminology (especially design and engineering) is very important (although they could hardly describe such products as only "apparently designed by `blind watchmaker' evolution"!).

Which reminds me of this variation of the three stages of acceptance of a new scientific idea, reputedly by Agassiz, and cited approvingly by Von Baer and Gould (although in ID's case the second stage is "that it is ... religion!):

"In another article written in 1866 to criticize a brave new world that often forgot, and more frequently disparaged, the discoveries of previous generations, von Baer made a rueful comment that deserves enshrinement as one of the great aphorisms in the history of science. Invoking Agassiz, his younger friend and boon companion in rejecting the new theory of mechanistic evolution, von Baer wrote:`Agassiz says that when a new doctrine is presented, it must go through three stages. First, people say that it isn't true, then that it is against religion, and in the third stage, that it has long been known.' (Author's translation)." (Gould, S.J., "Abscheulich! - Atrocious! - the precursor to the theory of natural selection," Natural History, Vol. 109, No. 2, March 2000, pp.42-49)

It sounds like ID is now entering into the third stage of "it has long been known"!

Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
`Evolution Quotes Book'

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