The gods must be crazy if they call this intelligence [Review of "Unintelligent Design: Why God isn't as smart as she thinks she is," by Robyn Williams, Allen & Unwin: Sydney, 2006], Sydney Morning Herald, August 5, 2006, Deborah Smith ...
[Graphic: Structure of a bacterial flagellum, BIODIDAC]
Continued from part #1.
The prevalence of this attitude This attitude being "as if science was just another choice of product on a supermarket shelf they could ignore at will." has been playing on Williams's mind as he ponders the way the intelligent design movement - creationism's "belligerent teenage cousin" - has sprung up "like a boil on a bum." At least "creationism's ... cousin" is an improvement on the usual Darwinist party-line that "intelligent design" is creationism"! So progress is being made in the Darwinists increasingly conceding what the ID movement has said all along, that "Intelligent design is not creationism":
"Contrary to media reports, ID is not a religious-based idea, but an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins. According to Darwinian biologists such as Oxford University's Richard Dawkins, living systems "give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose". But, for modern Darwinists, that appearance of design is illusory, because the purely undirected process of natural selection acting on random mutations is entirely sufficient to produce the intricate designed- like structures found in living organisms. By contrast, ID holds that there are tell-tale features of living systems and the universe that are best explained by a designing intelligence. The theory does not challenge the idea of evolution defined as change over time, or even common ancestry, but it disputes Darwin's idea that the cause of biological change is wholly blind and undirected. ?. Unlike creationism, ID is an inference from biological data. Even so, ID may provide support for theistic belief. But that is not grounds for dismissing it. Those who do confuse the evidence for the theory with its possible implications. Many astrophysicists initially rejected the Big Bang theory because it seemed to point to the need for a transcendent cause of matter, space and time. But science eventually accepted it because the evidence strongly supported it. Today, a similar prejudice confronts ID. Nevertheless, this new theory must also be evaluated on the basis of the evidence, not philosophical preferences. As Professor Flew advises: `We must follow the evidence, wherever it leads.'" (Meyer, S.C., "Intelligent design is not creationism," Daily Telegraph, 28 January 2006)
One of its hallmarks, he says, is the arrogant dismissal of carefully weighed scientific evidence. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! It is the Intelligent Design movement which is presenting "carefully weighed scientific evidence" for design and the Darwinists who are engaged in "arrogant dismissal" of that evidence.
Here are two examples from that same Daily Telegraph article by ID theorist Stephen Meyer.
First, the bacterial flagellum, "rotary engines .. that rotate at 100,000rpm" and "look like they were designed by engineers, with many distinct mechanical parts ... including rotors, stators, O-rings, bushings, U-joints and drive shafts" which "The biochemist Michael Behe points out ... depends on the co-ordinated function of 30 protein parts," i.e. . Remove one of these proteins and the rotary motor doesn't work":
"What signs of intelligence do design advocates see? In recent years, biologists have discovered an exquisite world of nanotechnology within living cells - complex circuits, sliding clamps, energy-generating turbines and miniature machines. For example, bacterial cells are propelled by rotary engines called flagellar motors that rotate at 100,000rpm. These engines look like they were designed by engineers, with many distinct mechanical parts (made of proteins), including rotors, stators, O-rings, bushings, U-joints and drive shafts. The biochemist Michael Behe points out that the flagellar motor depends on the co-ordinated function of 30 protein parts. Remove one of these proteins and the rotary motor doesn't work. The motor is, in Behe's words, `irreducibly complex'. This creates a problem for the Darwinian mechanism. Natural selection preserves or `selects' functional advantages as they arise by random mutation. Yet the flagellar motor does not function unless all its 30 parts are present. Thus, natural selection can "select" the motor once it has arisen as a functioning whole, but it cannot produce the motor in a step-by-step Darwinian fashion. Natural selection purportedly builds complex systems from simpler structures by preserving a series of intermediates, each of which must perform some function. With the flagellar motor, most of the critical intermediate structures perform no function for selection to preserve. This leaves the origin of the flagellar motor unexplained by the mechanism - natural selection - that Darwin specifically proposed to replace the design hypothesis. Is there a better explanation? Based on our uniform experience, we know of only one type of cause that produces irreducibly complex systems: intelligence. Whenever we encounter complex systems - whether integrated circuits or internal combustion engines - and we know how they arose, invariably a designing intelligence played a role. " (Meyer, Ibid.)
Second, "an even more fundamental argument for design" in "the information - in a four-character digital code for building ... protein" which was discovered "In 1953... Yet, to date, no theory of undirected chemical evolution has explained the origin of" that "digital information" and "We know from experience that ...that information ...always arises from an intelligent source":
"Consider an even more fundamental argument for design. In 1953, when Watson and Crick elucidated the structure of the DNA molecule, they made a startling discovery. Strings of precisely sequenced chemicals called nucleotides in DNA store and transmit the assembly instructions - the information - in a four-character digital code for building the protein molecules the cell needs to survive. Crick then developed his `sequence hypothesis', in which the chemical bases in DNA function like letters in a written language or symbols in a computer code. As Dawkins has noted, `the machine code of the genes is uncannily computer-like'. The informational features of the cell at least appear designed. Yet, to date, no theory of undirected chemical evolution has explained the origin of the digital information needed to build the first living cell. Why? There is simply too much information in the cell to be explained by chance alone. The information in DNA (and RNA) has also been shown to defy explanation by forces of chemical necessity. Saying otherwise would be like saying a headline arose as the result of chemical attraction between ink and paper. Clearly, something else is at work. DNA functions like a software program. We know from experience that software comes from programmers. We know that information - whether, say, in hieroglyphics or radio signals - always arises from an intelligent source. As the pioneering information theorist Henry Quastler observed: "Information habitually arises from conscious activity." So the discovery of digital information in DNA provides strong grounds for inferring that intelligence played a causal role in its origin. " (Meyer, Ibid.)
So what did the Darwinists do when the editor, Dr. Richard M. Sternberg (who has two PhDs in evolutionary biology), of a peer-reviewed scientific journal, the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, published a paper of Meyer's proposing the hypothesis that the rapid information build-up in the Cambrian Explosion was evidence for Intelligent Design? Respond to it with a scientific critique?
No! In Dr Sternberg's own words "Smithsonian officials" aided and abetted by "the National Center for Science Education (NCSE)": 1) made "Efforts to remove me from the [Smithsonian] Museum"; 2) made "Efforts to get NIH [National Institutes of Health, Dr Sternberg's actual employer] to fire me"; 3) "create[d] an intolerable working environment so that I would be forced to resign"; 4) "attempted to investigate my personal religious and political beliefs in gross violation of my privacy"; 5) "Smeared [me] with false allegations"; 6) Pressured [me] to reveal peer reviewers and to engage in improper peer review"; and "In sum ... I was targeted for retaliation and harassment explicitly because ... I allowed a scientific article to be published critical of neo-Darwinism, and that was considered an unpardonable heresy":
"To summarize what occurred after the Meyer paper was published:
In sum, it is clear that I was targeted for retaliation and harassment explicitly because I failed in an unstated requirement in my role as editor of a scientific journal: I was supposed to be a gatekeeper turning away unpopular, controversial, or conceptually challenging explanations of puzzling natural phenomena. Instead, I allowed a scientific article to be published critical of neo-Darwinism, and that was considered an unpardonable heresy. " (Sternberg, R.M., "Post-publication retaliation and discrimination at the Smithsonian and elsewhere," August 19, 2005)
- Efforts to remove me from the Museum. After Smithsonian officials determined that there was no wrong-doing in the publication process for the Meyer paper and that they therefore had no grounds to remove me from my position directly, they tried to create an intolerable working environment so that I would be forced to resign. As the OSC investigation concluded, "[i]t is... clear that a hostile work environment was created with the ultimate goal of forcing you out of the SI." In addition, it was made clear to me that my current position at the Smithsonian will not be renewed despite my excellent record of research and publication.
- Efforts to get NIH to fire me. Pressure was put on the NIH to fire me.
- Perceived political and religous beliefs investigated. Smithsonian officials attempted to investigate my personal religious and political beliefs in gross violation of my privacy and my First Amendment rights.
- Smeared with false allegations. My professional reputation, private life, and ethics were repeatedly impugned and publicly smeared with false allegations by government employees working in tandem with a non-governmental political advocacy group, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE).
- Pressured to reveal peer reviewers and to engage in improper peer review. I was repeatedly pressured to reveal the names of the peer-reviewers of the Meyer article, contrary to professional ethics. I was also told repeatedly that I should have found peer reviewers who would reject the article out-of-hand, in direct violation of professional ethics which require editors to find peer reviewers who are not prejudiced or hostile to a particular author or his/her ideas.
- Creation of hostile work environment.
- Supervisor replaced. I was transferred from the supervision of a friendly sponsor (supervisor) at the Museum to a hostile one.
- Office space. I was twice forced to move specimens from my office space on short notice for no good reason, my name plate was removed from my office door, and eventually I was deprived of all official office space and forced to use a shared work area as my work location in the Museum.
- Unprecedented work requirements. I was subjected to an array of new reporting requirements not imposed on other Research Associates.
- Access to specimens limited. My access to the specimens needed for my research at the Museum was restricted. (My access to the Museum was also restricted. I was forced to give up my master key.)
Then, despite Meyer's paper being in the printed journal, the Darwinists, still rather than respond to it, suppressed it as best they could by disavowing it and removing it from the on-line version.
See also Washington Post, August 19, 2005; National Review, August 16, 2005; Washington Times, February 14, 2005 and Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2005.
So what was that again about, "One of its [the intelligent design movement's] hallmarks ... is the arrogant dismissal of carefully weighed scientific evidence"?!
Continued in part #3.
Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol)
Genesis 1:24-25. 24And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. 25God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.