Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Intelligent Design; wake me when there is some news.

I have been following Intelligent Design for nearly two years now and in that time nothing in the way of credible research or evidence has emerged that supports the claim that ID is scientific. I don't think I am alone in believing that ID has no future as a vehicle to undermine the teaching of evolution, especially after the Kitzmiller ruling, and I don't think there is much point in spending time on arguing with people who believe it still has some mileage. My initial assessment of ID in my earliest encounter with an ID proponent was that ID would be forgotten within five years, and that now looks to me an over-generous estimate.

So, unless Behe, Dembski et al. come up with something new, I doubt I shall be losing any sleep over the possibility of Intelligent Design taking over the world.


blipey said...

Personally, I never much feared ID's possible take over of the world. It never struck me as something with much sticking power.

What I did fear a bit was its ability to take over small pockets of the world for periods of time. Not that they are any more important than others, but I particularly was concerned when these small pockets of the world were ones in which I lived.

There will be nothing new, as we all know. Behe, Dembski and crew will be forgotten soon except as footnotes in encyclopedia entries. There will always be marginal charlatans proclaiming the death of science, but they will most certainly always be marginal.

It would take some sort of minor miracle to create a world-wide sensation of science-denying charlatans. But it could happen so attention must be paid. Fortunately, as your post title states, we'll be awakened when there is news. That's the one thing we can count on: the charlatans will let us know they're coming with an avalanche of press releases.

Alan Fox said...

I don't think I can add anything except well said, Blipey!

Kristine said...

What Blipey said. They’re influential as far as they manipulate people, who then vote. They’re carny barkers, destined to become the answer to a trivia question, but people get snookered by their tricks.

Alan Fox said...

Also the more gullible often seem to live in cultural isolation. I am often flabbergasted by the parochial and cultural assumptions that pass unchallenged at UD, for example.

I would have hoped the internet would broaden people's knowledge of alternative views and cultures, but, sadly it often seems to be another way of exploiting people's prejudice and naivety.

Alan Fox said...

Or trying that in E-prime:

Cultural isolation traps the more gullible. Unchallenged parochial and cultural assumptions at UD often flabbergast me.

The internet should broaden knowledge but exploiters use it to reinforce people's prejudice and naivety.

R0b said...

Alan: "Wake me when there is some news"

Okay, Rip Van Winkle.

Joe G said...

Guillermo Gonzalez, one of the authors of “The Privileged Planet” was a (Carl) Sagonite. However the book refutes Sagan.
It was Gonzalez’s paper “Wonderful Eclipses,” Astronomy & Geophysics 40, no. 3 (1999): 3.18- 3.20), that peaked the book’s co-author’s (Jay Richards) interest.
Gonzalez was part of a team of scientists working for NASA on a project trying to determine whether or not there is life “out there”.
At least one peer-reviewed paper (G. Gonzalez, D. Brownlee, and P.D. Ward, “The Galactic Habitable Zone: Galactic Chemical Evolution”, Icarus 152 (2001):185-200) came from that scientific research.

Other G. Gonzalez papers that were the basis of the book (just skimming through the references):
“Stars, Planets, and Metals”, Reviews of Modern Physics 75 (2003)101-120
“Rummaging Through Earth’s Attic for Remains of Ancient Life”, Icarus 160 (2002) 183-196
“Is the Sun Anomalous?”, Astronomy and Geophysics 40, no. 5 (1999):5.25-5.29
“Are Stars with Planets Anomalous?”, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society] 308 (1999): 447-458
“Impact Reseeding During the Late Heavy Bombardment”, Icarus 162 (2003):38-46
“Parent Stars of Extrasolar Planets III: p Cancri Revisited”, Astronomy and Astrophysics 339 (1998): L29-L32
“Stellar Atmospheres of Nearby Young Solar Analogs”, New Astronomy 7 (2002): 211-226

Then we havethe design inference in biological peer-review:

Extreme functional sensitivity to conservative amino acid changes on enzyme exteriors


Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds

Anti-IDists tried to counter that claim by saying the scientist involved does not share the same inference as IDists do. However that counterclaim now stands refuted:

I have in fact confirmed that these papers add to the evidence for ID. I concluded in the 2000 JMB paper that enzymatic catalysis entails "severe sequence constraints". The more severe these constraints are, the less likely it is that they can be met by chance. So, yes, that finding is very relevant to the question of the adequacy of chance, which is very relevant to the case for design. In the 2004 paper I reported experimental data used to put a number on the rarity of sequences expected to form working enzymes. The reported figure is less than one in a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion. Again, yes, this finding does seem to call into question the adequacy of chance, and that certainly adds to the case for intelligent design.--Douglas Axe

ID in the UK

ID is also becoming so big in Europe that some imbeciles wrote a lie-filled document to try to stop it.

The ONLY way to stop ID is to actually support the anti-ID position. However it is obvious that will never happen. I have been waiting for decades for someone to come up with a way to scientifically test the notion of universal common descent but nothing has been put forward.