Researching Creation

January 06, 2010

Biological Change / ID in Scientific Literature


A recent development has been that some science journals are now publishing papers that deal with Intelligent Design.  Unfortunately, at least so far, they are only looking at the perspectives of the anti-IDists.  Most journals, when someone's idea is specifically being attacked, take the courtesy to alllow that person to respond, but so far that courtesy has not extended to IDists.

Nonetheless, it is interesting that ID has actually moved up the scale to the point where the journals realize that they have to grapple with these subjects at least a little bit.

One example is the Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology which recently published the paper, "Using Protistan Examples to Dispel the Myths of Intelligent Design".  The paper basically argues against Meyer's use of the Cambrian explosion as a launchpad for ID-based criticism of Darwinian evolution, and Behe's use of chloroquine-resistance for setting the limits of Darwinian evolution.

While the paper brings out several good points, the fact that the problems pointed out were so few and much to the side of the issue is contrasted with the name-calling they engage in, saying that Behe "demonstrates extraordinarily bad scholarship".  

Let me make this clear - NO MATTER WHAT YOUR POSITION IS, BEING WRONG IS NOT EQUIVALENT WITH BAD SCHOLARSHIP.  And there is NOWHERE in the paper where they level any charge against Behe which would be considered bad scholarship.  They showed that there was a paper contraindicative of his findings that was published two years before his book.  So what?  People miss papers all the time, some of theme intentionally so because they are bad.  Sometimes accidentally, considering the massive numbers of papers published every day.  Simply leaving out a paper and disagreeing with people is not bad scholarship.  Nor is publishing in books when a journal won't give you a fair hearing.  In addition, they characterized Behe's detailed responses to criticism as "brushing them off".  There is such a thing as a brush-off response.  Behe's "Waiting Longer for Two Mutations" is no such thing.

It's pretty sad that, rather than arguing over the general thesis of Behe's work - that transformations which require multiple simultaneous amino acid changes are nearly impossible by Darwinian mechanisms - they instead argue over whether chloroquine requires multiple simultaneous mutations.  This is missing the forrest because of the trees.  If their point was to criticize chloroquine-resistance as a base reference for the limits of evolvability, it was a decent paper.  If their point was, instead, to show that the ID project itself is misguided, they showed nothing of the sort.  The fact that they engaged in such namecalling throughout the paper simply made the paper a sad reflection on the state of science today.

The paper deals with other ideas as well, and possibly I will have time later to get into them.
















January 01, 2010

General / The Creation Research Society's Microscopy Laboratory


The Creation Research Society just put out a YouTube video with a bunch of images that they have taken in their microscopy laboratory.  Cool stuff!  I wish the video had a little more explanation attached, but nonetheless it is great-looking stuff.

Creation Research Society Microscopy laboratory video