From: Jack Haas (
Date: Thu Sep 25 2003 - 09:27:27 EDT

  • Next message: Peter Ruest: "Re: RFEP & ID"

    Re: RFEP & IDGreetings:

    I insert below a section from a new book by a recent addition to the ID =
    group. He offers some ideas related to the question of ID =

    Jack Haas

       From: Cornelius G. Hunter, Darwin's Proof: The Triumph of Religion =
    over Science (2003): 122-123.

    ".. technical journals are full of research that is based on the design =
    premise. The design perspective opens up a wide range of research areas =
    and predictions in the life sciences. One such area is design topology. =
    For example, very different amino acid sequences can make for the same =
    protein. Hemoglobin, for instance, can be produced from sequences that =
    have practically no more similarity than would be expected from two =
    random sequences. And within the family of all globin proteins, there is =
    a great variety of sequences. These sequences form clusters. What sort =
    of region is defined by the set of all globin sequences? Is there a =
    large, single region in sequence space that contains all these sequences =
    and more? Alternatively, are these clusters connected by narrow bridges =
    such that the known clusters constitute the majority of the region? Or =
    do the clusters form isolated islands? Recent experiments and analysis =
    argue against the large region model, but there is much more to learn, =
    and the results will be relevant to protein design and the biotechnology =

    A related area of research involves the question of why those different =
    sequences are used. Evolutionists typically view them as the result of =
    random changes. In other words, there is no functional reason for the =
    differences. This is typical for evolutionary theory. Rather than search =
    for a function, evolutionary theory quickly concludes that a design is =
    vestigial or perhaps the result of neutral evolution. In this way =
    evolutionary theory, not ID, stifles research. The result is an =
    "evolution of the gaps" theory. Gaps in our knowledge are explained as =
    the result of evolution. If we have no knowledge of a function, then the =
    unguided process of evolution created it. But this explanation is =
    steadily pushed into the corner as our knowledge increases and we =
    continue to find new functions. As we saw in chapter 4, for example, =
    Robert Wiedersheim claimed in 1895 that eighty-six organs in the human =
    body were vestigial, but twentieth-century biomedical research has found =
    functions for practically all of them.=20

    ID will encourage the search for function at the morphological as well =
    as the molecular level. In our globin example, the question is why all =
    those different sequences are used. This is not an easy question, for it =
    will require an understanding of the workings of the entire organism, or =
    at least an entire cell. At the molecular level it appears that very =
    different sequences could be freely substituted, but at the cellular =
    level it could be that the sequence differences are there for a reason. =
    This research will help us understand the molecular-to -morphological =
    connection, a key to a deeper understanding of biology.=20

    Designs that are repeated in otherwise different species are not a =
    problem for design-based research. There are plenty of such examples in =
    biology, and evolution must liberally make use of convergent evolution =
    as an explanatory device, An outstanding example is the marsupial =
    -placental conv ergence in mammals that we saw in chapter 4. Evolution =
    must explain the unlikely set of duplicated designs as evolution =
    repeating itself. On different continents and over millions of years, =
    the blind forces of evolution. are supposed to have found practically =
    identical solutions over and over. These repeated designs are naturally =
    explained by ID, without having to resort to just-so stories. At last we =
    will have a framework that allows searchers to explore function and =
    design without having to force-fit results into an unlikely scheme.=20

    Similarly, design -based research can readily accommodate small-scale =
    evolution. Instead of having to imagine that small-scale change must =
    somehow extrapolate to massive amounts of large-scale change (in spite =
    the empirical evidence), we will now be able to see it for what it is =
    small-scale change can be viewed as a mechanism for adaptation and =
    preservation. And it also can be seen as a great opportunity. Scientists =
    n research and implement small-scale change for the good of humanity. =
    Higher crop yields, freeze- and pest-resistant crop varieties, =
    ecological control and habitat recovery, vaccines and healthier =
    livestock are a few examples of what can result when our research =
    focuses on the productive uses of small-scale change.=20

    Indeed, much of today's life science research work focuses on design and =
    function. Because Darwin's theory of evolution is dominant, the work =
    into this paradigm, but this is not the natural paradigm. Much of our =
    current life science work fits better into the design paradigm. Though =
    does not reject the evolutionary process, there are substantial =
    difference between the two paradigms. Where evolution will accept and =
    even accept for nonfunction, ID will look for function. Where evolution =
    will explain away the obvious designs in nature as chance products of =
    natural election, ID will simply model the design as design."=20


       ----- Original Message -----=20
       From: Howard J. Van Till=20
       To: Steve Petermann ; michael roberts ;
       Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2003 8:20 AM
       Subject: Re: RFEP & ID

       Michael had asked:

    >> Can anyone give me one example where ID has been fruitful in =
    science? I
    >> cannot think of one example.

       Steve answered:

    > Sure. It has forced Darwinists to look a lot work harder at how
    > microbiological evolution works. Any challenge to current theory in =
    > creates an impetus for new creativity.=20

       Two comments:

       1. That's a remarkably generous way of scoring this game. Your are =
    saying, in effect, that even the nuttiest of proposals may be given =
    credit for stimulating responsible scientists to do better science. =
    True, perhaps, but that doesn't make the nutty proposal any less nutty, =
    does it?

       2. I don't think you actually answered Michael's question. I think his =
    question was, Can anyone give me an instance in which ID-based research =
    produced a uniquely ID-grounded explanation that could be held up as a =
    better scientific explanation than those contributed by conventional =

       Howard Van Till

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