Re: [asa] Michael Denton's Books

From: Robert Schneider <rjschn39@bellsouth.net>
Date: Sun Dec 10 2006 - 18:43:47 EST

Denton writes:

"> We speculate that it is unlikely that the folds will prove to be the
> only case in nature where a set of complex organic forms is
> determined by natural law, and suggest that natural law may have
> played a far greater role in the origin and evolution of life than is
> currently assumed."

Bob's comment: Assumed by whom? The IDers?

I'm encouraged by Denton's changes of mind. They reveal someone who is
willing to let the evidence take him where it may lead, even if it means
abandoning previously held positions and assumptions. This is just what one
would expect of any scientist who is not locked into an ideology about
science.

From a theistic and theological perspective I see no reason to assume that
divine intervention is necessary to bring life from non-life; one could just
as well assume that a natural process for doing so is part of God's design
of the created order.

Pim, thanks for posting the links to the reviews of Denton's work by
Korthof; they are useful overviews..

Bob

----- Original Message -----
From: "PvM" <pvm.pandas@gmail.com>
To: "Don Nield" <d.nield@auckland.ac.nz>
Cc: "David Opderbeck" <dopderbeck@gmail.com>; <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Sunday, December 10, 2006 3:53 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Michael Denton's Books

> Yes, Denton has moved away from his original book as discussed by
> Korthof. In a recent paper, Denton focuses on what he calls 'platonic
> forms'
>
> http://epsc.wustl.edu/~spozgay/home/Denton,Marshall,Legge-Jour.Theo.Biol.2002.pdf
> and
> http://www.estovest.net/ecosofia/lawsofform.html
>
> ---Begin quote-----
> However, recent advances in protein chemistry suggest that at least
> one set of biological forms -the basic protein folds- is determined by
> physical laws similar to those giving rise to crystals and atoms. They
> give every appearance of being invariant platonic forms of precisely
> the type that the pre-darwinian biologists were seeking.
> -----end quote-----
>
> Evolution by natural law....
>
> ----Begin-----
> We speculate that it is unlikely that the folds will prove to be the
> only case in nature where a set of complex organic forms is
> determined by natural law, and suggest that natural law may have
> played a far greater role in the origin and evolution of life than is
> currently assumed.
> ----End quote----
>
> Science is no friend of the IDT movement
>
> Protein and RNA forms are an interesting topic. For instance,
> researchers have found that RNA protein forms form a well connected
> structure where other RNA forms are connected via neutral pathways.
> This means that neutral evolution plays/played an important role in
> RNA. Work by researchers on proteins and holey adaptive landscapes has
> shown similar effects.
>
> Check out the work by Gavrilets for instance. Fascinating stuff that
> counters much of the assertions by IDers about protein landscapes.
>
> On 12/10/06, Don Nield <d.nield@auckland.ac.nz> wrote:
>> It should be noted that about 20 years have passed since the publication
>> of "Evolution, a Theory in Crisis" and Denton himself has answered some
>> of his old arguments. One should read Denton's second book, "Nature' s
>> Destiny", and especially his chapter in the book " Uncommon Dissent"
>> edited by Dembski..
>> Briefly, Denton now regrets the choice of title -- it should have been
>> "Darwinism, a Theory in Crisis". Denton also regrets the spin that the
>> ID movement headed by Phillip Johnson has put on the book, and he has
>> dissociated himself from the Discovery Institute of which he was
>> formerly a Fellow.
>> Recent advances in molecular biology have convinced Denton that small
>> changes at the genetic level can explain certain major changes at a
>> higher level. Crucially, Denton now sees macromolecular structures as
>> self-organizing lawful forms rather than as mechanisms.
>> Don
>

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Received on Sun, 10 Dec 2006 18:43:47 -0500

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