Friday, July 18, 2008


Present Chapeaus!

Ohhh! Ron Bailey really punctured the Discovery Institute contingent at Freedomfest!

The DI never admits defeat and never admits it has no response to any argument. In response to Michael Shermer pointing out that IDers have produced no science, Robert Crowther actually replies:

I guess he's not familiar with the Biologic Institute, or the lab research being done by scientists like Scott Minnich, Ralph Seelke and others.

Why, no, Shermer isn't and neither is anyone else for the simple reason that no peer-reviewed research has come out of there, certainly none that demonstrates the existence of any "Designer." Thus, we see that lameness is no bar to what the DI will throw up against the wall in hopes it will stick.

But the best that Crowther can do with Bailey is call the "Designer" he proposed to discuss -- super-intelligent purple space squids -- "purple people eaters" and huff that Bailey's tack "disrespected his audience," presumably by taking ID less than seriously. But nobody in the scientific community takes ID seriously as science, not even the IDers themselves, given that they have to propose a change in the definition of science in order to get it included. What was "disrespected" -- when the term is interpreted to mean "exposed as inane" -- was ID itself.

Leaving the DI speechless is an accomplishment few if any have achieved. My hat's off, sir!

It took them about two years before they even got their web page set up. They've had themselves removed from to make that less obvious, though. Their research web page is intentionally obscurantist, presenting publications by the various members of the institute, but not addressing which, if any, really make any attempt at (much less progress towards) demonstrating ID.
What's more, what research they have revealed had the embarrassing result of supporting evolution, rather than ID. As reported by Daniel R. Brooks, at a conference, Ann Gauger, a microbiologist and employee of the Biologic Institute:

... discussed "leaky growth," in microbial colonies at high densities, leading to horizontal transfer of genetic information, and announced that under such conditions she had actually found a novel variant that seemed to lead to enhanced colony growth. Gunther Wagner said, "So, a beneficial mutation happened right in your lab?" at which point the moderator halted questioning. We shuffled off for a coffee break with the admission hanging in the air that natural processes could not only produce new information, they could produce beneficial new information.

I'm still waiting, not for something as complicated as a research program or evidence for ID, but just an indication of what ID is. That is, something positive, rather than just "something, somewhere, somehow is wrong with evolutionary biology."

An answer to at least one of the 6 W's: Who, What, Where, When, Why, or How.

For example, what sort of thing is/was/could be (or not) intelligently designed? Molecules, organs, processes, individuals, communities, matter, space, laws, actions, relations, properties, ...?

Tom S.
Yeah John.

These guys are actually testing good old materialistic evolution, not some non-material design. They hope their experiments will fail, so they can claim that it was evolution that failed, and hence..ID!

Unfortunately evolution seems to be more clever than they are. Look at Behe on the stand and his paper with Snoke, which again shows the triumph of evolution over the attempts of IDers to stop it.

Tom S.:

Hey, you mean that its designed if it looks designed is not good enough for you as a positive test of ID? :)

Dave S.
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