Monday, August 10, 2009
The Best They Can Do
The Discovery Institute has announced in a press release (where else?) a new animation of the interior working of a cell -- in particular the copying of DNA and protein synthesis -- that supposedly "dramatically illustrates the evidence for intelligent design within DNA, as described in Stephen C. Meyer's book, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design." One has to wonder how original the video is.
More importantly, how well does it live up to this hype?
"This video is going to make things worse for critics of intelligent design," Dr. Meyer explains. "They will have more difficulty convincing the public that their eyes are deceiving them when the evidence for design literally unfolds before them in this animation."
See what evidence? It shows some interesting chemistry but there is no evidence of design pointed out. At most, those members of the public uneducated in science may look at it and go "gee whiz, that sure looks complex so I guess it must be designed." Is that the sum and "substance" of Meyer's book? ... Just an appeal to ignorance?
Here's a simple visual comparison I put together. If you compare the relevant parts of the two videos, you'll notice the similarity right away.
I recognized this immediately when I saw the DI's new video because the segment in question was also in the original cell animation in "Expelled" (before XVIVO threatened legal action). In fact, I contacted Drew Berry at the time to let him know about it. He informed me that his animation is actually owned by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and vowed to bring it to their attention. I wonder if HHMI ever looked into it?
Anyway, it's quite strange that the producers of "Expelled" decided to scrap their original animation of the cell in order to avoid copyright infringement, only to have the DI use parts of it later.