How dare you talk intelligently about design!
You have to look quite hard to find out, in a dispassionate way, about Intelligent Design.
Generally, you will be told that those who suggest there might be an over-arching Intelligence behind the Earth and the Human Race, are simply Bible-bashing God-botherers, who have no scientific credibility at all.
But if you read what the founders of this critical movement within science actually say, you find something else altogether.
No! The world was not created in six days, with a day off on the seventh because the Creator was tired. (That description is purely symbolic.)
To show an interest in Intelligent Design, and the provocative work of Stephen Meyer and Michael Behe, is not to buy into simplified versions of Creation Myths as though they were reality.
Yet, it is easy to discover, that if you write about topics like this on Facebook or similar, you quickly invite the comment that you are a creationist, and Behe and Meyer are creationists too.
Try it and see!
The Consensus Reality
The consensus reality is that Darwin got it right. It asserts – as though there was proof – that the theory of 'Survival of the Fittest' has been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt, and all that is happening now is filling in the details of Evolutionary Theory.
To step outside of this consensus reality, and raise awkward questions, is to find yourself embroiled in a war of words and ideas that can quite literally destroy reputations and careers.
We considered an example here.
Darwin be Damned
The proponents of Intelligent Design are articulate, thoughtful and thought provoking. Their ideas deserve to be considered seriously and in their own terms. They should be taught in schools, not because they are correct, (they may or may not be) but because they are an alternative scientific viewpoint, to a very intriguing question: namely, "what is the origin of species?"
The current writer taught for many years and had a specific interest in the Sociology of Science. One of the Intelligent Design sites has a list of Questions for a Biology teacher. These simply are gold dust for developing critical thinking, whether there is any merit in the theory of Intelligent Design or not. And yet, in America at least, there have been court cases to ensure such questions are not asked (in this way) within school classrooms.
This is censorship and it is pernicious.
Below is one example of a really good question for intelligent people of any age to grapple with. It involves The Mousetrap Dilemma.
Michael Behe’s concept of irreducible complexity raises acute difficulties for Darwinism. Irreducible complexity is a 'package-deal” feature of many biological systems. Package deals are all-or-nothing deals. You can have the whole package or you can have none of it, but you can’t pick and choose pieces of it. In biology,especially at the molecular level, There exist molecular machines that cannot be simplified without losing the machine’s function. In other
Quote taken from Discovery.org and the full set of Questions to ask your biology teacher, can be found here.
Above - images of the 'flagellum machine' as found in textbooks
Behe, using an analogy for the complexity in the flagellum above, talks of the humble mousetrap. It is simple, but is designed with intelligence. It is hard to conceive of a mousetrap arising by chance.
Behe makes the point that a mousetrap - to work - needs a level of complexity that has to be designed in. Someone with a mind thought it into being first. Without this it will not work.
He draws the analogy with highly complex 'machine-like' aspects of cells (illustrated above). Neo-Darwinism as professed by Richard Dawkins and similar writers, says the Blind Watchmaker (random chance over incredibly long time periods) produce all the complexity we see in cells.
It is worth commenting, that Darwin had no idea at all that cells were as complex as we now know they are. You can search high and low on Google or in Biology text books, you will not find a single example of a complex cell (or indeed any cell at all, as they are all complex) arising from a molecular soup, under lab conditions. And yet the current writer is old enough to remember in Zoology lessons in the 1960's, being told that this would be achieved in a few years.
It has not been.
Debunking the mousetrap
The thought police are quickly deployed, if you have the temerity to mention Michael Behe in a Facebook debate. You will be told that John H. McDonald has shown that Behe's argument is simply wrong. McDonald does so here and you can read his argument in full if you wish.
It is closely reasoned and on the surface appears to confound Behe's proposition. And of course, it comes with the imprimatur of a University Department, meaning it is the work of a real scientist, not a specious (and secret) God follower.
McDonald suggests that a series of simple springs can be used to strangle mice. Gradually, they get more complex. The early ones are not very efficient, but the later ones become more so. Eventually we get the efficient killing machine like the one shown above.
But the argument he puts forward is simply wrong.
Read it for yourself and you will see. He states there have been simpler mousetraps and they have become more complex. But he makes a huge error in logic.
Mousetraps live in the universe of the market place. They are made to be sold (or are made to achieve an effect, killing mice). If they simply do not work efficiently, then no-one makes them or buys them. If they do not work - they will not 'survive'. Everyone will get a cat instead.
This destruction of McDonald's so called 'debunking' article does not mean Behe is right. But his work, and that of Meyer, is very carefully reasoned. Meyer in particular, writes beautifully, and sets out his arguments with great care and attention to scientific facts. But he is implicitly criticising the consensus reality - that Darwinism (not what Darwin actually wrote) is right and the final explanation of life on Earth. For this sin he is attacked relentlessly by the thought police and the academic establishment.
A beautiful example of the complexity of the operation of the cell can be seen below. The video lasts around 3 minutes.
Murray Morison is a novelist living in Crete
Posts can be reproduced in other blogs provided they are copied in full with a link back to this site.
When a teenage priestess, living 5,000 years ago in Ancient Egypt, connects with Rhory, an English schoolboy visiting the British Museum, she puts herself and him in grave danger.
Click here to learn more about M C Morison's time slip book
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