Science Daily reports: Researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) today announced the publication of several studies from the Sorcerer II Global Ocean Sampling Expedition (GOS) in PLoS Biology detailing the discovery of millions of new genes, thousands of new protein families and specifically the characterization of thousands of new protein kinases from ocean microbes using whole environment shotgun sequencing and new computational tools. This is extraordinary and exciting research, but what does any of this have to do with evolution news?
[Edited] Bilbo of Telic Thoughts … [references] an early, notable use of the term “intelligent design,” this one by one of the 20th century’s leading scientists, agnostic Fred Hoyle: On January 12th, 1982, Sir Fred Hoyle delivered the Omni Lecture at the Royal Institution, London, entitled “Evolution from Space,” which was later reprinted in a book by the same title … In it he discussed the overwhelming improbability of getting the enzymes needed for even the simplest form of life to function by chance. … The difference between an intelligent ordering, whether of words, fruit boxes, amino acids, or the Rubik cube, and merely random shufflings can be fantastically large, even as large as a number that would fill the Read More ›
Scott Adams of Dilbert fame asks: Suppose we found a blob on Mars that moved under its own power and wasn’t a carbon-based life form. How could we tell if it was intelligent? ….What if the blob authored a book? Don’t answer too quickly because it’s a trick question. Remember, a trillion monkeys with typewriters can write a book if you wait long enough. So let’s up the ante and say that the blob on Mars writes lots of different books. And let’s say it composes some music, designs some evening gowns, and paints some lovely pictures too. Now do you conclude that the blob is intelligent? It’s a trick question because atheists believe that the Big Bang did all Read More ›
The most recent Nobel prize for physics recently was awarded to John Mather and George Smoot for their contribution to the big bang theory of the origin of the universe. Smoot is a physicist at the University of California at Berkeley. He has no ties that I’m aware of to the Intelligent Design community, and I know that he doesn’t have ties to Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. However, like several other prominent contemporary physicists (e.g., Arno Penzias, Owen Gingerich, and Paul Davies), Smoot has made remarks that suggest he considers the best explanation for certain features of the natural world to be a teleological or purposeful cause–what we in the ID community refer to as intelligent design Read More ›
Recently Edward T. Oakes reviewed Richard Weikart’s From Darwin to Hitler: As Richard Weikart proves in his magnificently written monograph From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection released a veritable Pandora’s box of evil vapors and demonic spirits, which, once unleashed on an eager European public, poisoned discourse on war, race, sex, nationality, diplomacy, colonization, economy, and anthropology–especially, it would seem, in Germany. In a letter he wrote to the German Wilhelm Pryor in 1868, Darwin averred that “the support which I receive from Germany is my chief ground for hoping that our views will ultimately prevail,” a line that could well serve as the epigraph to Weikart’s riveting Read More ›