Intellectual Insecurity at Iowa State?

Following his May 16 piece, Lawrence Selden has more incisive commentary on the Guillermo Gonzalez denial of tenure scandal at Iowa State University: Is the faculty at Iowa State University intellectually insecure? The statement of two years ago signed by 120 members of the faculty perhaps suggests that, especially when compared with the actions of other schools and faculties. I wonder if they are afraid that others will think they are backward country bumpkins for allowing someone who is interested in exploring intelligent design on the faculty. Harvard University is not ashamed of Owen Gingerich, who had this to say about Gonzalez’ book The Privileged Planet:

UV-Ray-Damage-Repairing Protein Evolution Proves Shy

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?

Hoyle Uses the Term “Intelligent Design” in a 1982 Work Making a Design Inference for the Origin of Life

[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 ›

Dilbert Designer Looks at Intelligent Blobs and the Big Bang

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 ›

Does George Smoot, Nobel Laureate, See Evidence of Design in the Cosmos?

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 ›