Mr. Dunford’s Concession: Antibiotic Resistance Is Irrelevant to the Intelligent Design/Darwinism Debate

Zoology graduate student and Darwinist Mike Dunford at Panda’s Thumb has replied to recent posts in which Dr. Jonathan Wells and I pointed out that Darwin’s theory is irrelevant to medical research on antibiotic resistance, and that antibiotic resistance itself is irrelevant to the debate about intelligent design and Darwinism. Remarkably, Mr. Dunford, referring to a recent advance in research on antibiotic resistance, concedes both points. He writes: The scientists worked in a lab. They artificially replicated a set of conditions (an antibiotic-rich environment) that occur in nature. Finally, they placed the bacteria into this environment – something that happens spontaneously outside the lab…We’ll pretend that anything that happens in a lab must be artificial selection, and that it is Read More ›

Dr. Wells’ Observation about the King’s Clothes

Dr. Jonathan Wells has been engaged in a blog debate with several Darwinists about a recent advance in research on bacterial resistance to antibiotics. In a recent post, Dr. Wells observed: According to a February 26, 2008 report in ScienceDaily, a team of French scientists has unraveled the structure of a protein that allows bacteria to gain resistance to multiple antibiotics. Frédéric Dardel and his colleagues crystallized two forms of the antibiotic-modifying enzyme acetyltransferase and showed that it has a flexible active site that can evolve to enable bacteria to break down various antibiotics and render them useless. The research may aid in the design of new antibiotics to deal with this form of resistance, which is becoming a serious Read More ›

Proving Dr. Novella Wrong: Enjoying Tennis in a Persistent Vegetative State

Dr. Steven Novella has laid down the gauntlet. In a recent post, Dr. Novella, a materialist who asserts that “every single prediction” of materialism has been proven by neuroscience, listed the predictions of his theory that the mind is caused entirely by the brain: If the mind is completely a product of the material function of the brain then: 1) There will be no mental phenomena without brain function. 2) As brain function is altered, the mind will be altered. 3) If the brain is damaged, then mental function will be damaged. 4) Brain development will correlate with mental development. 5) We will be able to correlate brain activity with mental activity — no matter how we choose to look Read More ›

Dr. Steven Novella’s Challenge: “Prove Me Wrong, Egnor”!

Dogmatic materialist Dr. Steven Novella, assistant professor of neurology at Yale, president and co-founder of the New England Skeptical Society, and my interlocutor in an ongoing debate on the mind-brain problem, has issued a challenge to me regarding his theory that the mind is caused entirely by matter: Prove me wrong, Egnor. A bit of background helps explain Dr. Novella’s pique. In an earlier post arguing for a pure materialist understanding of the mind, Dr. Novella made this astonishing claim: The materialist hypothesis – that the brain causes consciousness – has made a number of predictions, and every single prediction has been validated. Every single question that can be answered scientifically – with observation and evidence – that takes the Read More ›

Dr. Novella’s “Every Single Prediction” in the Mind-Brain Problem

Atheist-materialist Dr. Steven Novella is confident: all of our experiences and awareness arise from brain matter. There is no soul, no immaterial mind, separate from the brain itself. According to Dr. Novella, a neurologist at Yale, the debate is over, and all that is left to do is to eradicate a few stubborn pockets of resistance to the theory that the mind is merely a secretion of the brain, just as bile is a secretion of the liver. Dr. Novella declares: