Doug Axe Knows His Work Better Than Steve Matheson

When Stephen Meyer faced Steve Matheson and Art Hunt at Biola University last month, one scientist’s research was key in their debate: Doug Axe, Director of Biologic Institute. While there’s a good deal of back and forth on the subject, for the first time Dr. Axe has something of his own to say on the subject of his work. From Biologic Perspectives: The specific work to which Meyer, Matheson and Hunt referred [4] has added to the scientific case for functional protein sequences being extraordinarily rare within the whole space of possibilities. Matheson started off by arguing not that this deduction of extraordinary rarity is incorrect, but rather that it is irrelevant to the debate between Darwinism and Design. Axe Read More ›

The Fact-Free “Science” of Matheson, Hunt and Moran: Ridicule Instead of Reason, Authority Instead of Evidence

I was not in Los Angeles on May 14, when Stephen Meyer debated Stephen Matheson and Arthur Hunt at Biola University. But I have followed some of the blog war that preceded and followed the debate–a blog war that now includes Richard Sternberg and Laurence Moran. Since Matheson, Hunt and Moran are all tenured professors at institutions of higher learning, one might have expected a discussion based on reason and conducted in a collegial spirit. And since the discussion is about science, one might have expected lots of references to evidence published in the scientific literature. But Matheson, Hunt and Moran have abandoned reason and resorted to ridicule; and instead of citing evidence they expect us to bow to their Read More ›

Guest Blogger James Le Fanu: The Last Days of the Façade of Knowing

The philosopher Thomas Nagel in a memorable phrase laments ‘the ludicrous overuse of evolutionary biology to explain everything about life’ — where there is nothing too sensational, extraordinary or bizarre about the living world that cannot be accounted for as having evolved to be that way over billions of years by the same known materialistic process of natural selection acting on random genetic mutation. This façade of knowing cannot last, of course, and 20 years or so hence historians and commentators will rightly wonder how science could conceivably have endorsed so simplistic a theory to explain the billion fold complexities of the living world — and for so long. The impetus for that disillusionment can only come from within science Read More ›

Ayala: “For the record, I read Signature in the Cell”

Over at BioLogos, Professor Francisco Ayala has responded to Signature of Controversy — the collection of responses to criticisms of Signature in the Cell. As with the previous Ayala response at BioLogos, this one includes an introduction by Darrell Falk. The burden of Ayala’s response is to wax indignant that some of us have suggested, based on his original “response” to Signature in the Cell, that he had not actually read the book. Why would we suggest that? Well, because he so profoundly misrepresented Meyer’s thesis. Here’s what he said: “The keystone argument of Signature [sic] of the Cell is that chance, by itself, cannot account for the genetic information found in the genomes of organisms.” He goes on to Read More ›

Let’s Do the Math Again

Earlier today I criticized Calvin College biologist Steve Matheson’s incorrect view of “junk” DNA. Matheson had argued in February that the human genome contains about 190,000 introns (stretches of non-protein-coding DNA that interrupt protein-coding genes), of which “only a handful” had important functional roles. “How many? Oh, probably a dozen,” he wrote, “but let’s be really generous. Let’s say that a hundred introns in the human genome are known to have ‘important functional roles.’ Oh fine, let’s make it a thousand.”On the contrary, I pointed out that at least 90% of genes are alternatively spliced, meaning that 0.9 x 190,000 = 171,000 introns are involved in alternative splicing, an essential process that helps to ensure that the proper proteins are Read More ›