Ken Miller Confuses Weak Assertions of Common Ancestry With Darwinian Evolution of Blood Clotting Cascade (Updated)

Update 8/7/13: Since this response to Ken Miller was posted, even stronger evidence of function for the beta-globin pseudogene has been reported in the scientific literature, further refuting Miller’s argument. See Dover Revisited: With Beta-Globin Pseudogene Now Found to Be Functional, an Icon of the “Junk DNA” Argument Bites the Dust. In his book Only a Theory, one of Dr. Kenneth Miller’s main response to Michael Behe’s arguments for the irreducible complexity of the blood clotting cascade is that sequence similarities between various blood clotting factors demonstrates that they share a common ancestry. Indeed, in his response to me on the irreducible complexity of the blood clotting cascade, Miller again conflates evidence for common ancestry with evidence for Darwinian evolution. Read More ›

Discover Magazine Fails With Miller’s Failure To Refute Behe

This latest installment of my ongoing responses to Ken Miller regarding the irreducible complexity of the blood clotting cascade will critically analyze Professor Miller’s citation of a 2008 paper co-authored by blood clotting expert Russell Doolittle. Citing to Doolittle, Miller claims that the lamprey lacks blood clotting components that Michael Behe, in Darwin’s Black Box, actually did describe as being part of the irreducibly complex core of the blood clotting cascade. The problem for Miller is that Doolittle’s conclusion was based on there allegedly being only one gene in the lamprey homologous to blood clotting factors V or VIII, but Doolittle’s reported data belies that conclusion: it shows there were multiple potential homologues for those factors–including at least two conspicuous Read More ›

Examples of Biomimetics in Recent Issue of Leading Scientific Journal

A few weeks ago I discussed how the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A devoted its April, 2009 issue to the topic of biomimicry. The issue was introduced with a review by Bharat Bhushan, trying to deflect any possibility of intelligent design overtones from biomimicry by repeatedly referring to the power of “nature” to “evolve” these technologically useful structures. I concluded that “Dr. Bhushan’s chosen blindness to the intelligent design implications of his field does not negate the many dozens of instances of biomimicry discussed in his article and other articles in this recent issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A.” What follows is a list of some of the fascinating examples Read More ›

Evolutionary Logic About Functions of the Appendix: Using Darwin to Disprove Darwin Proves Darwin

Almost two years ago, I blogged about how conclusive evidence of function had been discovered for the appendix. Now function has been discovered for the appendix. Again. A recent news article on actually frames the issue fairly well: The body’s appendix has long been thought of as nothing more than a worthless evolutionary artifact, good for nothing save a potentially lethal case of inflammation. Now researchers suggest the appendix is a lot more than a useless remnant. … In a way, the idea that the appendix is an organ whose time has passed has itself become a concept whose time is over. “Maybe it’s time to correct the textbooks,” said researcher William Parker, an immunologist at Duke University Medical Read More ›

PNAS Authors Resort to Teleological Language in Failed Attempt to Explain Evolution of Irreducible Complexity

Summary: A recent article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) purports to explain the evolution of a relatively small molecular machine in the mitochondria that transports proteins across a membrane, thereby allegedly refuting irreducible complexity. Phrases and assertions like “‘pre-adaptation’ to bacteria ahead of a need for protein import,” “parts accumulate until they’re ready to snap together,” “machineries emerge before there’s a need for them,” or intelligently “engineered” macromutations are part and parcel of this latest failed attempt by critics of intelligent design (ID) to answer Michael Behe’s argument of irreducible complexity. As would be expected, when evolutionists are forced to resort to such goal-directed and teleological language and mechanisms, this shows that inherently, blind and unguided Read More ›