Ken Miller’s Only a Theory Misquotes Michael Behe on Irreducible Complexity of the Blood Clotting Cascade

Recently, I posted responses to some errors in Kenneth Miller’s book Only a Theory and promised to end the series with a look at Dr. Miller’s treatment of the irreducible complexity of the blood clotting cascade. (For those prior posts, see here and here.) Discussing Ken Miller’s treatment of the blood clotting cascade in Only a Theory first requires a little backstory. Last December 2008 and early January 2009, I published a series of 3 posts that responded to Ken Miller’s arguments, during the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, about irreducible complexity and the blood clotting cascade (BCC). (For the posts, see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.) Those posts showed that in his Dover trial testimony, Dr. Miller misrepresented Read More ›

Peppered Moth Now Reverts Back to Gray: Evidence of Oscillating Selection?

In the world of peppered moths, gray is the new black. The “peppered moth” became famous after textbooks started using it as an iconic example of evolution. It’s still employed in some current textbooks: Douglas Futuyma’s 2005 edition of Evolution states, “By the 1930s, however, examples of very strong selection came to light. One of the first examples was Industrial Melanism in the peppered moth (Biston betularia). … There is considerable evidence, obtained by several independent researchers, that birds attack a greater proportion of gray than black moths where tree trunks, due to air pollution, lack the pale lichens that would otherwise cover them.” (p. 393) While Futuyma is right to further note that “other factors also appear to affect Read More ›

Scientists Say Intelligent Designer Needed for Origin of Life Chemistry

In a recent ENV post, Stephen Meyer critiqued a May 2009 Nature paper co-authored by John D. Sutherland titled, “Synthesis of activated pyrimidine ribonucleotides in prebiotically plausible conditions.” The paper claimed to have produced RNA nucleobases under prebiotic conditions, but Meyer observed that it utterly failed to address the most crucial question in the origin of life (OOL): the origin of information, a topic Meyer addresses extensively in his new book Signature in the Cell. Other scientists agree with Meyer. Organic chemist Dr. Charles Garner recently noted in private correspondence that “while this work helps one imagine how RNA might form, it does nothing to address the information content of RNA. So, yes, there was a lot of guidance by Read More ›

Biomimicry and Intelligent Design Seeing Increased Media Coverage

Last year I wrote a series of posts about biomimetics (also called “biomimicry”), a term used to describe the way human engineers mimic nature in order to improve human technology. In fact, I recently blogged about how biomimicry of cuttlefish luminescence in new television technology further strengthens the case for intelligent design (ID) in biology. Even some members of the media cannot deny the relevance of biomimicry to the ID debate. A recent article in the London Telegraph was titled “Biomimicry: Why the World is Full of Intelligent Design.” It reported, “Forget human ingenuity — the best source of ideas for cutting-edge technology might be in nature, according to experts in ‘biomimicry’.” Of course the writer felt compelled to deny Read More ›

“Color-shifting cuttlefish inspire TV screens” – Intelligent Design Overtones?

One of the coolest animals on the planet has got to be the cuttlefish. They are notorious for their ability to change color to camouflage themselves, communicate with one-another, stand out and be intimidating, or confuse predators. According to a recent MSNBC article titled, “Color-shifting cuttlefish inspire TV screens,” scientists “are developing cuttlefish-inspired electronic ink and screens that use less than one-hundredth the power of traditional television screens.” According to the article, the screens are cheap to make and easy to assemble: “The screen is so easy to assemble, said Thomas, that he that is working with a Boston area science teacher to produce a version cheap enough, safe enough and simple enough for middle and high school students to Read More ›