Dual-Coding Genes “Nearly Impossible by Chance” — How Would Francisco Ayala Respond?

We mortals are easily impressed by palindromes — words or phrases that have the same spelling forwards and backwards. But try writing a sentence which has two different meanings: One meaning is gained when you start with one letter of the first word, and then an entirely different meaning is understood when you start reading with the second letter of the first word. Such a sentence would be most impressive, but what if such “sentences” existed in our DNA? Leading evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala recently wrote in Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that “Chance is an integral part of the evolutionary process.” Ayala then explained why he thinks Darwinian evolution is right and ID is wrong: “Biological Read More ›

Intelligent Design and the Death of the “Junk-DNA” Neo-Darwinian Paradigm

Two recent news articles are discussing the death of the junk-DNA icon of Neo-Darwinism. Wired Magazine has an article pejoratively titled “One Scientist’s Junk Is a Creationist’s Treasure” that emphasizes the positive point that intelligent design has made successful predictions on the question of “junk-DNA.” The article reports: [A] surprising group is embracing the results: intelligent-design advocates. Since the early ’70s, many scientists have believed that a large amount of many organisms’ DNA is useless junk. But recently, genome researchers are finding that these “noncoding” genome regions are responsible for important biological functions. The Wired Magazine article then quotes Discovery Institute’s Stephen Meyer explaining that this is a prediction of intelligent design that was largely unexpected under neo-Darwinian thought: “It Read More ›

Chronicle of Higher Education Promotes Misinformation about Guillermo Gonzalez’s Publication Rate

Let the rewriting of history begin. The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s blog recently carried a post claiming that Guillermo Gonzalez was denied tenure by Iowa State University (ISU) largely because “Mr. Gonzalez’s publication record has dropped off considerably since he was hired at Iowa State.” But this statement is a gross distortion of Dr. Gonzalez’s real publication record. A simple decrease in publications is meaningless without reference to expected standards of publication for teaching faculty, departmental publication standards, or the publication rates of similarly situated faculty. A fair assessment would ask how Gonzalez compared to other astronomers in his department since the year he joined ISU (2001), especially compared to those astronomers that have already been granted tenure. And the Read More ›

New Law Review Articles Discuss Teaching Evolution: Darwinist Law Professor Supports Censorship of ID Ideas

In a recent law review article in Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion, Stephen A. Newman, law professor at New York Law School, provides a wonderful example of how prevalent among some academics is the idea that it is acceptable and appropriate to censor intelligent design ideas. Newman writes: Consider the experience of two librarians who received copies of two intelligent design books, Darwin’s Black Box by Michael Behe and Darwin on Trial by Philip [sic] Johnson, as donations to their high school collections. When the librarians refused to put the books on the school library shelves, they were accused of censorship. In fact, exercising their professional judgment, they concluded that these books had “little or no value to our Read More ›

Does The Panda’s Black Box “mov[e] beyond mere name-calling and finger-pointing” or continue the Darwinian trend?

Does Panda’s Black Box really contribute something new or is it just more Darwinist “name-calling and fingerpointing”? A book has come out about intelligent design, published by Johns Hopkins University Press and titled The Panda’s Black Box, that promises on its dust-jacket that it “moves beyond mere name-calling and fingerpointing.” Does it live up to its promise? Let’s look at some of the statements in the book to find out. We’ll start with my favorite quote, by bioethicist Jane Maienschein: “There is no doubt, there is no evidence against evolution, and there is no controversy about the science of evolution.” Just keep repeating that to yourself over and over again until you believe it. Other examples include Scott F. Gilbert’s Read More ›