Do Car Engines Run on Lugnuts? A Response to Ken Miller & Judge Jones’s Straw Tests of Irreducible Complexity for the Bacterial Flagellum (Part I)

(Part I, Version 1.0) By Casey Luskin Copyright © 2006 Casey Luskin. All Rights Reserved. The entire article can be read here AbstractIn Kitzmiller v. Dover, Judge John E. Jones ruled harshly against the scientific validity of intelligent design. Judge Jones ruled that the irreducible complexity of the bacterial flagellum, as argued by intelligent design proponents during the trial, was refuted by the testimony of the plaintiffs’ expert biology witness, Dr. Kenneth Miller. Dr. Miller misconstrued design theorist Michael Behe’s definition of irreducible complexity by presenting and subsequently refuting only a straw-characterization of the argument. Accordingly, Miller claimed that irreducible complexity is refuted if a separate function can be found for any sub-system of an irreducibly complex system, outside of Read More ›

Media Overblows Claims of “Human Evolution”: Examining the Newest “Missing Link”

Recently I highlighted how the coverage of Tiktaalik revealed the fascinating phenomenon that only after discovering a new “missing link” will evolutionists acknowledge the previously paltry state of fossil evidence for evolution. This behavior is again witnessed in coverage of the discovery of Australopithecus anamensis fossils in Ethiopia. The media has also exaggerated and overblown claims that this evidence supports “human evolution.” The latest “missing link” is actually comprised of a few tooth and bone fragments of Au. anamensis, an ape-like species that lived a little over 4 million years ago. Incredibly, claims of “intermediacy” are based upon 2-3 fragmented canines of “intermediate” size and shape. This has now led to grand claims in the media of finding a “missing Read More ›

For Darwinian Evolution, It’s One Step Forward, Acknowledging Two Steps Back: Taking A Look at Tiktaalik

I love it when new “missing links” are discovered, because it’s then–and only then–that Darwinists admit how precious little evidence had previously existed for the evolutionary transition in question. When reports came out this week of an alleged example of a fossil representative of the stock that might have led from fish to tetrapods — Tiktaalik roseae — evolutionists finally came clean about the previous lack of fossil evidence for such a transition: “The relationship of limbed vertebrates (tetrapods) to lobe-finned fish (sarcopterygians) is well established, but the origin of major tetrapod features has remained obscure for lack of fossils that document the sequence of evolutionary changes.” (Edward B. Daeschler, Neil H. Shubin, and Farish A. Jenkins, “A Devonian tetrapod-like Read More ›

AAAS Fears Academic Freedom, Free and Open Inquiry, in Oklahoma

A great opinion article in Friday’s Tulsa Today reiterates a point I made in an ENV post last week: Darwinists oppose academic freedom legislation because they want to censor scientific evidence which some scientists think challenges biological evolution. In the article, Jonathan Bartlett critiques Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), who opposed the Academic Freedom Bill in Oklahoma: “First, the bill only covers scientific views and scientific information. Therefore, Intelligent Design can only be included if it is scientific. If Intelligent Design isn’t scientific, Leshner has nothing to worry about. If Intelligent Design is scientific, then Leshner is playing politics with science by trying to limit scientific views by law.” Bartlett is absolutely Read More ›

Support Evolution Research; But Don’t Support Anti-Scientific Attitudes

Last week reports stated that a Canadian evolutionist education expert, Brian Alters, was denied funding of a project entitled “Detrimental effects of popularizing anti-evolution’s intelligent design theory on Canadian students, teachers, parents, administrators and policymakers.” While I am skeptical that design proponents have a desire or capability to stifle evolution-based scholarship, I make my primary point: no one should have his or her funding denied simply because it would support an unpopular position among those holding the funding purse-strings. For this reason, pro-evolution and pro-ID research should both be absolutely supported. Individuals at the SSHRC had no right to deny funding to Dr. Alters’ research if their reason was that they disagreed with his strong pro-evolution viewpoints. But perhaps they Read More ›