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No Peer-Reviewed Support for ID? Darwinists Talk to the Hand

3744041515_5da4123793.jpgReading the prominent Darwin boosters puts me in mind of Señor Wences. He was the Spanish-born ventriloquist who won international affection for conducting conversations with his own hand. On his thumb and index finger, Wences used lipstick to paint a pair of lips, stuck on a couple of button eyes and a tiny wig and called the interlocutor, who spoke in a falsetto, "Johnny." To the delight of audiences on the Ed Sullivan Show, Johnny could speak even as Wences drank a glass of water or smoked a cigarette.

In their books and blogs, the Dawkins-Myers crew acidly dismiss the scientific case against Darwin, all echoing the same putdowns about "creationists" and "IDiots" with no record of peer-reviewed research, desperately hawking a God who "poofs" things into existence.

If you were naïve, you could assume that the Darwin team must have made the effort to acquaint themselves with the arguments for intelligent design. The truth is almost all the professional evolution advocates have in common that they are in conversation with an imaginary opponent, as crudely constructed as Johnny but without the charm. It's not the insults I mind but the shallowness they mask, the mulish refusal to genuinely confront the ideas you hate, that merits contempt.

The really sad part is that out in the real world, lots of otherwise thoughtful people don't get the gag. They fail to realize that Johnny, the fanciful but useful "IDiot," is being generated by that man with the Spanish accent and the magician's tuxedo.

If you doubt me, let's briefly review the excellent science reporting here just since Christmas or so by Casey Luskin and Jonathan M., noting recent peer-reviewed and other professional scientific publications. Some readers might be just returning from vacation and may have missed it. That would be a shame. Consider:

From the 2010 Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, in an article by researchers at UC Davis and the University of Michigan, comes further confirmation that "pseudogenes," a pillar of the argument against design, display multiple functions after all, notably in gene regulation. In the journal Synthese, a University of British Columbia philosopher demonstrates the limits, in principle, facing schemes of evolutionary self-organization. In Complexity, another peer-reviewed paper takes aim at gene duplication as the supposed royal road to generating new genetic functionality, citing insecticide resistance in blowflies among other illustrations. In Floriculture and Ornamental Biotechnology, a biologist at Germany's Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research focuses on a particular feature of some flowering planets as demonstrating, in Michael Behe's terms (cited explicitly along with other ID advocates), evidence that would make it virtually impossible to account for by Darwinian stepwise evolution. Another peer-reviewed paper by Dembski and Marks in the Journal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics joins the list of such publications coming out of the Evolutionary Informatics Lab. From the same source, led by computer scientists at Baylor University, comes a peer-reviewed journal article in BIO-Complexity, debunking a computer program supposed to simulate unguided evolution and widely hailed by Darwin apologists like Kenneth Miller. Finally, a paper in the International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics offers evidence that we live in an "engineered world."

Again, all this was reported in the space of hardly more than a week. During that week Jerry Coyne at Why Evolution Is True, who at least deserves credit for trying to grapple with Michael Behe recently, had plenty of time for snapping pictures of his own boots and posting photos of cute cats.

Now the question is whether any of the evolutionist bloggers, any at all, will take notice and explain to us seriously why it is responsible and respectable to dismiss all this paradigm-challenging research. I doubt they will. They're too busy chatting with Johnny.


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