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clipped from www.y-origins.com
Q.
IS THE ARGUMENT FOR DESIGN BASED ON SCIENTIFIC IGNORANCE?
A. But, today’s intelligent design arguments are based upon a growing body
of scientific evidence concerning everything from DNA to the laws of physics;
and upon our uniform and repeated experience.Design theorists offer extensive evidence that blind, material causes are
incapable of building irreducibly complex and information-rich systems.
They then point out that whenever we know how such systems arose such as
with an integrated circuit, a car engine, or a software program invariably
a designing engineer played a role. Design theorists then extend this uniform
experience to things like molecular machines and the sophisticated code
needed to build even the first and simplest of cells. An increasing number
of leading scholars attest that increased scientific knowledge about such
things has greatly strengthened the argument for design.

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The argument from irreducible complexity suggests that the removal of a single part from a system destroys the system’s function, ergo evolution is ruled out, ergo the system must have been designed by some external force. This is the basic argument advanced by Michael Behe and his followers. Below I counter some of the claims made by the proponents of irreducible complexity.

  • Sometimes the functions are changed so that they do something other than what they did prior to mutation. Such evolutionary development of irreducibly complex systems have been described in the scientific literature in great detail.
  • Even if irreducible complexity does preclude Darwinian evolution, the conclusion of design does not follow. Many other possible conclusions can be argued. It is an example of a failed argument from incredulity.
  • Systems have been considered irreducibly complex that might not be so. For example:
  • Michael Behe’s mousetrap example of irreducible complexity can be simplified by making some minor alterations to the mousetrap. Furthermore, the mousetrap may lose functionality as a mousetrap if a part is removed but then one might craft a fishhook from the spring, turn the nonfunctional mousetrap into a paper weight and so on.
  • The bacterial flagellum is not, in fact, irreducibly complex because it can lose many parts and still function, either as a simpler flagellum or as a secretion system.
  • The immune system example that Behe is so fond of is not irreducibly complex because the antibodies that mark invading cells for destruction might themselves hinder the function o fthose cells, allowing the system to function (although not as well) without destroyer molecules of the complement system.

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Seed Newsvine

Just a little tidbit I found on YouTube. If it weren’t so sad it might actually be funny. As the anti-evolutionists seek to introduce biblical mythology, call it what you will–creation science, intelligent design–into the classroom, they seem willing to turn back the clock to a time more reminiscent of the dark ages and the Inquisition than bring it to the light of the 21st century. Just because the human mind cannot conceive of the possibility of evolution does not mean that evolution is not true. It is all about evidence. The scientific FACTS based on evolutionary theory point to the validity of the theory. Other than a few scribbles in some sacred texts written 3000 years ago, and other than personal revelation (which is not rigorous evidence) there simply is no evidence to support what Richard Dawkins calls the God delusion. I think I’ll put my faith and trust in FACTS and not in the mythology of creation. If I wanted to put my faith in the mythology I would then be forced to choose from among thousands of FACTUALLY unsupported creation myths–what if I pick the wrong one? What then…

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Seed Newsvine

It is chilling to think how many potentially innocent people languish in US prisons falsely convicted of crimes. It is even more frightening ti think how many people who are falsely convicted face the ultimate penalty in the United States.This story tells the story of a man who spent 25 years of his life in prison in Illinois falsely convicted of the crime of rape and finally exonerated based on DNA evidence. Can you imagine spending that amount of time in prison knowing you were innocent?

Our system of justice is designed to protect the innocent even at the expense of letting some guilty go free to spare the falsely accused of facing punishment–even death.

I do not have a problem placing the guilty in prison. But I do have a problem with a system that ignores the facts in order to increase conviction rates. We must do a better job to insure that we are punishing the right people–NOT THE WRONG ONES.

clipped from www.reuters.com
CHICAGO (Reuters) – A man convicted of rape in 1982 was exonerated on Monday on the basis of DNA evidence, the 200th time in the United States that such technology has reversed a conviction, lawyers who worked for the man said.
“I want to get on with my life … have a life,” said Jerry Miller, 48, after an appearance in Cook County Circuit Court where a judge tossed out his conviction at the request of prosecutors.
The New York-based Innocence Project, which has pursued such cases, said it marked the 200th DNA exoneration since 1989. Miller, it said, served 24 years in jail before a parole. In all the 200 people exonerated by DNA evidence served 2,475 years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit, it said.
“They are just the tip of the iceberg. Nobody truly knows how many innocent people are in prison. Only a small fraction of cases involve evidence that could be tested for DNA and even among those cases, evidence is often lost or destroyed before it can be tested,” the group said.

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