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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Thursday, October 14, 2004


Evolution vs. Creationism: Round 7

As promised, I have read the three articles that have resulted from Meyer's peer-reviewed ID paper. My initial conclusion regarding these re-re-responses is that the specifics of the evolutionary science are going to go over most people's heads (including my own). However, I do think that a few things can be learned from a brief discussion of the rather uncivil discourse.

First off, after reading all of this back and forth it becomes painfully obvious that, considering the huge amount of data in the literature, each of us has three options:
1) Figure you're never going to understand the science and that you'll never trust either side and just forget the whole thing.
2) Believe whichever side you already agree with and call it a day.
3) Disbelieve every side and delve into the literature yourself.

If you're up for #1 you're probably not reading this right now...and #2 isn't all that great either. I suppose there is a fourth option that I'm going to take. The fact is that few of us have the time for #3. However, I do think I can make this last option work. If you're up for it, try this.

The ID people have critiqued a number of the Darwin people's references. So, let's just take the ID people at the word and assume that their critiques are valid. We can then busy ourselves with what the ID people did not say and see if those unmentioned references shed any light on the situation. Obviously, this same exercise could be done in the other direction, looking at Meyer's references that The Panda's Thumb article ignores. However, since I am far more skeptical of ID than of Evolution, I'm going to do it my way. If anyone it out there who might be on the other side of the fence (I'm thinking of you, David =)) please feel free to take the opposite approach.

Interestingly, the ID people have picked apart all of The Panda's Thumb article's references concerning "Morphological novelty" (the second set of boxed references in the paper). They have, on the other hand, totally ignored the first set of references in the paper under the heading "The origin of novel genes/proteins".

So here's the new plan. I'm going to read at least a few of these neglected papers and ask whether or not they satisfactorily support the claims made in The Panda's Thumb article.

I should also reiterate, however, that although I am going to engage in this little academic exercise I still see absolutely zero evidence to support the Intelligent Design 'theory.' Meyer's paper, and Behe's for that matter, are full of negative reasoning. The point out the problems with Evolution and the poof, a miracle occurs. So...whether or not it turns out that their criticisms of Evolution are correct, they have yet to prove their own theory...or even provide any data whatsoever.

If you are interested in reading these papers, I'll save you the time of looking them all up (although you will likely not have access to any number of them unless you're at a research institution). Here are the links to PubMed:

Patthy: Modular assembly of genes and the evolution of new functions
Ranz et al: Origin and evolution of a new gene...
Seffernick and Wackett: Rapid evolution of bacterial catabolic enzymes...
Copley: Evolution of a metabolic pathway...
Harding et al.: 'Antifreeze' glycoproteins...
Johnson et al.: Origins of the 2,4-dinitrotoluene pathway
Long et al.: The origin of new genes...
Nurminsky et al.: Chromosomal effects of rapid gene evolution...
Prijambada et al: Emergence of nylon oligomer degradation enzymes...

As for when I'll get around to reading these...I really don't know. Please be patient (because I'm sure you're all just foaming at the mouth with anticipation). I'll get to it when I can.


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