Should ID researchers be “marked down” for defending intelligent design?

Here’s an interesting post from Evolution News about a teacher in New Zealand who grades her students down if they try to discuss intelligent design in class.


Biology lecturer Alison Campbell at the University of Waikato in Hillcrest, New Zealand, exemplifies a mindset that is tragically common in academia. She openly boasts that if a student were to use standard ID arguments such as the irreducible complexity of the bacterial flagellum, that student would be “marked down”:

If, for example, a student were to use examples such as the bacterial flagellum to advance an ID view then they should expect to be marked down; that particular creationist trophe has been well & truly discredited.

And in fact in reading over that post by Alison Campbell and the comments, it’s not clear that she has read anything by an ID theorist. She quotes from a an anti-ID philosopher and a anti-ID judge to argue against intelligent design. She doesn’t interact with any intelligent design books, by quoting pro-ID  arguments and citing page numbers. She doesn’t mention a single research paper written by an ID theorist. It’s just something that an English teacher could have written. She has to keep everything very vague in that post. “There is lots of evidence against ID, so let me quote a philosopher”. “There is lots of evidence against ID, so let me quote a judge”. Neither of those authorities has any training in biology. Does Alison Campbell? Let’s see.

Here are some of her recent publications:

Campbell, A. 2009 You let them talk in lectures? Student discussion as formative assessment . In: Meyer, Luanna H., Davidson, Susan, Anderson, Helen, Fletcher, Richard, Johnston, Patricia M., Rees, Malcolm(eds) Tertiary assessment & higher education studnet outcomes: policy, practice & research. Wellington : Ako Aotearoa pp91-96.

Campbell, A., Künnemeyer, R. and Prinsep, M. R. 2008. Staff perceptions of higher education science and engineering learning communities. Research in Science & Technological Education, Vol 26, No 3, pp279-294.

Campbell A. 2008. The creep of creationism – is it relevant to teaching earth sciences? Geological Society of New Zealand (Inc) 146, pp 23-26.

Campbell, A. 2007. Is intelligent design a scientific alternative to the theory of evolution? New Zealand Science Teacher 116 pp11-12.

Campbell, Alison. (2005). Intelligent Design? Radio New Zealand ‘Our Changing World’ interview 6th October.

Otrel-Cass, Kathrin, Earl, Kerry, Campbell, Alison, Cooke, Penelope. (2005). Evolution for Teaching Website evaluation report. NZ Science Teacher, Number 109, pp 27-29.

Buntting, Cathy, Coll, Richard Kevin and Campbell, Alison. 2005. Student views of concept mapping use in introductory tertiary biology classes. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education. ISSN: 1573-1774 (Online).

Zepke Nick, Leach Linda, Prebble Tom, Campbell Alison, Coltman David, Dewart Bonnie, Gibson Maree, Henderson Judy, Leadbeater Jenny, Purnell Sue, Rowan Linda, Solomon Nika and Wilson Stewart. 2005. Improving tertiary student outcomes in the first year of study. Teaching & Learning Research Initiative.

Campbell, Alison. (2004). Book review: The flight of the huia. New Zealand Journal of Zoology, Vol.31, pp 379-380.

Campbell A, Cooke P, Earl K and Otrell-Cass K. (2004). A New Zealand “Evolution for Teaching” Online Resource. Teaching EARTH SCIENCES Vol 29, Number 3/4, pp 31-32.

Campbell, A.M., P. Cooke, K. Cass & K. Earl (2004) “Evolution for Teaching”.

I don’t see a single publication in experimental science in there. She doesn’t do research. She has no research publications. But if a genuine experimental biologist came into her classroom, that person would be marked down for disagreeing with her religion – the religion of materialism. The assumption of naturalism. Both of which are easily demonstrated as false simply by looking at the experimental evidence supporting the Big Bang theory, e.g. – redshift, cosmic microwave background radiation, light element abudnances, etc. But some people don’t let the science inform their worldview. They just write about teaching and then mark down actual experimental biologists who question their faith commitments to materialism and naturalism.

Here are some papers from Biologic Institute researchers:

D’Andrea-Winslow L, Novitski AK (2008) Active bleb formation is abated in Lytechinus variegatus red spherule coelomocytes after disruption of acto-myosin contractility. Integrative Zoology 3: 106-113. doi:10.1111/j.1749-4877.2008.00086.x

Axe DD, Dixon BW, Lu P (2008) Stylus: A system for evolutionary experimentation based on a protein/proteome model with non-arbitrary functional constraints. PLoS ONE 3: e2246. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002246

Sternberg RV (2008) DNA codes and information: Formal structures and relational causes. Acta Biotheoretica doi:10.1007/s10441-008-9049-6. PMID: 18465197

Gonzalez G (2008) Parent stars of extrasolar planets – IX. Lithium abundances. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Online Early Articles doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13067.x

Duren RW, Marks II RJ, Reynolds PD, Trumbo ML (2007) Real-time neural network inversion on the SRC-6e reconfigurable computer. IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks 18: 889-901. PMID: 17526353

Gonzalez G, Laws C (2007) Parent stars of extrasolar planets VIII. Chemical abundances for 18 elements in 31 stars. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 378: 1141-1152. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.11867.x

Gravagne IA, Marks II RJ (2007) Emergent behaviors of protector, refugee and aggressor swarms. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics 37: 471- 476. PMID: 17416173

Weinschenk JJ, Combs WE, Marks II RJ (2007) On the avoidance of rule explosion in fuzzy inference engines. International Journal of Information Technology and Intelligent Computing 1, #4.

Gonzalez G (2006) Condensation temperatures trends among stars with planets. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters 367: L37-L41. doi:10.1111/j.1745-3933.2005.00136.x

Gonzalez G (2006) The sun’s interior metallicity constrained by neutrinos. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters 370 : L90–L93.

Gonzalez G (2006) The chemical compositions of stars with planets: A review.
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 118: 1494-1505 (invited review paper). doi:10.1086/509792

Gonzalez G (2005) Habitable zones in the universe. Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres 35: 555-606. doi:10.1007/s11084-005-5010-8

Keller D, Brozik JA (2005) Framework model for DNA polymerases. Biochemistry 44: 6877-6888. PMID: 15865433

Shapiro JA, von Sternberg R (2005) Why repetitive DNA is essential to genome function. Biological Reviews 80: 227-250. Review. PMID: 15921050

von Sternberg R, Shapiro JA (2005) How repeated retroelements format genome function. Cytogenetic and Genome Research 110: 108-116. PMID: 16093662

Axe DD (2004) Estimating the prevalence of protein sequences adopting functional enzyme folds. Journal of Molecular Biology 341: 1295-1315. PMID: 15321723

Lu H, Macosko J, Habel-Rodriguez D, Keller RW, Brozik JA, Keller D (2004) Closing of the fingers domain generates motor forces in the HIV reverse transcriptase. Journal of Biological Chemistry 279: 54529-54532. PMID: 15385563

Keller D, Swigon D, Bustamante C (2003) Relating single-molecule measurements to thermodynamics. Biophysical Journal 84: 733-738. PMID: 12547757

von Sternberg R, Cumberlidge N (2003) Autapomorphies of the endophragmal system in trichodactylid freshwater crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Eubrachyura). Journal of Morphology 256: 23-28. PMID: 12616572

Bustamante C, Keller D, Oster G (2001) The physics of molecular motors. Accounts of Chemical Research 34: 412-420. PMID: 11412078

D’Andrea-Winslow L, Strohmeier G, Rossi B, and Hofman P (2001) Identification of a Na/K/2Cl cotransporter (NKCC) in sea urchin coelomocytes: microfilament dependent surface expression mediated by hypotonic shock and cAMP. Journal of Experimental Biology 204: 147-156. PMID: 11104718

Gonzalez G, Brownlee D, Ward P (2001) The Galactic Habitable Zone: Galactic chemical evolution. Icarus 152: 185-200. doi:10.1006/icar.2001.6617

Axe DD (2000) Extreme functional sensitivity to conservative amino acid changes on enzyme exteriors. Journal of Molecular Biology 301: 585-595. PMID: 10966772

von Sternberg R (2000) Genomes and form. The case for teleomorphic recursivity.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 901: 224-236. PMID: 10818573

Wuite GJ, Smith SB, Young M, Keller D, Bustamante C (2000) Single-molecule studies of the effect of template tension on T7 DNA polymerase activity. Nature 404: 103-106. PMID: 10716452

Axe DD, Foster NW, Fersht AR (1998) A search for single substitutions that eliminate enzymatic function in a bacterial ribonuclease. Biochemistry 37: 7157-7166. PMID: 9585527

Axe DD, Foster NW, Fersht AR (1996) Active barnase variants with completely random hydrophobic cores. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 93: 5590-5594. PMID: 8643620

Gauger AK, Goldstein LS (1993) The Drosophila kinesin light chain. Primary structure and interaction with kinesin heavy chain. Journal of Biological Chemistry 268: 13657-13666. PMID: 8514798

Notice any differences between Alison’s papers and these papers? That’s right! These papers are science. Alison’s papers are not science. They are secular-left education policy. But all of these real scientists from Biologic would be “marked down” in her classroom – because philosophers and judges say that they must be marked down. Why assess the complicated science when you can just impose your religion by force on dissenters? It worked for the Catholic Church against Galileo. Maybe Alison doesn’t understand experimental science? Maybe ID papers are just too complicated for her to understand?

Since Alison mentions the bacterial flagellum by name, I thought that it might be useful for us to see a popular-level article on the bacterial flagellum written by an anonymous graduate student of biology. He has to be anonymous because of religious people like Alison who will mark him down for doing actual science that contradicts her faith. (I know who he is)


As I mentioned in my previous essay, the synthesis of the bacterial flagellum is orchestrated by genes which are organised into a tightly ordered cascade in which expression of one gene at a given level requires the prior transcription of another gene at a higher level.

In Salmonella, the flagellar system has three classes of promoters — Class I, Class II, and Class III. This sequential transcription is coupled to the process of flagellar assembly. Class I contains only two genes in one operon, namely FlhD and FlhC. Class II consists of 35 genes across eight operons. These genes include those involved in the biosynthesis of the hook-basal-body and other components of the flagellum and export apparatus, as well as the regulatory genes FliA and FlgM. Those genes which are involved in the synthesis of the filament are controlled by virtue of the Class III promoters.

The Class I promoter is required to drive the expression of the enteric master regulator, FldH4C2. The Class II promoters are subsequently turned on by this master regulator in association with the sigma factor, σ70. The Class II promoters are responsible for the gene expression of the hook-basal-body subunits and its regulators, including σ28 (encoded by a gene called FliA) and its anti-sigma factor, FlgM. The sigma factor σ28 is, in turn, required in order to activate the class III promoters. Before the construction of the Hook-Basal-Body has been completed, one obviously does not want the flagellin monomers to be prematurely expressed. Thus, in order to inhibit the σ28, its anti-sigma factor FlgM keeps it away from the RNA polymerase holoenzyme complex. When, finally, the Hook Basal Body has been completed, the anti-sigma factor FlgM is secreted, remarkably, through the flagellar substructures which are produced by the expression of the Class II hook-basal-body genes. The Class III promoters are then finally turned on by the sigma factor σ28, and the flagellum is completed. These Class III promoters are responsible for the expression of flagellin monomers, the chemotaxis system and the motorforce generators. In all, more than 50 genes are necessary for flagellar self-assembly to take place.

The flagellar apparatus can basically be divided into two key components: the secretion system and the axial structure. As discussed in my previous piece, the key components of the axial structure are FlgG for the rod, FlgE for the hook, and FliC for the filament. Each of those has its own respective cap protein, by virtue of which it assembles. The cap protein for FlgG is FlgJ; for FlgE, it is FlgD; and for FliC, it is FliD.

The cap protein FliD remains at the tip of the filament in the finished product. Some other components of the axial structure — FlgB, FlgC and FlgF — connect the rod and MS ring complex. The hook and filament are connected by FlgK and FlgL.

The structural foundation of the flagellar apparatus is the MS ring complex. When the C ring and C rod attach to the cytoplasmic surface of the M ring, the complex begins to secrete flagellar proteins.

One particularly remarkable feature of the flagellar assembly is the construction of the rod structure (which is built through the peptidoglycan layer with the assistance of cap protein FlgJ). The outer membrane represents a road block such that it cannot continue to grow. Incredibly, the outer ring complex actually cuts a hole in the membrane to allow the hook to continue to grow beneath the FlgD scaffold until it reaches a specified critical length, upon which the substrates which are being secreted switch from the rod-hook mode to flagellin mode. FlgD is then replaced by hook associated proteins (or HAPs) and the filament continues to grow. This, of course, only works correctly in the presence of the cap protein FliD; otherwise the flagellin monomers are lost.

Alison thinks that that is creationism. Notice how often the Bible was cited? That’s right. It wasn’t. This guy is not even a young-earther, and he leans towards common descent, too. (UPDATE: He just post a pack of research against common descent last week and now he is leaning away from it)

Don’t read that Alison – it’s nasty science, and it would offend your beliefs! Just stick to writing the stuff you’re good at. And for Darwin’s sake, don’t try to debate the science with anyone who disagrees with you. Don’t read any books that disagree with you. And don’t read any research papers and cite them in your writings. Just mark the ID scientists down – that’s the safest way to silence them. Ram your religion down their throats. Who cares about evidence? Not you. Otherwise you would be reading theirs, and writing some of your own.

UPDATE: Lenny has a good post about biases at Come Reason.

25 thoughts on “Should ID researchers be “marked down” for defending intelligent design?”

    1. Thank you! I actually e-mailed her for her updated list of publications, and she refused to give them to me. So I went with what was on her web page. It’s not clear to me that she actually knows any biology at this point. But she makes a splendid fascist!

      And just to be clear on what I mean by the word fascist, so it’s not just name-calling, I mean someone who uses censorship and coercion (and perhaps even violence) to force their view onto individuals, through the power of the state. This woman is representing the state in a public school and she is pushing her religion (materialism) onto the students and discouraging them from asking questions and debating the issues on scientific grounds. She is a fascist. She silences dissent from individuals using the power of the state.


  1. Her “publications” aren’t publications. This is what happens when a person gets tenure and then doesn’t continue to do real research (I assume her job is permanent). Her stuff belongs in the School of Education. People like her focus on their teaching, and as time goes by they lose touch with what’s being published. And it’s easy to do – since there’s so much to keep track of. It actually takes work!

    The most amazing thing I’ve heard recently is that Craig Venter said that there’s no tree of life. I wonder if she would take points from Venter if he wrote an essay on it.


  2. You have contradicted yourself in trying to make out she has no idea what ID is then pointing to references where she has written about ID/creationism. Sloppy, biased reporting. But then what else to expect from someone trying to shore up their beliefs?

    Additionally, as she’s not research staff, not it’s meaningful to complain about a lack of “research” publications. It wouldn’t have been hard to find that out yourself with a few minutes on google and the university website. You obviously didn’t try.

    Her interests are with the school-university interface, as her publications clearly indicate, and those are publications; you can’t pretend they’re not with word games!

    “It’s not clear to me that she actually knows any biology at this point.”

    Actually, it’s quite obvious she does. You clearly haven’t even tried. In fact, you must have avoided what she wrote in the article that you link to.

    “and she refused to give them to me”

    Not in the way you’re making out.


    1. Sorry this took a while to approve, I was away from the computer since last night. I tried to get a list of her experimental science publications to compare but she wouldn’t send me any of them. So I just used what she had posted. I would be happy to see her quoting from ID sources and encountering their arguments. I just don’t see it. She seems to be reading anti-ID sources to find out about ID. Do you think you could ask her to post a rebuttal to Stephen C. Meyer’s “Signature in the Cell”, or to Michael Behe’s “The Edge of Evolution”? I would like it if she could read Doug Axe’s recent papers with the Journal of Molecular Biology and refute his studies on protein folding.

      Please keep in mind that my blog is like my kitchen table. Speak to me in comments as if you were in my home. You are a guest.


  3. What a strange post. Since when was it necessary to be a research biologist to understand evolutionary theory?

    I didn’t have time to plough through all the references you copied and pasted, but the first one is an unremarkable piece on echinoderm biochemistry. No mention of Intelligent Design anywhere, though I see it’s partially funded by the Discovery Institute. Presumably the DI aim to quote from this and declare “How could anyone suggest something as complex as this could have arisen by chance?” They, and you, seem incapable of learning that complexity is not something that evolutionary theory has ever had a problem with.

    Intelligent Design is not some bold new theory challenging the hidebound evolutionist orthodoxy. It dates back at least as far as William Paley’s Natural Theology in 1802. ID has really not moved beyond Paley in more than 200 years – its proponents still have no mechanism beyond “God did it”, while evolutionary theory has moved ahead in leaps and bounds. We now have a reasonable understanding of how diversity and complexity arise through evolution, although as in any active field there is much still to learn. People such as yourself who reflexively insist that life is too complicated to be natural, and therefore must be supernatural, do nothing but provide amusement and occasional irritation to the rest of us.


    1. Sorry it took a while to get this approved. I have to personally approve all comments because of spam. That’s been the policy for two years.

      Look Dave. You don’t want to make the same mistake as Alison. When you discuss intelligent design, you want to do it in a way that people who believe it recognize their arguments being quoted accurately, and linked back to the original authors. Don’t talk about Paley, because Paley isn’t a proponent of intelligent design. You have to talk about what intelligent design really is if you expect to have a good conversation about it.

      Intelligent design theorists speak in terms of “specified complexity”. Now go at get yourself a copy of the William Dembski’s “The Design Inference”, Cambridge University Press, 1998, and read it. It’s a book on mathematics – the mathematics of infering design from effects in nature that have specific qualities. And if you want to see that applied to nature, read Stephen C. Meyer’s “Signature in the Cell”. Read that, and quote it back to me, then critique it’s findings.

      Please don’t comment unless you can reference the actual arguments of intelligent design theorists from their own published work. Quote their work, link to the source, then construct an argument, quote your authorities and link to them. If all you have is a caricature of intelligent design, then we can’t have a good discussion. I want to discuss the science, and whether certain effects in nature require intelligent causes. I don’t want to discuss a religious pre-supposition of naturalism, which we already know from cosmology is false. Why use a pre-supposition to guide our science which we already know is false from the scientific evidence?

      Just talk about the science.

      Please keep in mind that my blog is like my kitchen table. Speak to me in comments as if you were in my home. You are a guest.


    1. I merged your original comment and the corrected one into one comment.

      I’m not sure why she calls me a creationist and disagrees with “creationism”. There are two possibilities. Either she thinks I am a young-earth creationist, or she denies that the universe came into being at the Big Bang (creation). So either she is mistaken (I am not a young-earth creationist) or she is anti-science (she denies the experimental evidence for the Big Bang). This is the kind of thing that makes me wonder whether she is really interested in having a discussion with anyone. I don’t mind being disagreed with, but I expect people to understand what words mean. And I expect them to be aware of what experimental science has shown.

      Also, I notice that I can’t freely comment on her site – I have to be logged in.


      1. WK:
        Did you even read her post? Where did she call you a creationist? Why bring the Big Bang into the conversation at this point.

        You questioned her training, she addressed it. You asked for links to her writings in order to perform a specific analysis and she pointed out where you failed to perform this analysis, even saying you had enough from her University site. So you were asking for information under false purposes. One lie.

        She also pointed out that many of your own supposed scientific papers supporting ID not only failed to mention the subject, but were not about biology at all, but cosmology.

        You failed to address ANYTHING she commented on. Then you wrap up your post with another an out-and-out lie. Her site requires the same three pieces of information to post on your site. Her site also holds comments for moderation, just like yours. Don’t try and claim that the syndicated site has a different policy than her University blog, because YOU posted the link to her own blog, not the syndication site. So don’t bother trying that lie. See, I just saved you from having to make another lie.

        So you not only do not read for comprehension — which she also accurately identified — but after being criticized you make up stuff. I thought lying was against the rules? So you’re an interesting sort of Christian, aren’t you?

        Ted Herrlich


        1. You write:
          Did you even read her post? Where did she call you a creationist?”

          Can you tell me what the title is?

          1. I asked her for better papers to make her look better. I explained exactly what I was going to do, it wasn’t false pretenses. I e-mailed her for better science papers to make her look better. Then when she refused to produce any scientific papers, I used what was on her page, quoted in full with a link back for context.

          2. Why bring the Big Bang into it? Because it falsifies materialism, which is the worldview that animates the Darwinians. Don’t you see that everything you believe is at odds with good science? You have a 19th century view of science. You haven’t updated it with the latest evidence and discoveries. You really need to work on your science. Stop with all of this religious stuff. Stick with the hard science, and you will be fine.

          3. Cosmology is not part of intelligent design? Arguments about habitability and fine-tuning are EVERYWHERE in intelligent design literature – and any ONE of them refutes the assumption of naturalism which is the life blood of macro-evolutionary speculating.

          4. She didn’t comment on any SCIENCE. I only want to discuss the science. In her article, she doesn’t define ID by referencing ID scholars themselves, nor does she explain ID arguments by citing the ID proponents in their published academic/research work. If she wanted to refute ID, she needs to actually READ ID SOURCES. Nowhere in the article does she interact with ID. She calls them creationists! As if non-theists ID-supporters like Steve Fuller, Bradley Monton, David Berlinski, etc. are young-earth creationists.

          5. Stop calling me a liar. I haven’t lied about a single thing. Not one. The problem here is that you have a religion (materialism) and it’s at odds with science. You are not capable of discussing scientific evidence objectively, but only attack people. But I want to discuss the science.

          Please don’t comment any more until you show me that you actually know what ID is, and what are the arguments for it. If you comments get rejected, that will be the reason why – because you refuse to engage with what ID theorists actually argue, and what they measure in the lab.


      2. Registration to comment on BioBlog is free, as opposed to the articles posted on The Discovery Institute “blog” which does not allow any commenting.


  4. Ah that’s the website. I didn’t notice Sciblogs has a ‘loggin’ policy. That was a syndication of her Bioblog. Just go there if you like:
    There is no loggin required.

    Traditionally, people who call themselves ‘creationists’ usually mean in the Biblical sense of Earth created c.6000 years ago. I’d not come upon people calling themselves creationists because they accept the big bang.


  5. “She openly boasts that if a student were to use standard ID arguments such as the irreducible complexity of the bacterial flagellum, that student would be “marked down”:”

    According to this quote Dr Campbell will mark down students if they use “standard ID arguments”.
    It would seem reasonable to me for any educator to mark down a student who uses any argument that has been repeatedly criticized in the literature, much like a chemistry lecturer would mark down a student who described modern chemistry by referring to philostogen.
    The comment also implies that if a student used a non standard ID type argument (i.e. showed some initiative) they might not be marked down.
    As you have (incorrectly) implied that Dr Campbell does not have any research papers in the biological sciences and therefore should not comment on ID theory, perhaps you could state your own biology (or other) qualifications, so that readers can know that, by your own standards, you can comment on evolution/ID?
    Finally, Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist not an experimentalist. Would this exclude him from commenting on topics in experimental physics?


    1. The problem is that Campbell cannot even state the arguments she is marking down. She doesn’t link to them, and she cannot quote them. She called me a “creationist” but I’m not a creationist. In fact, in the post I cited, I used the Big Bang as an argument to disprove materialism and naturalism. But she nevertheless went ahead and labeled me as a creationist in her post. Does that strike you as someone who understands anything at all about her opponents?

      In your next comment, I want you to list the standard ID arguments, with quotations to primary ID literature – either published books or peer-reviewed publications. I asked commenters to interact with “Signature in the Cell” and “The Edge of Evolution”. But none of you will. Because you haven’t read them. And that’s the point. The point is that Darwinists will not look through the telescope because they will not allow their blind faith to be challenged by evidence. Instead you employ name-calling “creationist” and cite philosophers and judges. You haven’t shown that you even know what intelligent design is.

      Regarding Einstein, he is welcome to publish his calculations, but we must give them no credence until they are confirmed by experimental evidence, which they have been. However the theoretical speculations of string theorists and multiverse proponents and macro-evolutionists should be given no consideration, since they decline to show any observations that demonstrate what they are theorizing about.

      Please list the experimental science papers that Alison Campbell has published in peer-reviewed journals. Don’t change what I said. I said EXPERIMENTAL SCIENCE papers. I want to see hers. Where are they?

      If you don’t address my concerns directly, then your comment will not be approved. I don’t have time to go round and round with you on other topics. Let’s stick to the science.


      1. Winery wrote: “…and cite philosophers…”

        As do you. Philosophers like Stephen C. Meyer. “Dr. Meyer is a Cambridge University-trained philosopher of science,” … “Meyer earned his Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of Science”. (From the Discovery Institute website.)

        Meyer is not an experimental scientist. He’s a philosopher.


  6. Ahh, so the conclusion is that the bacterial flagellum could not have evolved through natural, unguided means. Therefore, the only conclusion is that the Intelligent Designer of Life, the Creator of the Universe stooped down to diddle with the hair on a germ’s rump.

    Have you asked the folks who write the big funding checks to the Biologic Institute if that is idea they wish to promote?

    Regarding the paper on the wonder of the bacterial flagellum, yes – the mechanics are intricate, efficient and brilliant. But they PALE in comparison to the mechanisms that come together each time an acorn grows into an oak tree. Is the Designer actively helping those biochemical mechanisms along?

    Or is it possible for completely natural processes to “look” brilliantly designed?

    And if specific features, like the bacteria’s spinning hair, CAN’T evolve naturally, that must mean “Intelligent Design” is actively happening today, just like micro-evolution is happening today. Why do we never see it?

    To claim examples of intentional design in life, we must have an idea of what “un-designed” life would look like.

    Has the Biologic Institute published a paper on that? What would life evolved without the help of an intervening “Designer” look like? How would it look different? Would bacterial hairs wiggle instead of spin? Would our eyes be less effective?

    What is the base case above which we can only reach through the intervention of The Designer?


    1. The topics of the post are whether scientific arguments for intelligent design should be permitted in the classroom. And whether people who don’t understand those arguments – who have neither read them, nor tested them in the lab – should mark students down who introduce them in class. In short, the topic is whether Darwinists should suppress experimental scientific evidence in order to prop up their materialistic (religious) speculations. That’s the topic. I specifically mentioned in the comments two books that are on the table. Signature in the Cell and The Edge of Evolution. I want to see you Darwinists prove to me that you have read those books in their entirety BEFORE you comment.

      I can’t see anything in your comment that leads me to think that you are aware of the actual arguments for ID. You don’t reference the arguments, you don’t quote the primary sources, you don’t cite with page numbers. So why should I discuss it with you? You bring up a bunch of irrelevant side issues when what is at stake is the scientific evidence.

      You want to talk about funding, and God, and whether designs are optimal. I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about science. But we can’t, because you don’t know the arguments.


  7. OK, I worked through several of the papers you cited, Wintery Knight. While they may indeed be evidence-based research papers, and while several gratefully acknowledge the generous grants from the Discovery Institute, I could not find any that concluded “not all natural phenomena have natural causes.” I found none that concluded the need for an “Intelligent Designer” to explain the findings.

    But I didn’t go through all of them.

    Can you please point to the research papers in your heap of citations that actually present evidence of intelligent design?


    1. Again, the problem is that you don’t know what intelligent design is, so you can’t see how the evidence is related to intelligent design.

      Suppose I were trying to prove to your that your religion of materialism/naturalism was false, and I started to talk about the cosmic background radiation, which supports the Big Bang, and the fine-tuning of the gravitational force, which supports the fine-tuning argument, or if I talked about the probabilities of synthesizing a functional protein by chance, given certain probabilistic and material resources. If you didn’t understand the argument I was making, you would find all of this experimental science quite confusing. That’s why you actually need to read book-length treatments of ID so that you can understand what you are critiquing.

      Here is an example of research paper relevant to the origin of life:

      Here’s one relevant to irreducible complexity:

      Here’s one relevant to limits on mutation:

      Here’s one relevant to the Cambrian explosion:

      And so on for the fine-tuning argument, the habitability argument, etc., which would be even more peer-reviewed papers.

      Now all you have to do is go and get Signature in the Cell and The Edge of Evolution and read them so you can understand what intelligent design is, and what the arguments for intelligent design are. You will not learn about intelligent design unless you actually read about it.

      Please don’t comment any more until you show me that you actually know what ID is, and what are the arguments for it. If you comments get rejected, that will be the reason why – because you refuse to engage with what ID theorists actually argue, and what they measure in the lab.


  8. Wintery, it is difficult talking to people about subjects that they 1) have never looked into and 2) mock openly in complete ignorance. They do this all the while not recognizing the fallaciousness of their scorn and their bad hypocritical attitudes!

    It is difficult talking to people when they are acting like that.


    1. This one stalker keeps e-mailing me asking me about Noah’s ark and the flood. I try and try to get him to talk about protein sequencing and Lenski experiments, but he keeps quoting Genesis at me and telling me to have faith in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I don’t know what to do with people who are stuck in the 19th century. What do you do? He’s not familiar with a single discovery that occurred in the last 150 years. I am not joking. I fully expect him to send me a link to Haeckel’s fraudulent embryos any minute. Or try to cast demons out of me. One never knows with these people.


      1. LOL!

        I very rarely talk about ID. I was encouraged to try to talk to people about it after reading Signature in the Cell, but it never went nearly as well as I thought it would. People are so completely ignorant of it they don’t know what to say. And I have to be honest, if I had never read it I would be just as ignorant and glazed-eyed as them! I find that I have my hands full with the standard WLC arguments with a focus on the Historicity of the Resurrection.


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