Biologist Robert Waltzer on Evolutionary Theory’s Room for Humility

Andrew McDiarmid, common descent, dialogue, Discovery Institute Press, epistemological humility, Evolution, Evolution and Intelligent Design in a Nutshell, evolutionary theory, ID The Future, Intelligent Design, natural selection, Robert Waltzer
On a new episode of ID the Future, biologist Robert Waltzer talks with host Andrew McDiarmid about Professor Waltzer’s chapter in the new Discovery Institute Press volume, Evolution and Intelligent Design in a Nutshell. Download the podcast or listen to it here. Waltzer’s chapter covers some key terms in the evolution/ID debate that are often misunderstood or misused. These include the word “evolution” itself, “change over time,” “common descent,” and “natural selection.” He offers quick definitions and explains some of the confusion surrounding them. Waltzer also describes an encouraging success story of his about fostering open dialogue and exploration of the evidence for design in nature.  The post Biologist Robert Waltzer on Evolutionary Theory’s Room for Humility appeared first on Evolution News.
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Evolutionary Theorizing Depends on Magic Words

AARS, Amber Dance, aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, automobile, cancer, chassis, crankshaft, Darwinians, engine, enzymes, Evolution, golf, illusion, Journal of Molecular Evolution, magic words, magicians, messenger RNA, natural selection, protein synthesis, rabbits, Richard Dawkins, Robert Shapiro, Scientific American, seats, steering wheel, The Scientist, Tokyo Institute of Science
Here is a quick tale about the evolution of the automobile. Billions of years ago, a chassis appeared.The chassis acquired an engine.The crankshaft found a side gig as a steering wheel.The steering wheel linked up with the brake pedal to form a universal joint.Seats developed. They probably arose when the first hood evolved. Now consider leading journals publishing this account after it has whisked through peer review. Is this not exactly what goes on in evolutionary theorizing? Darwinians have mastered the use of magic words that replace rigor with imagination. And they get away with it; nobody ever blows the whistle on what should be tagged a major scientific foul.  New Findings About Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases Here is an example in The Scientist, a news magazine for working scientists who should…
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Behe Vindicated Again: Sherpas Climb Everest Easier, Because Darwin Devolves

altitude, brown bears, climbing, Daisheng Song, Darwin Devolves, Darwinism, Evolution, genes, genetic information, genome, Han Chinese, hemoglobin, Himalayas, Intelligent Design, interfertility, loss of function, lowlanders, Michael Behe, Mount Everest, mount improbable, natural selection, Nepalese, oxygen, Phd2, PNAS, polar bears, positive selection, seal meat, Sherpa, super-athletes, Tibetans, Wikipedia
How can Tibetans survive high altitudes that leave lowlanders gasping? The answer is found in broken genes. A new paper on the Tibetan genome vindicates what Michael Behe said in Darwin Devolves: evolution breaks things, but sometimes, like in the case of polar bears, the result can allow organisms to thrive in specific environments. Yes, this follows on the heels of last week’s Behe vindication; see here. A team of 16 scientists, writing in PNAS, sought to understand the genetic basis for Tibetan high-altitude adaptation in more detail. Tibetans and Nepalese, many of whom serve as guides for lowlanders wanting to conquer Mount Everest, routinely carry heavy burdens at altitudes above 14,000 feet, the average elevation on the Tibetan plateau. In its entry on Sherpa people, Wikipedia notes, Many Sherpa…
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Book Excerpt: A Factory That Builds Factories That Build Factories That…

abiogenesis, bacteria, Charles Darwin, Darwinian evolution, early Earth, factories, Gerald F. Joyce, Harvard University, Holy Grail, Intelligent Design, Jack Szostak, Joseph Hooker, Max Schultze, metabolic pathways, molecules, National Public Radio, natural selection, origin of life, Oxford University, protoplasm, random mutations, Richard Dawkins, self-replication, The Origin of Species, The Selfish Gene
Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the the new book from Discovery Institute Press, Evolution & Intelligent Design in a Nutshell. Eric H. Anderson is a lawyer, software engineering executive, and writer on intelligent design. Nobel Prize recipient and Harvard origin-of-life researcher Jack Szostak once remarked, “In my lab, we’re interested in the transition from chemistry to early biology on the early earth…. You want something that can grow and divide and, most importantly, exhibit Darwinian evolution.”1 Another noted origin-of-life researcher, Gerald F. Joyce, says much the same thing. When asked about the idea that chemicals might have come together on the early Earth to form something that could copy itself, Joyce responded, “That’s what we and others are interested in because that’s sort of, you know, the…
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Journal Prints “Intelligent Design”! But…

AAA proteins, ATP, ATPases Associated with diverse cellular Activities, blind watchmaker, centrosomes, computers, cytoplasm, Darwin-skeptics, Darwinian evolution, dynein, endoplasmic reticulum, Evolution, Golgi complex, homology, humans, Intelligent Design, Irreducible Complexity, J.C. Phillips, kinesin, Maxwell’s demon, Michael Behe, molecular machines, natural selection, proteins, Richard Feynman, Rutgers University, self-organized networks, slime molds, Stephen Jay Gould, worms
You’re not likely to see the phrase “intelligent design” in any typical science journal, except to mock it. A recent example by a doctrinaire evolutionist is, not surprisingly, intended to subvert the design inference for a molecular machine. Did his intention backfire? Read on. J.C. Phillips is a physicist at Rutgers University who has taken an interest in the concept of “self-organized criticality,” something that sounds as credible as “unguided excellence.” Phillips believes that unintelligent Darwinian natural selection moves molecular machines toward optimum performance. It’s kind of like how computers and other technology get more and more sophisticated the longer you leave them left outside to be buffeted by wind, rain, and ice storms. In his recent paper in PNAS, he takes on a marvelous walking machine, dynein, to illustrate…
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Squid’s Got Talent — Super-Powers Astonish Scientists

Benjamin Burford, bioluminescent organs, camouflage, cuttlefish, Dosidicus gigas, Douglas Axe, environmental clues, Evolution, giant squid, Humboldt squid, innovation, Intelligent Design, Jonathan Wells, Marine Biology Laboratory, Massachusetts, Monterey Bay Aquarium, natural selection, Nature (journal), octopuses, photophores, pigmentation, PNAS, random mutations, remotely-operated vehicle, RNA editing, School of Humanities and Sciences, selective pressure, skin, squid, Stanford University, University of Chicago, visual signals, Walter Myers, Woods Hole
They swim. They shine. They camouflage themselves. The humble squid astonishes scientists with its super-powers. Are these marine champions really the products of random mutations and natural selection? Just saying so is not convincing when you look at the facts. Ranging in size from fingerlings to sea monsters, squid look like visitors from an alien planet. So do the other main groups within cephalopods (“head-foot”), the octopuses and cuttlefish. Those cousins are no less extraordinary, but recent news and research showcase the talent of these amazing creatures. (Note: “squid” can be both singular and plural; as with fish, it’s “one squid, two squid, red squid, blue squid.” But “squids” is acceptable, especially if talking about different species. The size range of squids is enormous, from 10 centimeters to 24 meters!)…
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No, Despite Often-Heard Claims, Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria Is Not Evolution

Adam Gopnik, animal husbandry, antibiotic resistance, antibiotics, Artificial Selection, bacteria, Charles Darwin, doctors, Evolution, evolutionary biology, health, infectious diseases, Intelligent Design, Jonathan Wells, Los Angeles, medical care, medical research, Medicine, natural selection, On the Origin of Species, P.Z. Myers, plant breeding, superbug, The Myth of Darwinian Medicine (series), The New Yorker
Editor’s note: As biologist Jonathan Wells observes, “[T]he measures being taken against the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic owe nothing to evolutionary theory.” Yet a persistent claim from evolutionists is that medical research would be crippled without a Darwinian framework. Evolution News presents a series of our previously published work addressing the myth of “Darwinian medicine.” Darwinian biologist and blogger P.Z. Myers wrote a post in which he lamented the fact that medical researchers rarely invoke evolution in their published research, whereas evolutionary biologists routinely invoke evolution. This is of course true. I pointed out that this is because evolutionary inferences are of no significant help to medical research. Inference to evolution is a narrative gloss on the real science in medicine. It is a point that I, along with others, have been making…
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Another Cosmos Episode, Another Sermon from Pastor Tyson

Al Ghazali, bees, Charles Darwin, China, consciousness, cosmos, Cosmos: Possible Worlds, Darwinism, empirical science, extraterrestrial intelligence, FAST telescope, Fox Broadcasting Company, Francis of Assisi, Maimonides, National Geographic Channel, natural selection, naturalistic philosophy, Physics, Earth & Space, religion, Smithsonian Magazine, The Hidden Life of Trees, The Secret Life of Plants, vitalism
Several themes weave their way through the current season of Cosmos, “Possible Worlds.”  The careful viewer will detect at least one in each episode. They include the ideas that a modern intellectual awakening took place when science (defined as applied naturalistic philosophy) triumphed over religion and superstition; that human exceptionalism is an ancient prejudice we must abandon; and that you can find meaning in a universe without a god. Episode 7, which aired last night on Fox and National Geographic, presents the viewer with a heavy dose of the second idea. The episode begins with Neil deGrasse Tyson walking on the perimeter of the recently completed 500-meter single dish radio telescope, FAST, in China. The episode is about the first contact with another intelligence, which many hope will be made with…
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Are Humans “A Plague on the Earth”?

Center for Science & Culture, Charles Darwin, Culture & Ethics, Dallas Conference on Science & Faith, David Attenborough, Discovery Institute, Douglas Axe, Evolution, evolutionists, John West, morality, natural selection, plague, Sir David Attenborough, spirituality
Back in January in Dallas, Discovery Institute organized its major conference on science and faith, before a huge and appreciative audience. We are releasing videos of presentations from the Dallas conference, including today, John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science & Culture, on “Darwin’s Corrosive Idea.” This is well timed. I can’t help but think that how we respond to the present health crisis has a lot to do with how we, as individuals, saw reality before we gave a moment’s thought to the coronavirus. As Dr. West summarizes here, “Ideas really do have consequence.”  In the case of Darwin’s idea of unguided evolution and of a planet of life formed from blind, merciless material processes alone, West notes a range of consequences and impacts, on how we…
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Evolution “Dreaming” — Tough Language from Biologist Michael Lynch

Arizona State University, Biodesign Center for Mechanisms of Evolution, Douglas Axe, dreaming, Evolution, evolutionary theory, Michael Lynch, natural selection, Theodor Herzl
Molecular biologist Douglas Axe tweets about a new paper: “Michael Lynch is one of those influential critics of the standard account of evolution who believes the theory can be salvaged somehow.” He quotes some remarkably tough language by Lynch from the article, in the Journal of Molecular Biology, “A Theoretical Framework for Evolutionary Cell Biology”: One of the most significant problems in the broader body of biological thinking is the common assumption that all observed aspects of biodiversity are products of natural selection. … With this mind set, evolutionary biology becomes little more than a (sometimes endless) exercise in dreaming up the supposed agents of selection molding one’s favorite aspect of phenotypic diversity. … However, we now know that this unwavering belief in the limitless power of natural selection is…
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