Old Wine in New Bottles: How Darwin Recruited Malthus to Fortify a Failed Idea from Antiquity

abiogenesis, Alphonse de Candolle, Aristotle, atheists, atomism, Charles Bradlaugh, Charles Darwin, Charles Lyell, Christianity, complexification, David Hume, Edward Aveling, Epicurus, Erasmus Darwin, Evolution, Friedrich Engels, Georges Cuvier, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Greece, Homo sapiens, Intelligent Design, Karl Marx, Law of Correlation, Lucretius, Matthew Arnold, Middle Ages, natural selection, Origin of Species, Patrick Matthew, Plato, Poor Law, Rome, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Malthus, transhumanism, Unmoved Mover, Victorian England, William Paley
It was undoubtedly a tremendous philosophical coup for Darwin whose knowledge of formal philosophy was limited. Source
Read More

In His New Book, Denton Shows How Science Leads the Charge to Theism

astrophysicists, Atheism, bioengineering, biology, brain, Charles Darwin, Copernican Revolution, cosmology, cytology, demiurge, Democritus, Denis Diderot, earth, Erasmus Darwin, Faith & Science, fine-tuning, human eye, humankind, Judeo-Christian tradition, life, natural selection, nature, Paul Davies, philosophes, Physics, Earth & Space, physiology, Plato, purpose, teleology, The Miracle of Man, theism, William Paley
In his new book, Michael Denton is particularly strong on what he terms “the post-Copernican delusion of mankind’s cosmic irrelevance.” Source
Read More

Natural Machinery Operates Without Intervention; But How?

Abe Weintraub, chloroplasts, Current Biology, David Wolpert, Evolution, Francis Bacon, Heidelberg University, heterochromatin, information flow, Intelligent Design, Isaac Newton, Jay Richards, jumping genes, Junk DNA, kinesin, Life Sciences, mechanical philosophy, Nobel Prize, nuclear membrane, open reading frame, Penn State News, Prime Mover, proteins, Ribosome, Robert Boyle, robotics, Rockefeller University, Salk Institute, Santa Fe Institute, Steinway pianos, University of Southern California, Vanderbilt University, Willaim Dembski, William Paley
We’re going to need a new philosophy: one that can handle realities the Elizabethans and Victorians could never have imagined. Source
Read More

Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection Has Left a Legacy of Confusion over Biological Adaptation

adaptation, Biological Emergences, biology, brain, cave fish, Charles Darwin, Conference on Engineering in Living Systems, Evolution, externalism, hurricane, Intelligent Design, internalism, Jerry Fodor, John Gerhard, Marc Kirschner, Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, Mother Nature, natural selection, New York Times Book Review, Phreatichthys andruzzii, Pocahontas, Richard Lewontin, Robert G. B. Reid, Stephen Jay Gould, sweating, What Darwin God Wrong, William Paley
Our ability to adapt to fantastically diverse circumstances did not result from the happenstance of environmental conditions. Source
Read More

Design on Time — Paley’s Watch Was Inside Him

biological clock, blood pressure, chronotype variation, circadian clock, clocks, Cyanobacteria, Harvard Medical School, imaging tools, Intelligent Design, Japan, jet lag, KaiC, mammalian locomotor activity, Nagoya University, Nature (journal), Nature Scientific Reports, neurons, PLOS ONE, PNAS, rats, sleep, suprachiasmatic nucleus, Synechococcus elongatus, University of Illinois, University of Rochester, William Paley
Watches are everywhere on the heath. Look up, look down, look inside; biology runs on time. Source
Read More

More Hints of Order in the Genome

Abo1, Amir Bitran, ATP, biochemistry, Biozentrum, Caulobacter crescentus, central dogma, Chelsea R. Bulock, chromosomes, cohesin, cotranslational folding, Darwinian mechanism, DNA, E. coli, error catastrophe, genome, GGC, GGU, Intelligent Design, Junk DNA, Lego blocks, misfolding, mRNA, Nature Communications, Patricia Clark, PNAS, polymerase, polypeptides, Polδ, proofreader, proteins, RNA, South Korea, strand breaks, UNIST, University of Basel, University of Notre Dame, University of Seville, William Paley
Genomics has come a long way since the central dogma (the notion that DNA is the master controller that calls all the shots) and junk DNA (the expectation that much of the genome is non-functional). If scientists ditch those old dogmas and approach the genome expecting to find reasons for things, they often do. Synonymous Mutations To-may-to or to-mah-to? The British write flavour; the Americans write flavor, but generally each understands the other without too much difficulty. Genomes, too, have alternate ways of spelling things: GGU and GGC in messenger RNA both spell glycine. No big deal, thought geneticists; these “silent” mutations cause no change in the resulting protein. At the University of Notre Dame, however, biochemists are finding that the differences in spelling are not just background noise; they…
Read More

I Disagree with David Klinghoffer, But It’s My Fault for the Confusion

Against Method, arthropods, Brian Charlesworth, Cambrian Explosion, Charles Darwin, chordate, David Klinghoffer, Deborah Charlesworth, Douglas Futuyma, Evolution, Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, Galápagos Islands, history, Intelligent Design, Jerry Coyne, Macroevolution, molluscan, natural selection, neo-Darwinian synthesis, Nicholas Barton, organisms, origin of life, Paul Feyerabend, William Paley
In a post yesterday, David Klinghoffer cited my comments in a recent podcast and described his own view that intelligent design could be considered as a theory of evolution, making the point that intelligent design tries to explain the innovations that happened in the history of life (e.g., the origin of life itself, the burst of complexity during the Cambrian explosion, etc.). I’d describe the situation a little differently. Evolution is an implication — that is, an empirical consequence — of design. Design is the more general (i.e., comprehensive) idea, and the well-understood phenomena usually designated as “evolution” are in fact consequences of designed systems undergoing or responding to perturbation. If anything, then, it would be more accurate to say that “evolution is a sub-theory of design,” no matter how…
Read More

Galápagos Pilgrim: Paul Nelson on Biological Deign and History

Amblyrhynchus cristatus, Andrew McDiarmid, animals, Charles Darwin, cormorant, Discovery Institute, Evolution, flightless cormorant, Galápagos Islands, history, humans, Intelligent Design, marine iguanas, natural theology, philosophy of biology, pilgrimage, Podcast, Santiago Island, tameness, William Paley
Discovery Institute philosopher of biology Paul Nelson got back from his pilgrimage to the Galápagos Islands with some important lessons to share. He spoke with ID the Future host Andrew McDiarmid last week about his experiences. See, “Pilgrimage: On a Visit to Galápagos Islands, Paul Nelson Concedes, ‘Darwin Was Right!’”  Of course he was being “deliberately provocative” there, as he notes in a new podcast with McDiarmid. Download the episode or listen to it here. Andrew and Paul expand on the point that Darwin contributed a deeper understanding of history than design proponent William Paley possessed. In his own version of natural theology, Paley gave little sense that living creatures have histories, or that those histories make much of a difference. This was a shortcoming. But, like Charles Darwin before…
Read More