Field of Science

"We have the metaphors" LOL

One Barbara Hollingsworth got to write a piece about something she doesn't know anything about. I am aware that that's the function of most journalists, but they could at least take a neutral stand (or, rather, I'd prefer they would consider that "both sides of the argument" doesn't always make sense when one side are lunatics - for example).

Hollingsworth has seen Expelled, I gather, because she buys into the claim that proponents of Intelligent Design are being silenced. They aren't; they are being ridiculed. Loudly. Because they keep saying the same thing over and over, and they never get around to doing any science to gather any evidence for their claims.
More than 800 Ph.D.-level scientists around the world are seriously considering ID to explain the origin of life, but you'd never know it. Most do so clandestinely for fear of being ostracized by their peers or even forced out of their academic positions.
Yeah, 800 Ph.D.s in dentistry, engineering, physics, and other fields with no expertise in biology (and, yes, a handful of biologists). Compare that to the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of Ph.D.s all over the world that either understand that ID isn't science or at least realize that they shouldn't let their religious views cloud their scientific ones. 800 Ph.D.s is like 20σ.
When former Cambridge biochemist Douglas Axe computed the chances that the four amino acids that form DNA could self-arrange themselves into just one functional protein, he found it was 1:10164 -- or less than the odds of finding one marked subatomic particle in the entire observable universe.
But but but, no one thinks that the proteins around today were the functional ones that first appeared. The function was vastly different, so the comparison doesn't hold. As usual, probability exercises like this one rests on straw-man arguments about how biologists and chemists think the first self-replicating molecules appeared.
Ironically, attempts to discredit ID have turned it into forbidden fruit on college campuses. Many recruits are grad students who understand the complex nanotechnology of the cell and the dead ends in Darwinian evolution much better than their professors. "It looks like engineering," Meyer says. "Replication. Digital code. We own the metaphors. They know the future is with us."
Forbidden fruits? Look, the professors likely know that ID is fruitless. A professor will do right by kindly explaining why ID isn't science, and that the very few predictions Id has made has been invalidated. "We own the metaphors" !?! *chortle* In which class do we learn that science progrersses by the use of metaphors? Biometaphors 101? Biology for poets? If the future is with the IDers, then why is all this an issue? Why don't they show us the science, something we can test that isn't immediately refuted? [Answer: because they don't have anything.]
"The actual evidence shows that major features of the fossil record are an embarrassment to Darwinian evolution; that early development in vertebrate embryos is more consistent with separate origins than with common ancestry; that non-coding DNA is fully functional, contrary to neo-Darwinian predictions; and that natural selection can accomplish nothing more than artificial selection -- which is to say, minor changes within existing species," writes Discovery Institute senior fellow Jonathan Wells, who has two Ph.D.s from the University of California at Berkeley in molecular and cell biology. "Faced with such evidence, any other scientific theory would probably have been abandoned long ago. Judged by the normal criteria of empirical science, Darwinism is false."
The fossil record supports evolution. Vertebrate embryos confirm that vertebrates share a common ancestor. There is plenty of DNA that is non-functional, despite the discovery (by real scientists) that some of it serves a function. ("Non-coding DNA" is how we refer to the DNA that doesn't code for proteins, but control gene expression, i.e. when the coding regions are transcribed and translate into proteins - which is a very important function.) Natural selection - without the influence of humans - has been shown time and again to occur in nature (e.g. my all-time favorite paper on Croatian lizards evolving to use a new dietary resource in 30 years - not minor changes). Two Ph.D.s, eh? Why? I'll tell you why, so he can say that he is smart. Don't believe me? Look it up. Wells was told by his Moonie leader to go get a Ph.D. to refute Darwinism.

In the end, Hollingsworth gives away where her allegiance lies when she says
Amen to that.
Again, if your religious views take precedence in your interpretation of data, then you'll be doing science that can't be used for anything. Try it. Do ID science and let's compare notes. I promise I won't ridicule you before the, say, 5th time you come back with the same claim, having ignored all the evidence that refutes it.


  1. "Meyers (sic) was told by his Moonie leader to go get a Ph.D. to refute Darwinism."

    Just thought I'd point out that this was Wells, not Meyer. Meyer is trained as a philosopher.

  2. The film is little more than sloppy propaganda. It doesn't even pretend to cover the larger issues, and it certainly does not even approach a discussion of evolutionary theory that is in any way informed. The irony is that I think a lot of people assume that Stein is somehow this really objective person, but his support and participation in this film obviously says otherwise. I think that anyone who backs this film should at least do themselves a favor and watch the NOVA documentary on the Dover trials. That covers the issues in a substantive way.

    All that Stein's film does is tell a certain audience what they want to hear.

  3. "Meyers [sic]" corrected. Thanks. Link added.

  4. Didn't any one else catch this? "The four amino acids that form DNA"? Axe is a well-known protein biochemist, he doesn't say crap like this.

  5. Exercise ferments the humors, casts them into their adapted channels, throws bad redundancies, and helps nature in those secret distributions, without which the association cannot subsist in its vigor, nor the typification act with cheerfulness.


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