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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

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February 9, 2006

Ban Intelligent Design?

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Posted by Derek

Over at Pharyngula, I find that there's a bill in the Wisconsin state legislature which would ban the teaching of Intelligent Design in science courses. Since I've commented on this issue several times, I thought it would be instructive for me to say what I think about this proposal.

It's an awful idea. Just awful. As tempting as it might be at first, this is truly the wrong way to deal with ID in the classroom. Its advocates already enjoy themselves no end complaining about the rigid, dogmatic Darwinists trying to suppress Intelligent Design's brave, pathbreaking dissent - y'know, like Galileo, right? This will just hand them a wonderful party favor.

And besides, this isn't the way to settle these issues. One of the main things that drives scientists crazy about ID is that it sets itself up as some sort of equivalent alternative scientific explanation (while offering nothing close to what a legitimate challenge to evolution would have to bring). If we're going to have a fight about what's science and what isn't, then we should settle it by debating the evidence and the logic, not by getting someone to change the rules for us.

I can hear the protests now: "But isn't that what happened in Dover? You people got the court to throw ID right out of the schools!" Ah, but it was thrown out after loads of testimony from both sides, after cross-examination of everyone's expert witnesses, in an opinion by a judge who sat down to weigh the evidence. That's what torpedoed the ID side in Dover: careful, rigorous examination of everything they had to say. And it'll work every time.

So I hope that this Wisconsin idea dies before ever being brought to a vote. Don't do us scientists any favors, guys - we can handle this on our own. I have a great deal of contempt for the Intelligent Design movement, and I want to see it given the drubbing it deserves in open debate, over and over again, until it goes away.

Comments (29) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Intelligent Design


COMMENTS

1. Yali Friedman on February 10, 2006 12:46 AM writes...

Agreed. Banning ID only turns it into a martyr and avoids the necessary discussion. I think it would be far more useful to explain that ID fails because it makes no testable predictions; it's a pretty poor explanation for the how life formed.

My tack on the evolution debate is to not get caught on the defense. Stephen Jay Gould wrote about the spiralling quest for ever smaller bones and transitional fossils. This just isn't a good way to demonstrate evolution. A better tack is to asking for a plausible alternative. Many people incorrectly assume that the only alternative to evolution is creation. It isn't. Divine creation only means that one explain life by conjuring a non-testable creator.

Embracing intelligent design as a poor alternative explanation helps advance the debate by at least focusing on explaining how complex biological structures formed, rather than simply touting evolution as the only scientific explanation.

Permalink to Comment

2. Jeff Bonwick on February 10, 2006 4:37 AM writes...

While I share your sentiments about ID, I think scientists opened the door for them. We have a tendency to overclaim. Evolution at the micro level is beyond dispute: we see it in nature and we can reproduce it in the lab. But the road to hell is paved with extrapolations. When we speak about the origins of life, we're really just making it up, and in that sense is really *is* more like a religion. We have no plausible explanation for the emergence of DNA polymerase, or the Cambrian explosion, or the giant gaps in the fossil record.

The problem is that we tend to paper over these holes in our textbooks, like a prosecutor trying to sell a timeline to a jury, when what we should be saying is: Look! Nobody knows how this happened! Despite all the progress we've made, there are still important questions that we can't answer! And if you study hard and persevere, perhaps you can be the one to figure it out!

This approach would be more honest, more motivating, and more true to the scientific method.

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3. Derek Lowe on February 10, 2006 7:13 AM writes...

Jeff, it's true that biogenesis is a much less developed field. There are a lot of good hypotheses fighting it out, and I'm sure that there will be more. I think that an abiotic origin of life can be found and proven, but that's my (for now rather speculative) opinion. There's some evidence to back this view up, but nothing that would make a totally disinterested observer decide that the case was closed. (On the other hand, it's more than enough to make said observer decide that the case is still open vs. the creationist alternative).

When I argue with ID folks, I try to make it clear that I don't know how life got started, and neither do they. But I sure have a lot of evidence about what it's been doing since then.

I disagree with your distinction between micro- and macro-evolution, though. I think that the fossil record, gaps and all, still has abundant evidence of species-level evolution. Combined with the geological, geographical, and molecular biology evidence, you have what is for me an "any reasonable person" level case.

My problem when arguing with some of the ID proponents is that many of them respond to these lines of evidence in two equally useless ways: by never having heard of them, or by advancing a completely different special-pleading reason for why each bit of them must be incorrect. I'd give the ID movement more respect if they had something more systematic to bring to the table, other than "Well, that must be wrong, too, and give me a minute or two and I'll think of a reason why. . ."

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4. Hanno on February 10, 2006 9:52 AM writes...

Jeff Bonwick for president!

Life really can only have one of two origins : Evolution or ID.

The fact of the matter is that ID does not fight science, but naturalist assumptions passed off as science.

Does ID make any predictions? Maybe not. Can ID be verified, maybe not. What is the motive for ID? Hell, since when was THAT a valid scientific question? Is ID Science? Maybe, maybe not. BUT DOES THAT PROOF ID IS NOT TRUE - And this is the crux of the matter? No, it does not!

Evolution theory DOES still have a lot of holes, it IS an uncomplete theory, and a lot of it DOES only exist in the realm of educated guesswork and Naturalist assumptions, which CAN NOT YET be scientifically verified.

While evolution theory is still incomplete, it leaves the possibility of ID, whether ID is science or not. Only a complete, scientifically varifiable ToE can be used to disprove ID and proves Naturalism.

The problem is that scientists, when explaining ToE, jump between verifyable facts and naturalist assuptions without distiction, then proclaim that it is all scientifically true and that everything is solved. THAT p****s many people off. Critical thought is not the sole privilage of scientists.

What is needed, is not a depiction of ID supporters as scietific heretics. As an ID believer myself, I can tell you, that does not work. What is needed, is a counter reformation within the Evolutionist camp. Scientists must drop their "we're just one step away from a theory of everything" attitude, and start admitting to all the gaps in our knowledge, ASPECCIALY in your communication to the lay person. Instead of "Life formed from simple molecules" and "Evolution, as a theory of origin, is a fact, not a theory", Scientists should openly admit "We do not yet know what natural mechanism could've resulted in the formation of DNA. Some hypothesis propose blah blah blah... but this could not yet be demonstrated in the lab." This approach would be both honest, and would not invoke the rath of religious people. Depicting ToE as a still uncomplete attempt to explain life, rather than an absolute - we know it all, therefore you bible believers are nuts - fact, will make the contravercy go away.

Unfortunatly, many promonent scientists, like Richard Dawkings, PREFER to have the public think that macro evolution is an absolute - we know it all, therefore you bible believers are nuts - fact. Their motivation is to promote the atheistic naturalist religion in the name of science. Is it any suprise then that religion would stike back when scientists enter the religious domain with naturalist ideas which they present as scientific facts? Evolutionist scientists should dissipline their pears for making religious statements based on naturalist assumptions, which they pass off as scientific facts. Richard Dawkings have every right to present his Naturalist assuptions and his atheistic views, but he must make a clear distinction between that and science. If a scientist like Behe wants to tell the public his research leads him to believe that live was created by intelligence, he should be allowed to. If Dawkins wants to tell the public his research leads him to believe that live has evolved from scratch, purely by chance, he should be allowed to. But if Behe's statement is not science, then neither is Dawkins, and both should be treated the same. It is not proper to attact the "God did it" arguement, while the natural explaination is still lacking.


Permalink to Comment

5. JSinger on February 10, 2006 9:55 AM writes...

On the one hand, I think the whole ID thing is overblown. Look at the hype recently about that "AIDS breakthrough" from BYU. Which is a more important science education issue, whether some public school kids are exposed to some handwaving about a Designer (that frankly isn't much less meaningful than the way evolution is usually taught) or the fact that supposedly knowledgeable journalists and science enthusiasts are incapable of distinguishing between a in-vitro result and "a breakthrough for AIDS! And everything else!"?

That said, it's not clear to me that debate accomplishes anything either. The real issue with ID is, as you say, that it's not a meaningful theory and contributes nothing beyond a blanket explanation for any unknown. Arguing bones and eyeballs only gives it credibility that it doesn't deserve.

I'm inclined to let market forces sort this out. If Kansas wants to devalue its degrees, let them either pay the penalty or reconsider.

Permalink to Comment

6. Hanno on February 10, 2006 10:03 AM writes...

"When I argue with ID folks, I try to make it clear that I don't know how life got started, and neither do they. But I sure have a lot of evidence about what it's been doing since then."

If I can summerize what I wanted to say : Evolusionist should include this admission in documentaries as well, not only when confronted by a critic. Such willing openess about gaps in our scientific knowledge would go a long way. ID accuse Evolutionists of being dogmatic about evolution. This is because gaps in the evolution theory is usually covered up with naturalist assumptions, rather than being openly admitted to.

Permalink to Comment

7. Dr Toot on February 10, 2006 11:46 AM writes...

There are alot of awful ideas out there, & one can find many of them of them by turning on the TV. I don't consider the Wisconsin legislature's action in that category, however. Frankly, ID may indeed be how we got here; when you think about it, there's no reason to think we aren't the epiphenomenon of some uber-alien's science project. Ultimately no one knows. Still, I think it is naive to not to use government coercion to maintain our current orthodoxy. I can assure you the religious proto-fascists will stop at nothing to promote their ideology, & while you may be open-minded enough to judge the issue phlegmatically, the stakes are too high to take any chances.

Permalink to Comment

8. Derek Lowe on February 10, 2006 11:48 AM writes...

Dr. T, when I told my wife about this post, she summed up the same position by telling me "You're giving people too much credit again".

Permalink to Comment

9. markm on February 10, 2006 11:51 AM writes...

"Does ID make any predictions?" It should:

1. There should be no vestigial organs, like the appendix in humans.

2. The human foot should be well-engineered, either as a unique design in itself, or as a modification of designs that have proven to work well in other animals - not a halfway-evolved ape paw that will eventually have trouble bearing your weight, even with artificial cladding.

3. The only creature on land that spends most of it's time with it's spine approximately vertical will have a unique spinal design, or something else entirely like a solid bone pillar, that handles the loads for a lifetime.

The problem with religious beliefs often is not whether they are testable, but that the believers will refuse to recognize when they have been tested and have failed.

Permalink to Comment

10. markm on February 10, 2006 11:55 AM writes...

This was not to imply that I support the "ban ID" legislation. Censorship is never a good answer. They might require that science be taught in science class, but why would that be a new requirement?

Permalink to Comment

11. RKN on February 10, 2006 12:11 PM writes...

From the article:

  Michael Cox, a UW professor of biochemistry, said while testable science has led to technological and medical innovations,   ideologies like ID have not produced such benefits to society and humankind.

The statement seems to carry the insidious implication that the theory of evolution (ToE) has "led to technological and medical innovations." I would challenge Mr. Fox to name one technological or medical innovation that relies directly on the ToE being true.

Beyond that, I don't know what Mr. Fox means precisely by "like ID." Because just off the top of my head, capitalism is an ideology; as such its reaped many benefits on society and mankind.

Permalink to Comment

12. PEB on February 10, 2006 1:02 PM writes...

>Beyond that, I don't know what Mr. Fox means precisely by "like ID."

I'm pretty sure he's referring to religeous ideologies.

Permalink to Comment

13. PEB on February 10, 2006 1:27 PM writes...

I would challenge Mr. Fox to name one technological or medical innovation that relies directly on the ToE being true.

Are you really referring to the theory of evolution as a discrete theory, or just to the evolution of life?

The theory of evolution (see genetic algorithms on wikipedia) has been sucessfully used for many things; such as code breaking, circuit design and forward synthesis.

Permalink to Comment

14. Jim Hu on February 10, 2006 3:47 PM writes...

Well, you could start by asking Prof. Cox, since Mr Fox didn't make the statement. Or you could ask the rest of us.

Computer algorithms are fine, but they understate the role of evolutionary thinking in biology and medicine, which is where the controversy is.

There are whole biotech companies that are built around using evolutionary mechanisms (making populations of variants by mutation and recombination and selecting those that work better) to make macromolecule products. I'd include those companies making RNA aptamers and the ones doing artificial protein evolution.

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15. RKN on February 10, 2006 3:50 PM writes...

Are you really referring to the theory of evolution as a discrete theory, or just to the evolution of life?

The theory as it pertains to the evolution of life, i.e. the theory under debate.

The theory of evolution (see genetic algorithms on wikipedia) has been sucessfully used for many things; such as code breaking, circuit design and forward synthesis.

Each of these is the product of intelligent human design. To the extent they work and produce something useful for society or mankind, it is because that was the intention of human minds. But more importantly, none of these things would suddenly become any less useful if tomorrow it were discovered that the theory evolution (as it purports to explain the diversity of life via natural selection operating against a gradient of reproductive fitness) is false.

Consider: As a former software engineer, I could still program agents, condition them to behave and/or change in a constrained manner, then set them loose to interact with other agents programmed to behave and/or change under different constraints. From the ensuing set of associations I could select those which maximize my predefined fitness criteria. To the extent this is an improved way to solve a particular problem, remains so whether the ToE is true or false.

Permalink to Comment

16. jim on February 10, 2006 4:06 PM writes...

I can't believe this discussion is happening again...even some of the main IDers are trying out new wedge strategies (pt. 4?), but hundred y.o. creationist arguments are coming up here. Even "neutral" types like Bonwick don't know what they're talking about (nothing personal)--for instance, that "we have no plausible explanations for the 'Cambrian Explosion'" is just FALSE. Most of the important stuff is summarized at talkorigins.org. Well, no time for this today, there will probably be a hundred entries when i'm back...

Permalink to Comment

17. Jeff Bonwick on February 10, 2006 5:03 PM writes...

I'm not 'neutral'. I'm pro-science. My point is that baseless or exaggerated claims made in the name of science hurt its reputation with the public. There's nothing wrong with informed speculation, as long as it's presented as such.

Regarding the Cambrian explosion: some of the explanations are plausible, but none of them are testable. We cannot produce anything even vaguely comparable in the laboratory. I'm optimistic, however, that within 100 years we'll have enough compute power to run ab initio simulations.

Regarding the appendix: it is not vestigial, it's an active part of the immune system.

Regarding the spine: a friend of mine has a fused spine with metal rods in it to keep it straight (to treat scoliosis). It severely limits her range of motion. Whenever you talk about engineering, you're talking about trade-offs.

Look: big picture, we're on the same side. My argument is tactical. Overclaiming weakens science from the inside out. The attitude that leads to overclaiming (arrogance) is antithetical to the self-critical mindset that powers the scientific method.

Permalink to Comment

18. UndergradChemist on February 10, 2006 11:18 PM writes...

Phylogenetic and interspecial analysis of protein structure is fundamentally based on the assumption that species came from common ancestors. Now, one of the few GPCR protein x-ray structures we have is bacteriorhodopsin, and almost all of our structural data for other GPCRs is based on the evolutionary hypothesis that they are related. Many of the drugs targeting psychological diseases are aimed at the GPCRs, as well as drugs targeting other diseases. There, happy? Evolution in practice.

Permalink to Comment

19. tgibbs on February 12, 2006 10:09 AM writes...

Each of these is the product of intelligent human design.

Uh, yeah. Your challenge was "to name one technological or medical innovation that relies directly on the ToE being true." How could a technical or medical innovation not be the product of human design? But the examples cited are designs that imitate natural selection. They were designed based upon the evidence of evolution indicating that mutation, genetic recombination, and selection are efficient search strategies of discovering novel solutions to problems.

Of course, while these are particularly clear examples, they understate the importance of evolution in biomedical research. It's a bit like challenging somebody to show examples of the use of addition or multiplication in medicine. Evolutionary theory is used so frequently and routinely, and at such a fundamental level, for things like deciding which model systems to use to study drugs, how to interpret sequence difference in proteins between rat and human, that it is hard to think of any biomedical advance that does not depend in some way on the theory.

Permalink to Comment

20. tgibbs on February 12, 2006 10:19 AM writes...

I would be opposed to a bill that actually singles out ID as prohibited. But the text of the bill that I've seen reads

SECTION 1. 118.018 of the statutes is created to read:
118.018 Science instruction. The school board shall ensure that any material presented as science within the school curriculum complies with all of the following:

(1) The material is testable as a scientific hypothesis and describes only natural processes.

(2) The material is consistent with any description or definition of science adopted by the National Academy of Sciences.

This seems to be little more than a definition of science, and seems a reasonable definition of the appropriate subject matter of a science class.

Permalink to Comment

21. qetzal on February 12, 2006 12:17 PM writes...

(1) The material is testable as a scientific hypothesis and describes only natural processes.

I have a quibble with this statement. Its validity depends on how one defines the word natural (as opposed to supernatural).

Some people consider that supernatural processes are, by definition, untestable and non-repeatable. By that definition, science certainly excludes the supernatural, but then the clause on natural processes is redundant.

In common usage, the word supernatural may include many things that are eminently testable. ESP, psycokinesis, and the healing power of prayer are often considered supernatural, but all can be (and have been) tested scientifically.

I think it's more useful to say that science is confined to things that are testable, repeatable, and predictable. Distinguishing between natural and supernatural is, IMO, both unnecessary and confusing.

Permalink to Comment

22. RKN on February 12, 2006 3:55 PM writes...

But the examples cited are designs that imitate natural selection.

So what? Is it your position that if I succeed in artificially imitating a mechanism of an hypothesis, that the hypothesis is therefore true?

It's a bit like challenging somebody to show examples of the use of addition or multiplication in medicine.

Er, no, it's not. Addition and subtraction are analytical forms of knowledge true beyond debate; the ToE is synthetic, and its truth is not beyond debate.

Evolutionary theory is used so frequently and routinely, and at such a fundamental level, for things like deciding which model systems to use to study drugs, how to interpret sequence difference in proteins between rat and human, that it is hard to think of any biomedical advance that does not depend in some way on the theory.

"...depend in some way."

And this is the very question I posed -- What (specific) way?!

I would argue that sequence difference(s) between proteins common in rats and humans can be "interpreted" without any presumption of an evolutionary relationship. The biomedically relevant questions pertaining to how these proteins fold, function, and interact with the rest of the proteome rely on chemistry (and ultimately physics), not the ToE.

As for how the ToE informs our choice of model systems, you may have a great deal more experience in biomedical research than I do; I've just begun my education in Pharmacology and Proteomics. But so far it seems to me that the decision on which model system to use to carry out experiments, practically has more to do with prior protocols, considerations of experimental efficacy, and most importantly, whether the critter's genome been sequenced, than anything else.

Permalink to Comment

23. Jeff Bonwick on February 13, 2006 4:15 AM writes...

OK, here's a very specific example of evolution affecting day-to-day life: drug resistance. Evolution explains how and why it develops; predicts it from first principles; and (specifically addressing your point about how it's useful) suggests how to combat it.

Modern drug development seeks conserved targets: that is, proteins that are necessary for survival, and within those proteins, regions that can't mutate without destroying the protein's function. Find a drug that gums up that region of the protein, and the critter dies -- and can't easily evolve its way out.

Evolution tells us that conserved targets should exist; that we should be able to find them by sequencing a given gene over many samples and looking for the parts that never vary; and that really important genes will be conserved not only within a species but even across species. All of these predictions are useful, actionable, and correct.

Permalink to Comment

24. Joss Delage on February 13, 2006 3:15 PM writes...

I have a couple issues with an ID-specific legislation.

1 - Why ID only and not any of the other crazy ideas that circulates (or even could circulate). By singling-out ID, such a piece of legislature would give it legitimacy above and beyond all the other cults - why do that?

2 - There is already a law in place that covers the ban of ID in (public) schools: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." There is no need for anything more.

Permalink to Comment

25. tgibbs on February 16, 2006 10:22 AM writes...

So what? Is it your position that if I succeed in artificially imitating a mechanism of an hypothesis, that the hypothesis is therefore true?

No. Indeed, even asking such a question reveals a truly profound ignorance of science. Science does not prove things true, it proves things false. So a simulation of a mechanism is a test of the hypothesis that a particular type of mechanism is capable of producing a particular type of outcome. In other words, such a test is of the form. "If A then B." The prediction that B is the case relies upon A being true. But discovering B does not prove that A is true; instead, failing to find B would falsify A.

But that wasn't the challenge: it was "to name one technological or medical innovation that relies directly on the ToE being true." The prediction that genetic recombination and selection would prove to be an efficient search procedure is relies upon the assumption that the theory is correct. Confirmation of this prediction supports the theory (because if it had come out the other way, the theory would have been in trouble). But it does not prove it. That's the way science works.

Addition and subtraction are analytical forms of knowledge true beyond debate

No, they depend upon particular mathematical postulates. And the idea that these mathematical constructs can be applied to anything in the real world is itself a type of theory.

And this is the very question I posed -- What (specific) way?!

And this is very much like asking, "in what specific way does this research depend upon addition?" The answer is going to differ from topic to topic. A lot of the time, the answer is going to be, "in almost every way." I've mentioned a few examples where the theory is being used in a particularly obvious transparent way, such as the use of genetic algorithms. Considering that you are having trouble understanding these, it hardly seems worthwhile getting into the many ways in which the theory is used in a more fundamental and less obvious manner.

I would argue that sequence difference(s) between proteins common in rats and humans can be "interpreted" without any presumption of an evolutionary relationship.

Yes, and as a non-auto mechanic, I might argue that all engine malfunctions can be repaired with parts made of wood. But oddly enough, all of the successful auto mechanics seem to use metal. And all of the successful biologists seem to use evolutionary theory.

Permalink to Comment

26. RKN on February 16, 2006 11:27 PM writes...

The prediction that genetic recombination and selection would prove to be an efficient search procedure is relies upon the assumption that the theory is correct.

If you could look beyond your arrogance for a moment, you might see the categorical error you've made. The actual theory of evolution (the ToE I clarified to PEB I was talking about) is NOT a "search procedure." As hypothesized, it is an intention[less] process operating on random mutation and recombination of real genetic material, incidentally selecting for reproductive success.

Genetic algorithms implemented in computer search programs do search with intention. These algorithms, though they might be inspired by the hypothesized mechanism underlying the ToE, nevertheless DO NOT rely on the actual mechanism being correct (true). By that I mean it doesn't matter a wit to the success of a genetic algorithm if the diversity of life on this planet is in fact the result of the mechanism of natural selection or not.

Contrast that to the myriad "medical and technological innovations" which in fact do rely on the correctness (truth) of their underlying theories, for example, electromagnetism, or quantum mechanics. If those theories were not actually correct (true), all the innovations wouldn't work in the first place.

Confirmation of this prediction supports the theory (because if it had come out the other way, the theory would have been in trouble). But it does not prove it. That's the way science works.

If what "had come out the other way," the computer search procedure? Let me tall ya, I worked as a software engineer for about twenty years, partly in the employ of a company that implemented genetic algorithms. They collapsed into chaotic states and ran in circles all the time. So according to you, the actual theory of evolution is "in trouble" because of this!

Permalink to Comment

27. TP on February 20, 2006 12:08 PM writes...

To quote Derek's original response: "So I hope that this Wisconsin idea dies before ever being brought to a vote. Don't do us scientists any favors, guys - we can handle this on our own. I have a great deal of contempt for the Intelligent Design movement, and I want to see it given the drubbing it deserves in open debate, over and over again, until it goes away."

It's a nice sentiment, Derek. But, it is sadly naive in that it completely avoids the rather stark reality that EVOLUTION IS GETTING IT'S ASS KICKED in the public sphere!

Hate to shout, but perhaps you haven't bothered to glance at the national polls that show that the American public is not so "on board" with evolution, and that a solid majority want ID taught in public schools.

We are losing the war, my friend.

So, Derek, you may sit back and and relax in the warm confidence that all it will take to settle the matter is one or two more robust arguments launched from your armchair before the ID proponents lay down their weapons and submit themsleves to the sheer and compelling might of your intellect ... however, that ain't gonna' happen.

Your thinking too much like a scientist, and not as a politician. What you got here is not a scientific problem, it's a public relations problem. It's a political problem.

Best get suited up accordingly. That's while this bill is necessary.

Permalink to Comment

28. gmlk on April 8, 2007 8:34 AM writes...

"OK, here's a very specific example of evolution affecting day-to-day life: drug resistance. Evolution explains how and why it develops; predicts it from first principles; and (specifically addressing your point about how it's useful) suggests how to combat it."

Maybe not so much...
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=17382878

Permalink to Comment

29. Zinc on April 8, 2007 4:56 PM writes...

Whether through chromosonal mutation or conjugation, changes in bacterial DNA that result in a superior organism, in terms of probability of survival, is still evolution.

Permalink to Comment

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