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Molecular biologist Michael Denton is back!


Yes, him, the post-Darwinian.

Remember Evolution: A Theory in Crisis? Nature’s Destiny?

At ID research outfit Biologic Institute, senior scientist Ann Gauger draws our attention to the 2013 papers of interest, available online from its journal BIO-Complexity, including two from Denton:

Michael J. Denton: “The Types: A Persistent Structuralist Challenge to Darwinian Pan-Selectionism

Here I first review the structuralist or typological world view of pre-1859 biology, and the concept that the basic forms of the natural world—the Types—are immanent in nature, and determined by a set of special natural biological laws, the so-called ‘laws of form’. I show that this conception was not based, as Darwinists often claim, on a priori philosophical belief in Platonic concepts, but rather upon the empirical finding that a vast amount of biological complexity, including the deep homologies which define the taxa of the natural system, appears to be of an abstract, non-adaptive nature that is sometimes of a strikingly numerical and geometric character. In addition, these Types exhibit an extraordinary robustness and stability, having in many instances remained invariant in diverse lineages for hundreds of millions of years. Second, I show that neither Darwinism nor any subsequent functionalist theory has ever provided a convincing adaptive or functionalist explanation for the Types or deep homologies. Third, I discuss how recent advances have provided new support for the structuralist notion that the basic forms of life are immanent in nature. These include the discovery of the cosmic fine tuning of the laws of nature for life as it exists on earth, and advances in areas of molecular and cellular biology, where it is apparent that a considerable amount of biological complexity is clearly determined by the self-organizing properties of particular categories of matter, rather than being specified in detail in a genetic blueprint as functionalism demands.

and also Michael J. Denton “The place of life and man in nature: Defending the anthropocentric hypothesis”

Here I review the claim that the order of nature is uniquely suitable for life as it exists on earth (Terran life), and specifically for living beings similar to modern humans. I reassess Henderson’s claim from The Fitness of the Environment that the ensemble of core biochemicals that make up Terran life possess a unique synergistic fitness for the assembly of the complex chemical systems characteristic of life. I show that Henderson’s analysis is still remarkably consistent with the facts one century after it was written. It is still widely accepted even among researchers in astrobiology. I also review the evidence for believing that many of the properties of the same core set of biochemicals are specifically fit for the physiology of complex terrestrial beings resembling modern humans. I show that none of the recent advances in the field of extremophile biology, alternative biochemistries, or recent allusions to apparent defects in the fitness of nature for Terran life significantly undermine the core argument, that nature is peculiarly fit for carbon-based Terran life, and especially for the physiology of complex terrestrial beings resembling modern humans.

Note: about fifteen years ago, Denton was calling himself a post-Darwinian, which is why I started to refer to myself as a post-Darwinist. It makes so much sense. Those who can move on, move on. Those who can’t, get new Darwin-free books about evolution suppressed. – O’Leary for News

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6 Responses to Molecular biologist Michael Denton is back!

  1. Of related interest to those who are Michael Denton fans. The documentary, ‘The Privileged Species’ is planned for release in the second half of 2014. The documentary will explore the research of biologist Michael Denton, which reveals how the Universe and the Earth are exquisitely designed not just for life, but for life like us.

    I for one am very much looking forward to the release of ‘The Privileged Species’, and my expectations are high that it will be of the same or better quality and caliber as ‘The Privileged Planet’.

  2. News: Denton is always worth a read. KF

  3. That’s good news. Denton seems to have the ability to really shake things up.

  4. I like this part:

    The Types: A Persistent Structuralist Challenge to Darwinian Pan-Selectionism – Michael J. Denton – 2013
    Excerpt: Cell form
    ,,,Karsenti comments that despite the attraction of the (genetic) blueprint model there are no “simple linear chains of causal events that link genes to phenotypes” [77: p. 255]. And wherever there is no simple linear causal chain linking genes with phenotypes, ,,—at any level in the organic hierarchy, from cells to body plans—the resulting form is bound to be to a degree epigenetic and emergent, and cannot be inferred from even the most exhaustive analysis of the genes.,,,
    To this author’s knowledge, to date the form of no individual cell has been shown to be specified in detail in a genomic blueprint. As mentioned above, between genes and mature cell form there is a complex hierarchy of self-organization and emergent phenomena, rendering cell form profoundly epigenetic.
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2013.3

  5. BA77

    Where did you get your information on “The Privileged Species”?

  6. johnp, from a recent Discovery Institute News Letter

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