ID-relevant news from research arm, the Biologic Institute,
|April 11, 2012||Posted by News under Intelligent Design, News|
Ann Gauger: I’ll bet you think that evolution has to do with explaining how we are all related by common descent. And I’ll bet you think that one of the chief pieces of evidence for common descent is homology, defined as similarity of form due to shared ancestry. This is pretty basic—Darwin’s theory is an argument from similarity.
However, biologists have known for some time that similarity is not always and everywhere the product of common descent. Organisms can display similarities of sequence, form, or life history that cannot be accounted for by their family tree. Homoplasy is the technical term assigned to such tree-jumping similarities, and ”convergent evolution” is the process by which they evolved. Conway Morris has written extensively on it. 
In the past, evolutionary biologists have dealt with homoplasy by ignoring it. Any trait identified as due to homoplasy was eliminated from their tree-drawing efforts. But now that we have access to DNA sequence data, we are finding more and more cases of homoplasy—similarity in sequence or structure that can’t possible be due to common descent—similarity that jumps across trees . Phylogeneticists are urging caution, because the conflicting signals from different sequences can confuse tree-drawing algorithms .
It’s all the fault of those fundamentalists … oh, wait …
Doug Axe: BIO-Complexity, an open-access peer reviewed science journal that focuses on the debate over design, enters its third volume with a paper  from the team at Baylor University led by Bob Marks (one of our affiliated scientists).
Like prior work from that team, the new paper by Winston Ewert, Bill Dembski and Bob Marks shows that computational implementations of the Darwinian mechanism only work in a very limited sense. In order to outperform random guessing, they have to be tailored to suit the specific problem of interest. In other words, for each problem to be tackled, someone who understands the best way to go about solving it has to construct a special version of a mutation-selection algorithm if that algorithm is going to be of any help.
That plainly contradicts the Darwinian idea that mutation and selection is a one-size-fits-all problem solver.
Ann Gauger: The co-discoverer of the theory of evolution by natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace, didn’t think human evolution could be explained solely in terms of Darwinian processes, at least as far as human cognition and behavior was concerned. And it cost him his scientific reputation.
Varki, Geschwind and Eichler  summarize it this way:
Wallace lost favour with the scientific community partly because he questioned whether natural selection alone could account for the evolution of human mind, writing: “I do not consider that all nature can be explained on the principles of which I am so ardent an advocate; and that I am now myself going to state objections, and to place limits, to the power of ‘natural selection’. How could ‘natural selection’, or survival of the fittest in the struggle for existence, at all favour the development of mental powers so entirely removed from the material necessities of savage men, and which even now, with our comparatively high civilization, are, in their farthest developments, in advance of the age, and appear to have relation rather to the future of the race than to its actual status?”
To even wonder is to be banished, unless you come up with some utterly fatuous account.
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