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IDURC — Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center

Here’s an update from IDURC’s director:

After a year of hibernation, I have finally mustered the energy to
update the website of the Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research
Center. Included in this update:

1. A review paper by an undergraduate student on chemical evolutionary theory.
http://www.idurc.org/archive/bau_chemicalevolution.htm

2. An interview with Phylogenist Dr. Phil Skell.
http://www.idurc.org/interviews/skell0605.htm

3. An interview with Glenn Morton.
http://www.idurc.org/interviews/morton0605.htm

Please check out the site! And if you know any high schoolers or
undergrads who would be interested in getting something published (for
pay!), please do let me know.

Tristan Abbey
Director
Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center
www.idurc.org

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2 Responses to IDURC — Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center

  1. Thanks Bill. I liked the chemical evolution article. Abiogenesis has always been my major sticking point in accepting unintelligent evolution. Darwinists like to claim that isn’t any of their concern but then as soon as you bring it up they’re all over it with how happened without intelligence. That’s why I love using the ribosome as the prime example of IC and CSI. Every extant form of life uses ribosomes and DNA. As far as anyone can tell it requires about 200 proteins (the article at IDURC claims between 100 & 200) plus hundreds of thousands of DNA codons all working together in an interdependent symphony to make the simplest replicator from which RM+NS can proceed. As the article states there has been basically no progress whatsoever since Miller-Urey 50 years ago in coming up with any remotely plausible scenario where that holistic system could have bootstrapped itself. To add insult to injury the MU experiment has been cast aside because it used a mix of gases that the geologic record says never existed on the earth. Adding even more insult to injury the greatest leap in the evolution of life (abiogenesis) had to take place within a comparatively tiny space of time from when the earth congealed to when the geologic record shows the first unambiguous signs of life emerging. At the very least it strongly points to the panspermia hypothesis where the first life originated somewhere other than on the earth where it would have had far more time and a possibility of a plausible chemical environment that didn’t destroy amino acids as quickly as they could form. Proteins are delicate. Without a vessel of some sort to contain a non-destructive soluble media and some means of shielding from destructive UV light amino acids just don’t stand a chance of concentrating or staying concentrated long enough for anything interesting to happen.

    If someone comes up with a plausible mechanism for abiogenesis and demonstrates it in a lab I’m ready to accept the idea that the rest of evolution could have happened along Darwinian narrative lines. I believe that’s asking for the impossible to be demonstrated so I’m not holding my breath while waiting for it. ;-)

  2. Good interviews too. That was a nice reading selection.

    Morton’s position looks to be “design, all the way down”. A lot like David Heddle and JA Davison. Fine tuning needs some explaining for sure as it’s yet another case of virtually impossible odds being beaten somehow. That was among the first ID arguments I read in 1991. I wish I could recall the title of the book it was in. SciAm has been a regular publishing source for theoretical physics articles on various infinite multiverse schemas to account for it but it doesn’t look like that’s ever going to become experimental physics so while it’s interesting reading it will probably always be hypothetical. And even those hypotheses don’t logically discount design.

    The problem I have with Morton’s position is it enters a realm where there’s nothing experimental to do. A nearly impossible chance assemblage of physical constant values evidently lined up in way to allow life to exist. Theoretical physicists regularly publish hypothetical infinite multiverse models (seems like at least 2-3 per year in SciAm) to account for it. It appears to be a logical stalemate to me with little hope of resolution.

    Looking for ways to beat seemingly impossible odds in chemical/biological evolution does not appear outside the bounds of experimental science so that’s where I drive the stake in the ground.

    I don’t agree with the following answer from Morton:

    6. What sort of “wrong data” are you referring to with regards to ID?

    Trying to use biology and biological systems as the evidence for design. Anyone who has studied genetic algorithms knows that you can design radios, and airplane landing gear as well as nuclear bombs with mutation and selection. It is being done today. To claim that mutation and natural selection can’t bring forth some incredible designs is to ignore the data we see in the design groups of many industries.

    If that’s a done deal then where’s the blueprint for the carbon based life form that resulted from a simulation of biochemical evolution? Better yet, where’s the critter built from the blueprint? Radios aren’t alive. Show me the money! :-)

    Much as I love finding things to disagree with I couldn’t find anything disagreeable in Skell’s interview.

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