ISCID and ARN member Albert de Roos in 3 peer-reviewed journals
|April 19, 2007||Posted by scordova under Intelligent Design|
Albert de Roos is a long time participant at International Society of Complexity Information and Design and Access Research Network. de Roos is not formally an advocate of intelligent design theory but has been a friendly and valuable supporter of the dialogue. His papers argue that in order for evolution to proceed, evolution must proceed by applying software design principles such as “design-by-contract”.
His accepted papers are:
Conserved intron positions in ancient protein modules Biology Direct 2:7
Recently, it was reasoned based on the engineering paradigm design-by-contract, that exon concatenation of modular exonic sequences was the basis of eukaryotic genome formation
Origins of introns based on the definition of exon modules and their conserved interfaces. Bioinformatics. 2005, 21:2-9
Summary: Central to the unraveling of the early evolution of the genome is the origin and role of introns. The evolution of the genome can be characterized by a continuous expansion of functional modules that occurs without the interruption of existing processes. The design-by-contract methodology of software development offers a modular approach to design that seeks to increase flexibility by focusing on the design of constant interfaces between functional modules. Here, it is shown that design-by-contract can offer a framework for genome evolution.
The origin of the eukaryotic cell based on conservation of existing interfaces. Artif Life. 2006 Fall;12(4):513-23
5.5 Design by Contract as a Framework The new mechanism proposed here is based on an evolutionary model in which self-contained modules interact with each other by constant interfaces , a general method for reducing complexity and could give evolution the necessary robustness, flexibility, and extensibility. This design pattern is abstracted in the software development methodology known as design by contract  in which the interface is viewed as specifications of the mutual obligations, or contracts. The effect of constant interfaces across self-contained modules is a reduction of the interdependences across modules or components and a reduction of the risk that changes within one module will create unanticipated changes in other modules. The constancy of interfaces in evolution is enforced by the dependence of all downstream processes on an established interface. Self-assembly processes are by definition self-contained and they decrease complexity by reducing dependences on external factors. The proposed sequence of events during the acquisition of an exomembrane, including the export mechanism of ribosomal subunits, is in line with a model based on the conservation of existing interfaces during evolution. The evolutionary model of self-contained modules that interact with conserved interfaces can provide a general framework for the creation of artificial life.
His ideas have received a somewhat cool reception in the ID community probably because he thinks natural selection can function as a designer substitute. However, he articulates what design principles a designer might use in order to succeed at realizing a working design.
He correctly approaches the problem of identifying designs in biology by relating them to man-made engineering designs and design organizing principles. The search for analogues in biology to man-made engineering designs is the search for specified complexity in biology, and thus de Roos has provided an illustration how to use the Explanatory Filter in practice. de Roos is providing a model of how fruitful ID research could be profitably pursued.
The refutation of mindless OOL and Darwinism is moving forward quite well. The next step for ID research is to apply design detection (I prefer to use the phrase “design identification”) techniques so that our understanding of biology and opportunities for medical advancements can be made.
In addition, de Roos has made a very good critique of traditional models of cellular evolution (such as endosymbiosis and prokaryotes-first theories), and has thus advanced our knowledge in these areas. Furthermore, reverse engineering the software architecture of life by presuming a “design by contract” metaphor may prove a fruitful avenue of research. If one can reverse engineer the “contract” or requirements of an engineering design, one can understand the design far better, because to understand the purposes of a design is the a good step in understanding the design.
Some of his submitted papers are available at ISCID: Origin of insect metamorphosis based on design-by-contract: larval stages as an atavism
De Roos is listed in ResearchID. Congratulations Albert de Roos!