Schlemiel Zuckerkandl in his dotage
|August 21, 2006||Posted by William Dembski under Intelligent Design|
Emile Zuckerkandl, an erstwhile co-author with Linus Pauling, just got accepted a very long piece attacking ID in GENE (go here):
Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Copyright © 2006 Published by Elsevier B.V.
Intelligent design and biological complexity
Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University and Institute of Molecular Medical Sciences, P.O.Box 20452, Stanford, California 94309
Received 16 October 2005; accepted 15 March 2006. Available online 5 August 2006.
ABSTRACT. Before any intelligence can appear, a world endowed with the potential for being experienced as a body of phenomena has to be existent. Indeed, if there is to be an intelligence, there first has to be something intelligible. Hence, when an intelligence is present, “creation” must already have taken place. Nevertheless, biological complexity has been deemed by some to be one of the privileged points of insertion of a supernatural intelligence endowed with temporal and causal primacy. In the course of a critical review, it is pointed out here that the general and permanent spectacle of nature’s spontaneous tinkering with the structures and performances of informational macromolecules and with interactive connections among these molecules suggests an absence from evolution of design and intelligence. As a byproduct of combinatorial gambles and of the repair of molecular damage inflicted by mutations, the complexity of biological systems can increase spontaneously. One of the possible molecular pathways to such evolutionary increases in complexity is described.
If you have access to the articles at ScienceDirect, read this one. Zuckerkandl offers no actual arguments — he merely sneers. He declares that Dawkins and Miller have answered Behe’s argument on the flagellum. But Dawkins in his book The Ancestor’s Tale simply recounted what Miller said, and Miller has been blowing smoke now for years, always sidestepping the precise evolutionary paths for the systems that Behe has put forward as posing an obstacle to Darwinism. Even better, Zuckerkandl confuses the eukaryotic and prokaryotic flagella. It is the eukaryotic flagellum — also called the cilium — that has hundreds of proteins. The prokaryotic flagellum is a completely different structure, which has a few dozen proteins.
Bottom line: According to Zuckerkandl some argument decisively refutes Behe, and yet he doesn’t even know which biological structures are under discussion in the actual argument. If this is representative of Stanford’s biology department, you’re better off sending your kids to the local community college.