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So Dawkins thinks design can be studied? Plus links!

Gonzaga law prof David DeWolf comments of Richard Dawkins’s effort to spin his recent sympathy for the idea of extraterrestrials bringing life to Earth – as admitted to the Expelled team in the film:

The point of Dawkins’ concession in the movie is not that panspermia is a preferable alternative to evolutionary theory, but rather THAT IT CAN BE STUDIED SCIENTIFICALLY. (Sorry for shouting, but I get excited about these things.)

Dawkins concedes that you could scientifically investigate whether or not the origin of life reflected natural processes or whether it was likely the result of intervention from an external, intelligent source. If you concede this point, which Dawkins appears to do on camera, then Robert Pennock, Eugenie Scott, Judge Jones et al. are dead wrong in postulating “that ID is an interesting theological argument, but that it is not science.” (Kitzmiller, 400 F.Supp.2d 707, 746)

Whether intelligent design is a *true* theory of course is another question. You could find that there is “overwhelming evidence” (cue the orchestra here) that a Darwinian mechanism is responsible for the first life on earth, but you have to show that it is more likely than a competitor explanation, which involves intelligent agency.

Poof, there goes a major prop in the battle against ID.

Well, for the Darwin fans, it hasn’t really been about the evidence for decades, has it? Unless you spell “evidence” T-U-R-F.

Just up at The Design of Life blog: Tuatara creeps into limelight … faster than hardened cement!

“Living fossil” tuatara surprises scientists: Evolves quickly without ever changing

Excerpt: “In short, the tuatara’s sluggish exterior conceals a swiftly changing genome that never got around to doing anything for two hundred million years. That in turn raises the question of just what influence the genome does have on animal form (morphology) or evolution.”

It also raises questions about the usefulness of the “molecular clock.” Is it right only twice a day?

Just up at the Post-Darwinist:

Somebody else’s turn: Darwin trolls try to eviscerate former pal Chris Mooney for saying something sensible about Expelled. Caution: One way ticket to Troll City

Harvard publishing conspiracy theory? A couple of years ago, I wrote an underappreciated series on the growing scandal of peer review. Darn, I should have put money on it!

Biologic Institute Web site now on line (for the convenience of reasonable persons and inconvenience of mindless detractors.)

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One Response to So Dawkins thinks design can be studied? Plus links!

  1. Current news:
    Hawking: Unintelligent life is likely on other planets

    . . . If there is life elsewhere in the universe, Hawking asks why haven’t we stumbled onto some alien broadcasts in space, maybe something like “alien quiz shows?”

    Hawking’s comments were part of a lecture at George Washington University on Monday in honor of NASA’s 50th anniversary. He theorized that there are possible answers to whether there is extraterrestrial life.

    One option is that there likely isn’t life elsewhere. Or maybe there is intelligent life elsewhere, but when it gets smart enough to send signals into space, it also is smart enough to make destructive nuclear weapons.

    Hawking said he prefers the third option:

    “Primitive life is very common and intelligent life is fairly rare,” he then quickly added: “Some would say it has yet to occur on earth.” . . .

    In light of Dawkins’ positing the possibility of intelligent causes and panspermia, are Hawkings’ statements to be construed as “science”, “hypothesis”, “speculation”, “news”, or “fiction”?

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