Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Conclusion: Darwins Dilemma, Creationist Propaganda and Corrupt Christians

This post is the conclusion of a four-part series. The preceding post can be found here, the introductory 1st post is linked here.

According to “many published scientists,” there is a “story being told by Darwinists” that DNA and genetics play a role in evolutionary development, protein synthesis and the ontogeny of the physical characteristics displayed by animals. In hopes of edifying the masses of wayward “Darwinists,” these same “many published scientists” point out in Darwin’s Dilemma that DNA lacks the potency and mechanical know-how required to undertake these tasks. In actuality - according to “many published scientists” - all of life is derived from non-genetic “information” that is harbored within each irreducibly complex cell. Furthermore, this “information” does not arise from earthly processes, rather these “blue prints” are “preordained” by an “intelligent source.”

Many published scientists, many published scientists and many published scientists.

At this point in the science ‘doctrine-mentry,’ piles and piles of cover pages from published articles are shown on screen. Included with these publications are those to be found in THE JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, which is visually emphasized in the film.

So, the bestowment of consecrated ‘information’ from the heavens has reportedly been shown to be a fact? Who are these “many published scientists?”

As introduced in the film, the ranks of these scientists are held by not only the Discovery Institute’s scientists, but also those from the world acclaimed Biologic Institute in Washington State. Among the “many” – which I counted as three – are Dr. Stephen Meyer, Dr. Richard Sternberg and Dr. Douglas Axe. Incidentally, did I mention that the world acclaimed Biologic Institute, like Discovery Media (the producers of Darwin’s Dilemma), is funded by the Discovery Institute? But unlike Discovery Media, the Biologic Institute is tax exempt as it is a chartable organization!

Regardless of their employers and obvious unscientific motives, if these three ‘esteemed scientists’ have conducted valid research there is no reason to discredit their work. Their individual publications should be evaluated on the merits of established protocol and peer review. For example, just because the intelligent design article credited to Meyer was published to the journal of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington by then editor RICHARD STERNBERG during his last day on post doesn’t mean that the research is necessarily invalid… Of course, the subsequent statement released by the Biological Society of Washington’s Council doesn’t help Meyer’s or Sternberg’s case very much:

The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories, in vol 117, no 2, pp 213-239 of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, was published at the discretion of the former editor, Richard Sternberg. Contrary to typical editorial practices, the paper was published without review by any associate editor; Sternberg handled the entire review process. The Council…would have deemed the paper inappropriate… subject matter represents a significant departure from the nearly purely systematic content…”

As for the momentous work by Douglas Axe that was published in THE JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY… Well, it doesn’t actually say anything about intelligent design, or divinely driven biological processes. The paper, titled Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds, essentially reports that mutational rates found in an enzyme that breaks down penicillin (beta-lactamases) are very rare. The exact rarity of these mutations, as estimated by Axe, is determined to be in a range with a high-end value of about 10 to the 74th power- very rare indeed. From this estimation of a rare mutation rate, Axe makes inferences (far reaching) to the evolution of proteins. Once these findings are sifted through the god-filter of creationists, the end result is a pronouncement in Darwin’s Dilemma that the chance of mutation is so rare as to prohibit the process of evolution from occurring. So rare, that in fact the only possible explanation for life is divine creation. Wow, now that’s an impressive leap! The total destruction of modern biology in a single paper; I’m curious as to why thousands of independent researchers the world over continue to study evolution… Must be a conspiracy!

And then, having decimated the fossil record, slandered Darwin, Simon Conway Morris, Richard Dawkins, and Stephen J Gould, AND having misrepresented the whole of modern scientific understanding, the tale of Darwin’s Dilemma comes to an end. Fin.

To draw this novel length critique of Darwin’s Dilemma to a close, let me re-emphasize that although lacking historical accuracy, scientific legitimacy and professional integrity the film’s production value and underlying truth-manipulating strategy make it a dangerous opponent to education and reason. The people behind the film are dishonest, unethical and immoral; they lie, doctor evidence and misrepresent science as a whole. In the process of attacking evolution, they falsify history and tear down the sciences of geology and chemistry.

Though they are fundamentalists and propagandists, they are also cunning and well funded… Take caution.

Axe, D. (2004). Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds Journal of Molecular Biology, 341 (5), 1295-1315 DOI: 10.1016/j.jmb.2004.06.058

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