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Tag Archives: genetics

The concept of Irreducible Complexity (IC) and, by extension Intelligent Design (ID) as a whole, is a defeatest and slothful concept. It’s proponents whine and wail that things are too complicated to have arisen through blind natural processes so don’t even bother to try to understand it. What kind of attitude is that? If everyone in history had this outlook we would still be throwing rocks to catch dinner. Science as we know it arose because there were those who did not accept that dogmatically-given answers are immune from being questioned. In other words, what we know as modern Science arose in spite of Religion and most definitely not because of it.

And – trust me on this – I did not need the opinon of Judge Jones III, as correct as it was, to know that ID is NOT Science. In Science, we deal in explanations that offer insight into the mechanisms of processes, not simply substituting another expression for “I don’t know”, like “a magic man done it”, and trying to pass it off as somehow being a satisfactory answer when it answers exactly nothing. How do we know when something is ‘too complex’ except when given as a ‘just so’ story? And ‘just so’ stories are as dogmatic as it gets. In Science we systematically work to divest ourselves of dogma, not embrace it!

In the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, Dr. Michael Behe was front and center for the defense trying to put forward the idea that this idiotic concept ‘explains’ the complexity of cellular structures that he feels (without ever presenting any data to corroborate his belief) could not come to be through the blind machinations of natural selection.

Poppycock. Behe tries to appeal to ignorance, which is not a logical argument at all. This is true in every single example supposedly supporting IC he has ever given. But his argument is never any more than throwing up his hands in self-fulfilling defeat at a real explanation. At the Kitzmiller trial, he was forced to admit that he was not even familliar with the relevant literature! This is the height of intellectual dishonesty, and because Behe espouses such nonsense his colleagues have completely (and rightly) disowned these nonsensical ideas (and let’s face it – him). This underscores a basic difference between ID (or should I say ‘cdesign proponentsists’?) and Evolution proponents in that the latter actually work to gather evidence in support of hypotheses while the former do nothing but sponge off the gullible by telling the faithful what they want to hear.

Today I’m going to discuss what proponents of ID consider the poster child for their position and why it is really far-and-away better represented by evolution.

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There are many out there that refuse to accept that the same science which is used to convict criminals can also be used to demonstrate conclusively that humans evolved from common ancestors with chimpanzees, which evolved from common ancestors with great apes, etc. Very strange, since lay people are so trusting of the former. I’m going to write here about a story about one gene, out of the many thousands of similar stories in our genome, the NANOG gene. For those that are interested in molecular studies of evolution, with particular reference to human evolution, I strongly recommend Daniel Fairbanks Relics of Eden. This is a great primer for how molecular biology is applied to the problem of evolution. The following information is contained within Chapter 5 and Appendix 1 of Relics of Eden.

What is NANOG?

NANOG is a homeobox gene which encodes a transcription factor critical in development. In other words, it is a regulatory gene. The products of this gene allow cultured stem cells to divide indefinitely without differentiation (to become specialized cell types). It becomes activated shortly after conception.

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