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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Another ID-friendly paper clears the gauntlet: Focus on saber-tooth tigers

In a paper in an Italian biology journal, John Davison argues that the design of life forms is not generated by Darwin's natural selection, continually adding up, hour after hour, the benefits of a particular arrangement, but rather by preexisting designs, in accord with the physics and chemistry of our universe. (As far as I know, this approach is called "structuralism," and it is hateful beyond imagining to the Darwinists.)
In 1993, Otto Schindewolf said that evolution postulates “a unique, historical course of events that took place in the past, is not repeatable experimentally and cannot be investigated in that way.” In this peer-reviewed article from a prestigious Italian biology journal, John A. Davison agrees with Schindewolf. Since “[o]ne can hardly expect to demonstrate a mechanism that simply does not and did not exist,” Davison attempts to find new explanations for the origin of convergence among biological forms. Davison contends that “[t]he so-called phenomenon of convergent evolution may not be that at all, but simply the expression of the same preformed ‘blueprints’ by unrelated organisms.” While discussing many remarkable examples of “convergent evolution,” particularly the marsupial and placental saber-toothed cats, Davison’s meaning is unmistakable: This evidence “bears, not only on the questions raised here, but also, on the whole issue of Intelligent Design.” Davison clearly implies that this evidence is expected under an intelligent design model, but not under a Neo-Darwinian one. (Davison, John A. “A Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis,” Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum 98 (2005): 155-166.)

All saber tooth tigers are now extinct, but placental saber-tooths presumably gave birth after some months to cubs nourished by a placenta that separates the body systems of mother and infant*. Marsupials, by contrast, produce embryos after only a few weeks. The embryos then crawl up into a pouch (marsupium) on their mother's underside to latch onto a teat and finish their development. Although all these sabertooths were mammals, the engineering of a placenta, which is an exceedingly complex organ, vs. a marsupium (another complex organ) is quite different.

Here's what's at issue: Darwinism requires that each stage in the engineering of a complex organ such as the placenta or marsupium be driven by an individual "selective advantage." But that seems hopelessly improbable to many respected scientists.

In reality, it makes much more sense to assume a high level of original design, however we account for it, with natural selection only trimming the defects of individual examples of the design.
*because otherwise the mother's antibodies would kill the infant. That's what happens in Rh negative disease.

If you like this blog, check out my book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well.

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