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Friday, January 07, 2011

This just in, with coffee: “Vast knowledge” brought to bear on the ID controversy

Alternative headline: The mountains labor and bring forth a mouse. - Horace

Here, we learn From Stephen M. Feldman, Jerry W. Housel/Carl F. Arnold Distinguished Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor of Political Science, University of Wyoming, via Amazon, that
ID advocates insist that public school teachers should be required to teach ID whenever they teach evolution. Frank Ravitch brings his vast knowledge of these debates to bear in Marketing Intelligent Design and leaves the ID argument in tatters. With incisive arguments and historical understanding, Professor Ravitch demonstrates that the ID position is no more than an imaginative marketing campaign that repackages previous attacks on the teaching of evolution. But the substance of the attack is the same, and Ravitch shows why it must fail.
Frank who shows what? The best ID literature available today is the slowly accumulating - and unwilling - support for the central ID contention that Darwinism is not a magical process that produces high levels of information from nothing.

I can’t think why students mustn’t be allowed to know. Wait, I can. They are being indoctrinated into a culture where something really can come from nothing, and all publicly approved beliefs must support that.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

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What Craig Venter actually accomplished with his synthetic cell

In the wake of breathless news stories like
MSNBC: "It's alive! Artificial DNA controls life"

UK Sun: "'Frankenstein' doc creates life"

BBC: "'Artificial life' breakthrough announced by scientists"

Comcast News: "A step to artificial life: Manmade DNA powers cell"

Vanity Fair: "Mankind Creates First Synthetic Genome, Officially Replaces God"

UK Daily Mail: "Scientist accused of playing God after creating artificial life by making designer microbe from scratch - but could it wipe out humanity?",
Don Johnson, at Science Integrity, explains the actual significance of Craig Venter’s “synthesized genome”:
The bottom line is that the Venter scientists accomplished something never before done. They put together components produced by living organisms, selected by genetic engineering to match a computer-specified sequence of digital information matching a target genome, in order to produce a genome matching that target. The resulting genome replaced the native genome of another bacterium of a different type, resulting in a "new" life form matching the target life. Perhaps the capability to build life for specific properties will follow, for example to destroy cancer cells or to eat oil from spills. Other capabilies may not be as attractive, such as creating a weapon destructive to human life, that would leave other life (and property) unharmed.
The purpose of his Web site is to expose unsubstantiated science claims.

Current pop media should keep him busy for the rest of his life.

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