Since it has been so long since I last wrote a blog post, I thought that I ease back into blogging by attacking the lowest of the low hanging fruit from the Discovery Institute. Namely, the argument that Intelligent Design (ID) is real science.
Recently, Casey Luskin wrote a post discussing how ID proponents test their theory in real world situations. Luskin provides a short list of four items (is that the most he could come up with?) that are supposed predictions of ID. Lets take them one at a time:
(1) Natural structures will be found that contain many parts arranged in intricate patterns that perform a specific function (e.g. complex and specified information).
This is not a prediction. Life has already been seen to have “intricate patterns that perform specific functions.” In fact, isn’t the complexity of life what made people believe ID in the first place?
(2) Forms containing large amounts of novel information will appear in the fossil record suddenly and without similar precursors.
It is rare to find any facet of an organism that doesn’t already have a precursor, let alone “large amounts of novel information.” The prediction of ID should state that there will only be the instant appearance of new structures. Any evidence for a slow, gradual development of a structure would refute ID and prove evolution. For example, you might see a fully formed tetrapod without any precursors if ID was true. However, we see in the fossil record myriad examples of transitional forms from fish to tetrapod (Tiktaalik, Panderichthys, etc.).
(3) Convergence will occur routinely. That is, genes and other functional parts will be re-used in different and unrelated organisms.
This prediction seems odd to me. Convergence is a prediction of evolution. Take for example the convergence of the ability to fly. Evolution would predict that different organisms would gain the ability to fly, but they would achieve this ability by slightly different methods. Luskin is predicting that structures would be re-used by different organisms. Why do all wings look so different? Does a fly’s wing resemble a bird’s or a bat’s? Not at all.
(4) Much so-called “junk DNA” will turn out to perform valuable functions.
4) “Much?” Luskin should have said “all.” if we are to believe in intelligent design. Why waste even a single nucleotide if you were to design an organism’s DNA? This sort of ambiguity is what makes these predictions worthless.
I think it is clear to see that the predictions put forth by Luskin are basically worthless for providing support that ID is real science. What do you expect when you can give the “designer” any attribute, power, or foresight that you desire?