Many critizise that intelligent design is not science. But when ID is one of the possible mechanisms of origins, then we must be able to recognize and observe what constitutes a intelligently designed system - no matter if man made, or encountered in nature. And based on that, make hypotheses, test them , and get positive or negative conclusions.
To use design as a basis for scientific predictions is compatible with the scientific process because it does exactly what science is supposed to do. It puts our theories and hypotheses out in the open to be discussed, to be supported by accumulating evidence, or refuted by the evidence. Some may object to this, but if we are seeking for truth, why should we not do it? Intelligent design theory seeks evidence of design in nature. Intelligent design starts with observation in the natural world, and tries to find out, how the origin of given phenomenon can be best explained. Since there are basically two possible mechanisms, design, and natural, unguided, random events, both should be considered, and evaluated against each other.
The beginning of the universe requires a cause. The fine-tuning of the universe requires a tuner. Coded Information which is complex and instructional/specified found in epigenetic systems and genes, and irreducible , interdependent molecular machines and biosynthetic and metabolic pathways in biological systems point to a intelligent agent as best explanation of their setup and origins.
Observation: Intelligent agents act frequently with an end goal in mind, constructing functional irreducibly complex multipart-machines, and make exquisitely integrated circuits that require a blueprint to build the object. Furthermore, Computers integrate software/hardware and store high levels of instructional complex coded information. In our experience, systems that either a)require or b)store large amounts of specified-instructional complex information such as codes and languages, and which are constructed in a interdependence of hard and software invariably originate from an intelligent source. No exception.
Hypothesis (Prediction): Natural structures will be found that contain many parts arranged in intricate patterns, metabolic pathways similar to electronic circuits, and irreducible structures that perform specific functions -- indicating high levels of Information, irreducible complexity, and interdependence, like hard/software.
Experiment: Experimental investigations of DNA, epigenetic codes, and metabolic circuits indicate that biological molecular machines and factories ( Cells ) are full of information-rich, language-based codes and code/blueprint-based structures. Biologists have performed mutational sensitivity tests in proteins and determined that their amino acid sequences, in order to provide function, require highly instructional complex coded information stored in the Genome. Additionally, it has been found out, that cells require and use various epigenetic codes, namely Splicing Codes, Metabolic Codes, Signal Transduction Codes, Signal Integration Codes Histone Codes, Tubulin Codes, Sugar Codes , and The Glycomic Code. Furthermore, all kind of irreducible complex molecular machines and biosynthesis performing and metabolic pathways have been found, which could not keep their basic functions without a minimal number of parts and complex inter wined and interdependent structures. That indicates these biological machines and pathways had to emerge fully operational, all at once. A step wise evolutionary manner is not possible. Furthermore, knock out experiments of all components of the flagellum have shown that the flagellum is irreducible complex.
Conclusion: Unless someone can falsify the prediction, and point out a non-intelligent source of Information as found in the cell, the high levels of instructional complex coded information, irreducible complex and interdependent molecular systems and complex metabolic circuits and biosynthesis pathways, their origin is best explained by the action of an intelligent agent.
Objection: It's not the job of science to investigate the supernatural.
Answer: There are basically two possible mechanisms that explain the origin of the natural world. A intelligent designer, through power, information input, wisdom, will, or natural, non-guided, non-intelligent mechanisms, that is : random chance or physical necessity, long periods of time, mutation and natural selection, or self organisation of matter. Science is perfectly apt to find out if the natural world points to the requirement of intelligent action to setup the biological and biochemical systems we observe in nature. Intelligent Design theory does not pretend to explain how intelligence implemented the material world, nor who the designer is. That belongs to the realm of philosophic and theological inquiry.
Objection: Suppose a probe to the planet Mars found evidence of artifacts there that could only have been produced by an intelligent civilization. Would you expect the scientists who made that discovery to say "Well, we're not going to try figure out who might have produced them. That belongs to the realm of philosophic and theological inquiry"?
Answer: Of course, in that case, science would try to figure out about this civilisation. That would hoever still not explain the ultimate cause of a) this civiliation , and b) the cause of the universe as a whole.
Objection: You really need to take time to define who this supreme being is before you can assert it actually exists.
Answer: No proponent of Intelligent design makes conclusive absolute assertions that a Intelligent Designer exists. One of the best solutions to handling the issue of evidence and arguments for God’s existence is to utilize what is called inference to the best explanation. The inference to the best explanation model takes into account the best available explanation in our whole range of experience and reflection. Since we as humans can’t observe God as a material object, one way to approach this issue is to look at the effects in the world and make rational inferences to the cause of the effect. Remember, evidence is always evidence for (or against) something.
Objection: We have never observed a being of any capacity creating biological systems and life.
Answer: We do not need direct observed empirical evidence to infer design. If investigators know that someone was deliberately killed, is their conclusion invalidated because they don't yet know exactly who did it and how?
When a detective arrives at the crime scence, and sees a bullet in the chest of the victim, and no arm nearby that could be a hint to suicide, the detective can with a degree of certainty conclude the victim was shot in the chest and killed. So its a murder crime scence.
Same when we observe the natural world. It gives us hints about how it could have been created. We do not need to present the act of creation to infer creationism / Intelligent design.
In order to make design predictions, it must be established what can be recognized as design in nature - Something having the PROPERTIES that we might attribute to that of a intelligently designed system:
( Follwing requirements which consist in a unsurmountable problem for unguided naturalistic processes are met ) :
1) IRREDUCIBLY COMPLEX. The requirement and existence of individual parts of a biological system which are indispensable to keep the basic function of a system, which have no survival advantage or functional purpose by their own, nor in a intermediate evolutionary stage. ( biologically useful or significant genetic sequences )
2) The hability to find and recruit and select the right materials, and to form molecules with highly specific structures, which permit to form the aggregation into tissues, organs, and organ systems in a highly complex, functional, specified, correct, spacial order.
Making the individual parts and materials available at the same construction site, perhaps not simultaneously but certainly at the time they are needed.
Coordinating and instruct the assembly of the parts in just the right way: even if all of the parts of a system are available at the right time, it is clear that the majority of ways of assembling them will be non-functional or irrelevant.
The parts must have the right size, form and material, and must be mutually compatible, that is, ‘well-matched’ and capable of properly ‘interacting’: even if sub systems or parts are put together in the right order, they also need to interface correctly. The individual parts will be held together and connected in the right manner through various different mechanisms, like fine tuned covalent and non-covalent bonds, electrostatic forces, cell junctions etc.
3) Establishment of communication systems. Most signal-relay stations we know about were intelligently designed. Signal without recognition is meaningless. Communication implies a signalling convention (a “coming together” or agreement in advance) that a given signal means or represents something: e.g., that S-O-S means “Send Help!” The transmitter and receiver can be made of non-sentient materials, but the functional purpose of the system always comes from a mind. The mind uses the material substances to perform an algorithm that is not itself a product of the materials or the blind forces acting on them. Signal sequences may be composed of mindless matter, but they are marks of a mind behind the intelligent design. Acts as an informational processing system ( the interaction of a software program and the hardware can only be setup all at once through intelligent input )
4) Selecting the most optimal and efficient genetic code and hability of minimizing the effects of errors.
5) A system which uses a cipher, translating instructions through one language ( the universal genetic code) which contains Statistics, Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics and Apobetics, and assign the right triplet code to the right amino acids
6) Appearance of highly complex dependencies thus giving the appearence of Implicit intelligence (although not intelligent itself, indicates an origin involving intelligence.. )
7 Use of molecular machinery on a scale and complexity which mankind has never IMAGINED possible - all with appearence of exact purpose, intent, function and dependencies
8 exhibiting logical functional layers - regulatory genes controlling gene expression - conceptually the same as a logical software layer controlling the underlying system.
9) another layer of complex 3 Dimensional control and access, and adaptation to environment: Epigentics
10) Implicit built in ERROR checking from the get go: reducing mutations to a minimal
11) Advanced inbuilt repair mechanisms which are essential for the proper function of certain biological systems and proteins right from the start.
12) Precise optimisation and fine-tuning of biological, chemical, biochemical and physical systems.
13) Display the DESIGN of complex software, designed to adapt and EVOLVE in a very controlled and careful way - while at the same time minimizing mutations. A system designed to EVOLVE and SURVIVE. (gene splicing )
14) The hability of provide the precise instruction and coding for development of biological systems.
15) Something which as well as exhibiting all of the above, also has no conceptual way of coming into existence through naturalistic means, : or something whose existence and origins appears to defy all known scientific understanding. Something which requires the application of alot of FAITH and IMAGINATION of some theories to describe its origins through natural means alone.
16) So the application of COMMON SENSE and inference, from observations from the world around us (information processing systems) might indicate to us certain things having these above PROPERTIES, would fall into the category of things that have been DESIGNED.
17) One of the most intelligent concepts in the known universe is the concept of Evolution itself.
Proponents of evolution frequently argue that intelligent design is not science, since it doesn't make predictions. Following a list of predictions made by intelligent design, and the confirmation:
Predictions in biology:
- High instructive coded information content will be found throughout the genome, in " junk DNA", and the epigenome– (already proven)
- The non-adequacy of the DNA-centric view to explain biodiversity. Proven. We know that Membrane targets and patterns, Cytoskeletal arrays, Centrosomes, Ion channels, Sugar molecules on the exterior of cells (the sugar code), Gene regulatory networks, the Splicing Code, the Metabolic Code, the Signal Transduction Codes, the Signal Integration Codes, the Histone Code, the Tubulin Code the Sugar Code and the Glycomic Code define morphology, development, cell and body shape. Basically, macroevolution ( the origin of morphological novelties ) is a falsified prediction, while ID is confirmed.
- Machine-like irreducibly complex structures will be found – (already proven, and a undeniable fact. Ken Millers rebuttal is not a compelling refutation )
- Forms will be found in the fossil record that appear suddenly and without any precursors – ( well known)
- Genes and functional parts will be re-used in different unrelated organisms – ( proven)
- The genetic code will NOT contain much discarded genetic baggage code or functionless “junk DNA” – (being proven over & over today)
- Few or no intermediate forms will found giving a clear and gradual pathway from one family to another. There are none so far.
- Mechanisms for error detection and correction will be abundant within the genome of all organisms – (already proven)
- Mechanisms for *non-random* adaptations, coherent with environmental pressures, will be found (already found)
- So called vestigial organs will be found to have specific purpose and usefulness – (already proven)
- Few mutations will end up being beneficial in the long run – (already proven)
- Genetic entropy will be found to cancel our most if any beneficial mutations
- an increase (and not a decrease), as science progresses, in the number of finely-tuned parameters pertinent to the laws and constants of physics
Predictions in Paleontology
- The observed pattern of the fossil record whereby morphological disparity precedes diversity.
- Saltational, or abrupt, appearance of new life forms without transitional precursors.
Knock out experiments and tests provide empirical evidence that the flagellum is irreducibly complex, as Scott Minnich testified at the Dover process:
Kitzmiller Transcript of Testimony of Scott Minnich pgs. 99-108, Nov. 3, 2005, emphasis added
We have a mutation in a drive shaft protein or the U joint, and they can't swim. Now, to confirm that that's the only part that we've affected, you know, is that we can identify this mutation, clone the gene from the wild type and reintroduce it by mechanism of genetic complementation. So this is, these cells up here are derived from this mutant where we have complemented with a good copy of the gene. One mutation, one part knock out, it can't swim. Put that single gene back in we restore motility. Same thing over here. We put, knock out one part, put a good copy of the gene back in, and they can swim. By definition the system is irreducibly complex. We've done that with all 35 components of the flagellum, and we get the same effect.
(Kitzmiller Transcript of Testimony of Scott Minnich pgs. 99-108, Nov. 3, 2005, emphasis added)
High prescriptive information content will be found throughout the genome – (already proven)
Laws of chemistry and physics, which follow exact statistical, thermodynamic, and spatial laws, are totally inade-quate for generating complex functional information or those systems that process that information using prescriptive algorithmic information". Organization requires control, which requires formalism as a reality. Each protein is currently the result of the execution of a real computer program running on the genetic operating system.
Machine-like irreducibly complex structures will be found – (already proven, and no K. Millers poor rebuttal is no refutation at all)
High information content machine-like irreducibly complex and interdependent structures, of which photosynthesis, the eye, the human body, nitrogenase, the ribosome, the cell, rubisco, photosystem II, the oxygen evolving complex etc. are prime examples, are commonly found in nature.
Since Evolution is unable to provide a advantage of adaptation in each evolutionary step, and is unable to select it, 1) Darwinism’s prediction is falsified; 2) Design’s prediction is confirmed.
Forms will be found in the fossil record that appear suddenly and without any precursors – (already known)
"A record of pre-Cambrian animal life, it appears, simply does not exist. Why this lamentable blank? Various theories have been proposed; none is too satisfactory. It has been suggested, for example, that all the Pre-Cambrian sediments were deposited on continental areas, and the absence of fossils in them is due to the fact that all the older animals were seadwellers. But that all these older sediments were continental is a theory which opposes, without proof, everything we know of deposition in later times. Again, it is suggested that the Pre-Cambrian seas were poor in calcium carbonate, necessary for the production of preservable skeletons; but this is not supported by geochemical evidence. Yet again, it is argued that even though conditions were amenable to the formation of fossilizable skeletal parts, the various phyla only began to use these possibilities at the dawn of the Cambrian. But it is, a priori, hard to believe that the varied types present in the early Cambrian would all have, so to speak, decided to put on armour simultaneously. And, once again, it has been argued that the whole evolution of multicellular animals took place with great rapidity in late Pre-Cambrian times, so that a relatively short gap in rock deposition would account for the absence of any record of their rise. Perhaps; but the known evolutionary rate in most groups from the Cambrian on is a relatively leisurely one, and it is hard to convince oneself that a sudden major burst of evolutionary advance would be so promptly followed by a marked 'slowdown'. All in all, there is no satisfactory answer to the Pre-Cambrian riddle."
Romer Alfred S. [late Professor of Zoology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University], "The Procession of Life," The World Publishing Co: Cleveland OH, 1968, pp.19-20.
Genes and functional parts will be re-used in different unrelated organisms – (already proven)
The argument of the highly similar DNA sequences
1. If functionally unconstrained yet highly similar DNA sequences were found in different species, then evolution would be false.
2. In fact, the DNA sequences are extremely similar and even identical in different species.
3. There is currently “no known mechanism or function that would account for this level of conservation at the observed evolutionary distances.”
4. Since some of these sequences are found across a wide range of different species, the sequences, and whatever selective forces preserved them, must have been present very early in history.
5. On the other hand many of these sequences point to evolution’s nemesis, lineage-specific biology.
6. Highly similar DNA sequences in different species are a proof of the same intelligent designer using a similar genetic pattern to design different species. All men call him God.
7. God exists.
The insect eye and the vertebrate eye are two examples of structures said to be analogous ( Analogous structures are similar or resembling in certain respects, e.g. in function or in appearance but not in evolutionary origin or developmental origin. An example is wings of a butterfly and wings of a hummingbird are analogous.) . However, they can be shown to both be based on the expression of the Pax-6 gene , and it is probable that the vertebrate and insect (and cephalopod) eyes are the modified descendents of a basic metazoan photoreceptive cell that was regulated by Pax-6.
Research at the molecular level has failed to demonstrate the expected correspondence between gene product changes and the organismal changes predicted by evolution.
Evolution by DNA mutations 'is largely uncoupled from morphological evolution'
Some regulatory genes that have similar DNA sequences are found to regulate similar structures in different phyla where those structures are thought to have "evolved" independently. These homologous genes that regulate analogous structures might encourage the Darwinist to reconsider whether those structures might actually be homologous due to common ancestry. However, in consideration of the evidence that different phyla do not have common ancestors, these "homologies of process" are better explained as evidence of intelligent design, where the designer reused the same control mechanism for the development of similar structures in unrelated organisms.
The genetic code will NOT contain much discarded genetic baggage code or functionless “junk DNA” – (being proven over & over today)
When all sorts of peripheral genetic elements were discovered, evolutionary geneticists referred to them as “junk DNA” on the assumption that they were nothing but useless remnants left over from evolutionary predecessors. Come to find out, these regulatory elements are the key to cellular health and development, as well as the primary link to disease when not operating properly.
The massive store of apparently unused DNA components in every cell, which Richard Dawkins, incredibly, once dismissed as “99% junk”, now appears to hold multiple layers of subtle logic which are only beginning to be unravelled, with serious and long-lasting implications.
An article in the 7 September 2012 issue of Science was titled "ENCODE project writes eulogy for junk DNA". "This week, 30 research papers... sound the death knell for the idea that our DNA is mostly littered with useless bases. A decadelong project, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE), has found that 80% of the human genome serves some purpose". "The ENCODE effort has revealed that a gene's regulation is far more complex than previously thought, being influenced by multiple stretches of regulatory DNA located both near and far from the gene itself and by strands of RNA not translated into proteins, so-called noncoding RNA."--
During my time at Discovery Institute, we have also seen some of ID’s longstanding scientific predictions spectacularly fulfilled. Exhibit A: The ENCODE project’s discovery of widespread function for non-coding DNA. Again, since the late 1990s I’d been hearing ID-critics say “junk DNA refutes ID.” At that time, my rejoinder was “We haven’t even studied this ‘dark matter of the genome’ enough to know what it does. Let’s just wait and see.” Well, we’ve been waiting and now we’ve seen: ID was correct all along. Early indications of this mass-functionality first came to light in 2007 when ENCODE published its preliminary results suggesting that a great portion of our DNA is transcribed into RNA. But in 2012 ENCODE published its main results, showing that over 80 percent of the genome gives strong evidence of function. Papers uncovering specific functions for specific “junk” genetic elements continue to pour forth.
Pennisi, Elizabeth. 7 September 2012. Science, Vol. 337, pp. 1159-1161.
Few intermediate forms will found giving a clear and gradual pathway from one family to another – there are none so far. Most of the claimed ancestors will be shown to have serious problems – already historically proven
Michael Denton stated:
“It is still, as it was in Darwin's day, overwhelmingly true that the first representatives of all the major classes of organisms known to biology are already highly characteristic of their class when they make their initial appearance in the fossil record. This phenomenon is particularly obvious in the case of the invertebrate fossil record. At its first appearance in the ancient paleozoic seas, invertebrate life was already divided into practically all the major groups with which we are familiar today
anthropologist Edmund Ronald Leach stated:
“ Missing links in the sequence of fossil evidence were a worry to Darwin. He felt sure they would eventually turn up, but they are still missing and seem likely to remain so
One of the most famous proponents of evolution was the late Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould. But Gould admitted,
"The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life’s history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection, we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study.
Mechanisms for error detection and correction will be abundant within the genome of all organisms – (already proven)
At least four excision repair pathways exist to repair single stranded DNA damage:
Nucleotide excision repair (NER)
Base excision repair (BER)
DNA mismatch repair (MMR)
Repair through alkyltransferase-like proteins (ATLs)
Natural selection cannot act without accurate replication, yet the protein machinery for the level of accuracy required is itself built by the very genetic code it is designed to protect. Thats a catch22 situation. It would have been challenging enough to explain accurate transcription and translation alone by natural means, but as consequence of UV radiation, it would have quickly been destroyed through accumulation of errors. So accurate replication and proofreading are required for the origin of life. How on earth could proofreading enzymes emerge, especially with this degree of fidelity, when they depend on the very information that they are designed to protect? Think about it.... This is one more prima facie example of chicken and egg situation. What is the alternative explanation to design ? Proofreading DNA by chance ? And a complex suite of translation machinery without a designer?
Mechanisms for *non-random* adaptations, coherent with environmental pressures, will be found (already found)
The genome has traditionally been treated as a Read-Only Memory (ROM) subject to change by copying errors and accidents. In this review, I propose that we need to change that perspective and understand the genome as an intricately formatted Read-Write (RW) data storage system constantly subject to cellular modifications and inscriptions. Cells operate under changing conditions and are continually modifying themselves by genome inscriptions. These inscriptions occur over three distinct time-scales (cell reproduction, multicellular development and evolutionary change) and involve a variety of different processes at each time scale (forming nucleoprotein complexes, epigenetic formatting and changes in DNA sequence structure). Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs). This conceptual change to active cell inscriptions controlling RW genome functions has profound implications for all areas of the life sciences.
So called vestigial organs will be found to have specific purpose and usefulness – (already proven)
Darwin argued in The Origin of Species that the widespread occurrence of vestigial organs -- organs that may have once had a function but are now useless -- is evidence against creation. "On the view of each organism with all its separate parts having been specially created, how utterly inexplicable is it that organs bearing the plain stamp of inutility... should so frequently occur." But such organs, he argued, are readily explained by his theory: "On the view of descent with modification, we may conclude that the existence of organs in a rudimentary, imperfect, and useless condition, or quite aborted, far from presenting a strange difficulty, as they assuredly do on the old doctrine of creation, might even have been anticipated in accordance with the views here explained."
Many of the organs that are claimed to be useless actually do have a use. Granted, many of these uses were not identified for a long time, which led to the misnomer that they were functionless. This leaves me skeptical of other and future accusations for useless organs whether on humans or other animals. As Mention points out, “The problem with declaring any organ to be without function is discriminating between truly functionless organs and those that have functions that are simply unknown. Indeed, over the years nearly all organs once thought to be useless have been found to be functional. When we have no evidence for function of an organ, we need to bear in mind that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence,” (Menton, 231).
Few mutations will end up being beneficial in the long run – (already proven)
Proponents of evolution maintain there must have been “beneficial” mutations on occasion to allow uphill drift of genetic information. Although there are small handfuls of mutations which make it easier for an organism to survive in an extreme environment, so by definition are “equivocally ” beneficial, none are “unequivocally ” beneficial or “uphill” in the sense of adding new genetic information to the gene pool.
Genetic entropy will be found to cancel our most if any beneficial mutations
Ratio of beneficial vs. detrimental mutations:
There are numerous published estimates ranging from 1/1000 to 1/1,000,000. A 1998 paper published in Genetica suggests a beneficial mutation rate (vs. the total mutation rate) of approximately 1 in 1,000,000 (Gerrish and Lenski, 1998). Given that a significant portion if not most of the human genome is functional to one degree or another, to a similar degree those mutations that are not beneficial would be functionally detrimental to one degree or another. In short, the ratio of beneficial vs. detrimental is very small - most likely well below the ratio of 1/1000.
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