A Glutton for Punishment –- Revisiting The National Center For Science Education (NCSE)


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(click on the image above)

Yes … I have once more jumped into the shark tank known as NCSE. After more than a year of reading and commenting at the NCSE Blog site, I was finally kicked off after responding rather forcefully to a militant Atheist commenter called CdnMacAthiest, who over the course of a year has accused me of all manner of evil such as treason, sedition, pedophilia, child abuse and more …

So dummy me jumps once more into that shark tank, this time at their Facebook page where it seems I haven’t been banned.

And again, after offering up a good science article from Discovery Institute, the blow back came quickly and in abundance from commenters there.

So once more, I will be leaving NCSE, but not without a parting comment as you can read here.

Why do I do this you ask?

I do this because NCSE is one of the most influential and effective advocates for “evolution only” teaching in schools. This may sound fine to you since it is well known that evolution is “fact” and there is no controversy over it, and those like me who wish to point out the weaknesses and failures of Darwinian Evolution are considered to be and labeled as IDiots, “science deniers” and worse.

But this so called fact of evolution is far from fact, and there is indeed significant controversy centered around evolution, and that is what I attempt to address in my contributions at NCSE, and what I once more will attempt to do in this essay.

I have grandchildren in the public schools, and have had children in the public schools, and know and have known a number of teachers over the years, and it irks me that Atheism is pushed down the throats and into the minds of students.  And NCSE is for the most part pushing an Atheist world view in the guise of science  — at least in their evolution stance though I do not make the same charge in their ‘global warming’ stance. .

Yes, teach evolution by all means as the Discovery Institute advocates,  but teach the whole truth including the warts and failures of the Darwinian theory of Evolution and its successors such as Neo-Darwinism.

In this essay I will present strong evidences of design in nature – Intelligent Design — and follow with a series of serious questions and gaps in the main stream world view of evolution. The evidences for design are compelling because they have very close correlation to designs we commonly see and use in our everyday life of designed things and systems. Modern science and technology can actually look into the cells of nature, including the several trillion that are in each of our own human bodies, so in many cases we can actually see the evidences. Other evidences are what we experience on a daily basis in our own bodies.

My hope and vision for presenting this is as follows:

  • To provide information to the reader.
  • To cause a reader to pause and reconsider a world view — to reexamine the evolution/Intelligent Design/Creation controversy and puzzle over evidence both pro and con.
  • To open minds that may be closed due to long term educational and cultural influences that may have been in error.
  • To counter the bullying, shaming, name calling and career ending persecution that is all to prevalent when a contrary point of view is pursued or presented.
  • To recover the art and decency of civil conversation.

 As a lead in to this discussion I present a somewhat typical article describing research into micro biology – in this case, the human genome.

In modern molecular biology and genetics, the genome is the genetic material of an organism. It consists of DNA (or RNA in RNA viruses). The genome includes both the genes and the non-coding sequences of the DNA/RNA.

RecA.jpg

The article is at this link:
http://www.uncommondescent.com/evolution/key-prediction-of-darwinian-evolution-falsified/#comment-573890

Excerpt:
Biological life requires thousands of different protein families, about 70% of which are ‘globular’ proteins, each with a 3-dimensional shape that is unique to each family of proteins. An example is shown in the picture at the top of this post. This 3D shape is necessary for a particular biological function and is determined by the sequence of the different amino acids that make up that protein. In other words, it is not biology that determines the shape, but physics. Sequences that produce stable, functional 3D structures are so rare that scientists today do not attempt to find them using random sequence libraries. Instead, they use information they have obtained from reverse-engineering biological proteins to intelligently design artificial proteins.

Indeed, our 21st century supercomputers are not powerful enough to crunch the variables and locate novel 3D structures. Nonetheless, a foundational prediction of neo-Darwinian theory is that a ploddingly slow evolutionary process consisting of genetic drift, mutations, insertions and deletions must be able to ‘find’ not just one, but thousands of sequences pre-determined by physics that will have different stable, functional 3D structures. So how does this falsifiable prediction hold up when tested against real data? As ought to be the case in science, I have made available my program so that you can run your own data and verify for yourself the kinds of probabilities these protein families represent. More.

_____

Before continuing  let me make a few remarks about the comments that have been generated on the NCSE Facebook page from my posting:

  • The referenced article is a fascinating and informative look into the proteins in our cells – all several trillion of them.  The article also shows the science and technology that allow a look at these proteins and how they function and how they are constructed. This particular article describes the 4 dimensional character of proteins … 3-dimensional folding and a 4th dimension of time. 
  • As fascinating as this is, none of the comments (and I emphasize none)  spend any time with the article itself. They don’t rebut or take issue with it, they don’t ask questions, they don’t seem to show any interest in the scientific study or reporting. Most likely the article hasn’t been read. And this is the pattern when I offered up similar articles at the NCSE Blog … little or no discussion on the articles presented, but much gnashing of teeth over where the information came from.
  • They spend all their time and energy attacking the Discovery Institute where this study was reported. And they spend a considerable amount of time and energy towards me and my views.
  • There seems to be very little sense of wonder at peering into life at the smallest detail … little indication of curiosity or wanting to know more.
  • The NCSE site itself seldom if ever reports on these kinds of ‘machines’ we see at the cellular level – plenty of articles on fossils, the Grand Canyon  and Scopes and Dover legal cases … but none on the machines of life itself. Sad from a site holding themselves up as an educational advocacy organization.
  • I recently met a professor from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University o0f Pennsylvania. I was able to ask the professor about the animations I have seen  such as the Kinesis Motor, and the one I reference above in this article.  The professor was able to answer my layman level questions because that is his area of research. He recommended I search on “systems biology” and “computational biology” in order to learn more.
    I wonder why NCSE has little or no interest in these two fields of biology, and why they don’t present these growing fields of study to their members and readers, and thus to the schools and students.

_____

And now to continue the contrast between ID and Neo-Darin Evolution…


In a comment to this article reported on at http://www.uncommondescent.com/evolution/key-prediction-of-darwinian-evolution-falsified/#comment-573890, reader ‘tjguy”  gathers together a list of life characteristics and systems that present A strong case for design in nature. I will use and enhance his list for purposes of this article.


Things we see in life:

  • Nano molecular machines, such as the Kinesin Motor and the Flagellum Motor.
    These machines are among the many that have been discovered in the cells of life in recent years.
  • The 3D genome.
  • Biological codes, some of which can be read backwards and forwards.
  • Information, as contained in DNA. From a Harvard study we read that” … One gram of DNA can store 700 terabytes of data. That’s 14,000 50-gigabyte Blu-ray discs… in a droplet of DNA that would fit on the tip of your pinky. … “
  • Self-correcting biological software.
  • irreducibly complex systems and machines.
  • A 4D world coordinated by internal clocks … see the article referenced above.
  • GPS like biological systems as in the navigational systems found in many animals.
  • Sonar capabilities as found in whales and dolphins.
  • Fantastically complicated and effective information processing, storage, and retrieval systems.
  • Magnets.
  • Amazing and purposeful designs accomplishing a wide variety of useful tasks.
  • Transportation systems, as in the Kinesin Motor.
  • Quality control systems.
  • Flight.
  • Computer like biological systems.
  • Temperature control systems,
  • And more …

This partial list presents a compelling case for a purposeful and deliberate design contained throughout nature from the cellular level to the complete body plan such as the human plan.

In the case of our human bodies, one example (of many) of the culmination of such design is the double play in baseball.

DoublePlay

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Serious questions showing Dawkins’ ‘Mount Improbable’ really is improbable in the extreme – a case against Darwinian Evolution.

“… tiny quantum fluctuations in the very early universe became the seeds from which galaxies, stars, and ultimately human life emerged” ... Stephen Hawking

Since Darwinian Evolution is asserted as indisputable fact and without controversy, I would like to offer up a serious list of questions … questions that unanswered would seem to shake that confident assertion. I would say that until these questions are definitively answered, or at least the strong majority, the Evolutionary Biologist and Materialistic Atheist can make no such claim of absolute irrefutable fact of evolution,. 

  • We don’t know how the laws of nature evolved.
  • We don’t know how the 240+ physical and natural constants evolved.
  • We don’t know how the first cell evolved.
  • We don’t know how the DNA code evolved.
  • We don’t know how replication evolved.
  • We don’t know how RNA polymerase evolved.
  • We don’t know how transcription evolved.
  • We don’t know how genes evolved.
  • We don’t know how translation evolved.
  • We don’t know how hemoglobin evolved.
  • We don’t know how the electron transport chain evolved.
  • We don’t know how ATPase evolved.
  • We don’t know how eukaryotes evolved.
  • We don’t know how multicellular organisms evolved.
  • We don’t know how the vision cascade evolved.
  • We don’t know how visual pattern recognition evolved.
  • We don’t know how hearing evolved.
  • We don’t know how audio pattern recognition evolved.
  • We don’t know how the kidney evolved.
  • We don’t know how the liver evolved,
  • We don’t know how the circularity system evolved.
  • We don’t know how mammals evolved.
  • We don’t know how male/female anatomical sexuality evolved,
  • We don’t know how bio sonar evolved,
  • We don’t know how the hummingbird tongue evolved.
  • We don’t know how the whale evolved.
  • We don’t know how photosynthesis evolved.
  • We don’t know how the butterfly evolved.
  • We don’t know how turtles evolved.
  • We don’t know how consciousness evolved.
  • We don’t know how biological information (i.e. DNA) evolved.
  • We don’t know how the various machines within the cell evolved.
  • We don’t know how altruism evolved.
  • We don’t know how bees evolved.
  • We don’t know how all of the body organs, including skin co-evolved to their present form.
  • We don’t know how human intellect evolved (i.e. music, art, literature etc.)
  • … and more I’m sure.

So we have a mountain of questions … do we have a mountain of evidence?

I know the principles at NCSE will reject what I have presented here, as well as the most vocal commenters. My hope is that there are  many other readers at NCSE that will consider what I have presented,  seek the truth, investigate the ID alternative  and present their students with honest science.

I know such teachers, administrators and school board members are out there, and I hope I have in some way compelled you to dig a little deeper and ask more probing questions.

 

Regards,

Don Johnson — August 2015

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One response to “A Glutton for Punishment –- Revisiting The National Center For Science Education (NCSE)

  1. Pingback: Who or What Is the Designer in Intelligent Design | A Yearning for Publius

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