Thursday, 18 November 2010

C4ID’s Introduction to Intelligent Design: Part 8

The Centre for Intelligent Design website features a set of brief (sometimes very brief) pdf documents which collectively form anIntroduction to Intelligent Design, credited as written by Dr Alastair Noble, C4ID Director.  This pamphlet sets out C4ID’s manifesto for ID. Often these documents are written in a way that could be seen as persuasive to the uninformed.  On closer
inspection, there is nothing new – the arguments are the same as those demolished in Kitzmiller v Dover Area School District.
Part 8 of ‘An Introduction to Intelligent Design’ is written by Professor Norman Nevin, a retired medical geneticist (so he ought to know about DNA, RNA and chromosomes).  As noted in a previous part of this series, Nevin appears to be Biblical literalist who takes Genesis to be literal truth, so why he’s supporting Intelligent Design (other than as a Wedge Strategy, perhaps) is unclear.
Unfortunately Nevin’s article conflates the biological ‘information’ (itself an analogy) with a variety of other analogies, none of which are perfect but which come back to haunt us elsewhere in C4ID’s presentation of Intelligent Design.  Bizarrely, he quotes the college dropout Bill Gates (famous for founding Microsoft and now running the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) as saying:
‘DNA is like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any
software we’ve ever created.’
Another dodgy analogy.  Gates may have had strengths building up Microsoft, but I’m not aware of his biology qualifications! The overall purpose of Part 8 is to set up biological information as something that requires a designer, to which we return in Parts 9 and 10.
Robert Saunders, BSc (Hons), PhD

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