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  Topic: An Inordinate Fondness for Flagella, The ID fixation on little wrigglies< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 17 2004,18:46   

Dembski's Response to WSJ Article on "intelligent design"

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Design theorists have known all along about microsyringes and other supposed evolutionary precursors to irreducibly complex systems like the bacterial flagellum.


This raises some questions. The first is whether the statement is true. I don't recall any ID theorist, and certainly not Dembski, discussing T3SS's when the topic of flagella arose prior to Larry Moran's encounter with Dembski in Toronto on March 7, 2002. If Moran's mini-lecture filled in this gap in the knowledge of "ID theorists" then much would be explained. Even Dembski appears to acknowledge the lack of discussion of T3SS's in ID argumentation in STILL SPINNING JUST FINE: A RESPONSE TO KEN MILLER, where he says this:

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If the biological community had even an inkling of how such systems arose by naturalistic mechanisms, Miller would not -- a full six years after the publication of Darwin's Black Box by Michael Behe -- be lamely gesturing at the type three secretory system as a possible evolutionary precursor to the flagellum. It would suffice simply to provide a detailed explanation of how a system like the bacterial flagellum arose by Darwinian means. Miller's paper, despite its intimidating title ("The Flagellum Unspun") does nothing to answer that question.


A Google search for "microsyringe" coupled with either "intelligent design" or "irreducible complexity" turns up nothing by any "ID theorist".

If the statement that "ID theorists" have known all along about "microsyringes" and so forth is true, then the question becomes, "Why didn't they discuss those issues when discussing bacterial flagella?" For folks who love to quote Darwin to their purpose, they seem loath to demonstrate that they embrace the point by example:

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Darwin himself would have agreed: "A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question."


Source: NO FREE LUNCH

If "ID theorists" did know all along about "microsyringes". etc., then the obvious implication is that they weren't interested in achieving a "fair result" when they chose not to reveal this knowledge to their readers.

My thanks to Ian Musgrave for noticing this bit of rhetoric on Dembski's part.

Wesley

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 17 2004,23:39   

OK, I've found a mention of T3SS's by an "ID theorist" that predates the Moran-Dembski encounter. Scott Minnich mentioned them in his presentation at the ID conference at Yale in 2001. That puts the first public notice by an "ID theorist" of other structures relevant to discussion of flagella back four months before the point I had marked.

Wesley

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
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