Joined: May 2002
The archives of the online journal Creation/Evolution are now quite substantial; however, they are just listed by issue and are not indexed anywhere AFAIK; so, I will post links to articles that I come across that seem particularly relevant to the ID debate.
Others should add whatever they like along similar lines...
(I started from 1988 and went backwards BTW)
Design, Created Kinds, and Engineering
Francis J. Arduini
Makes several points about the differences between (human) intelligent design and design by natural processes that I've tried to make occasionally, e.g.:
|The Process of Intelligent Design|
The "created kinds" of modern technology have indeed evolved but in a manner quite different from living organisms. Where living organisms are constrained in their development by their evolutionary histories, machines are constrained only by the level of technology available to their designers. Design selection is based upon the unique design criteria of each individual creative act. Previous designs can be used, modified, or completely abandoned. Changes over time reflect technological advances, and such advances often manifest themselves in distinct ways.
1. The Quantum Leap. The achievement of a new technology will show up in machines with a previous design history as completely new systems or subsystems that only minimally affect the other independent systems in the machine. For example, when the technology of turbine engines became available, aeronautic engineers began designing aircraft using jet engines, while most of the other aircraft systems were unaffected. Control systems, building materials, even most of the aerodynamic design of our first jets were almost unchanged from their cylinder-propeller-driven predecessors. These other systems did change later but only with the development of other new technologies.
— page 21 —
The point is not that this type of mosaic evolution is unlike that of living organisms. One need only look at Archaeopteryx to see that this is actually quite like a living organism. The point is that the design of a turbine engine is so radically different from that of a cylinder engine that one cannot possibly construct a "Darwinian history" that could evolve one from the other. Unlike the fusing of two clavicles to form a wishbone or the fraying of a keeled scale to form a feather, the turbine engine is a completely original design with complex parts and subsystems that have no homologs and often no analogs in the other design.
Innovations in design are often unrestrained by whatever designs existed prior to them. They are therefore often revolutionary changes. Innovations in living organisms, however, do not show this type of wholesale replacement of systems. The very fact that it is possible to construct plausible Darwinian histories for living organisms, while at the same time it is impossible to do the same for our own "created kinds," is a crucial point of comparison.
2. Contagious Technology. Living systems evolving from different directions to fill the same ecological niche often develop strikingly similar adaptations. But again, constrained by their evolutionary histories, these adaptations are formed out of the parts available, and different parts are used for similar purposes. Dolphins do look remarkably like large fish and even more like icthyosaurs. But no competent zoologist would ever confuse the three. Past the most superficial level, the differences are dramatic.
Machines, constrained only by the level of technology of their creators, need not be so dissimilar when designed for similar functions. Grumman, Northrop, and McDonnel Douglas may be designing three individual air superiority fighters, but, if the specific design criteria so dictate, they can use the identical Pratt and Whitney engines for all three aircraft. This is not convergent evolution, but it is a fact of contemporary design.
And once turbine engines became available for aircraft, they need not be limited to the aircraft "clade." Engineers have placed turbines into boats, automobiles, motorcyles, and the M-1 main battle tank. The organic equivalent to this would be for feathers, once evolved in birds, also to appear suddenly on bats and fl, ying squirrels or for whales, dolphins, and icthyosaurs to have gills. Needless to say, we do not see this.
An innovation in a "created kind" is contagious between "created kinds." Physical traits (systems, technologies) are not confined within specific clades by the limitations of genetic transfer through phylogenetic descent.
— page 22 —
3. Extrafunctional Homology. Design engineers do tend to specialize and develop their own unique design styles. A bridge designer will often use similar designs for different bridges. A common designer should be expected to use similar designs for similar functional purposes. But what about different functional purposes?
What engineer in his or her right mind would use the same design only slightly modified to build an aircraft and a submarine? The different functions and design criteria mandate drastically different designs for these purposes. An aircraft requires a specially designed hull to hold air pressure in; a submarine requires an equally special hull to hold water pressure out. An aircraft will normally utilize internal combustion engines, even at high altitude; a submerged submarine requires electric or nuclear power. An aircraft requires airfoils for lift; a submarine requires ballast tanks for buoyancy. The list of profound differences could go on for pages.
But whales and bats are both air-breathing, warm-blooded, milk-giving mammals. Their design differences are quantitative, not qualitative. This cross clade similarity of design is completely unheard of in "created kinds," whether the design team consists of fifty engineers or only one.