Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Elf Sternberg's Pendorwright Projects Previous Previous Next Next
Why isn't this as effective argument? - Elf M. Sternberg
Why isn't this as effective argument?
There is not a single pharmaceutical company in the world that uses the premise that the organisms, their proteins and hormones, or their biophysical structure, was intelligently designed by some wily, creative force capable of making "leaps" over insurmountable dysfunctional intermediary steps. (Mostly because there ain't no such thing known in biology.)

Stanford University has published the results of a research program to identify novel hormones. One of the interesting comments in the article is that they used the assumptions of comment descent and modification with selection to create charts of probabilities regarding the presence and retention of various compounds, and to their pleasure they discovered that the one at the top of their list was exactly the molecule they wanted: a previously unknown hormone that regulated hunger. It has been named Obesetin.

Why isn't this significant to the ID people? They've had ten years to make the case that their premises are scientifically useful, and yet the pharmaceutical industry so far states outright that there's no money to be made from using those premises.

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: Ayreon, Chaos

3 comments or Leave a comment
featheredfrog From: featheredfrog Date: December 2nd, 2005 07:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Why isn't this significant to the ID people?

Because it doesn't affirm ID, of course. Thus it's of the devil, lies and worthless.
auroramama From: auroramama Date: December 3rd, 2005 02:50 am (UTC) (Link)
That's a nice specific example of the general emptiness of ID: if it's true, so what? How does science change if some phenomena are accepted as "by design", given that we know even less about the designer than we do about the rest of the universe? How would you even start to use this "knowledge"? Is there anyone out there doing theological experiments to test their hypotheses? For that matter, are there inventors and engineers coming up with new solutions to problems based on the information that some stuff is really complicated and we don't understand it? I'm a scientist by training, so I feel fairly confident about the uselessness of ID to the scientific process. Engineering is a mystery to me, though, so I can't rule out the possibility. Anyone out there using ID to, well, design things intelligently?
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 5th, 2005 12:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's not used because it's largely not useable by itself. The key claim of ID proponents is that some features of the natural world seem unlikely to be the result of accumulated random changes. (It's an argument that I, as a statistician, am accustomed to making--I don't know what's happening, but this phenomenon is NOT random.) That isn't an explanation that's useful for doing anything; it's an argument about causes. It's similar to a computer--if you don't know how to do something (and pharmaceutical science is about doing things to the body), the fact that the computer was designed by someone isn't a particularly useful piece of information.

Looking at it another way, ID is a (attempted) falsification, not an alternative theory. The Michelson-Morley experiment disproved the ether theory of light transmission. From the time it was done, the ether theory was a questionable theory; it was 25 years until Einstein produced a valid replacement theory.

3 comments or Leave a comment