In the comments to my post on archaea/eukaryote/prokaryote evolution, John asked:

Is this issue likely to fuel the ID crowd?

Never fear…they’re on it. (Via Panda’s Thumb; more after the jump).

For those of you who hate to click on anything from Uncommon Descent, here’s the meat:

[From a colleague:] Hot on the heels of Embley and Martin (Nature 440, 623-630, 30 March 2006), Kurland and colleagues take the plunge and sever the link between eukaryotes and prokaryotes.

I must have missed where Kurland et al. “severed” this link. Indeed, the way I read it, they were suggesting a different path to get to where we are today–obviously the endpoint is still the same.

Their title refers to the “Irreducible Nature of Eukaryote Cells,” which reads like an echo of Mike Behe.

Indeed–notice that anything that has any mention of “irreducible,” “complexity,” or “design” is now flagged as some kind of plagarism of intelligent design lore.

The logic of their argument confirms this: the structures and the genetics of eukaryotes mean that an evolutionary pathway from prokaryotes must be rejected. However, they do not again use the word “irreducible” in their paper. What is clear is that the “simple” pathway that the textbooks have proclaimed for years must now be abandoned.

Closer, though as I mentioned in the post, this paper certainly isn’t enough to abandon the “simple” (was it really ever “simple?”) pathway that is commonly described. It’s not even a publication of original research–it’s a review paper.

Surely there are lessons here about the way darwinism gives false leads in its appetite for a narrative about the origins of complexity.

Alas, Dembski’s colleague doesn’t elaborate further, and if he’s referring to the writings above, well, that’s a pretty silly conclusion.

The comments are more of the same, praising ID, outraged that ID advocates weren’t credited for the author’s use of “irreducible,” suggesting that the new paper is evidence for “front-loading,” a concept Dembski himself has previously dismissed. As noted at Panda’s Thumb, “an ID supporter can’t open his mouth without contradicting some other ID supporter.” Chalk up yet another example.

Comments

  1. #1 Benjamin Harrison
    May 22, 2006

    Not unlike ID attempts to co-opt Carl Woese when he has shown no support, quite the contrary, for any such POV.

  2. #2 natural cynic
    May 22, 2006

    More evidence of the parasitic nature of creationism/ID. do they do research? No way. Do they try to coopt the production of others? Yup. In the end the ID’ers weaken the body scientific by the necessity of having a certain amount of resources available for debunking purposes. But it also sharpens the intellectual immune system.

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