Welcome to ARN-Announce
by Dennis Wagner

Number Twenty, January 31, 2002

ARN-Announce is the on-line announcement and information service of Access Research Network. ARN generates announcements to the current ARN Announce list as information becomes available. You have received this message because your email address was submitted to this list. Subscription and Unsubscription information is at the end of this message.

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This month we have a host of goodies for you to peruse. We start off with the release of a new one-hour lecture video in which Scott Minnich describes how he used the design paradigm to make new discoveries in his bacterial flagella research. Next, some of our original video lectures with Phillip Johnson may be coming to a Satellite TV dish near you next month. We are also happy to announce that you can now order Bill Dembski’s new book No Free Lunch. Two popular books are now available in paperback so you can hand them out by the dozens to your friends and neighbors including Icons of Evolution and A Case Against Accident and Self-Organization. Finally, Jonathan Wells responds to the critics at NCSE with his own detailed reply that makes a wonderful teaching tool for high school science students. I hope you enjoy spending a few moments learning about these great resources.


Michael Behe made the bacterial flagella a popular argument for intelligent design in his book “Darwin’s Black Box” when he used the flagella to illustrate the concept of irreducible complexity. In this video lecture presentation, Professor Scott Minnich, a geneticist and Associate Professor of Microbiology at the University of Idaho, takes the argument to the next level by describing how the design paradigm led to new insights in his research. Minnich has been studying the bacterial flagellum for over 15 years and presents a detailed overview of his work including:

  1. An overview of design theory and irreducible complexity
  2. A description of the structure and function of a bacterial flagella
  3. An assembly blueprint of the bacterial flagella
  4. A description of the transcriptional/translational regulator
  5. Integrating motility with signal transduction: the chemotaxis process

Find out why some scientists have called the bacterial flagella the “most efficient machine in the universe” with its: 1) self assembly and repair; 2) water-cooled rotary engine; 3) proton motive force drive system; 4) forward and reverse gears; 5) operating speeds of 6,000 to 17,000 rpm; 6) direction reversing capability within 1/4 of a turn; and 7) it’s hard-wired signal transduction system with short-term memory.

To order a copy of this 1 hour video lecture recorded at Westmont College for $24.95 go to:


ARN will hit the airwaves across the U.S. in February when two of our videos featuring Phillip Johnson will be broadcast by the University of California TV on the EchoStar DISH Network. UCTV is part of the Public Interest Channel line-up on the EchoStar Nationwide Channel 9412, and available to over 5 million subscribers. To find out when the programs will broadcast go to, click the Programming Schedule button and type “Darwin” in the Keyword search box. You should see the following two ARN programs listed. Each program will be broadcast multiple times during the month.

Darwinism: Science or Philosophy Debate
Two eminent professors, Phillip Johnson of UC Berkeley and William Provine of Cornell University, come to grips with the most important of all questions: Do we owe our existence to a creator? Can the blind watchmaker of natural selection take the place of God? Vigorous arguments and a lively question and answer period illuminate the contemporary debate between naturalistic and theistic ways of understanding our existence.

On Darwinism
In this fascinating interview, UC Berkeley's Professor Johnson offers his unique insight into the philosophical basis of modern Darwinian theory and the many scientific problems which confront it. With his breadth of knowledge and keen intellect, he brings a fresh perspective to the timeless issue of origins.

Some cable channels also carry UCTV, so check your local cable TV listings. We are hoping to have more ARN videos broadcast on UCTV in the future. If you are interested in helping us underwrite the financial expenses for this project, we would love to hear from you.


Darwin's greatest accomplishment was to show how life might be explained as the result of natural selection. But does Darwin's theory mean that life was unintended? William A. Dembski argues that it does not. In this book Dembski extends his theory of intelligent design. Building on his earlier work in The Design Inference (Cambridge, 1998), he defends that life must be the product of intelligent design. Critics of Dembski's work have argued that evolutionary algorithms show that life can be explained apart from intelligence. But by employing powerful recent results from the No Free Lunch Theory, Dembski addresses and decisively refutes such claims. As the leading proponent of intelligent design, Dembski reveals a designer capable of originating the complexity and specificity found throughout the cosmos. Scientists and theologians alike will find this book of interest as it brings the question of creation firmly into the realm of scientific debate.

Chapter 1 presents a non-technical summary of Dembski’s work on inferring design and makes the connection between his previous work and Darwinism explicit.

Chapter 2 rebuts critics who argue that specified complexity is not a well-defined concept and cannot form the basis for a compelling design inference. In particular, Dembski offers a simplified account of specification.

Chapter 3 translates the design-inferential framework of chapters 1 and 2 into a more powerful information-theoretic framework.

Chapter 4 shows how this information-theoretic approach to design withstands and then overturns the challenge of evolutionary algorithms. In particular, Dembski shows that evolutionary algorithms cannot generate specified complexity.

Chapter 5 then shows how the theoretical apparatus developed in the previous chapters can be applied to actual biological systems.

Finally chapter 6 examines what intelligent design means for science.

To order your copy of No Free Lunch for $35 go to


If you are looking for a good “critical thinking” exercise for your high school student, we have a great suggestion.

A year ago, Jonathan Wells posted “Ten Questions To Ask Your Biology Teacher About Evolution”, which you can read at

On November 28, 2001, The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) posted its answers to Wells questions at

The NCSE introduces its answers to Wells’ Ten Questions by calling many of his claims “incorrect or misleading,” and by maintaining that they are “intended only to create unwarranted doubts in students’ minds about the validity of evolution as good science.” The evasions and falsehoods listed above, however, make it clear that it is the NCSE’s answers that are incorrect or misleading. If students have doubts about the scientific validity of evolution, their doubts are amply warranted not only by the systematic pattern of misrepresentations in biology textbooks, but also by the false and evasive statements the NCSE makes in defense of those misrepresentations.

Good science is the search for truth, and it searches for truth by comparing theories with the evidence. A good science education should present the evidence truthfully--especially the evidence for and against a theory as influential as Darwin’s. Yet biology textbooks invariably present this evidence with a pro-Darwin spin, indoctrinating students rather than educating them. It seems that the National Center for Science Education, despite its title, wants students to inherit the spin.

Jonathan Wells has written a detailed response to the NCSE answers, which you can read at

Have your student sit down with these three articles and a copy of their high school biology textbook. It won’t take long for most students to realize the difference between good science and “political” science.


These two popular books are now available in paperback. At these prices you must have a couple copies on hand to pass out to friends and neighbors.

Icons of Evolution
Jonathan Wells has news for you. Everything you were taught about evolution was wrong. Every iconic image--from the "primordial soup" to the changing colors of moths in industrial England, to the ascent of man--is, says Dr. Wells, either inconclusive, incomplete, or even outright fraudulent. Wells commands readers to sharpen their critical thinking and challenge the integrity of scientific thought, while arguing for greater honesty in the continuing, contentious debate over evolution. Wells argues that the most famous case studies for evolution "no longer convey the spirit or substance of science, but have become instruments of indoctrination--the icons of evolution." These icons deserve to be toppled for the falsehoods that they are. Icons of Evolution is a book that will light the fires of controversy and force scientists to give us a more honest and objective report on what we've truly discovered about evolution in the past 100 years.

To order a paperback copy of Icons of Evolution for $13.50 go to:

A Case Against Accident and Self-Organization
In this illuminating book, Dean L. Overman uses logical principles and mathematical calculations to answer the questions that have long perplexed biologists and astrophysicists: Is it mathematically possible that accidental processes caused the formation of the first form of living matter from non-living matter? Could accidental processes have caused the formation of a universe compatible with life? Are current self-organization scenarios for the formation of the first living matter plausible?

Overman reviews the influence of metaphysical assumptions in logical analysis, and discusses the principles of logic applicable to these questions, examining the limitations of verbal and mathematical logic. He proceeds to demonstrate that it is mathematically impossible that accidental processes produced the first living matter.

The author also examines other issues related to the creation of the universe, including Stephen Hawking's no boundary proposal, the need for a Creator as the preserving cause of the universe, and the explanations offered by the weak and strong anthropic principles. Acclaimed by theologians and scientists alike as well-argued, coherent, and persuasive, A Case Against Accident and Self-Organization is a fascinating study of the origins of life and our universe.

To order the paperback edition of A Case Against Accident and Self-Organization for $13.25 go to:


All of the ARN products can be ordered through our web catalog store with secure credit card ordering. Read a detailed description of each product and add as many copies as you would like to the electronic shopping cart. When you have finished, select the type of shipping (Priority for faster delivery, or Standard for lowest cost) and send the order. If you provide your email address, you will receive an email receipt of your order. Place your order today online at (click the products links on the top menu bar). If you have any problems or questions, or would rather place your order by phone, call our toll free number at 1-888-259-7102 and Elton or Mary will be happy to assist you.


This is the twentieth issue of ARN-Announce. It describes many of the upcoming events and new articles, books, videos and other resources on Intelligent Design. Please forward this message to several of your friends and colleagues to let them know about the resources available at Access Research Network ( Back issues of ARN-Announce can be found at


ARN-Announce is written by Dennis Wagner (

Access Research Network is a non-profit scientific organization dedicated to providing accessible information on science, technology and society issues from an Intelligent Design perspective.

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