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Dennis Wagner, editor

Number Fifty-Two, February 27, 2006

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The Evolution Controversy: Understanding the Basic Issues in the Debate Between Biological Evolution and Intelligent Design

By Jody Sjogren, M.S., Robert Lattimer, Ph.D., and Doug Rudy, B.S.

This document provides a compact summary, written in layman's terms, of the wide range of issues that are connected with the controversy over teaching evolution in the public schools. The citizen who wants to develop an informed perspective on this topic is faced with the daunting task of sifting through contradictory and confusing data on definitions of key terms (like evolution and intelligent design), claims about the core issues involved (is this about religion or science?), scientific issues related to evolution, as well as related legal and educational questions. This document seeks to bring clarity to each of these areas, providing sufficient technical depth on scientific topics to avoid oversimplification while remaining readable to the non-specialist.

Reader Comments:
"The text and drawings were perfectly understandable to someone like me with no biology or chemistry background. In fact it was one of the few explanations of DNA that I understood. I will be lending the book out to a few friends. It is easy to understand, not too technical, covers the main subjects and yet is fairly brief and not overwhelming."

– Arthur Ude, retired airline pilot

"I found this book to be incredibly useful in explaining basically all of the areas included in evolution. My favorite aspect of the book is that it displays both sides of the issue. This really helps me in knowing where others are coming from in debates. It explains the pro-evolution points, and then it shows where the cracks in those points are and helps you know how to better respond to these topics. Overall this book is very useful in understanding this topic and has helped me debate better in the classroom."

– Jon Allan, Student

Order your copy of The Evolution Controversy.  Please contact our office for a volume discount if you would like to order 10 or more copies to distribute to students, parents or teachers.

Asking Intelligent Design the Tough Questions

Intelligent Design

Friday May 12, 2006
7:30 PM
Sutherland Auditorium,
Biola University

Every two years Biola University in Southern California has hosted a conference on Intelligent Design.  The theme of the 2006 Conference is “Asking Intelligent Design the Tough Questions” and the featured participants include five of the top names in the movement including Mike Behe, Bill Dembski, Paul Nelson, Guillermo Gonzalez, and Jonathan Wells. Be sure to mark Friday May 12th on your calendar and check the Biola ID Conference website soon for registration details.

Mike Behe

Bill Dembski

Paul Nelson

Guillermo Gonzalez

Jonathan Wells

New ID T-Shirts

Intelligent design: It brings good things to life
ARN’s newest T-shirt design features a computer simulated model of the ribosome.  The ribosome is the molecular factory responsible for synthesizing proteins in all organisms. Using the "Q Machine" supercomputer, Los Alamos computer scientists have created a molecular simulation of the cell's protein-making structure, the ribosome. The project, simulating 2.64 million atoms in motion, is more than six times larger than any biological simulations performed to date. The Los Alamos team led by Kevin Sanbonmatsu of Theoretical Biology and Biophysics (T-10) is the first to observe the entire ribosome in motion at atomic detail. Researchers at the Laboratory have set a new world's record by performing the first million-atom computer simulation in biology.

It requires man’s finest minds and most advanced machines to model what we are discovering at the nano-level of life. Is it mind or matter that “brings good things to life?”

Many of ARN’s Tees are now available on a baseball style jersey or a black T-shirt.

Visit our ID merchandise store to order you favorite design on a T-shirt, sweatshirt, mug, note cards or calendar.

Get ready to Exercise your Wonder as Dr. G explains the irreducible complexity of the female reproductive function. Here is an excerpt from his latest column:

Even a casual look at all of the interdependent factors that are necessary for female reproductive function and fertility shows that they are irreducibly complex in that without any one of them, the whole system fails. Without GnRH to stimulate the pituitary, the gonadotropins, FSH and LH would not be released. And without FSH and LH, ovulation would not take place and the ovarian hormones, estrogen and progesterone, would not be present to stimulate proliferation and maturation of the lining of the uterus. And let’s not forget the need for the four specific receptors for FSH, LH, estrogen, and progesterone, in order for each of these hormones to even have an effect.

One must also keep in mind that the mere presence of the hormones and their respective receptors does not fully explain how ovulation and implantation of the embryo takes place. Don’t forget that there is a constant feedback of these different hormones on the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, which ultimately affects GnRH, FSH and LH secretion. How do these glands actually monitor these hormones and how do they know what to do to allow for proper reproductive function?

One needs to consider the changing sensitivity of each secreting organ to a given concentration of hormone within a given density of hormone receptors. And of course, one needs to remember that in the follicular phase with low estrogen levels, FSH/LH is suppressed, but just prior to ovulation, as the estrogen level peaks it now miraculously does the exact opposite by causing a positive feedback resulting in the LH surge without which ovulation would not take place.

Certainly in order for macroevolution to even make any sense at all, evolutionary biologists must be able to explain how these components came together in progressively functioning systems over time to allow for adequate fertility within a living organism.

Such concepts as detection, sensitivity, response, regulation, and function; to most experienced people would point to a “mind at work” “an intellect that has a plan”.

Scientific fields such as Archaeology and Forensics that are dependent on human experience and judgment to make logical predictions and determinations about the likelihood of intelligent agency demonstrate practical examples of how detection of intelligent design can apply to scientific endeavors.

Evolutionary biologists would seem to have defined the possibility of intelligent design right out of their discipline by determining beforehand that this universal experience is not considered valid. So rather than having to explain the inconsistencies contained within the dogma of neo-Darwinism with what we know to be the truth about how life works, they simply choose to ignore it and count it out of consideration a priori.

Read the rest of this fascinating column in Female Reproductive Function: The Way of Life

The Schoolyard Bullies are Back

Hot on the heals of the victory in Dover, opponents of Ohio's Critical Analysis of Evolution Lesson Plan convinced the Ohio State Board of Education (OSBE) to repeal both their benchmark requiring critical analysis of evolution and the approved lesson plan for teaching critical analysis of evolution. The Benchmark in Ohio’s Science Standards stated that students should “Describe how scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory.”   Critical thinking has long been valued as an important educational goal for students, but opponents used the Dover case and threats of expensive litigation to bully lawmakers in Ohio to remove any critical thinking about evolution from the State lesson plan.  The Ohio Board effectively established materialism as the official state-endorsed account of origins by rescinding a science standard that would encourage evolution to be taught objectively.  For an interesting lesson in critical analysis, check out Casey Luskin’s “Critical Analysis of Martha Wise’s Editiorial” (complete with lesson plan).  Martha Wise is a member of the Ohio State Board of Education who attempted to justify the OSBE action in an editorial.  Forget Darwin, let’s start by getting Casey’s critical analysis lesson plan introduced in all the government classes in Ohio so students can understand how the government really works.  They will quickly find out the rules are the same as those in effect on the schoolyard playground. Also, don’t forget to check in on Kevin Wirth’s ongoing analysis of the Kitzmiller Decision.  In his most recent post, he examines the ‘False Duality’ claim offered by expert witness Dr. Ken Miller that is included as a component of the published Dover court opinion.

Scientific Doubters of Darwin List Passes 500

Over 500 doctoral scientists have now signed a statement publicly expressing their skepticism about the contemporary theory of Darwinian evolution. A website has now been established to document this rapidly growing list.  How big does the list need to be before it is legal to challenge Darwin’s theory in the classroom?  On the playground the situation usually changes when the number of brave kids outnumbers the bullies.


Darwin’s Warm Pond Theory Tested and Found Wanting

Volcanic spring (Dave Deamer)BBC News writer Rebecca Morelle reports that David Deamer, emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of California at Santa Cruz, said ahead of his presentation: "It is about 140 years since Charles Darwin suggested that life may have begun in a 'warm little pond'. We are now testing Darwin's idea, but in 'hot little puddles' associated with the volcanic regions of Kamchatka [Russia] and Mount Lassen [California, US]." Experiments carried out in volcanic pools suggest they do not provide the right conditions to spawn life.

Critics of materialism have been saying this for decades.  ARN correspondent, Denyse O’Leary documents how the origin-of-life problems are becoming more daunting with each passing year.


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