Welcome to ARN-Announce
Dennis Wagner, editor
Number Sixty-nine, December 24, 2007
ARN-Announce is the on-line announcement and information
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2007 Year-end Report
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from
the ARN Staff:
We want to thank you for your support of ARN this
past year. We depend on your product purchases and tax-deductible donations to
make ARN one of the leading information portals on intelligent design. In
appreciation for each donation of $50 or more received by January 15, 2008, we
would like to send you one copy of the latest ID book hot off the press, The Design
of Life: Discovering Signs of Intelligence in Biological Systems. This
beautiful 339 page hardback text by leading design theorists William Dembski
and Jonathan Wells will soon become the de facto text for explaining
intelligent design theory to older students and the general adult reader.
You can make your donation online (just
indicate you would like a copy of the Design of Life book in the comment field
when you check out) or leave your credit card information and calendar request
on our secure voicemail toll-free (888) 259-7102 or (719) 633-1772.
And if that’s not exciting enough we would also
like to offer those who donate $50 or more access to our new online quote
database with over 1,500 quotes relevant to the origins debate, fully cataloged
and ready for your instant search (more details provided below).
ID Snapshots from 2007
As this year draws to a close, I’d like to
present a few snapshots of what’s been happening around the world with the Darwin
vs. Design debate, as well as what we have accomplished here at ARN:
Complexity of Molecular Machines – Science
Daily reported on remarkable molecular "machines"
in living cells, the ribosomes. These “factories” are giving scientists clues
to the development of new antibiotics and revealing secrets about how cells use
the genetic information encoded in DNA. The full story is in a February 19,
2007 article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), American Chemical
Society's weekly newsmagazine.
Broken Molecular Clock – In a paper that challenges the Darwinian model of evolution, University of Pittsburgh professor, Jeffrey H. Schwartz, contends that evolutionary changes occur suddenly as
opposed to the Darwinian model of evolution, which is characterized by gradual
and constant change. Schwartz's paper, "Do Molecular Clocks Run at All? A
Critique of Molecular Systematics," appears in the journal Biological
Time to Abandon Darwin’s Tree of Life – W. Ford
Doolittle and Eric Bapteste from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular
Biology, Dalhousie University in Canada published a discussion
paper suggesting its time to give up on Darwin’s Tree of Life illustration
because it doesn’t fit the data.
Biological Big Bang Model Proposed – Eugene
Koonin, a senior research scientist at the National Center for Biotechnology
Information published a paper that claims: “The relationships between major
groups within an emergent new class of biological entities are hard to decipher
and do not seem to fit the tree pattern that, following Darwin's original
proposal, remains the dominant description of biological evolution.” The paper is entitled: "The Biological Big Bang model for the major
transitions in evolution."
Treasure Trove of Homo Erectus Found – In
the September issue of Nature Daniel Lieberman comments in his essay on a recent fossil find: "The
fossil record of human evolution is like a pointillist painting: one sees a
different picture close up from when one stands back." This analogy is
actually very helpful. Normally, in science, gaining more data helps to fill in
the picture so that the details can be seen more clearly. However, this is not
so in human evolution. Gaining more data frequently leads to headlines that
suggest a radical rethink of previous "knowledge". In this case, we
have more data implying a mosaic of characters and greater variability. Zooming
in on the picture is not revealing the details of a transformation story. Like
a pointillist painting, evolution is only apparent from a distant vantage
point. Close up, we see masses of data, but no coherent picture.
The Genomic Jungle Unveiled – On September
24, 2007 The Boston Globe reported that the science of life is
undergoing changes so jolting that even its top researchers are feeling
something akin to shell-shock. Just four years after scientists finished
mapping the human genome - the full sequence of 3 billion DNA
"letters" folded within every cell - they find themselves confronted
by a biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than
anyone imagined." Science is just starting to probe the wilderness between
genes," said John M. Greally, molecular biologist at New York's Albert
Einstein School of Medicine. "Already we're surprised and confounded by a
lot of what we're seeing." A slew of recent but unrelated studies of
everything from human disease to the workings of yeast suggest that mysterious
swaths of molecules - long dismissed as "junk DNA" - may be more important
to health than genes themselves. Several
articles in Science News and Genomic Research describe the
new level of cell complexity that is being unraveled.
"Truth be told" about Chimp-Human
DNA comparisons – For over 30 years, the public have been led to believe
that human and chimpanzee genetics differ by mere 1%. This 'fact' of science
has been used on innumerable occasions to silence anyone who offered the
thought that humans are special among the animal kingdom. "Today we take
as a given that the two species are genetically 99% the same." However,
this "given" is about to be discarded. Apparently, it is now OK to
openly acknowledge that those who are involved in this research have never been
comfortable that the 1% figure was an accurate summary of the scientific
information. But more recent
studies have made it impossible to sustain the old orthodoxy. They have
raised "the question of whether the 1% truism should be retired."
While the science news related to ID continues
to move forward in a positive direction, the political news continued a disturbing
trend as evidenced by these stories in 2007:
Kansas Board Establishes Materialism – In
February the Kansas
State Board of Education threw out a model for teaching origins science
objectively. In the place of objective standards the Board inserted a new model
which allows only material or natural causes to explain the origin of natural
phenomena. According to the new standards all of scientific knowledge can be
reduced to the "physical" in terms of matter, energy and the forces.
Even human consciousness, which science studies, is reduced to the physical.
Only one answer is allowed to the question: Where do we come from? The answer:
material causes - the random interactions of matter, energy and the forces.
Guillermo Gonzalez Denied Tenure at Iowa State – ISU
President Gregory Geoffroy said in June that Gonzalez's advocacy of the
"intelligent design" concept was not a factor in the decision to turn
down his request for tenure. Geoffroy said he focused his review on Gonzalez's
overall record of scientific accomplishment as an assistant professor at ISU.
However, based on e-mails
uncovered by a local journalist, it appears that the decision had been made
to turn Gonzalez down for tenure before he had actually applied for it, and the
reason was his advocacy of intelligent design.
Baylor Shuts Down Professor’s Website – In
August, the Baylor University administration shut
down Professor Robert Marks's Evolutionary Informatics Lab and website because the lab's research was
perceived as linked to intelligent design. Robert J. Marks II, is the
Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Baylor.
Science Guidelines Established in UK – In
September after a number of requests from teaching unions and civic bodies,
including the Christian think-tank Ekklesia and the British
Humanist Association, the UK Department of Children, Schools, and Families issued
guidance for teachers uncertain whether and how to discuss creationism -
which is rejected by both scientists and theologians as lacking factual and
theoretical value. A statement on Teachernet, a government website, states that
"Creationism and intelligent design are not part of the National
Curriculum for science" and describes "intelligent design" as
"a creationist belief" that "is sometimes erroneously advanced
as scientific theory but has no underpinning scientific principles or
explanations supporting it and it is not accepted by the international
Council of Europe calls ID a Threat to Human
Rights – In October Europe jumped into the origins debate as the Council of Europe (CoE) adopted a
resolution regarding “The dangers of creationism in education,” which calls
intelligent design (ID) “a threat to human rights.” The CoE is a
non-governmental body in Europe that aims to protect human rights, but its
resolutions carry no force of law. Even if the CoE's edicts did carry the force
of law, it's difficult to take this resolution seriously due to its assertion
that questioning Darwin somehow threatens human rights. David Berlinski, a
mathematician and Discovery Institute senior fellow who lives in Paris and has made many scientific critiques of Darwinian evolution, gives an insightful
analysis of the resolution.
Expelled: Coming to a Theater Near You—Be
not discourage by these political movements to stamp out ID from scientific
inquiry and our culture at large. Ben Stein, actor, speech writer, and thinker
extraordinaire, has one-upped Michael Moore with his new investigative
documentary that takes an entertaining and yet serious look at the materialist
campaign against free speech and free thought in his new movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Here
is my endorsement after watching a private screening of the director’s cut
“It is rare to find a movie that is
entertaining, educational and motivational, but that is exactly what you get
with Ben Stein’s documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Ben puts
on his sneakers and interviews highly qualified scientists, academics and
journalists who have had their careers ruined because they dared to question
the modern day creation story of Darwinian evolution. Equally revealing are
Ben’s interviews with the leading academics behind the Darwinian establishment
such as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, William Provine, and PZ Myers. This
movie only samples the tip of the iceberg of academic and intellectual
persecution in the land of “freedom” and may trigger a cultural revolution as
more people are emboldened to tell their story and make a stand.”
– Dennis Wagner, Executive Director, Access Research Network
Look for the movie to appear in your local
theater sometime this spring. Help spread the word to friends and family
between now and then. This is the kind of movie that can change public policy
as citizens began to understand the discrimination that is taking place along
with the suppression of free inquiry.
More details on many of these stories can be
found in our ID News Blog. Use
the embedded links above or just type in a few key words from the story into
the blog search box to find the original report. Many thanks to our team of ARN
bloggers including Tom
Bullock, and Kevin
Wirth for keeping all of us to date with ID news and commentary. And, of
course, our thanks also to Dr. Howard Glicksman for his feature column on the irreducible
complexity of the human body.
ARN Activities in 2007
We continued to produce new products documenting
the ongoing debate and the growing intellectual dissatisfaction with the
worldview of naturalism and the increasing interest in detecting design in
nature. In addition, we added a host of new ID products from other sources to
our growing catalog:
Products we produced in 2007:
Database – A major portion of our development work this year has been
focused on creating and streamlining an online quote database that currently
features over 1,500 quotes related to the Darwin v. Design debate. Called My
Evolution Quotes (or MEQ for short), the database project is being spearheaded
by Kevin Wirth, ARN Director of Product Development.
effective, the users of any quote database must have a high level of confidence
in the quality and accuracy of the quotes. To achieve this goal, the database
has been constructed with independent verification of each quote and the
ability to add scanned pages from the original source so the user can verify
the quote independently and assess the original context of the quote.
features a powerful keyword search capability to allow users to generate a custom
report of quotes on demand, using single or multiple keywords. Another feature
of the database is the automated generation of keyword and author reports.
Currently, this system automatically generates and updates .pdf reports on a
daily basis for over 5,000 keywords and hundreds of authors.
additional “thank you” to our supporters who donate $50 or more, we would like
to provide you with a sample .pdf quote report AND access to the database for
your own personal research. Just indicate with your donation that you would
like access to the quote database (MEQ) and we will send you an email with
instructions for logging on.
We are also
seeking volunteers to assist with the quote entry and verification process. If
you would like to be part of the quote database team, just let us know and we
will put you in touch with Kevin.
Video Clips – The internet is changing the way our culture
communicates as evidenced by the phenomenal growth of MySpace, Facebook and
YouTube, especially among the younger generation. In order to make the
evidence for ID readily available to the next generation, ARN launched a
YouTube site this summer making over 50 video clips from
our lecture and debate products available for free viewing. During the first
three months the clips had over 20,000 viewings and hundreds of visitors who
have subscribed to our channel or linked to our videos from their own YouTube
Website – If you have not visited our ID Arts website yet, be sure to check out
the creative contributions of philosophy student and writer James Hoskins, the
recordings of pianist Gil Dodgen, the opera analysis of chorister Mike Dodaro,
the paintings of artists Jody Sjogren and the many other contributions from
those who believe our worldview influences our art.
Products we added to our online catalog in 2007:
New Book: The Edge
of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism
Without a doubt, this is the blockbuster ID book of 2007. Biochemist
Michael Behe reviews the scientific data and lays out clearly what evolution
can and cannot do which he identifies as the “Edge of Evolution”. Darwin's proposed mechanism -- random mutation and natural selection -- has been accepted
largely as a matter of faith and deduction or, at best, circumstantial
evidence. Only now, thanks to genetics, does science allow us to seek direct
evidence. The genomes of many organisms have been sequenced, and the machinery
of the cell has been analyzed in great detail. The evolutionary responses of
microorganisms to antibiotics and humans to parasitic infections have been
traced over tens of thousands of generations. As a result, for the first time
in history Darwin's theory can be rigorously evaluated. The results are
shocking. Although it can explain marginal changes in evolutionary history,
random mutation and natural selection explain very little of the basic
machinery of life. The "edge" of evolution, a line that defines the
border between random and non-random mutation, lies very far from where Darwin pointed. Behe argues convincingly that most of the mutations that have defined the
history of life on earth have been non-random.
New Book: The Design of Life: Discovering Signs of
Intelligence in Biological Systems
by William Dembski and Jonathan
Coming in a close second behind The Edge of Evolution is this
new text by two of the leading ID theorists. This 339 page color hardback is
the best one stop resource for understanding Intelligent Design and the
underlying concepts such as molecular machines, information content in
biological systems and irreducible complexity.
New Video: Teaching
Origins Objectively: The Kansas Science Hearings
three expert witnesses testify about two distinctly different models for
teaching about the ultimate question of our origins to children in Kansas schools. They included 5 PhD biologists, 4 PhD biochemists, 3 PhD Chemists, 1 PhD
Geneticist (the inventor of the Gene Gun), 1 PhD Quantum Physicist, 3
Philosophers of Science, 1 PhD Professor of Education, 3 biology teachers, a
Muslim science writer and an attorney. This fast-paced documentary is filled
with drama, as witnesses testify about systematic suppression of the
controversy, fear in the class room and loss of jobs for teaching Darwin objectively. All of the witnesses were cross examined by an ACLU attorney. The
hearings end with fireworks - a shocking refusal of the Darwinian materialists
to submit to questions from the other side.
New Book: The
Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul
Beauregard and Denyse O'Leary
Many scientists ignore hard evidence that
challenges their materialistic prejudice, clinging to the limited view that our
experiences are explainable only by material causes, in the obstinate
conviction that the physical world is the only reality. But scientific
materialism is at a loss to explain irrefutable accounts of mind over matter,
of intuition, willpower, and leaps of faith, of the "placebo effect"
in medicine, of near-death experiences on the operating table, and of psychic
premonitions of a loved one in crisis, to say nothing of the occasional sense
of oneness with nature and mystical experiences in meditation or prayer. Traditional
science explains away these and other occurrences as delusions or
misunderstandings, but by exploring the latest neurological research on
phenomena such as these, The Spiritual Brain gets to their real source.
New Book: Real Science-4-Kids
Pre-Level I Biology
Now you can teach your K-3rd grader the concepts behind real biology without the assumptions of the
Darwinian worldview. Ten chapter lessons with eye-catching color illustrations introduce
students to life, cells, food for plants, plant parts, growing a plant,
protozoa, protozoa eat, butterflies, frogs and our balanced earth. Includes
lab workbook and teacher’s guide. The best biology text available for the age
group and suitable for public, private or home school use.
New Book: Darwin Day
in America: How our politics and culture have been dehumanized in the name of
by John G. West
At the dawn of the last century,
leading scientists and politicians giddily predicted that science—especially
Darwinian biology—would supply solutions to all the intractable problems of
American society, from crime to poverty to sexual maladjustment. Instead,
politics and culture were dehumanized as scientific experts began treating
human beings as little more than animals or machines. In criminal justice,
these experts denied the existence of free will and proposed replacing
punishment with invasive “cures” such as the lobotomy. In welfare, they
proposed eliminating the poor by sterilizing those deemed biologically unfit.
In business, they urged the selection of workers based on racist theories of
human evolution and the development of advertising methods to more effectively
manipulate consumer behavior. In sex education, they advocated creating a new
sexual morality based on “normal mammalian behavior” without regard to
longstanding ethical and religious imperatives. Based on extensive research
with primary sources and archival materials, John G. West’s captivating Darwin
Day in America tells the story of how American public policy has been
corrupted by scientism ideology. West’s narrative explores the far-reaching
consequences for society when scientists and politicians deny the essential
differences between human beings and the rest of nature.
Don’t forget about our ID apparel and merchandise
store to help popularize intelligent design theory in a fun way. Check out our growing
line of ID T-shirts, coffee mugs, caps,
and 2008 calendars. And remember–in appreciation for
each donation of $50
or more received by January 15, 2008, we would like to send you a copy of the
new book The Design of Life AND provide you access to our new MEQ quote database. If you enjoyed hearing from us this year, we
hope you’ll take a moment to order a product or send in a donation so we can
continue to serve you with high-quality news and educational products in the
For the staff here at ARN,
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A FEW NOTES ABOUT ARN ANNOUNCE
ARN-Announce describes many of the upcoming events and new articles,
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