By now, most would be familiar with the views of the Discovery Institute. They have various campaign-related sites such as Dissent from Darwin, Intelligent Design, Idea Center to name a few. I am particularly interested in their daily blog, the ironically named Evolution News & Views that keeps readers updated of latest bits and bytes from the "evolutionist front" (with a liberal sprinkling of ad hominems).
The far-reaching effects of Kitzmiller v. Dover probably left them simmering. Nevertheless, its best not to attack them.
To quote from IntelligentDesign.Org directly:
"The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection."
Lets look at the combination of their theories for detecting design, irreducible complexity and complex specified information. I name one that fits this criterion: the CTX toxin of Vibrio Cholerae. To quote Wikipedia (its not necessary to read the whole thing):
Cholera toxin acts by the following mechanism: First, the B subunit ring of the cholera toxin binds to GM1 gangliosides on the surface of target cells. Once bound, the entire toxin complex is endocytosed by the cell and the cholera toxin A1 (CTA1) chain is released by the reduction of a disulfide bridge. The endosome is moved to the Golgi apparatus, where the A1 protein is recognized by the endoplasmic reticulum chaperon, protein disulfide isomerase. The A1 chain is then unfolded and delivered to the membrane, where the ER-vcoxidase - ER oxidoreductin triggers the release of the A1 protein by oxidation of protein disulfide isomerase complex. As the A1 protein moves from the ER into the cytoplasm by the Sec61 channel, it refolds and avoids deactivation as a result of ubiquitination.
CTA1 is then free to bind with a human partner protein called ADP-ribosylation factor 6 (Arf6); binding to Arf6 drives a change in the shape of CTA1 which exposes its active site and enables its catalytic activity. The CTA1 fragment catalyses ADP-ribosylation of the Gs alpha subunit (Gαs) proteins using NAD. The ADP-ribosylation causes the Gαssubunit to lose its catalytic activity in hydrolyzing GTP to GDP + Pi so it remains activated longer than normal. Increased Gαs activation leads to increased adenylate cyclaseactivity, which increases the intracellular concentration of cAMP to more than 100-fold over normal and over-activates cytosolic PKA. These active PKA then phosphorylate thecystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) chloride channel proteins, which leads to ATP-mediated efflux of chloride ions and leads to secretion of H2O, Na+,K+, and HCO3- into the intestinal lumen. In addition, the entry of Na+ and consequently the entry of water into enterocytes are diminished. The combined effects result in rapid fluid loss from the intestine, up to 2 liters per hour, leading to severe dehydration and other factors associated with cholera, including a rice-water stool.
Its potency is such that a single molecule is enough to cause a cascade of reactions in a cell leading to massive loss of intestinal fluid. This is the cause of cholera.
|Plasmodium infected red blood cells. Image credit goes to|
Its even worse when you consider the malaria parasite Plasmodium. They are obligate parasites i.e. they must complete their life cycle inside their host cell, in this case both the Anopheles mosquito, followed by alternatingly infecting both liver and red blood cells. The most deadly kind-Plasmodium falciparum is host specific i.e. it has been developed to an extent it only targets humans. And did you know malaria is killing more than a million people a year, the majority of them children?
To what extent is design ubiquitous in nature? If we are to teach ID, that the flagellum is a product of design, are we to teach them that the type 3 secretory system, responsible for delivering bacterial toxins is a product of deliberate tinkering too? Shall we teach them the irreducible complexity of the eye, alongside the elaborate design of the cobra to kill and incapacitate? Or how about Mycobacterium tuberculosis, its slow replication cycle which reduces the effectiveness of antibiotics, its deadliness which killed more people than all wars combined?
In essence, it exacerbates the problem of evil to astronomical proportions, because the "Designer" would now be responsible for billions of deaths. Yes, the Designer is now a mass murderer.
This is what makes it so disturbing. I understand its not the DI claims its not its role to make theological inferences of designed life. But it is inevitable people will begin to question and ponder. People will begin to realise the nature of the Designer, who, aside from designing life, also decided to throw in deadly pathogens to the mix. Is it the loving God of the Bible?