Random Mutations? Cut To The Chase


This radiation-mutated fruit fly has legs growing out of its head where its antennae should be. Radiation provoked lots of random mutations… but none that conferred significant advantages to the insect. Photo by Thomas Kaufman

I’ve been debating Derrick Rohe and Dan Listermann on Facebook. My challenge to them:

“Show me evidence that random mutations produce beneficial evolutionary events. New features, new organs, better adaptations.”

They can’t prove the random part. Read more »

Larry Moran, Intelligent Design, and the Three Martini Lunch

First, a confession: I am no fan of Larry Moran. He’s an evangelist of old-school Darwinism, which is rapidly being plowed under by Systems Biology.

Moran’s strident promotion of the now-discredited “Junk DNA” theory alone should give all of us pause. The man is still trying to save Junk DNA from extinction. (The ENCODE project killed it dead three years ago.)

PREDICTION: Ten years from now, when we understand twice as much about the genome as we do now, most scientists will be reluctant to admit they ever entertained such anti-scientific superstitions.

Well lately Moran is in a gladiator fight with Ann Gauger of the Discovery Institute. And he makes a valid point.

Moran fires a missive:

Read more »

Can Anybody Actually Win The Evolution 2.0 Prize?

evonne_crayonsCan Anybody Actually Win The Evolution 2.0 Prize?

Science, God, and

Happy Chemical Accidents


There’s a million codes out there. HTML, bar codes, zip codes, Java, English and Chinese.

Out of a million codes, 999,999 are designed by humans.

There’s one code we don’t know the origin of – and that’s DNA. We don’t know of any codes that are not designed. This implies design in DNA.

That’s an unsolved science mystery. So I and a group of Private Equity Investors have formed a company, Natural Code LLC, to offer a multi-million dollar technology prize for Origin Of Information.

Read more »

Did Charles Darwin Believe in God?

“Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason and not with the feelings, impresses 330px-Charles_Darwin_seated_cropme as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wondrous universe, including man with his capacity of looking backwards and far into futurity, as a result of blind chance or necessity.

“When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.

“But then arises the horrid doubt– can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?”…

“I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic. “

-From The Autobiography of Charles Darwin: 1809-1882

“OK, So Where is God in All of This?”

Subscriber Les asks: Perry, I did read your book. What is God’s role in the model of evolution that you propose?

Is he just the designer of the laws of nature according to which life originates by chance and then evolves in an unguided manner?

Do you believe that God interferes into his creation by e.g. originating the first life form?

Read more »

Skeptic Jerry Coyne trashes “Evolution 2.0” – without even reading it first!

330px-Jerry_Coyne_at_The_Amazing_Meeting_2013Jerry Coyne, Biology Professor at the University of Chicago, reviewed my new book Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design. He begins his review by saying:

Although I haven’t read it….”

Then he gives his critique of the description of the book… rather than the book itself!

I believe in fair debate. Though I disagree with many of Coyne’s conclusions in his book Why Evolution is True, I actually recommend it in my “Recommended Books” appendix. (And yes, I did read it.)

Coyne’s salvo starts with: Read more »

Down the evolutionary rabbit hole I go – Part 2 of Decoding Evolution

My brother Bryan (VERY smart) insisted that if you had billions of falcons over millions of years, nature was so prolific that all you would actually need was the occasional copying error.

Not only would you get falcons…. you would get better and better falcons!

Mutations would inevitably happen. Vision would improve. Wings would improve, navigation improve.

He said you wouldn’t just get falcons. You’d get other species of birds too, and eventually, other completely different creatures.

Evolution, in other word, could practically happen by accident. Certainly there was no guiding force involved.

Was this true? Read more »

Part 1: Decoding Evolution

Bryan was backing me into a corner and I didn’t like it.

We were riding a bus in southwest Asia near Viet Nam. Bryan had moved there 4 years before. He was half English teacher, half missionary.

A few months before he’d bailed on the missionary part.

Not only was he no longer a missionary, he was Read more »

“Biology is the study of things that appear to be designed.”

Richard Dawkins the famous atheist said that.

In poker, a “tell” is a signal that your opponent is lying and he knows it.

Dawkins’ statement is a ‘tell.’ It’s the sort of thing people say when they’re in denial.

Biology invokes the exact same principles of design you find in an engineering book or architectural manual… except the designs are better. And it is teleological.

It has a mind of its own. Everyone instinctively knows this. The more time you spend in nature (and not merely studying it or talking about it) the more clear this is.

One has to be laboriously “educated out” of believing it, out of feeling that sense of wonder.

Everyone can sense that there is a Grand Design. That’s why atheism has a to be enforced with guns and fear and intimidation. It’s why old-school Darwinists throw tantrums whenever someone suggests there are problems with their theory.

Now, when I say biological things are designed, I mean that in a much higher, larger sense than what is normally understood. I don’t mean “and on the fifth day, God beamed zebras and giraffes onto the savannah.”

No, I mean something much deeper than that – that living things possess the ability to adapt and to design themselves, and that the universe not only is a design but in some lesser sense is itself a designer.    

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