The Discovery Institute seems to have a language problem, or maybe an issue with defining terms. I recall an old joke about how the United States and Great Britain, two countries separated by a common language. I think there is a new divide between the Discovery Institute and the rest of the world. For a while now I have commented how the DI likes to claim that when there is something intelligently designed, be it a car or a mousetrap, the DI likes to lay claim that it's Intelligent Design 'theory' in action. (Intelligent Design vs intelligent design).
Well they are now doing the same thing for the word 'design'. Take a look: "Michael Behe's Challenge -- Past, Present, and Future". In the referenced papers they do mention the word 'design' a number of times and that seems to give the DI cause to celebrate yet 'another' example of their Intelligent Design 'theory' in action. And since the authors didn't discuss evolution, obviously the DI is winning the battle for the souls of the world. Here's a quote that struck me:
"While these Japanese researchers do not mention Behe or his conclusions, their work underscores the case for irreducible complex molecular machines as prima facie evidence for intelligent design. Nowhere do they credit evolution for the motors of the cell"However . . . and you just knew there had to be a however . . .
- Were either of the two papers about the evolution of the structures being replicated? No!
- Did either paper cite any of the multitude of Intelligent Design articles or books? No!
How many times in the past has human engineering mimicked something from nature? Too many to count, right? So, what we actually have here is another example of intelligence being used to create something . . . and the DI then come along, well after the fact, claiming that since these were smart people doing smart things, they must have been using Intelligent Design 'theory' and since they didn't discuss the evolution of cilia, we win!
Anyone else's BS meter pegging? You know my Chilton's Manual for my car didn't go into the evolution of the automobile, so therefore Intelligent Design 'theory' wins? My Java programming language manual doesn't go into the development of computers since the 1940's, so therefore computers haven't evolved since then . . . obviously. The papers didn't discuss evolution because it is immaterial to the stated purpose of the papers, but the DI doesn't see it that way. They prefer to spin it as some weird success for Behe's irreducible complexity and then, by extension, a validation for their whole reason for existing.
However, wouldn't you think someone using the DI's idea of Intelligent Design 'theory' go to the source and reference it in their papers? That would make sense, now that would be a victory for the DI and actual validation. So, why didn't they? I would have to think that the obvious answer is the best one. That religious claptrap published by the DI simply doesn't apply. If you want, check out the 30 papers cited in the first and the 48 papers cited in the second and you won't find any reference to the DI's pseudo-scientific publications.
I'm sure the DI will spin that as something caused by their constant whine of some massive prejudice ID proponents face in the world of science -- one often claimed but never substantiated. The simpler answer isn't some deeply hidden multi-national, multi-cultural conspiracy, but that their idea of Intelligent Design simply does not apply. Unlike the DI's stable of writers, lawyers, and philosophers, these are actual scientists who seem to apply only things that supported and furthered their research. That's a more honest answer than any spin from the DI, but that's not what you hear from them!
One last comment and then I will go to do something a bit more useful. If the biology of cilia are so supportive of Intelligent Design, who in the DI's limited sphere of influence is doing the actual scientific work to make that connection? Instead they prefer to quote a 20-year old book by Michael Behe that was thoroughly dismantled years ago -- as if it is still relevant.
Don't worry, DI, I am sure you can build another green-screen 'lab' and one of your talking heads can present your lack of findings to the world.