Welcome to ARN-Announce
Dennis Wagner, editor
Number Sixty-two, December 15, 2006
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2006 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 $25 donation received by January 15, 2007, we would like to send you one copy of our new 2007 Patterns in Nature calendar featuring spectacular nature photos by ARN News Editor Tom Magnuson, accompanied by an amazing quote about design or chance each month. This is a great way to get folks to think more deeply about the world around them at home or at work.
You can make your donation online (just indicate how many calendars you would like 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.
ID Snapshots from 2006
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 Design vs. Darwin debate, as well as what we have accomplished here at ARN:
Heidelberg, Germany – In January, researchers in Germany announced they finished the first complete analysis of the "molecular machines" in one of biology's most important model organisms: S. cerevisiae (baker's yeast). The study was conducted by the biotechnology company Cellzome, in collaboration with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). According to Giulio Superti-Furga, who launched the large-scale project at Cellzome four years ago: "If you think of the cell as a factory floor, up to now, we've known some of the components of a fraction of the machines. That has seriously limited what we know about how cells work. This study gives us a nearly complete parts list of all the machines, and it goes beyond that to tell us how they populate the cell and partition tasks among themselves."
Ithaca, NY – Sounding the Trumpet reported in April that the Cornell IDEA Club was applauding Allen MacNeil, the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, and Cornell University on this summer's new course, BioEE 467, "Evolution and Design - Is There Purpose in Nature?"
Clearwater, FL – A recent poll indicated that 60 percent of the medical doctors in the U.S. have serious doubts about the veracity of the macroevolutionary theory as taught in universities today. A new venue is available to give voice to this powerful flow of skeptical thought in the world of medicine, and to promote accurate knowledge and free exchange of ideas concerning the debate over Darwinism and alternative theories of origin: Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity.
San Diego, CA – A top-down systems approach to biology is yielding new information about the complexity of the DNA repair mechanism. Many cellular processes – including DNA replication and repair, cell cycle control, metabolism, and stress responses – form an integrated response to DNA damage, according to a report in the May 19th issue of Science. Researchers at UC San Diego used a systems biology approach to create a map of transcriptional networks that are activated when yeast DNA is damaged.
La Mirada, CA – " Intelligent Design Under Fire." On Friday May 12, 2006, five leading proponents of the intelligent design theory gathered at a sold-out auditorium at Biola University in Southern California and invited critics to join them and ask their most challenging questions. Joining ID proponents Mike Behe, Steve Meyer, Paul Nelson, Guillermo Gonzalez, and Jonathan Wells were a panel of critics including professors Bruce Weber (Biochemistry, Cal State Fullerton), Larry Herber (Geology, Cal Poly Pomona, ret.), Jim Hofmann (Liberal Studies, Cal State Fullerton), Craig Nelson (Liberal Studies Cal State Fullerton) and media contributors Charlotte Laws (columnist/author), and Keith Morrison (Dateline NBC).
New York, NY – From a news feature in Nature for May 25, 2006: "Gene" was the only concept in evolutionary theory that seemed to have a clear definition (compare with species, speciation, selection, fitness, etc.). Now the definition is being attacked as "a crude approximation" and scientists say "The degree of complexity we've seen was not anticipated."
South Carolina – In June, the state adopted a science standard requiring students to learn how “scientists…investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory.”
Seattle, WA – As of June 2006, over 600 doctoral scientists from around the world have now signed a statement publicly expressing their skepticism about the contemporary theory of Darwinian evolution. The statement, located online at www.dissentfromdarwin.org, reads: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”
Australia – Australian researchers reported that the pesky fly's eyes hold an important blueprint for creating better video cameras, military target-detection systems, and surveillance equipment. Flies can spot movement in shadows and see moving objects against interference-filled backgrounds. Russell Brinkworth, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Adelaide, devised software that sees the same way a fly does.
United Kingdom – In September, a group of academics, scientists, and clerics, called "Truth in Science" cause an uproar in the UK as they distributed information packs on intelligent design to 5,000 secondary schools. Many educators praised the move, while politicians quickly moved to block use of the materials in schools.
Brussels, Belgium – Polish member of the European Parliament, Maciej Giertych, retired head of the Genetics Department of the Polish Academy of Science, introduced a public seminar on the General Theory of Evolution to fellow MEP's in October. Professor Giertych questioned the value of teaching a continually falsified hypothesis–macroevolution– to students throughout Europe, as well as pointing out its lack of usefulness in regard to scientific endeavor. Dr. Hans Zillmer, a German Paleontologist and member of the New York Academy of Sciences, told the meeting that the fossil record holds no proof for evolution theory either. Instead of showing gradual change from one species to another, as is often claimed in the classroom, it actually reveals the stasis and stability of life forms.
Warsaw, Poland – In October, Miroslaw Orzechowski, Poland’s deputy education minister, called for the influential evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin not to be taught in the country's schools, branding them as lies in comments published on Saturday. "The theory of evolution is a lie, an error that we have legalized as a common truth."
Turkey – In a TV debate on the Turkish educational system, the country's Minister of Education, Mr. Hüseyin Çelik, argued in favor of intelligent design and for incorporating the theory into Turkish high school biology textbooks. The debate was aired on CNNTurk on October 17, 2006 on the popular TV show Tarafsiz Bölge (Neutral Zone).
Chicago, IL – In October, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago discovered that intra-cellular trafficking is tightly coordinated for maximum flow through cellular compartments – much as vehicles on a crowded road are allowed to pass quickly through a succession of green traffic lights. It looks like our city traffic engineers may be turning to the cell for some new design ideas.
Tokyo, Japan – In October, hundreds of scholars responded with curiosity and lively discussion to a series of lectures on intelligent design in a country where Darwinism is normally taught and taken for granted. Meanwhile the Tokyo newspaper, Sekai Nippo, published a ten-part article challenging neo-Darwinian evolution and exploring intelligent design.
McLean, VA – ARN board member Dr. Paul Nelson approached the theory of intelligent design from a biological angle at a three day conference in November. Nelson used specific examples of genes, enzymes, proteins, and cells with a focus on ORFan (open reading frame) genes, which are sequences of DNA that codes for protein. Nearly one-third of the protein-coding genes of mycoplasma, the simplest “free-living thing” up until last year, are unknown genes or ORFans. The questions that result from these discoveries are where did all these genetic information come from and why are they specific to one bacterium if according to Darwin’s theory of common descent they have to derive from a common ancestor?
Monroe, LA – At the end of November, the Ouachita Parish School District enacted a policy that protects the academic freedom of teachers to objectively cover scientific criticism of Darwinian evolution as well as the evidence in favor of the theory.
La Jolla, CA – Leading scientists from around the world gathered in November at one of the world’s largest biotech centers, the Salk Institute, to strategize how they could defeat both religion and intelligent design at the Beyond Belief Conference. The atheistic agenda of leading scientists, many whom are funded by government institutions, is now clearly on the table and available for all to see. Nobel prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg concluded the opening presentation with the following statement: “The world needs to wake up from its long nightmare of religious belief. Anything we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done and may, in fact, be our greatest contribution to civilization.”
St. Petersburg, Russia – A 15-year-old student sued a Russian school and says being taught the theory of evolution in school violates her rights and insults her religious beliefs. “The biology textbook generally refers to religion and the existence of God in a negative way. It infringes on believers’ rights,” she said in comments carried by Russian television stations.
Washington, DC – The demotion of a well-published evolutionary biologist critical of Darwinian evolution was found to be religiously and politically motivated, according to a new government report. In December, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform released a staff report detailing the persecution of Dr. Richard Sternberg, whose civil and constitutional rights were violated by Smithsonian officials when he published a peer-reviewed article by Dr. Stephen Meyer criticizing Darwinian evolution and supporting intelligent design.
Seattle, WA – In December, as the one year anniversary of the Kitzmiller v. Dover court decision on intelligent design rolls around, a study is released by scholars at Discovery Institute showing that Judge Jones copied over 90% of the key section of the decision from an ACLU brief, including numerous errors of fact that contradicted testimony presented at the trial.
Redmond, WA – In December, the New Scientist reported on the Biologic Institute with research facilities in Redmond and Fremont where scientists are conducting biological research from an intelligent design framework that they hope will lead to new scientific knowledge and better science.
More details on many of these stories can be found in our ID News Blog. Just type in a few key words from the story into the search box to find the original report. Our thanks to our team of ARN bloggers including Tom Magnuson, Denyse O’Leary, David Tyler, Roddy Bullock, Mark Hartwig, 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 monthly column on the irreducible complexity of the human body.
ARN Activities in 2006
We continued to produce new video lectures and books documenting the ongoing debate and the growing intellectual dissatisfaction with the worldview of naturalism. In addition, we added a host of new ID products from other sources to our growing catalog.
ARN lectures now available on Google Video
One of the most significant developments of 2006 was making our ARN debate and lecture videos available online with Google Video. If you go to the ARN Google Video catalog, you will find that you can now watch our videos on your computer with either a $1.99 day pass or a permanent download to your computer for $8.99. Our high-quality DVDs are still available for purchase for your personal library or use in the classroom, but making our videos available online means our web visitors around the world can have instant and affordable access to lectures and debates from many of the leading ID proponents and scientists. And those just hunting around on Google for information on intelligent design will now have ready access to our materials. You can also get to the Google version of our videos from our ARN product page for each video.
Products we produced in 2006:
Video Lecture & Interview: The Biotic Message with Walter ReMine
For decades, Darwinists have complained that opponents just criticize evolution theory and have no testable scientific theory of their own. Walter ReMine has responded to this charge with his Message Theory as detailed in his book and this lecture & interview at the University of California, Santa Barbara entitled The Biotic Message. ReMine’s Message Theory states that life contains a message that says something about its origin. In the lecture, ReMine postulates that Message Theory is scientifically testable based on three key tenets of the theory.
ICONS OF EVOLUTION ILLUSTRATIONS: by Jody Sjogren
The twenty-six original pen-and-ink drawings from illustrator Jody Sjogren for the Icons of Evolution book by Jonathan Wells are now available on CD as jpeg files for personal, non-profit, and/or educational use on this CD from illustrator Jody Sjogren. This is a “must-have” item if you are teaching or lecturing on ID or the ICONs.
ID ARTS Initiative
Our worldview impacts all areas of life including the arts. The arts also reflect philosophical and cultural trends in human societies. If intelligent design philosophical and scientific concepts are valid, we believe they will both inspire, and be reflected in, our art, music, literature, and film. We announced the ARN ID Arts Initiative and plan to launch the ID Arts website in the near future.
New Video: Intelligent Design Under Fire: Experts Cross-Examine the Top Proponents of intelligent design Theory
For those who have been waiting to see how the leading proponents of ID answer their critics face-to-face in real-time, the wait is over. On Friday May 12, 2006, five leading proponents of the intelligent design theory gathered at a sold-out auditorium at Biola University in Southern California and invited tough critics to join them and ask their most challenging questions. Joining ID proponents Mike Behe, Steve Meyer, Paul Nelson, Guillermo Gonzalez, and Jonathan Wells were a panel of critics including professors Bruce Weber (Biochemistry, Cal State Fullerton), Larry Herber (Geology, Cal Poly Pomona, ret.), Jim Hofmann (Liberal Studies, Cal State Fullerton), Craig Nelson (Liberal Studies Cal State Fullerton) and media contributors Charlotte Laws (columnist/author), and Keith Morrison (Dateline NBC).
New Book: The Cave Painting: A Parable of Science
by Roddy M. Bullock. Four hundred fifty pages of serious fun, The Cave Painting is our first allegorical novel exploring the Design versus Naturalism debate in a fictional story format. The novel, together with comprehensive end notes tying the allegorical arguments to real facts and arguments, highlights the key shortcomings of current Darwinian theories in explaining the origin of specified complex things, whether they be cave paintings, or, by analogy, human beings. This parable pits a bright young student against the academic establishment that tries to convince her and fellow students that a recently discovered local cave painting can be explained by purely naturalistic processes. She’s not buying it, and you are likely to stay up all night to find out how the parable ends.
Products we added to our online catalog in 2006:
New Book: One Small Speck to Man by Vij Sodera. A massive 464-page text with 800 color photos by a surgeon from the UK providing a detailed scientific explanation of why Darwin’s theory does not match the evidence.
New Video: The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction? Just how many of the “facts” in The Da Vinci Code novel are actually true? With over 25 million copies in print and the release of a major motion based on the book, it's time you found out. Theologian Ward Gasque leaves no doubt in this lecture what is fact and what is fiction. Over two dozen factual errors have been identified in Brown’s story and Gasque covers many of the important ones in this lecture.
New Book: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science Science journalist Tom Bethel takes on global warming, aids, cancer research, stem cell research, the human genome project, Darwinism, and many other sacred scientific cows of our time. Bethel, senior editor for the American Spectator, believes it is time for the media to become the “watch dog” for politically- and financially-motivated science.
New Book: Beliefs and Values in Science Education by Michael Poole. Science does not take place in a vacuum. Finally, a book that looks at some of the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural contexts within which science has developed and considers how these factors can affect the choice of scientific theory.
New Booklet: The Evolution Controversy—A 45-page guide for the rest of us.
We have some great books here at ARN, but if you are looking for a basic introduction to the issues that you don’t need a Ph.D to understand, this 45 page booklet was written for you.
New Book: Traipsing into Evolution: ID and the Kitzmiller v. Dover Decision The first published critique of federal Judge John E. Jones's decision in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, the foremost trial to attempt to address the constitutionality of teaching intelligent design. In this concise yet comprehensive response, Discovery Institute scholars and attorneys expose how Judge Jones's Kitzmiller decision was based upon faulty reasoning, non-existent evidence, and an elementary misunderstanding of intelligent design theory.
New Book: Why is a Fly not a Horse? Dimenticare Darwin by Giuseppe Sermonti.This book's Italian title, Dimenticare Darwin, means "Forget Darwin," and its prologue bears the title "Evolution is dead!" The author, Dr. Giuseppe Sermonti, is a respected Italian biologist who boldly shatters the myth that all critics of Darwinian evolution are American religious fundamentalists.
New Book: Are We Spiritual Machines? Ray Kurzweil, an advocate of "Strong Artificial Intelligence" (AI), claims that a computational process sufficiently capable of altering or organizing itself can produce "consciousness." A collection of critics addressed Kurzweil’s predictions at the 1998 Telecosm conference and Discovery Institute organized and expanded the discussion in this very accessible volume that includes responses to Kurzweil as well as his replies.
New Book: Darwinian Fairytales by David C. Stove. Australian philosopher David Stove passed away (1994) before the intelligent design movement was really in full swing. He was not a creationist or an ID proponent, but he was convinced that Darwinism is one of the most overblown of contemporary scientific dogmas.
New Video: The Incorrigible Dr. Berlinski What happens when a mathematician takes a close look at the just-so stories of Darwinian evolution? The stories quickly change from plausible to ridiculous. Berlinski likens the cow to whale evolution to the engineering task of converting a car to a submarine. Why are the 50,000+ required morphological changes not found in the fossil record? From the producers of the Icons of Evolution documentary, this video interview is now one of my top five “must watch” videos on origins.
New Book: Darwin’s Nemesis: Phillip Johnson and the ID Movement This book reviews and celebrates the life and thought of Phillip Johnson and the movement for which he has served as chief architect. Editor William Dembski presents eighteen essays by research scientists and philosophers who have known and worked with Johnson for more than a decade.
New Book: The Naked Emperor: Darwinism Exposed by Antony Latham. Antony Latham is a medical doctor working in Scotland who has just published a new book showcasing the powerful scientific argument that the universe and life were purposely designed. In the process he provides a devastating and detailed critique of Richard Dawkins’ Blind Watchmaker book.
New Book: A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature
by Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt. In this groundbreaking book, Wiker and Witt show that nature offers all of the challenges and surprises, all of the mystery and elegance, we associate with design and, further, with artistic genius. They begin in Shakespeare and range through the fine-tuning of the laws of physics, the Periodic Table of Elements, the artistry of ordinary substances like carbon and water, the intricacy of biological organisms, and the drama of scientific exploration itself. In contrast to contemporary claims that the world is ultimately meaningless, Wiker and Witt reveal a cosmos charged with both meaning and purpose.
New Book: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and intelligent design by
Jonathan Wells. Six years after igniting the flames of controversy with his groundbreaking 2000 book, Icons of Evolution: Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong, biologist Jonathan Wells, a senior fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, has written a new book on the debate over Darwinism and intelligent design: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and intelligent design. The book is published by Regnery as part of their popular series of “Politically Incorrect Guides.”
New Video: The Case for a Creator: Documentary with Author Lee Strobel This is the third in a series of top-quality, block-buster documentaries on intelligent design by Illustra Media that started with Unlocking the Mystery of Life and The Privileged Planet. Based on Strobel’s popular book by the same title, the documentary leads you through one man’s journey to grapple with the scientific evidence regarding one of life’s greatest questions: How did we get here? Along the way, he interviews many of the leading scientists and scholars for intelligent design theory. The major topic areas of the documentary cover the fossil evidence, cosmology, astronomy, physics, biological machines, and biological information.
New Book: Darwin Strikes Back: Defending the Science of intelligent design by Thomas Woodward. Woodward examines three major design theorists: Michael Behe, Jonathan Wells, and William Dembski, as well as their most notable critics including biologist Kenneth Miller, philosopher Niall Shanks, educator Eugenie Scott, and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins. The book also discusses some of the advances in physics, the problems associated with the chemical evolution of life, and summarizes the work of related scholars such as physicists Paul Davies and Robert Jastrow, and the Chinese paleontologist Jun-Yuan Chen.
This year we also expanded our apparel and merchandise store to help popularize intelligent design Theory in a fun way. Check out our expanded line of T-shirts, coffee mugs, caps, and calendars. And don’t forget--in appreciation for each $25 donation received by January 15, 2007, we would like to send you one copy of our new 2007 Patterns in Nature calendar featuring spectacular nature photos by ARN News Editor Tom Magnuson, accompanied by an amazing quote about design or chance each month. 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 coming year.
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