Wait, what? So, Michael Egnor (our friendly Intelligent Design advocate and brain surgeon) has made a post that explains how the design inference is useful in every day biology - in reference to a challenge made by Orac:
"Will Dr. Egnor show us some of these wonderful insights into human biology and disease provided or facilitated by the design inference"?Why summarize what Egnor says, when Egnor says it best?
"Notice that Watson and Crick aren’t standing next to a pair of dice. To untangle the structure of DNA, they inferred design, not chance. They reversed-engineered DNA. They collected physical data about the structure of DNA (X-ray diffraction studies, Chargaff’s rules, the physical chemistry of nucleotides, etc), and then they designed a model of the molecule to understand its structure and function."Beg pardon? Because they were operating under the assumption that DNA has a structure, that means that they were using a design inference, and were really closet creationists?
"This is not to say that Watson and Crick believed that DNA was designed by God. They were both atheists. Even molecular biologists who are avowed atheists use the design inference in their work."Well, at least he's occasionally honest...
But let me get this straight. Anyone who assumes that there are things in the universe that are ordered or structured is operating on the principle that there is a design (and a Designer). Even if they don't say so explicitly. Even if they say quite the opposite. Well, let's see what Jim Watson says:
"Today, there is a concerted effort by some religion-dominated scientists to treat evolution as a theory, as though that in some way diminishes its authority and power as an explanation of how the world works. Fortunately, the courts are exercising their wisdom and rejecting arguments of equal time for creationist beliefs in schools. We can only hope that a time will soon come when rational, skeptical thought renders the creationists' stories as what they are — myths.Hmmm, but Michael Egnor says that Jim Watson used a design inference. He must know Jim Watson's mind better than Jim Watson does. It's probably because Michael Egnor is a brain surgeon.
One of the greatest gifts science has brought to the world is continuing elimination of the supernatural, and it was a lesson that my father passed on to me, that knowledge liberates mankind from superstition. We can live our lives without the constant fear that we have offended this or that deity who must be placated by incantation or sacrifice, or that we are at the mercy of devils or the Fates. With increasing knowledge, the intellectual darkness that surrounds us is illuminated and we learn more of the beauty and wonder of the natural world.
Let us not beat about the bush — the common assumption that evolution through natural selection is a "theory" in the same way as string theory is a theory is wrong. Evolution is a law (with several components) that is as well substantiated as any other natural law, whether the law of gravity, the laws of motion or Avogadro's law. Evolution is a fact, disputed only by those who choose to ignore the evidence, put their common sense on hold and believe instead that unchanging knowledge and wisdom can be reached only by revelation."