The Core Concepts of Intelligent Design- For Alan Fox
Alan Fox wants to know the core concepts of ID, which is strange because it has been explained to him many times.
OK here it is again
ID is based on three premises and the inference that follows (DeWolf et al., Darwinism, Design and Public Education, pg. 92):
1) High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.
2) Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.
3) Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.
4) Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.
Those are the core concepts of ID and to falsify Intelligent Design all one has to do is demonstrate that natural selection can produce irreducibly complex biological systems.
Picking on ID is not positive evidence for evolutionism, blind watchmaker evolution. But anyway-
As Dr Behe said:
Now, one can’t have it both ways. One can’t say both that ID is unfalsifiable (or untestable) and that there is evidence against it. Either it is unfalsifiable and floats serenely beyond experimental reproach, or it can be criticized on the basis of our observations and is therefore testable. The fact that critical reviewers advance scientific arguments against ID (whether successfully or not) shows that intelligent design is indeed falsifiable.
In fact, my argument for intelligent design is open to direct experimental rebuttal. Here is a thought experiment that makes the point clear. In Darwin’s Black Box (Behe 1996) I claimed that the bacterial flagellum was irreducibly complex and so required deliberate intelligent design. The flip side of this claim is that the flagellum can’t be produced by natural selection acting on random mutation, or any other unintelligent process. To falsify such a claim, a scientist could go into the laboratory, place a bacterial species lacking a flagellum under some selective pressure (for mobility, say), grow it for ten thousand generations, and see if a flagellum--or any equally complex system--was produced. If that happened, my claims would be neatly disproven.(1)
How about Professor Coyne’s concern that, if one system were shown to be the result of natural selection, proponents of ID could just claim that some other system was designed? I think the objection has little force. If natural selection were shown to be capable of producing a system of a certain degree of complexity, then the assumption would be that it could produce any other system of an equal or lesser degree of complexity. If Coyne demonstrated that the flagellum (which requires approximately forty gene products) could be produced by selection, I would be rather foolish to then assert that the blood clotting system (which consists of about twenty proteins) required intelligent design.
Let’s turn the tables and ask, how could one falsify the claim that, say, the bacterial flagellum was produced by Darwinian processes?
The criteria for inferring design in biology is, as Michael J. Behe, Professor of Biochemistry at Leheigh University, puts it in his book Darwin ' s Black Box: "Our ability to be confident of the design of the cilium or intracellular transport rests on the same principles to be confident of the design of anything: the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components.” That is the positive case. For example:
The ATP Synthase is a system that consists of two subsystems-> one for the flow of protons down an electrochemical gradient from the exterior to the interior and the other (a rotary engine) that generates ATP from ADP using the energy liberated by proton flow. These two processes are totally unrelated from a purely physiochemical perspective*- meaning there isn't any general principle of physics nor chemistry by which these two processes have anything to do with each other. Yet here they are.
How is this evidence for Intelligent Design? Cause and effect relationships as in designers often take two totally unrelated systems and intergrate them into one. The ordering of separate subsystems to produce a specific effect that neither can do alone. And those subsystems are composed of the ordering of separate components to achieve a specified function.
ATP synthase is not reducible to chance and necessity and also meets the criteria of design.
* Emergent collective properties, networks, and information in biology, page 23:
In the same vein, ATP synthesis in mitochondria can be conceived of and explained only because there is a coupling between ATP-synthase, the enzyme responsible for ATP synthesis, and the electrochemical potential. Hence ATP synthesis emerges out of this coupling. The activity of ATP-synthase alone could have in no way explained ATP synthesis. It is the merit of Mitchell, to have shown that it is precisely the interaction between two different physico-chemical events that generates this novel remarkable property. (italics in original)
Next we take a look inside ATP synthase-
“Thermodynamic efficiency and mechanochemical coupling of F1-ATPase”:
F1-ATPase is a nanosized biological energy transducer working as part of FoF1-ATP synthase. Its rotary machinery transduces energy between chemical free energy and mechanical work and plays a central role in the cellular energy transduction by synthesizing most ATP in virtually all organisms. However, information about its energetics is limited compared to that of the reaction scheme. Actually, fundamental questions such as how efficiently F1-ATPase transduces free energy remain unanswered. Here, we demonstrated reversible rotations of isolated F1-ATPase in discrete 120° steps by precisely controlling both the external torque and the chemical potential of ATP hydrolysis as a model system of FoF1-ATP synthase. We found that the maximum work performed by F1-ATPase per 120° step is nearly equal to the thermodynamical maximum work that can be extracted from a single ATP hydrolysis under a broad range of conditions. Our results suggested a 100% free-energy transduction efficiency and a tight mechanochemical coupling of F1-ATPase.
Highly effiecient, irreducibly complex, and no way- physiochemcially to get the two subunits to come together-> there's no attraction and no coupling.
Davies et al., “Macromolecular organization of ATP synthase and complex I in whole mitochondria,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Tamás Beke-Somfai, Per Lincoln, and Bengt Nordén, “Double-lock ratchet mechanism revealing the role of [alpha]SER-344 in F0F1 ATP synthase,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences