Revisiting Rivista

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Today, the DI proudly announced that "[f]or the second time in nine months, an article explicitly applying intelligent design theory to scientific research has been published in an internationally respected biology journal -- despite Darwinists' claims that this never happens." This leads one to wonder about the status of Rivista within the biological community? While it may be "one of the oldest biological journals in the world" (1919), I would argue that it is neither "internationally respected" nor influential.

Read more over at Stranger Fruit.

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By now, Wells' paper in Rivista di Biologia has been much discussed and criticized by scientists and laymen alike. And, of course, the Discovery Institute has announced it with their usual flair and hyperbola. Well's paper may have little or... Read More

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Isn’t that the Italian edition of Mad Magazine?

Is Dembski, the Alfred E. Newman of Disinformation Science, an editor?

I love the cartoons by that guy Behe. Oh, those aren’t cartoons? Those are his serious writings? Sorry, my bad!

As I recall, having visited the Creationi al Fresco website, the article referenced is yet another review article of other researcher’s work. Ah, the Creationi, such a fine mamas boy!

Is there a translation available? Into Reality, that is, not English.

Syntax Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 3, column 85, byte 240 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.12.3/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187

DI Announcement Wrote:

“Wells’s article uses intelligent design theory (ID) to formulate a testable hypothesis about centrioles.… Wells’ hypothesis–if confirmed by experiments–would explain how centrioles function in normal cell division and malfunction in cancer. The hypothesis could also help to explain why there is a correlation between calcium and Vitamin D deficiency and major types of cancer.”

So, where is the ID here other than the scientist saying it’s ID?

Abstract at Revista Wrote:

Jonathan Wells

Do Centrioles Generate a Polar Ejection Force?

Abstract. A microtubule-dependent polar ejection force that pushes chromosomes away from spindle poles during prometaphase is observed in animal cells but not in the cells of higher plants. Elongating microtubules and kinesin-like motor molecules have been proposed as possible causes, but neither accounts for all the data. In the hypothesis proposed here a polar ejection force is generated by centrioles, which are found in animals but not in higher plants. Centrioles consist of nine microtubule triplets arranged like the blades of a tiny turbine. Instead of viewing centrioles through the spectacles of molecular reductionism and neo-Darwinism, this hypothesis assumes that they are holistically designed to be turbines. Orthogonally oriented centriolar turbines could generate oscillations in spindle microtubules that resemble the motion produced by a laboratory vortexer. The result would be a microtubule-mediated ejection force tending to move chromosomes away from the spindle axis and the poles. A rise in intracellular calcium at the onset of anaphase could regulate the polar ejection force by shutting down the centriolar turbines, but defective regulation could result in an excessive force that contributes to the chromosomal instability characteristic of most cancer cells.

OK, now. I am a layman. But it appears to me that Well’s speaks scientifically about natural phenomena and posits a hypothesis about how this organism works.

Are Wells and ID trying to say there is ANYTHING physically different about those centrioles, just because of his preconceptions about its metaphysical blue-print?

Is this a JOKE?

It’s like, if I dissect a flower in order to see how it functions, suddenly suggesting that the person who grew this flower was actually a French-Speaking Albanian, and that my work is now guided by French Albanianist Theory instead of the old and tired North American Flowerist method.

It’s good to see that ID is as hopeless in the details as it appears on the surface.

Hey, we get two for one! The same issue also contains a paper by the distinguished John A. Davison, Ph.D.:

Revista

Alex Wrote:

Hey, we get two for one! The same issue also contains a paper by the distinguished John A. Davison, Ph.D.

As I said recently, I’m a layman.

Is his “Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis” paper a fancy way to say that all genetic information we see today, existed way long time ago within all our precurser forms, and is only kindof “blooming” now? (In other words, no mutation/selection or drift?)

What in ID “Theory” implies that centrioles should be turbines?

Nothing.

Not sure why the DI makes it hard to get a guy’s email address. Here’s the full text of the email I just made to [Enable javascript to see this email address.]:

subject: to Johnathan Wells

Your latest publication states that your “hypothesis assumes that they (centrioles) are holistically designed to be turbines.”

This is supposedly premised on Intelligent Design. There is a discussion over at the Panda’s Thumb about your paper, and we’d appreciate it if you could come over and explain how this assumption derives from ID “Theory”. We don’t understand the connection.

thanks, Steve Story

Well’s email address is on the Revista paper. It’s [Enable javascript to see this email address.].

Sent.

Hopefully he’ll show up and Lenny can ask him lots of questions like What is the theory of ID, why do some IDers say there’s no theory yet, etc.

Don S, you asked:

Is his “Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis” paper a fancy way to say that all genetic information we see today, existed way long time ago within all our precurser forms, and is only kindof “blooming” now? (In other words, no mutation/selection or drift?)

I read his PEH until I found the first grievous mistake, which was a misrepresentation of the established scientific position (i.e. what he says about evolution theory is wrong, wrong, wrong). I - and others here in PT - pointed out the fact that he was describing a strawman. Given that he has been told at least three times, and he has responded to the posts containing such declarations, it is reasonable to assume that he knows he has described evolution wrongly and thus the fact that he has not corrected it means he is lying about what evolution actually says to strengthen his own hypothesis (a.k.a. wish).

Since he starts out so very badly, whatever else he sprouts is in question until he actually learns what modern biology actually says. That said, from what he mentioned again and again, his belief (pure faith, of course, since he has done no research, nor has he actually bothered learning anything about biology) is that the Creator front-loaded all the information into the creatures, that information has been lost over the years to the 2LoT and it just happens that “today” evolution is finished (today being, I assume, since he was born, probably because he is the perfect man and the summit of human de-evolution or something).

When asked to clarify his position, to show some proof of the wild claims above - or even to tell us where he learnt logic, to evade that place like the plague - he would ignore us or claim that he was here only to attack and not to defend.

Ah, JAD. A veritable crank and troll. He’ll be missed. But not very much. The silence is wonderful.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

I think I can translate Well’s idea. Basically his theory is based on intelligent design because he posits that the centriole is a system rather then a set of partially independent parts. This seems to relate to the idea of IC. Considering the recent criticisms of the concept of IC as evidence for evolution it would be interesting to see why Wells still thinks it is valid evidence of ID.

Here’s a suggestion for ID advocates such as Wells, lower the bar for yourselves. Trying to build a positive theory of ID doesn’t seem likely to work so concentrating your energies on a attack on Darwinian evolution might be a better stratgey. The attack would also be a great aid to the mainstream scientific community, in particular biologists would be given an opportunity to develop further the theory of evolution in regards to specific cases. I suspect journals might be more willing to publish these negative critiques then floundering attempts to create a positive case for ID.

Indeed this has already occurred, note how criticisms of possibility of evolutionary explanations of such microbiological features as fallegela and blood clotting have spurred further study into these areas.

Admittedly the idea involves giving up intelligent design as a concept or theory. But it was never really a good idea in the first place. On the other hand the idea of a negative critique of Darwinism seems to hold promise for both his supporters and detractors.

“spurred further study”

I’d call that a mischaracterisation. I’m sure that the only reason the creationists have the remotest clue of anything at all which they can erroneously claim is irreducibly complex or intelligently designed is because that research was already being undertaken and published by scientists (as opposed to the vacuous pseudoscientists in the ID religio-political movement).

Left to their own devices, the most reality-denying creationists would still be as empty headed as they were a couple of thousand years ago. Now at least they know that their betters can find things out with science, even if the creationists then don’t like what is found that way and don’t usually understand it either.

A second paper does not a research program make regardless of the “respectability” of the journal. A search of PubMed for the last nine months on “biological evolution” found 7,562 papers in process or print. Perhaps someone should point that out to the DI.

Ahhh but you see Konrad, that is when the YEC or IDiot points out that it’s all an evil atheist conspiracy to lock them out of the standard peer review structure. Then you end up at square one again.

IDists don’t just argue that - they also claim that there are loads of papers out there that (unwittingly) support ID. Maybe thats why they can hardly ever be arsed to publish their own.

Well, of course it derives from ID! Don’t you remember that recent interview with Behe? Asked to provide “evidence” for ID, he responded that cells are like cities or some damn thing. Look, there are trucks, roads, stoplights, Starbucks, everything! Therefore if you can make lame analogies between machines and organelles, ID is confirmed!

Despite the DI’s grandiose claims otherwise, they sound far less like respectable scientists generating “testable hypothesis” and more like hyperactive six year olds playing make believe among a large pile of toys they barely understand the mechanics of. “WHAT’S EXON SHUFFLING HONK HONK NYEEOOOWWWWRRN LOOK OUT”

Actually, between Behe and this, it looks like a concerted shift in strategy for the DI. Perhaps they finally realized that irreducible/specified complexity was shot to pieces. Or maybe the dummies on various local school boards were demanding that they dumb it down even further. (“Wait, flagell-whut?”) All of which raises the question of how vacuous ID can possibly get until even the yokels understand that there’s no there there?

Does anyone know of a University library that actually subscribes to Rivista de Biologia? Mine doesn’t, and never has.

Frank,

I mentioned this over on John’s blog. I am currently affiliated with two universities, neither of which subscribes either electronically or in print to Rivista, despite one of them having one of the finest biology departments in the world. Neither of my two previous universities subscribed either (and biology was pretty good at both of those).

Ahhh but you see Konrad, that is when the YEC or IDiot points out that it’s all an evil atheist conspiracy to lock them out of the standard peer review structure. Then you end up at square one again.

Um, except that point was litigated in 1981, in the Arkansas trial. Judge Overton allowed the ID/creationism side to introduce into the record every paper they had that had been submitted to a science journal and rejected because it was ID/creationism – not one such paper could be found.

It’s still true. As you can see from the two papers in nine months, both of which are garbage, even the ID garbage gets published.

Now, what are we to make of the fact that in 14 years since “intelligent design” was identified as the new creationism term to fly under the Establishment Clause radar discipline where creationists could congregate, only two articles have been published, both of them in vanishingly obscure journals, both of them garbage, and neither of them demonstrating any new research, or any research at all by ID types?

To my mind, the most interesting thing from the Discovery press release is this:

“The interesting thing here is that scientists are applying intelligent design theory to cancer research,” said Discovery Institute President, Bruce Chapman. “Who knows what new avenues of research and experimentation this could open up. I think you will see more and more scientists applying intelligent design theory to their research in coming years.”

This now links intelligent design to altenative medicine – othewise know as quackery.

I think we should propose a new slogan for ID:

“I think, therefore, I know.” (with apologies to Descartes)

This ID truism is so simple, it is irreducible and absolutely packed full specified complexity. It also satisfies Occam’s Razor (at least in their universe).

I think we should propose a new slogan for ID:

“I think, therefore, I know.” (with apologies to Descartes)

This ID truism is so simple, it is irreducible and absolutely packed full specified complexity. It also satisfies Occam’s Razor (at least in their universe).

I can find no listing for Rivista di Biologia in the Smithsonian Institution’s library catalog, and the Smithsonian library has one of the best collections of biological journals in the world.

SteveF writes: “I am currently affiliated with two universities, neither of which subscribes either electronically or in print to Rivista, despite one of them having one of the finest biology departments in the world.”

Well, you did mention that it was one of the “finest biology departments in the world”. Why would they waste space or money on Rivista? I’ve read articles from that journal – It’s a joke, an outlet for those with loose screws and a bug up their butts.

It just so happens that the chief editor of Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum was one of the people that testified in Kansas recently as an ID witness.

“Giuseppe Sermonti

Giuseppe Sermonti, PhD Chief Editor of Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum (Genoa), one of the oldest extant biology journals in the world; retired Professor of Genetics, University of Perugia Date of anticipated testimony: May 7 “

http://wiki.cotch.net/index.php/Kan[…]_Design_Army

Nope, we don’t have that journal either… Looking through the journal’s contents is certainly er.. interesting, even Rupert Sheldrake makes an appearance! And look who’s on the advisory board.. Mae Wan Ho a well known crack pot. eg see here: http://www.i-sis.org.uk/water3.php

Neither Caltech nor USC (third rate universities both.….) have the journal.

NewGuy Wrote:

It just so happens that the chief editor of Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum was one of the people that testified in Kansas recently as an ID witness.

AND this Chief Editor, Giuseppe Sermonti, is on page 1 of the Discovery Institute’s list of (300-ish) Darwin Dissenters (“A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism”).

Also on page 1 are Behe, Dembski, John A. Davison, and the above mentioned Mae-Wan Ho.

The rest of the list after the first 25 or so is in alphabetical order. So, I wonder what it takes to get on page 1 ?

Let us consider further Michael Behe’s cell-city analogy. Given the sort of “designer” that IDers tend to prefer, that analogy would imply that cities have single master designers that are responsible for all their details.

Re “Let us consider further Michael Behe’s cell-city analogy. Given the sort of “designer” that IDers tend to prefer, that analogy would imply that cities have single master designers that are responsible for all their details.”

Like Washington, D.C., perhaps?

Henry

Re “Let us consider further Michael Behe’s cell-city analogy. Given the sort of “designer” that IDers tend to prefer, that analogy would imply that cities have single master designers that are responsible for all their details.”

Like Washington, D.C., perhaps?

Henry

Oops.

With “peers” like JAD, maybe “peer review” ain’t all it’s cracked up to be…

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This page contains a single entry by John M. Lynch published on June 2, 2005 8:17 PM.

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