Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution, including breaking news about scientific research.

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Our Top 10 Evolution-Related Stories: #6, Peer-Reviewed Science Supports Intelligent Design

Ann in lab.JPG

Editor's note: Back in February, to celebrate Darwin Day, we published our updated list of specifically pro-ID peer-reviwed scientific papers, 50 by the end of last year. Below is our announcement of that milestone. In the meantime, we have documented a growing list of new research results that support the conclusions of intelligent design. For examples from 2012, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Darwin Day and Evolution Weekend overlap this year, providing an extra special opportunity to celebrate Charles Darwin's 203rd birthday on February 12 and promote Darwinian theory in a variety of venues, including colleges and universities, churches and synagogues. We wanted to do something appropriate to add our own note to the hallelujah chorus. What do you give to an exhausted relic of antique 19th-century scientific materialism that has everything but genuine credibility?

How about a revised and updated list of pro-intelligent design peer-reviewed scientific papers, showing among other things that the 50th such paper was published in 2011? In a series of upcoming articles, we've asked Casey Luskin to note some highlights.

While intelligent design research is a new scientific field, recent years have been a period of encouraging growth, producing a strong record of peer-reviewed scientific publications. New publications continue to appear, now listed at our updated page.

The current boom goes back to 2004, when Discovery Institute senior fellow Stephen Meyer published a groundbreaking paper advocating ID in the journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. There are multiple hubs of ID-related research.

Biologic Institute, led by molecular biologists Doug Axe and Ann Gauger, is "developing and testing the scientific case for intelligent design in biology." Biologic conducts laboratory and theoretical research on the origin and role of information in biology, the fine-tuning of the universe for life, and methods of detecting design in nature. That's Dr. Gauger at the Biologic lab pictured above.

Another ID research group is the Evolutionary Informatics Lab, founded by senior Discovery Institute fellow William Dembski along with Robert Marks, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Baylor University. Their lab has attracted graduate-student researchers and published multiple peer-reviewed articles in technical science and engineering journals showing that computer programming "points to the need for an ultimate information source qua intelligent designer."

Other pro-ID scientists around the world are publishing peer-reviewed pro-ID scientific papers. These include biologist Ralph Seelke at the University of Wisconsin Superior, Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig who recently retired from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Germany, and Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe.

Researchers have published their work in a variety of relevant technical venues, including peer-reviewed scientific journals, peer-reviewed scientific books from mainstream university presses, trade-press books, peer-edited scientific anthologies, peer-edited scientific conference proceedings and peer-reviewed philosophy of science journals and books.

These papers have appeared in scientific journals such as Protein Science, Journal of Molecular Biology, Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, Journal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics, Quarterly Review of Biology, Cell Biology International, Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum, Physics of Life Reviews, Annual Review of Genetics, and many others. At the same time, pro-ID scientists have presented their research at conferences worldwide in fields such as genetics, biochemistry, engineering, and computer science.

This body of research is converging on a consensus: complex biological features cannot arise by unguided Darwinian mechanisms, but require an intelligent cause.

Despite ID's publication record, we note parenthetically that recognition in peer-reviewed literature is not an absolute requirement to demonstrate an idea's scientific merit. Darwin's own theory of evolution was first published in a book for a general and scientific audience -- his Origin of Species -- not in a peer-reviewed paper. Nonetheless, ID's peer-reviewed publication record shows that it deserves -- and is receiving -- serious consideration by the scientific community.

The purpose of ID's research program is not to convince the unconvincible, critics and naysayers who repeat over and over in the media that there is no such thing as ID research, that ID has not produced a single peer-reviewed paper. (And they call us "science deniers"!) Rather, ID research seeks to engage open-minded scientists and thoughtful laypeople with credible, persuasive, peer-reviewed, empirical data supporting intelligent design.

And this is happening. ID has already gained the kind of scientific recognition you would expect from a young (and vastly underfunded) but promising scientific field. The scientific progress of ID has won the serious attention of skeptics in the scientific community, who engage in scientific debate with ID and attend private scientific conferences allowing off-the-record discussion with ID proponents.

As noted, the new revised and updated listing of pro-ID peer-reviewed papers can be viewed here. We provide an annotated bibliography of technical publications of various kinds that support, develop or apply the theory of intelligent design. The articles are grouped according to the type of publication.

Happy Darwin Day!