Discovery Institute

Discovering Intelligent Design Online Companion Now Available

An online companion to Discovering Intelligent Design (DID) is now available featuring short videos by co-author Casey Luskin introducing the six main units of the course and highlighting their key themes. It also includes detailed outlines and online quizzes for each chapter. Best of all, the online companion is absolutely free! Read more about DID now.

Theory of Convergent Evolution Analyzed

The knifefish, rather than having several fins like a trout, has one long “ribbon fin” that undulates along the length of its body. Studies of its motion reveal that it uses the optimal wavelength to get the most forward thrust, stability, and maneuverability out of its investment of energy. But the knifefish is not alone: the same optimal design can be found in cuttlefish (cephalopods), rays (cartilaginous fish), certain flatworms, and other bony fish that are evolutionarily unrelated. Read More ›

Tech “Elders” Oppose Obama Internet Grab

Discovery Sr. Fellow George Gilder and other “elders” of the privatized Internet era expressed their alarm over drive by the FCC and Obama Administration to put Internet innovation under federal regulation in the name of “Net Neutrality”. They want an “open Internet” instead.

The Daily Caller said, “Tech elder George Gilder, a futurist author and co-founder of the Discovery Institute, told TheDCNF that businesses have no incentive to interfere with Internet freedom. ‘Their interests are aligned with an open Internet,’ he noted, ‘and the idea that Title II can impose an open internet is just quixotic.'”

A sizable media contingent covered the “elders” presser, and noted the significance of leaders such as Bob Metcalf, John Perry Barlow, Mark Cuban and Scott McNeilly, among others, speaking out on a controversial subject. Daniel Berniger organized the event.

George Gilder advised me today that the Internet companies now represent almost half the value of the NASDAQ and that putting the FCC into the role of regulating them–using the old telephone company model of 1934–could greatly damage economic growth. “It’s Obama’s biggest socialist grab so far,” Gilder said. Read More ›

Gilder: Bitcoin “Puts the Power of Money Back into the Hands of its Users.”

At the New York Business Journal, read a re-cap of George Gilder’s fascinating talk on bitcoin at AlwaysOn’s OnFinance conference. Gilder explains why sees in bitcoin the potential to provide a “new infrastructure for the Internet”: bitcoin opens up new horizons for web-based payments, and could ultimately displace the heavy advertising that currently dominates web transactions. Read More ›

The White Space in Evolutionary Thinking

When certain biologists discuss the early stages of life there is a tendency to think too vaguely. They see a biological wonder before them and they tell a story about how it might have come to be. They may even draw a picture to explain what they mean. Indeed, the story seems plausible enough, until you zoom in to look at the details. Read the rest at Evolution News & Views.

Scott Powell Talks to Students About American Free Enterprise: Its History, Its Critics, and Its Sources of Renewal

The following is a transcript of a recent talk CWPM Fellow Scott S. Powell gave to a crowd of students at Florida Atlantic University.

There have been many civilizations that have come into being over the last 6,000 years—from the ancient Mesopotamians, Egyptians, and Asian civilizations that sprang up around the Euphrates, Tigress, Nile, Indus and Yellow River valleys, to the more recent and advanced Greek and Roman civilizations, which have more directly shaped Western civilization. While each of these civilizations made their own contributions to progress during the times in which they flourished, none of them unleashed the kind of economic development and entrepreneurial productivity witnessed in the first two hundred years of the American civilization. Read More ›

Neo-Darwinism’s Catch-22: Before Evolving New Features, Organisms Would Be Swamped by Genetic Junk

The article by physicists David Snoke, Jeffery Cox, and Donald Petcher begins by observing that in order to produce a new system, evolution first needs to try lots of new things. It must generate many, many variations upon which natural selection can act in order to “find” something useful to retain. But that comes with a potentially fatal cost. Read the rest at Evolution News & Views.

What’s your function function?

The myth of junk DNA continues to unravel. Almost daily (sometimes twice daily) new peer-reviewed articles are appearing in the scientific literature pointing out the functions of previously believed to be “non-functioning” or junk DNA. CSC’s Research Coordinator Casey Luskin says: “When we look for function, we find it, and when we don’t look for function, someone else finds it.” Read his report at Evolution News & Views.

Real Science vs. Bill Nye the “Science Guy”

Casey Luskin reviews Bill Nye’s latest book, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, and finds it underwhelming when compared to another bestseller, Darwin’s Doubt. According to Luskin: “If you think Nye’s ideology is bad, wait until you see the science he uses to justify these claims.” Read more at Evolution News & Views.

Another Successful Prediction of Intelligent Design

Intelligent design theory expects that we should find deeper and deeper layers of function in biology, which by the same token represents a big problem for Darwinian evolution. In the past we’ve noted papers finding function for synonymous codons (for example, see here and here) — but the functions reported in those papers generally pertained to controlling translation speed. Now a paper in the journal Cell has found a new potential function, namely that synonymous codons can control the rate at which mRNA transcripts degrade and are broken down within cells. Casey Luskin reports at Evolution News & Views.