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Chariots of Iron and Atheist News are my 2 must-have podcasts. I follow you guys RELIGIOUSLY.

I enjoyed the Creationist episode, but I have to say it's a bit like shooting fish in a barrel... these guys are just too nutty to be taken seriously.  On the other hand, I have been following the ID debate with what little time I have, and one rather vocal advocate I have come across is Perry Marshall.  He seems to have some scientific credentials and quite a good grasp on some aspects of evolution.  The main thrust of his argument is that DNA is a code (not "like" a code) but a code very much like computer code which by some clever argument he uses to imply that it must have a coder/designer.  i.e.  Much as if we came across a book or a computer program, we would infer that there is an author, so he infers that the code of DNA implicitly implies a designer/coder/author. It's a compelling argument, much as it goes against everything I believe or understand about the world.

Worse, while paying homage to Darwin, he also says that Darwinism's days are numbered, and predicts that Darwinism will fall like the Berlin Wall by 2013... he reckons the scientific establishment has been propping up the Theory of Evolution by ruthless attacks on anyone who questions it (?) - I know, go figure!

Anyway, his blog is at  I would really appreciate your guys' superior intellect being brought to bear on his theories.  What logical fallacies is he using to make this argument sound so convincing?  I know it's a lot of work, but you guys seem to have more time on your hands than I do! ;)

Thank you, and keep up the good work!


Tags: Darwin, Darwinism, Marshall, Perry, design, id, intelligent, podcast

Views: 46

Replies to This Discussion

Much as if we came across a book or a computer program, we would infer that there is an author, so he infers that the code of DNA implicitly implies a designer/coder/author.

Yawn. Same old ID BS. "I can't understand how it came to be, it must be designed!!" They trot it out, it gets shot down, they trot it out again as if it's new. They have nothing.
BTW, ID is just a dressed up creationism.
I don't know about that. I think one could believe in ID without necessarily subscribing to any creationist theology such as the Bible or Q'ran. Creationists from my understanding are quite locked into a biblical interpretation of creation, i.e. if God wanted to create the heavens and earth in 7 days then by golly he could, and while he was about it he could hide all those dinosaur fossils in the rocks just to confuse us. Or maybe the divil did it, I dunno.

Problem is, this guy is a christian, although he doesn't subscribe to young earth creationism, so he kinda straddles the divide. Meh, I dunno... I want to have some solid arguments for people like this, rather than the obvious.
As fas as I see it, there's a discrepancy between what ID might actually be and what it really is. Major proponents of it distance themselves from religion because it's a dead end in political terms. As Kitzmiller v. Dover demonstrated, though, there is no quantitative difference between ID and creationism at the time being.

This has not to be the case, though. Case in point, the guy in question has gone a bit further, into that land in which things are so ill defined and murky that there's no easy way to pin them down. I understand lot of more liberal theologians have the same approach :D
Hey Gaga,

Thanks for that reference... I Googled it, and although the case transcript is heavy going, I also found links to a couple of great websites:
Panda's Thumb
Talk Origins
Talk Design
-- All make great reading for anyone interested in Darwinism and the debate... the former has archives of court transcripts, including Kitzmiller v. Dover.

- Just thought I'd share that with anyone interested in Darwinism etc ;)
You are welcome :)
If you are interested in the legal aspect of the whole thing and have a hour or so to spare, at there's an interesting video of a lecture by Eugenie Scott, going over KvD and the precedents linky, in particularly showing why ID is creationism with a cheap tuxedo. (I'd love to know who said this first :p)
What is it exactly that bugs you? I had a look at his blog, but the guy's all over the place.
The little I cursorily read is the same old BS with the fancy dress of scientific terminology...
Yep, he is definitely a fruitcake. I guess I was just hoping for some cogent, reasonable arguments against what he is saying. It's a step beyond the old "Complexity, complexity, complexity = designed" argument, and I don't know enough about DNA to explain exactly why it's BS. If someone is laying claim to a fundamental scientific "fact" as proof, I want to be able to point out exactly what is wrong about the fact, if for no other reason than to help people who may be taken in by it, to see the light.
Oh, you are referring to DNA, then. The things I saw while looking at the blog were about the big bang and relativity, go figure. I'll have a look later to see if I find anything specific on that.
Having recently done a show on creationism (our second) It may be some time before we circle back again.

The biggest thing to remember about all these creationists is that their objections are NOT scientific but dogmatic. As much as they may claim otherwise their "refutations" are driven not by any reasoning other than, "my religious belief CANNOT be false".

The trumped up pseudoscibabble is just a ploy to keep the rubes on their side.
Besides, it'd be a really boring show. All this guy is doing is decorating with scientific terminology an argument from ignorance. His comparing DNA to other codes (e.g. programming language) is also a botched analogy. (and he's playing a bit loose with facts)

And to answer to Jonathan: there isn't a simple and short explanation of the way in which it fails, other than saying that it is an argument from ignorance


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