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Biologic Institute

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The Biologic Institute is a Creation science group dedicated to verifying intelligent design through pseudoscientific research. It is a non-profit group funded and staffed by the Discovery Institute. The concept was first developed as part of the wedge strategy which called for Douglas Axe to create an organization to do intelligent design research. In 2005 Axe created the Biologic Institute.

New Scientist investigation[edit]

New Scientist magazine sent a reporter to the Biologic Institute facilities in late 2006 to investigate the organization. The reporter, Celeste Biever, was given a chilly reception and found few willing to speak to her about their research.[1] The Discovery Institute touted the decidedly negative article as unequivocal evidence that the Biologic Institute is engaging in scientific research despite the fact that the article specifically calls this into question. .[2]

The only one of the four Biologic Institute directors willing to speak to New Scientist was George Weber. Weber belongs to the Spokane chapter of Reasons to Believe, a fundamentalist evangelical Christian creationist organization.[3] Weber stated that "We are the first ones doing what we might call lab science in intelligent design" and "The objective is to challenge the scientific community on naturalism."[1] After speaking to New Scientist, Weber was driven off the board of the Biologic Institute. Axe claimed in an email to Biever that this was because Weber "was found to have seriously misunderstood the purpose of Biologic and to have misrepresented it."[1]

The Discovery Institute stated in October 2006 that intelligent design research is being conducted by the institute in secret to avoid "the scrutiny of the scientific community" or what is usually referred to as peer review.[4][5]

New Scientist also wrote an editorial in the same issue as its 2006 report of the Biologic Institute activities, titled "It's still all about religion". The editorial expressed concern about the interpretations and spin that might be given to any research results that might come out of research funded by the Discovery Institute, and suggested that the research efforts will not benefit science.[6]

Published research[edit]

In 2008, the Biologic Institute published its first "research" in the open access journal PLoS ONE. The paper introduces a computational model for protein simulation call Stylus. The program creates 2d protein structures out of amino acids coded by genes and then compares these to Han Chinese characters.

What?

Since the Han characters have a function that emerges from their structure the paper argues this is a computationally efficient analogy to real life proteins. [7]

The paper makes no claims in regards to evolution or intelligent design. It is merely a description and publication of protein modeling software. In a press release about the research the Biologic Institutes claims that it might eventually be able to use this simulation to show the "edge of evolution" but admits that they might wind up showing the power of evolution instead. [8]

In 2010, the institute started its own journal, BIO-Complexity.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Intelligent design: The God Lab, Celeste Biever, New Scientist, issue 2482, page 8-11, 15 December 2006.
  2. Intelligent Design Research Lab Highlighted in New Scientist, John West, Evolution News and Views, Discovery Institute, December 19, 2006.
  3. "The Latest 'Intelligent Design' Journal", NCSE
  4. The State of Scientific Research on Intelligent Design, Bruce Chapman. Evolution News and Views, Discovery Institute, October 2 2006.
  5. From A Senior Scientist Observing the ID Debate, Paul Nelson, Intelligent Design the Future, Discovery Institute, August 3, 2006.
  6. New Scientist visits the "God Lab", NCSE Resource, National Center for Science Education website, December 15, 2006.
  7. Paper referred to.
  8. Biologic Press Release on Paper

External links[edit]