Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

There Is 'Design' In Nature, Biologist Argues

Date:
February 18, 2008
Source:
Brown University
Summary:
A Brown University biologist says the best way to communicate evolution in a religious America is to acknowledge that there is indeed a "design" in living things. He says scientists should embrace the concept of "design" in a way that supports evolutionary theory. He argues that science itself, including evolutionary biology, is predicated on the idea of "design" -- the correlation of structure with function that lies at the heart of the molecular nature of life.

Brown University biologist Kenneth Miller has to hand one victory to the "intelligent design" crowd. They know how to frame an issue.

"The idea that there is 'design' in nature is very appealing," Miller said. "People want to believe that life isn't purposeless and random. That's why the intelligent design movement wins the emotional battle for adherents despite its utter lack of scientific support.

"To fight back, scientists need to reclaim the language of 'design' and the sense of purpose and value inherent in a scientific understanding of nature," he said.

In a Feb. 17, 2008 symposium at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Boston,* Miller will argue that science itself, including evolutionary biology, is predicated on the idea of "design" -- the correlation of structure with function that lies at the heart of the molecular nature of life.

Miller will join seven other experts to discuss ways to craft communication efforts around evolution, stem cell research, climate change and nanotechnology that are sensitive to religious communities while remaining true to science.

Miller is a cell biologist and the Royce Family Professor for Teaching Excellence at Brown. Miller is coauthor of four high school and college biology textbooks, which are used by millions of students nationwide, and is regarded as America's leading defender of Darwin's theory of evolution. This year in South Carolina, Miller successfully defended one of his textbooks against an anti-evolution attack before the state school board. In 2005, he served as lead witness in the trial on evolution and intelligent design in Dover, Pennsylvania. His popular book, Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground between God and Evolution, addresses the scientific status of evolutionary theory and its relationship to religious views of nature.

Miller will use arguments from his new book, Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul to be published by Viking Press in May, for his AAAS talk. Miller will argue that the scientific community must address the attractiveness of the "design" concept and make the case that science itself is based on the idea of design -- or the regularity of organization, function, and natural law that gives rise to the world in which we live.

He points out that structural and molecular biologists routinely speak of the design of proteins, signaling pathways, and cellular structures. He also notes that the human body bears the hallmarks of design, from the ball sockets that allows hips and shoulders to rotate to the "s" curve of the spine that allows for upright walking.

"There is, indeed, a design to life -- an evolutionary design," Miller said. "The structures in our bodies have changed over time, as have its functions. Scientists should embrace this concept of 'design,' and in so doing, claim for science the sense of orderly rationality in nature to which the anti-evolution movement has long appealed."

The session is entitled "Communicating Science in a Religious America."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brown University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Brown University. "There Is 'Design' In Nature, Biologist Argues." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080217143838.htm>.
Brown University. (2008, February 18). There Is 'Design' In Nature, Biologist Argues. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080217143838.htm
Brown University. "There Is 'Design' In Nature, Biologist Argues." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080217143838.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) The Johnson family lost their battle with the Chesterfield County, Virginia Planning Commission to allow Tucker, their pet pig, to stay in their home, but refuse to let the board keep Tucker away. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins