16:48:04

Director's Introduction

The Director of the Centre for Intelligent Design, Dr Alastair Noble, introduces the Intelligent Design debate in this 4 minute video clip.

Dr Alastair Noble's introduction to ID

© Centre for Intelligent Design

How the Scientific Consensus can hinder Science

How the Scientific Consensus can hinder Science

This article seeks to discuss "Scientific consensus" as it is understood today and how, in the past, scientific consensus has had to undergo seismic shifts. Read more

Intelligent Design is definitely NOT Creationism

Intelligent Design is definitely NOT Creationism

Dismissing Intelligent Design as 'Creationism' is the easy way of avoiding having to deal with the empirical evidence for design. Read more

Was there a cause of the universe?

Was there a cause of the universe?

Cosmologists tell us that we now know a fair amount of detail about the conditions of the universe from the first split second, 13.7 billion years ago. Read more

The Fine Tuned Universe

The Fine Tuned Universe

The words ‘fine tuning of the universe’ have been around for quite a while and are greeted with bafflement, scepticism and wonder; in about equal proportions. What on earth (or in the universe) does it mean? Theoretical physicist Paul Davies calls it the ‘Goldilocks Enigma’.1 Is it real... Read more

University finds brain's complexity beyond belief

University finds brain's complexity beyond belief

RESEARCHERS  have found that a single human brain has more molecular-scale switches than all the computers, routers and Internet connections on the entire planet! Read more

Conference tickets now on sale

A day conference in Cambridge with world class speakers has been arranged for Saturday November 12th 2016. 

Tickets are now on sale.  Book now to avoid disappointment!

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Doubly designed?

Metamorphosis: the beauty and design of butterflies

Watch this 4' 22" video clip to explore the world of butterflies which, in the words of the commentary, are shown to be doubly designed!

Metamorphosis: The Beauty & Design of Butterflies

Academic Freedom

See the menu item ACADEMIC FREEDOM. To quote from the lead in to the page: ".... However, there is another key issue raised by ID.  It is the freedom of academics and science educators to explore and discuss the issues associated with ID.  The exploration of ID within science should not be dismissed as something it is not – a disguised religious position."

Press Release

The Centre for Intelligent Design on September 27th 2011 issued a press release and additional material relating to the call by Prof Richard Dawkins, Sir David Attenborough and others for a legal  ban on Creationism and Intelligent Design in Britain's schools. Click here for the Press Release page.

Meyer vs Fox on Premier Radio:

Is Intelligence allowed in Biological Science?

Don’t miss a most revealing debate on Premier Radio between Stephen Meyer, a leading proponent of Intelligent Design who directs the Centre for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, and Keith Fox, Professor of Biochemistry at Southampton University, who also chairs the UK Christians in Science network.

This programme was broadcast when Dr Meyer was in London recently for the Inaugural Lecture of the Centre for Intelligent Design, UK. That event focused on Dr Meyer’s recent book ‘Signature in the Cell’ – a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year - which claims to show that the DNA code is the product of intelligent mind, not naturalistic processes. Prof Fox disagrees strongly with ID, arguing instead that, given time, scientists should be able to work out a naturalistic explanation. The core of this debate is not just how life could have originated, but whether intelligent mind as a cause is allowed as an explanation in science. Click here to find the broadcast.

London Spectator hails Denton's Evolution:Still a Theory in Crisis as a "Best Book" of 2016

"A truly great book.....Fascinatingly clear.....Destroys the Darwinian position," according to distinguished literary critic A. N. Wilson.








New Research on the Organization of Human Speech

A new article in the journal Nature[i] details some fascinating research into the functional organization of human speech in the sensorimotor cortex of the brain. The researchers recorded neural activity directly from the cortical surface in three human subjects implanted with high density multi-electrode arrays, as part of their preparation for epilepsy surgery.

To quote the authors of this article: Speech communication critically depends on the ability to produce the large number of sounds that compose a given language. The wide range of spoken sounds results from highly flexible configuration of the vocal tract, which filters sound produced at the larynx through movements of the lips, jaw and tongue that are coordinated precisely. Each articulator (the authors mean the larynx, tongue, lips, jaw) has extensive degrees of freedom, making a large number of different speech movements possible . How humans exert such precise control despite the wide variety of movement possibilities is a central unanswered question.”


The recordings were made as the subjects expressed certain vowels and consonants and the results, in this highly technical article, show a rich coordination of multiple sites on this part of the brain cortex, producing vowel or consonant sounds. They were able to map the spatial distribution of neural networks for the individual articulators and to show, to some degree, the millisecond temporal relationship of the activity of each area.

A particular neural circuit, known as the dorsal laryngeal representation, was found to be unique to humans. In other words it is not found in non-human primates.

The article does not pretend to understand how this coordination of sounds is achieved but merely maps the spatial and temporal electrical activity in one small area of the brain. It gives us an insight into the complexity of uttering single syllables but does not help us know how speech is initiated or understood or how such syllables are put into the richness of human language.

We know already that children, the world over, can acquire language effortlessly. We also know that only humans have language. There is strong evidence that we are born with a ‘universal grammar’ that is hard-wired in our brains. Other animals can make sounds to communicate and to represent certain objects, raise alarms for danger etc. but this is not the same as language. Language is a highly structured rule-based hierarchical system, allowing the most diverse of ideas to be communicated and is only found in humans. We also have a particular vocal anatomy that allows for the versatility of speech. Our larynx, for example, has to be much lower in the vocal tract than that of any other primate. We know from this article that there is at least one very complex piece of neural circuitry in the human brain that is not present in other primates.

The question then is how did such multiple, coordinated and highly complex differences from other primates arise? The Neo-Darwinian answer is that random mutations occurred in DNA which conferred advantages in communication and were naturally selected over time to be passed down genetically. Such an assumed naturalistic scenario is unproven and is without any data to back it up. It is, in fact, a position of faith rather than of science.

Current evolutionary theory teaches that other primates, in particular chimpanzees, shared a common ancestor with humans about 5 million years ago. It is assumed that we are descended from animals such as Australopithecus afarensis which had a brain about 3 times smaller than ours and lived approximately 3 million years ago in Africa. This is an extremely short time in evolutionary terms. The issue then is whether random mistakes in DNA since that time, even with the process of natural selection, can account for the acquisition of language, let alone the host of other changes in intellect that separate humans from other primates. Bearing in mind the small number of hominids considered to have been alive in any one time and also the relatively long reproductive intervals that humans have, we are looking at very few individuals in which the random changes could have occurred. Indeed looking at this objectively, one baulks at the probability of getting even the most simple of new neural circuits, along with anatomical changes in the vocal tract that are required to achieve speech. We need to remember that speech is the result of a host of coordinated areas in the brain of a complexity that is far beyond anything ever designed by man. Could accumulated random mistakes in the DNA produce this?

This article in the journal Nature gives just a glimpse into the complexity of the sensorimotor area of the cortex that deals with speech. This is on the mere fringes of a beautifully coordinated system that allows us to have language.  It is high time that the stock answers given for the appearance of such exquisite complexity are shown to be what they are: frankly groundless and unbelievable.

Antony Latham

[i] Bouchard, K.E., Mesgrani, N., Johnson, K. & Chang, E.F. Functional organization of human sensorimotor cortex for speech articulation. Nature 495, 327-332 (2013)


 

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Prof Mike Behe UK Tour

Prof Mike Behe, Professor of Chemistry at Lehigh University, USA, toured the UK in November 2010.  He is author of Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. For one week he gave lectures and was a speaker at a day conference in Oxford. Click here for a report on the tour.

Full details of the tour and the day conference can be found at the associated website www.darwinordesign.org.uk.

Premier Radio interview

Mike Behe is adamant that the latest science proves Intelligent Design to be true. He recently spoke to Premier Radio presenter Justin Brierley, who will be hosting the London leg of the Darwin or Design tour on Monday November 22nd. Justin began by asking Behe how it feels to be labelled a "maverick" by the majority of the scientific community.

Hear Prof Mike Behe

Press comment

GUARDIAN - UK Centre for Intelligent Design claims it will focus on science, not religion



NATURE - Blogs - New intelligent design centre launches in Britain - September 24, 2010

Dr Noble says. "I would stress that we’re not targeting schools."