The Discovery Institute just keeps on piling up evidence for their “theory” of Intelligent Design. The latest example at their creationist blog is Even Sponges Are Complex Enough to Inspire Architects. It has no author’s byline. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Sponges are outliers in biology’s big bang, the Cambrian explosion. Their embryos appear in Precambrian strata, leading some to consider them primitive. That’s an illusion. New studies of how they construct their skeletons with silica “spicules” have revealed design principles remarkable enough to inspire biomimicry.
The Cambrian explosion is now biology’s big bang? Okay. But sponges existed before then, so it would seem that the Discoveroids’ magical designer — blessed be he! — was active earlier. They refer to an article in Cell Press and say:
The punch line first — here’s how a news item from Cell Press concludes:
[Discoveroids’ quote:] “This work not only sheds new light on skeleton formation of animals, but also might inspire interdisciplinary studies in fields such as theoretical biology, bioengineering, robotics, and architectural engineering, utilizing mechanisms of self-constructing architectures that self-adjust to their environments, including remote environments such as the deep sea or space,” the researchers write.
Oooooooooooh — bioengineering, architectural engineering, mechanisms — surely you see where this is going. They refer to a video and tell us to
see the steps diagrammed in well-organized stages: (1) spicules are manufactured in specialized cells, then transported to the construction site; (2) the silica spicules pierce the epithelial tissue; (3) they are then raised up into position; (4) the bases are cemented by collagen provided by basal epithelial cells.
Oooooooooooh — it’s enough to make a creationist drool uncontrollably! Let’s read on:
This simple animal knows, in short, how to build a house with pole-and-beam architecture in a way that self-adjusts to its environment. That’s pretty impressive.
The sponge knows! That’s amazing! The Discoveroids quote from the researchers and then declare:
[D]esign and coordination is evident in the division of labor, the specialization of cells, and the end result that is good enough to inspire architects.
Design is also evident in the self-organizational principles encoded in sponge DNA that make these results successful. Human intelligent designers would like to benefit from this knowledge.
Design is evident. It’s evident! Here’s more:
We all know that some beautiful things can self-organize without programming (snowflakes are a prime example). What we see here, though, are systems working from genetic programs for a purpose. In the case of sponges, its specialized cells cooperate in a plan to build a skeleton that adapts to the environment. …. Such things do not arise by unguided natural forces.
They mention a project of five European countries which has so far taken years of effort:
… the “Self-deployable Habitat for Extreme Environments” (SHEE) project, [which] has a goal of programming elements for “autonomous construction” of housing for astronauts on Mars or other hostile locales. It’s requiring years of work in design, prototyping, construction, and optimization to get these buildings to “self-deploy” with no humans in the loop.
Space.com has an article about it: Future Mars Explorers Could Live in Habitats That Build Themselves. Then the Discoveroids tell us:
So when a sponge can do it, we should see intelligent design behind the scenes — not the sponge’s intelligence, which admittedly is miniscule, but intelligence as a cause for the genetic information that allows the sponge to run a program that leads to a functional result.
Yes, we “should” see intelligent design — but somehow, only the Discoveroids have the vision to see it. And now we come to the end:
Those of us who appreciate the spectacular genetic programs that built the Cambrian animals should take note of the level of complex specified information in the lowly sponge. We can also notice that the sponge’s mode of construction bears no evolutionary ancestry with the diverse, complex body plans that exploded into existence in the Cambrian strata. Sponges did well. They’re still with us.
Oooooooooooh — complex specified information! Well, that settles it. Only a fool would would deny that the sponge is the handiwork of the intelligent designer.
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