Friday, November 23, 2007

The Design Matrix Appears

"The Design Matrix" is a book by independent ID researcher "Mike Gene." We don't know who he is but he is certainly a person of interest in the ID debate. His new book can also be ordered through

Nov 24 -- We've ordered our copy. Have you ordered yours?


Wonders for Oyarsa said...

Take a look at my review here.

dobson said...

Is there some free summary of Mike Gene's ideas? ID proponents have really come together hyping this book. I've heard the pseudonimous Mike Gene described as "The Smartest Guy in ID".

I find quite perplexing because I'm not aware that Gene contributes any original thinking to the field of ID research.

In a nutshell, can anybody summarize Gene's hypothesis and it's implications? What makes this book important or special?

William Brookfield said...

Hi Dobson,

I have always enjoyed Mike Gene's comentary on ID and its critics. While Mike Gene is certainly intelligent, I have never heard him described as "the Smartest Guy in ID." I have not yet read "The Design Matrix" but my wife is reading it right now and seems to be really enjoying it.

Presently, I am reading "The Design of Life" and was reminded there, in one section, of Mike Gene's arguments regarding logical evolutionary order in which the type three secretory system must have evolved *after* the bacterial flagellum -- not before. I remember William Dembski giving Mike Gene credit for this argument, but I don't remember where.

William Brookfield said...

A free summary of Mike Gene's ideas (and much more) can be

dobson said...

From what I can tell Mike Gene seems to have made a "strategic withdrawal" from the overwhelming majority of untenable claims often made by ID proponents or creationists. For example he seems to accept an old-earth and common ancestry. Neither does he dispute the idea that complexity can arise naturally (the sort of thing that Behe incorrectly calls Irreducable Complexity).

The bulk of his claims seem to surround an idea called 'front loading' which suggests that the only point that the 'designer' needed to interfere with the natural world was in the creation of the first proto-life and that the designer did this with some kind of foreknowledge of what it might become.

This does not sound like a proposition in life-sciences, more a theological proposition as to what God/The Designer's state of mind was at the moment of this hypothetical creation. I'm not sure how we can claim to know the state of mind of a creature which if it ever existed we have so little in common with.

At one stage front-loadists ask us why a gene used for the formation of human fingers might be found in sea-urchins. This is not a problem that puzzles geneticists any more: Indeed, I cannot think of any evidence that Gene offers for Front Loading which is not also more simply explained by conservation of useful genes.

Furthermore Mike makes the audacious claim that this designer had a "human-like intelligence". He does not state in his summary what he means by this - does it mean for example that he thinks the designer had a brain similar to a modern human.

We know that there were no humans (or any other higher-life) around all those billions of years ago when Mike Gene supposes this act of design occurred so what nature of creature was this human-like intelligence?

My take on this question is that Gene is merely guessing and has no firm rationale to believe that the nature of this hypothetical intelligence was human-like. It's a proposition born not of evidence but Gene's fantasy.

Do you concur?