Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One Person's Evolution

I am starting to work on my book. I'm not working with an editor yet. I'm just gathering information and ideas. I am thinking my introduction may include something about myself. Since I wrote something out, I'll put it here:

When I read Michael Behe's first book, Darwin's Black Box (Touchstone, 1996), it was my introduction into Intelligent Design Theory. I was immediately taken by the fresh look at biology, and it made much sense. He talked about the concept of Irreducible Complexity to describe microbiological systems that all interact with each other. Without each part, the system loses its function. Then he asked how these complicated systems could evolve by the small steps that Darwinian evolution predicted. Charles Darwin had introduced that concept many years ago (in 1859) in his famous book, The Origin of Species. Starting with something very simple, Darwin said, the animal kingdom developed over time and became more complex.

After that, I gathered and read all I could about Intelligent Design Theory (ID). I have a science background (BS in animal science from Penn State and veterinary medicine degree from University of Penna.). I also earned a certificate in theology (Aquinas College, Grand Rapids). I had thought of applying for a master's degree in theology, but the programs I looked at had nothing to say about ID, and so I continued to study on my own. I remembered one professor at vet school had said their main focus was to teach us to teach ourselves. They figured they couldn't cover everything in four years, and they inspired us for life-long learning.

At first I thought of myself as an ID proponent, but started seeing their approach as different from my own. I recently realized that my stance does not quite fit into their movement, although I still truly admire some of the breakthroughs they have made and keep making. They are second to none when it comes to pointing out certain faulty thinking in today's biology scene. My blog reflects my enthusiasm for ID. But I think the Intelligent Design approach also has its faults, which I hope to clarify as I go along.

When I was in veterinary school, I liked physiology better than medicine but didn't want to work in a laboratory. I practiced for a while in various aspects of the field, but was discontent to the point where I stopped. I worked and volunteered in social justice concerns for our church and community for quite a few years. I joined a writing group with my husband and wrote a few fiction books (self-published on a very small scale). And then I started blogging.

I have written about various subjects, but I keep coming back to the issue of biological evolution and whether or where it truly has scientific evidence. I've actually written quite a bit already about that in my blog. I work to inform people of the complexity of life. I'm pretty slow but I'm persistent.

I've wondered many times in the past what my life plan actually is, but for some of us it doesn't fall into place so easily. Though plans can change over the years, I always ask God to guide mine as much as He will. It's been a very interesting journey.


Psiloiordinary said...


How do you respond to the various ways in which irreducibly complex systems can evolve via;

deletion of parts
addition of multiple parts
change of function
addition of second function to a part
gradual modification of parts

These have all been observed?

What do you think about the fact that you didn't find out about these things from Behe?



Kay said...

Sorry it takes me so long to answer—it's just me here. Perhaps you have specific things in mind with the list you give. I think there are some systems that can probably be reduced and some that can't be. I don't think the cell itself as we know it, with the ATP Synthase system can be reduced to the simplicity it would take to come about by chemical laws. The cell needs DNA, RNA polymerase and ribosomes to make the enzymes which in turn make the phospho-lipid membrane (needed for the electrical gradient which pulls the hydrogen ion through the ATP synthase machinery), the electron transport system, proteins to regulate ions for the osmotic pressure of the cell, and a steady source of hydrogen donor such as NAD from the Krebs cycle. These in turn need ATP to keep working, from the ATP synthase machinery. The ATP synthase has thousands of amino acids in order that is exact enough for the proteins to fold correctly and fit together in order to add the phosphate to the ADP molecule to supply the ATP.

There are many sources I've learned from, but I guess I really didn't think about evolution all that much until Behe's first book came along.