Hairy Design

Have some closet ID scientists managed to infiltrate the hallowed halls of the Royal Society of London? Perhaps they have:

Duncan R.P., Autumn, K., Binford, G.J. (2007) Convergent setal morphology in sand-covering spiders suggests a design principle for particle capture. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 274: 3049-3056. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2007.1039.

I have not been able to read the paper, but from the abstract, they found that two “distantly related” spiders had both found the same solution to the problem of covering themselves in sand: they have small hairs on their small hairs that trap the sand.

Of course, the scientists are careful to cover their tracks by talking “evolutionary origins”, but it is obvious that they are thinking about biology from a design perspective. It is a shame that they have to hide this behind a Darwinian facade in order to get published.

There might be more to this story. We have two spiders that have the same solution to the same problem, and the will Darwinist claim that this is convergent evolution, when surely common design is a simpler explanation. But this about this. Developing new, finer hairs that stick to sand cannot be easy, and what use is a hair that is too thick? Could a thick, purposeless, hair have evolved first? I predict that when ID scientists look at this more carefully, they will find irreducible complexity in the sandy hair on a spider’s back.

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7 responses to “Hairy Design

  1. This is pretty convincing Professor Smith – I hope you don’t mind, but I referenced it at Uncommon Descent and asked DaveScot what he thinks.

  2. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    I find it interesting that you “have not been able to read the paper.” Doesn’t your university subscribe to the online version of the journal? Proceedings of the Royal Society is not an obscure publication.

    I am currently affiliated with two universities and have full access to the article through either of them (just checked). You ought to have it, too.

  3. professorsmith

    Well Mr. Tchernyshyov, some of us have classes and students to attend to. I simply have not had the time. Add to that the cold that I’m coming down with and it might be a little while before I can venture out to get the paper. Sorry to disappoint, but I’m human and I do get sick.

  4. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    Get well, professorsmith.

    And when you are back in control do let us know what you think about the article. (Not the abstract.)

  5. Professor – I just recommended your site to Dr. Dembski to forward to the Discovery Institute’s new anti-NOVA site.

    I hope this gets you the exposure you are looking for.

  6. professorsmith

    Thanks glarson24.

  7. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    So, professorsmith…

    Did you have a chance to look at the article in question? 😉

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