Joined: Mar. 2006
And honestly, Argy, I do not know how much I can contribute to this thread, anyways, until I do some major reading on the subject-and that will take time. I did take freshman-level biology, but that's about it. Regarding directed mutation-I am not a (very) educated layman on the subject.
I do find Chris' flowchart interesting, and appealing. If I understand correctly, specific genome sites are exposed and "hypermutation" is created at these "vulnerable" areas. Therefore (how do I say this?) a mutation gradient (differential) is created where some sites appear "favored" over others to produce genetic novelty. In other words, can we say that a targeted search is taking place in at least a rudimentary sense, where the genome "relies" on some DNA strands more than others to generate change-and genetic utility? I do like the specificity implicit in this model.
Ichthyic, you have strongly implied that ID is a poor scientific enterprise at best-no research program and all that. It's no wonder the ID movement has not published anything beyond design inferences. Proving a designer via scientific research is difficult at best: this alleged engineer does not appear readily or reliably (if at all) for our close inspection. Does the inaccessibility of the intended research subject (the designer itself) render its existence false? Or folly? Teleology is not false merely because it's un-testable (or rather, difficult to test).
If I were to go looking for a designer, I would use meditation and petition (listening and querying), and hope that I get an answer. That is the best research program I can honestly come up with to find a designer and hence vindicate intelligent design. Granted, this does not sound like much of a scientific enterprise in the traditional sense of the word science-but since any designer would be intelligent, making queries and "scanning" for responses would be logical protocols to adopt in any search. A give-and-take conversation with this Creator is probably the best the ID movement can do in order to achieve designer detection, and abiding redemption for intelligent design.