On the one side, UCD still causes a little "niggle" to go off in the back of my head that tells me something ain't quite right. I may not know how to describe it at this time, but eventually I may. The discussion of the confirmation of UCD from the previous post is one example.
On the other side is a recent post by Patrick at Uncommon Descent entitled "ID-Compatible Predictions: Foresighted Mechanism Identified?".
First the positive. A recent experiment showed that the genes in E.Coli "reacted" to changes in temperature:
"Indeed, upon transition to a higher temperature, many of the genes essential for aerobic respiration were practically turned off.
"To prove that this is not just genetic coincidence ..., the researchers then grew the bacteria in a biologically flipped environment where oxygen levels rose following an increase in temperature. Remarkably, within a few hundred generations the bugs partially adapted to this new regime, and no longer turned off the genes for aerobic respiration when the temperature rose"
To sum up, inactive genes were activated and active genes were rendered inactive due to a change in environment.
Patrick claims this is an example of a prediction he made: foresighted mechanism/front loading. A foresighted mechanism, if identified conclusively, should be considered an objective sign/aspect of design, and thus confirmation of "ID-Compatible Prediction" (side note: dontcha just love the term ID-Compatible?).
Don't misinterpret what I'm saying here. This is NOT conclusive evidence of fore-sighted mechanism/front loading. However, just like the partial confirmation of "junk DNA" having function from the ENCODE project, it is a tantalising first step (Patrick does acknowledge this in the opening of his post regarding junk DNA and other "ID-Compatible predictions").
So what now? It is obvious that further research is required, or as Dr. Heddle so nicely puts it, "Show Me the Experiment[s]!" The prediction needs to be refined and focused.
Also, IMO, too much emphasis was placed on intelligence in Patrick's post when - according to Sal Cordova and others - we do not have a solid definition of intelligence. However, as Sal nicely puts it, design is more tractable and this is where the focus should be on. Objective aspects of design exist (passive design) and can be universally observed. Developing and defining passive design* (or something along those lines) should be the focus.
Bottom line, the experiment is a good start, but much more needs to be done.
The "asylum" is now open.**
*I know I keep dropping hints of this thing called "passive design". I can only say "stay tuned" and "please be patient"; it is coming. :)
**This is just my unique way of opening the floor for comments ;)