David Abel is Director of The Gene Emergence Project, and works in/founded/directs the Department of ProtoBioCybernetics and ProtoBioSemiotics at the Origin of Life Science Foundation, Inc.. Since it sounds rather prestigious, here is the Foundation. It’s a creationist … well, mostly a webpage, apparently, as well as Abel’s suburban home (which accordingly houses at least both the Department of ProtoBioCybernetics and the Department of ProtoBioSemiotics). Impressive are also the thirty or so “peer-reviewed publications” he lists on his site; any cursory look will, however, make you wonder about the venues (most are in a book edited by himself). Attempting to boost one’s credentials without, you know, doing any work is a rather well-known tactic among crackpots, especially those crackpots who are deep down dimly aware that they are, indeed, crackpots. The Institute also hosts (or hosted) a Hovind-like million-dollar prize for “proposing a highly plausible natural-process mechanism for the spontaneous rise of genetic instructions in nature sufficient to give rise to life.” To win, however, you would first have had to get your suggestion through a “house review”.
Abel did, however, get a paper published in the journal Life, which has a story of shoddy referee routines. The paper, “Is Life Unique”, is a long-winded argument by assertion for the conclusion Abel wishes to draw, with no hypothesis, evidence, observation or experiment, but plenty of novel acronyms. In the paper Abel is apparently seeking the origin of life through pseudoscience and misunderstandings, dressed up in fancy-sounding terminology. According to Abel, all the (well, his) evidence suggests that “Molecular biology itself is programmed, algorithmically processed, and purposefully regulated …” However, as a true acolyte of the Intelligent Design movement, Abel refuses to (officially) speculate about who the programmer may be. So he is not really looking for the origin of life.
Apparently his “publications” has made him something of a favorite of the Discovery Institute; at least an impressive percentage of their list of publications supporting Intelligent Design consists of papers by Abel, thus also evincing the utter bankruptcy of that Institute’s scientific efforts. Abel is also apparently associated with the Guelph creationists.
Diagnosis: Very, very typical ultracrackpot who will, we predict, ultimately hurt the Discotute creationist campaigns more than he’ll help it.
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