2 of 8
2
Michael Behe - The Edge of Evolution (Nov-9-07)
Posted: 14 November 2007 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2006-07-25

I just finished listening to the interview on my iPod.  Overall I thought it was very well done, although there are some points where Behe could have been nailed a little harder.  This is the main one, though:

jdmack - 10 November 2007 07:06 AM

Behe’s accusation that 90% of Judge Jones’ opinion was written and submitted by the plaintiff’s lawyers is a biggy!  Can someone at CFI follow up on that?

Behe lied.  90% of Judge Jones’ OPINION was not cribbed from the plaintiff’s lawyers.  90% of the FINDINGS OF FACT section was taken directly from the “proposed findings of fact” submitted to him by the plaintiff’s lawyers.  That section is about 20 pages out of a 139-page ruling (15% of the ruling).  As far as I have heard, the other 85% is all Jones’ own original writing.

In a legal confrontation, both sides typically submit a proposal for findings of fact, hoping the judge will find their proposal as indicative of the true facts.  Jones did.  He adopted the Kitzmiller proposal almost verbatim, while taking nothing at all from the defendants’ facts.  As one blogger (I forget who) pointed out at the time, raising a big stink about this is tantamount to the Discovery Institute complaining “HEY!  The judge completely agreed with our opponents and didn’t accept our story AT ALL!  That’s not fair!”


Apart from that issue, one other area I would have liked to hear more ass-kicking would have been when at the beginning of the interview, when Michael Behe claimed “Lots of the leaders in the ID movement are just doing pure science, and didn’t start with any preconception that the designer is God.  Like me and Bill Dembski and Jonathan Wells.”

This is total bunk, but it’s easily demonstrated bunk when it comes to Jonathan Wells.  Wells is a Moonie, a disciple of the ultra-right wing reverend Sun Myung Moon, and he started working towards a biology degree BECAUSE he wanted to undermine evolution for religious reasons.

[quote author=“Jonathan Wells”]http://www.tparents.org/library/unification/talks/wells/DARWIN.htm

Father’s words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism, just as many of my fellow Unificationists had already devoted their lives to destroying Marxism. When Father chose me (along with about a dozen other seminary graduates) to enter a Ph.D. program in 1978, I welcomed the opportunity to prepare myself for battle.

“Father” in this context is a description of Reverend Moon.


However, as I said before, good interview overall.  I liked it when DJ made Behe stammer over the question of whether this was just an anti-evolution book and not pro-anything.  Also at the end, DJ got Behe talking about God, and Behe was eager to defend the “unnamed designer” (wink wink) as always good.  I’m curious, though.  Behe says that malaria is “an unintended side effect of something that is, when you look at the big picture, good.”

An unintended side effect?  WTF?  This sounds like an awfully bumbling omnipotent creator.  Oh wait, I forgot, it’s not God.  The designers purposes must be seen as “good” regardless of how they appear.  But it’s not God.

 Signature 

Russell Glasser’s blog:
http://kazimskorner.blogspot.com
Become a contributor to Iron Chariots, the web’s only counter-apologetics wiki!
http://www.ironchariots.org

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 November 2007 02:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  137
Joined  2007-09-28

It was clear from the interview that Behe is a very clever man. I find it hard to reconcile that with his opinion that resorting to susperstition is not unscientific.

Imagine, some bloke, called say ... Isaac Newton, sitting in an orchard. suddenly he his hit on the noggin by a falling apple.  He ponders this for some time, pacing back and forth in the orchard, running equations in his mind to try and explain what makes the apple fall….. When suddently EUREKA!!!!!  GOD DID IT!!!  he puts down his quill and notebook, safe in the knowledge that the question is answered, and studies no more.

What a loss to the world that would have been.

Why did the bacteria in this petre dish die?  could it have been some chemical we could use to treat infections? .... no .... GOD DID IT!  end of study.


All development in science is based on study of measureable things.  When Behe can measure god, then he can include it in science. Until then, he is either lying, or an idiot.

Ski.

 Signature 

hmmmmm  π

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 November 2007 09:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  11
Joined  2006-05-30
Kazim - 14 November 2007 11:59 AM

Behe lied.  90% of Judge Jones’ OPINION was not cribbed from the plaintiff’s lawyers.  90% of the FINDINGS OF FACT section was taken directly from the “proposed findings of fact” submitted to him by the plaintiff’s lawyers.  That section is about 20 pages out of a 139-page ruling (15% of the ruling).  As far as I have heard, the other 85% is all Jones’ own original writing.

Thanks for that answer!  I feel better now.

J. D.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 November 2007 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7614
Joined  2007-03-02

I finally listened and I got a good laugh out of his staying that Mt Rushmore was created by Intelligent Design.  Please!  Humans put the presidents’ faces into the mountain, not some god.  Now if you are saying humans are gods, well…  They were great artists, I will admit that.

However, after listening to him on PBS and PoI, I can only say one thing- The man is a nut!

 Signature 

Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2007 07:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  1
Joined  2007-11-16

Behe’s accusation that 90% of Judge Jones’ opinion was written and submitted by the plaintiff’s lawyers is a biggy!  Can someone at CFI follow up on that?

It’s NOT a biggy.  For an explanation of why not see Refutation of plagiarism charge

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2007 09:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  46
Joined  2007-09-09
randytoad - 17 November 2007 07:33 AM

Behe’s accusation that 90% of Judge Jones’ opinion was written and submitted by the plaintiff’s lawyers is a biggy!  Can someone at CFI follow up on that?

It’s NOT a biggy.  For an explanation of why not see Refutation of plagiarism charge

That’s dated almost a year ago and Behe is still following the loser’s scripted PR talking points?  I used to think creationists save the spin for folks who aren’t inclined to check out a single thing they say.  But this inclines me back to the “robot” idea.  They just repeat what they’re told, and don’t even check up these things for their own sakes.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2007 07:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2007-11-17

I agree with a lot of what has been stated previously in this thread.  Mainly, I think DJ did an extremely fine job of handling a most difficult topic and an even more difficult guest. 

I especially liked his question to Behe regarding peer-review.  Behe successfully managed to completely avoid giving any answer of substance.  It’s been my experience when I talk to someone who is a proponent of ID and creation “science” that when I bring up the subject of peer-review and the lack thereof in the ID camp, the person I am speaking with usually offers up the supreme cop-out that the “scientific elites just won’t publish our work”.  Nothing gets me more heated than this little urban legend. 

Scientists as a whole are not elitists, and there isn’t some good ‘ole boys club waiting to wield the hammer on those $#% christians.  Science, the field in which scientists work, is a ruthless, take no prisoners, no holds barred endeavor to get at the essence of natural phenomena.  Science, and the scientific method, really could care less in the end whether the person submitting the work is from the Discovery Institute or the Discover Card.  As long as there is an hypothesis that can be tested with valid and reliable experimental methods and shown to be either true or false based on the data obtained, then eventually said agency or party should be able to publish their scientific findings in a peer-reviewed journal, period.  None of this, “Well, we couldn’t get peer-reviewed because no one would listen to us” holds any weight whatsoever.  This type of argument is at best being disingenuous, and at worst, downright deceitful. 

I will choose to think the former of Mr. Behe, and simply ask that if he has such problems with the theory of evolution then PLEASE come up with alternative SCIENTIFIC theories that can be tested and get them published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.  Participate in the scientific method like everyone else in science has to. 

As Stephen Colbert says in his new book, “There are no free rides!”, so I say to Mr. Behe, with the caveat, “and NO loitering around the express science train!”

 Signature 

“There are two types of people in this world; those that think there are two types of people, and those that don’t.”—-Anonymous

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 November 2007 02:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  35
Joined  2007-09-01
Aesopo - 17 November 2007 09:18 AM
randytoad - 17 November 2007 07:33 AM

Behe’s accusation that 90% of Judge Jones’ opinion was written and submitted by the plaintiff’s lawyers is a biggy!  Can someone at CFI follow up on that?

It’s NOT a biggy.  For an explanation of why not see Refutation of plagiarism charge

That’s dated almost a year ago and Behe is still following the loser’s scripted PR talking points?  I used to think creationists save the spin for folks who aren’t inclined to check out a single thing they say.  But this inclines me back to the “robot” idea.  They just repeat what they’re told, and don’t even check up these things for their own sakes.

Sadly, I think they still use these arguments because they spread very effectively, are easy for people to remember and difficult to refute in one simple sentence. The argument appeals to persons who fall for conspiracy theories and are led to believe that they are a persecuted minority. It is effective propaganda and shows that they have an “ends justify the means” mentality in which the “ends” are religious.

Richard

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 November 2007 02:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  137
Joined  2007-09-28
Drew - 17 November 2007 07:52 PM

I will choose to think the former of Mr. Behe, and simply ask that if he has such problems with the theory of evolution then PLEASE come up with alternative SCIENTIFIC theories that can be tested and get them published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.  Participate in the scientific method like everyone else in science has to. 

As Stephen Colbert says in his new book, “There are no free rides!”, so I say to Mr. Behe, with the caveat, “and NO loitering around the express science train!”

I would like to raise a question. Is behe (and his ilk) actually interested in science? At the root of it, they are after power, influence and wealth. If this was not the case, they would simply be happy to believe whatever they choose and keep to themselves. So, to achieve influence over the masses, do they need to have a valid scientific hypothesis? Clearly, no they do not. A large proportion of people in the US (and the UK for that matter) are scientifically illiterate, especially when it comes to evolution. All the ID’ers need, is something that ‘looks science’ to add to the perceived validity of their ideas, and they have something they can use to deceive the public.

Will they develop their ideas into a scientifically testable hypothesis? No, because they won’t want to risk being wrong.

Ski.

 Signature 

hmmmmm  π

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 November 2007 08:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  35
Joined  2007-09-01
SkiCarver - 19 November 2007 02:44 AM
Drew - 17 November 2007 07:52 PM

I will choose to think the former of Mr. Behe, and simply ask that if he has such problems with the theory of evolution then PLEASE come up with alternative SCIENTIFIC theories that can be tested and get them published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.  Participate in the scientific method like everyone else in science has to. 

As Stephen Colbert says in his new book, “There are no free rides!”, so I say to Mr. Behe, with the caveat, “and NO loitering around the express science train!”

I would like to raise a question. Is behe (and his ilk) actually interested in science? At the root of it, they are after power, influence and wealth. If this was not the case, they would simply be happy to believe whatever they choose and keep to themselves. So, to achieve influence over the masses, do they need to have a valid scientific hypothesis? Clearly, no they do not. A large proportion of people in the US (and the UK for that matter) are scientifically illiterate, especially when it comes to evolution. All the ID’ers need, is something that ‘looks science’ to add to the perceived validity of their ideas, and they have something they can use to deceive the public.

Will they develop their ideas into a scientifically testable hypothesis? No, because they won’t want to risk being wrong.

Ski.

I think people like Behe also have too much at stake personally. He’s too deep into it to back off and say he was wrong, though he did recently admit to being wrong about HIV:

“Yes, I’m perfectly willing to concede that this does appear to be the development of a new viral protein-viral protein binding site, one which I overlooked when writing about HIV.”

http://endogenousretrovirus.blogspot.com/2007/11/mr-owl-how-many-days-does-it-take-to.html

Here’s an interesting link: “Oddly, Hypocrisy Rooted in High Morals”
http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/071114-cheating-basics.html

—- e.g. having too much a sense of moral superiority ironically can lead to unethical acts.


Richard

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 November 2007 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4108
Joined  2006-11-28

I’ll join the chorus of congratulating DJ for a very polite and respectful interview of someone who clearly is a strong spokesperson for our “cultural competitors.” It was a great opportunity to hear the strengths and weaknesses of the other side, and I really respect DJ for avoiding the talk radio sort of hostile interview there’s all too much of elsewhere. We should be better than that, and clearly he was.

I also agree that Behe hung himself quite handily with the rope provided, though I doubt most believers, or even neutral non-scientists, would think so. Hence the challenge. I think Behe has created a position that is beyond any rational challenege or contradictory evidence. According to his statements:

1) If you’re not a scientist (like the judge in Dover who Behe says got snowed by the opposition on the immunology point because “what would a judge know about immunology”), then you only disagree with ID out of ignorance.

2) If you are a scientist, you disagree with ID because of your atheist, materialist philosophical bias and Darwinolatry, not because of a considered understanding of the evidence.

3) If you’re a Christian and you agree with ID, it’s not because of any philosophical bias in favor of a designer god (since his Catholicism had nothing to do with his position on evolution) but because of a considered understanding of the evidence.

Such impregnable castles of belief are infuriating to those of us with a rational, scientific approach to epistemology since they are impervious to evidence but function very effectively to defend a specific position in a way that appears rational while really just being an apologia for an a priori conviction.

The timing for this podcast was good for me as I’m reading Philip Kitcher’s Living with Darwin right now. Some strong arguments against ID, though I do wonder if science can really afford the time and energy to research and disprove each individual point people like Behe makes. Even if we close a lot of the gaps in which they’re finding god, there will always be more, and I think science has more practical and iprotant things to do.

 Signature 

The SkeptVet Blog
You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place. 
Johnathan Swift

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 November 2007 05:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  16
Joined  2007-11-19
Mriana - 15 November 2007 07:55 AM

I finally listened and I got a good laugh out of his staying that Mt Rushmore was created by Intelligent Design.  Please!  Humans put the presidents’ faces into the mountain, not some god.  Now if you are saying humans are gods, well…  They were great artists, I will admit that.

However, after listening to him on PBS and PoI, I can only say one thing- The man is a nut!

Hi Mriana.  with respect, I think to be fair it should be pointed out that Behe certainly didn’t claim that Mt. Rushmore was created by “God”.  He stated that when you look at Mt. Rushmore you are instantly aware that it was made by an intelligent cause, not just random wind, rain, erosion and time.  Actually your post makes a strong case for Behe.  If you were to come to earth a thousand years after the last human had died and there was no record to tell you how Mt. Rushmore was made, would you believe that it was randomly caused by natural processes or that some intelligent entity must have carved it out of the rock?  The answer is obvious.  When Behe investigates the bacterial flagellum motor for instance, with it’s multiple tuned parts & symmetry, random mutations and natural selection cannot logically or scientifically account for this complexity.  The “bio-pump” often touted as a “stepping stone” to the motor only accounts for 10 of the some 40 parts of the flagellum motor.  Where did the other parts come from since they all to be present at the same time for the structure to function?  Natural Selection is blind to a non-functioning system that is missing parts.  Darwinian Evolution cannot be the sole cause for this system…perhaps some aliens came and….

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 November 2007 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4108
Joined  2006-11-28

the bacterial flagellum motor for instance, with it’s multiple tuned parts & symmetry, random mutations and natural selection cannot logically or scientifically account for this complexity.  The “bio-pump” often touted as a “stepping stone” to the motor only accounts for 10 of the some 40 parts of the flagellum motor

Wrong.

1) The precise mechanism for how this system evolved haven’t been elucidated, but that’s not evidence natural selection can’t explain it. The only basis for claiming that natural selection cannot make such things is your own difficulty imaging how, which is just another form of the argument from design for god.

2) Your use of the word “random” is misleading, intentionally or not. Mutations are random. The development of new structures through evolution is not. It is guided by differential reproductive success (via natural selection), the necessity of building new things out of existing things rather than creating them intact from scratch, and other such factors.

Each time a gap in the Darwinian explanation is cited by an anti-selectionist to claim the theory as a whole is a failure, I have to point out a) all the things Darwinian theory does explain successfully, b)the things previous thought to be inexplicable by natural selection and modification with descent (like the vertebrate eye) which have since been clearly demonstrated to, in fact, be possible to develop in steps as the theory suggests despite their complexity, and c) the utter absence of an alternative explanation. “Design” just means “it looks like somebody did it to me so somebody must have.” It doesn’t lead to any further understanding or any heuristic predictions. And it begs the questions of why things are imperfectly designed (how many people a year choke to death because of the arrangement of the airway and GI tract in the back of the throat), why almost any anatomic or biochemical feature of one organism can be shown to be a modified form of a similar feature in a related organism, and many others. Darwinian theory, on the other hand, gives cogent explanations for these facts.

I suggest reading Kitcher’s book I referenced above, which demonstrates the falalcies behind the so-called “irreducible” complexity argument Behe puts forward.

 Signature 

The SkeptVet Blog
You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place. 
Johnathan Swift

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 November 2007 05:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1214
Joined  2007-09-21

My understanding is that Mt. Rushmore was a sacred Native American mountain with some animistic significance before the presidents faces were carved on top of it.  Is it possible that this is evidence that there was an earlier creator the proceeded our creator?  ohh

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 November 2007 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7614
Joined  2007-03-02
wezx - 19 November 2007 05:13 PM
Mriana - 15 November 2007 07:55 AM

I finally listened and I got a good laugh out of his staying that Mt Rushmore was created by Intelligent Design.  Please!  Humans put the presidents’ faces into the mountain, not some god.  Now if you are saying humans are gods, well…  They were great artists, I will admit that.

However, after listening to him on PBS and PoI, I can only say one thing- The man is a nut!

Hi Mriana.  with respect, I think to be fair it should be pointed out that Behe certainly didn’t claim that Mt. Rushmore was created by “God”.  He stated that when you look at Mt. Rushmore you are instantly aware that it was made by an intelligent cause, not just random wind, rain, erosion and time.  Actually your post makes a strong case for Behe.  If you were to come to earth a thousand years after the last human had died and there was no record to tell you how Mt. Rushmore was made, would you believe that it was randomly caused by natural processes or that some intelligent entity must have carved it out of the rock?  The answer is obvious.  When Behe investigates the bacterial flagellum motor for instance, with it’s multiple tuned parts & symmetry, random mutations and natural selection cannot logically or scientifically account for this complexity.  The “bio-pump” often touted as a “stepping stone” to the motor only accounts for 10 of the some 40 parts of the flagellum motor.  Where did the other parts come from since they all to be present at the same time for the structure to function?  Natural Selection is blind to a non-functioning system that is missing parts.  Darwinian Evolution cannot be the sole cause for this system…perhaps some aliens came and….

Oh brother.  rolleyes  If they are intelligent, they would know that people were here before them and not blame it on an invisible deity.  BTW, it would be nice if you introduced yourself in the intro area.  It would be nice to know a little about you.

 Signature 

Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 8
2
 
‹‹ deleted      deleted ››